Living Space: As summer temps climb, give your decor a cool touch
As temperatures climb, you can feel hot just looking at blazing summer hues like yellow, coral, pink and red. Here are some quick and easy ways to create a cool, fresh, breezy look around the house.
Cover it up
A simple way to bring down the "visual" temperature in any room is to take a cue from the beach. Lots of beach houses are decorated in bright white and light colors, especially blue. Change the mood in your living room or den by throwing some white slipcovers over sofas and chairs.
Bright white cotton duck slipcovers, like the Shabby Chic covers at Target ($25 to $99, Target.com), add a cool, clean, crisp vibe. Throw on some light-colored throw pillows, like the Exquisite at Ikat ($25, Wayfair.com), and you've got a new room perfect for lounging on the more torrid summer day.
Paint it up
Give your porch an instant cool down with a coat of pale blue paint on the ceiling. Just by gazing up from their lounge chairs, family and friends will feel like they've caught a breeze even when temperatures are stifling and the air is standing still.
Go for colors like Morning Glory by Benjamin Moore or Aviary Blue by Sherwin Williams to cool things down. If your bedroom is white or beige, these ceiling shades will look just as refreshing indoors as they do outside.
Fix it up
In the bedroom, try swapping out wood, upholstered or metallic furniture with painted pieces. Or if you're ready for a permanent change, paint whatever you have in there with a light coat of white, ivory or antique white paint. Replace your heavy comforter with a light matelasse coverlet. To give your bedroom the cool, breezy feeling of a sleeping porch, add long, gauzy white curtains.
For a romantic touch, drape the bed with a canopy of flowing white curtains. When a ceiling or room fan is turned on and the canopy moves in the breeze, you'll feel instantly cooler. These are a snap to put over any bed if you buy the kind you simply hang from a hook in the ceiling.
The Temple Canopy will give you that airy canopy look inexpensively, and installation takes just minutes ($157, Bedcanopies.com). Don't like that look? Add extra-long sheers to an L-shaped drapery rod or PVC plumbing pipe, attach at the ceiling and hang at the four corners of your bed to give the illusion of a canopy.
In the bathroom, add a bright white or beach-themed shower curtain. Swap out dark towels with seafoam greens and pale blues. Fill a small dish with beach glass and seashells and add a beach-scented candle for a light, summery feel.
Be sure to run the vent fan when you shower in the summer, too, to keep humidity down. Extra moisture in the house will make you feel hotter.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.