Keeping Cool

It is once again that time of the year when the sun is beaming, the days are longer, boutiques are bustling with those on the hunt for Christmas gifts, and a picnic in the sunshine is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

There is very little to dislike about summer, and in fact I find the one deplorable aspect of this time of year are those days when it is too hot to step foot outside. Turning on the air conditioning may be a quick fix, but I find I prefer to keep my home cool with more natural methods than artificial air.

It’s astounding what a clever designer can do to keep a home cool naturally, and so I’ve decided to share with you my favourite techniques to lower the temperature this summer.

The first piece of advice I would part with is to use colour wisely. Crisp, sharp whites ... soft dreamy blues ... splashes of sandy beige - these are the colours that cool the blood simply by viewing them, they also have the clever effect of diffusing light.

For example, this delightful bedroom has hit all the right notes with the misty blue of the wall that perfectly contrast the bright and bold pink hues of the cushion and matching decorative blooms.

There is little more appealing on a hot summer’s day than sitting at a charming table to talk with friends, no matter if they are in the same room, on the telephone, or a quick typed message away.

This room uses the stunning views through the full-length windows as the ideal backdrop to an uncluttered interior. The lack of excess furniture promotes airflow in the home, and the light colours reflect the harsh warmth of the summer sun back out into the city beyond the glass.

As any who know me will be happy to tell you, I am a great believer in the lifting effect that plants can have on an interior space. A pot plant of greenery can lift the spirits, clear the air, and impart a sense of freshness to a room.

And if you do not trust yourself with the care of a shrub - and, my dear friends, it is as easy to over-water as it is to under-water - cut flowers can be the compromise you have been looking for. Only see how this small vase of gardenias is the perfect complement to the patterned cushions on the sofa.

And my last gift of advice to you is a topic you should not be surprised to hear. I talk, of course, of the flooring in your home. I do not take sides in the debate between the superiority of carpet, tile or wood, but I must confess that there are times I prefer one over the other. After all, what could be more cosy in the chilling grip of winter than curling your toes into a soft carpet?


However, in the months of summer my allegiance lies with the feeling of refreshing coolness beneath my feet. And if you are worried about scratching your polished wooden floors with the feet of your furniture, why not lay down a smooth rug so as to enjoy the best of both worlds?

And so we part ways again, mon amis. Until our next conversation, I shall bid you adieu.

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