Living in the tropics means that we can expect sweaty temperatures all year round. But it is a dire day (or season) when your home feels more like the inside of an oven.
Luckily, there are some ways to make your home look and feel cooler without reaching for the aircon remote. And it all starts with interior design. Read on for a few tips that may surprise you.
1. Paint your walls cool
Trick your brain with the strategic use of colour on your walls. The colours of our environment have a powerful effect on our mood and comfort levels.
For a room-cooling, fresh finish, opt for shades on the cooler end of the spectrum such as green or blue. If you don’t want to deck out an entire wall, simply introduce cooler tones through a room’s trimmings – perhaps a feature wall, a skirting board, or simple pops of colours in your furnishings.
The generous use of white can be both striking and cooling, especially when paired with lighter woods.
You can take this one step further by directly evoking images and items from cooler climates. We’re a big fan of the ocean and coastal themes – like this beautiful tapestry just over RM300 from Etsy. This should quench your thirst.
Read our article on colour psychology.
2. Mind your windows
It’s said that 30% of your home’s heat is generated from sunlight coming through your windows. You can combat this in a pinch by installing blinds on windows in those rooms that don’t require full daylight, particularly in the south- and west-facing rooms.
We love these chic bamboo ones that use a lighter shade of wood.
Installing bug-screen blinds are another great idea as they allow you to open your windows at night to further cool your home.
3. Lighten up your fabrics
Switching up the fabrics in a room (we’re talking sheets, curtains, blankets and pillows) can instantly freshen up the space. For cushions, curtains, and any other draped fabric; opt for lightweight and smooth materials like satin that are cool to the touch. Lighter colours will also reflect heat instead of absorbing it.
For those fabrics that you’ll be getting cosy with (e.g. bed linens), select a material with good ventilation, such as Egyptian cotton that breathes easily. We’ve also heard wonders about buckwheat pillows – they don’t retain heat nearly as much as regular pillows. Malaysians can check them out on I Love Pillow.
Use cooler colours to make spaces appear a cooler, fresher white; rather than yellow (opt for 4100K to 6500K watts or more in brightness).
Even more importantly – make the commitment to replace your incandescent bulbs as almost 90% of their energy is wasted in heat. Switch to compact florescent lamps instead. Not only will you be cutting down on heat sources, but your wallet will thank you for it.
These genius design tips will help fake a breezy oasis during heatwaves.
This article was originally published as Tired of the heat? 4 ways interior design can trick your brain into chilling out by atap.co and is written by Stephanie Francesca Pereira.