2021-01-26 SS21 Eagle House3906

Inspiration

How to keep your home cool in summer

How to keep your home cool in summer

As the mercury rises this week, sun worshippers may rejoice, but the other side of the coin is the inevitable tossing and turning that follows come nightfall. We’re well-versed in mild sunshine and showers aplenty, but our Great British homes are not quite so primed and ready to roll with temperatures that creep towards the big 3-0. To make days like these that bit more bearable, these five keep cool and carry on suggestions should help make your home comfortable – no air conditioning SOS installation call required.

Keep cool at night with linen bed sheets

One of the most effective and most elegant of ways to regulate body temperature at night is to invest in bed linen that allows the air to circulate – allowing the warmth to escape rather than being burrowed under the covers with you. And the clue is in the name – bed linen. Pure linen bedding, like our Edith collection, is made entirely from natural flax fibres that, once spun into linen yarn, promises pillow cases, sheets and duvet covers that will help your bed and your body to breathe and wick away moisture. The same rings true for cotton bedding (take a look at Albertine).

All this effort will go to waste though if the other aspects of your bed are made using synthetic materials. Unlike synthetics which will trap heat and moisture, opting for duvets, pillows and mattresses (like our Barrington or Highclere) made using wool or cotton will add to the breath-ability of linen bed sheets.

If you’re the sort who struggles to not have the weight of a duvet over you at night, be sure to also switch to a summer quilt with a lower tog. A lighter weight option still would be to use a top sheet (as is custom in a bed’s daily make-up in countries like Australia and America) so that you can peel the duvet away and still have a cover over you as you drift off. A flat sheet works just as well here, helpfully trapping cool air in, and also means you can benefit from the bedding in the freezer trick that’s so often recommended. It’s far easier to slip a single sheet into the freezer than taking off your duvet’s cover, finding room for that amidst the tubs of ice cream, before wrestling it back over your quilt (by which time it’s not so cool).

If you’re still in dire straits, open up the freezer drawer once more, but this time nestle next to the frozen peas a hot water bottle filled with cold water and a few cubes of ice, or one of those wheat bags you’d normally heat in the microwave. Then, a couple of hours later, pad your way to bed with your very own ice pack.

Sleep with the windows open

Ok, that sounds obvious, but it’s not just about temperature. There’s been a resurgence in conversation around the health benefits of sleeping with your bedroom window open. Reason being, with lots of people reporting a fuzzy-head feeling during lockdown, scientists and sleep specialists have been recommending this fresh air approach to awake with a clearer mind, thanks to the room’s reduction in dioxide levels. And with hot weather making the best of us bleary, we need all the help we can get from a dose of fresh air. 

So, not only does cool air make for a more restful sleep, but a more restorative one too – providing home isn’t where noise pollution runs rife, in which case, you’ll need to add ear plugs to the shopping list.

Boost your fan’s breeze with ice

Needless to say, a fan becomes your closest confidante when summer is at its most generous. But there is a simple way to unleash its cooling capabilities further still, which you will likely be especially thankful for when your head hits the pillow.

By placing a bowl or shallow dish of heavily iced water in front of your fan, as the ice evaporates, the air blowing in your direction will contain more moisture, cooling you down more effectively. Something we like to do is to add a few drops of a sleep-boosting essential oil such as lavender or jasmine – both of which are said to not only calm the mind but to boost energy levels when you rouse. Alternatively, if you already have a humidifier at home, place this in front instead, just making sure it’s on the cool setting. 

Draw the curtains during the day

Ever wondered why many Mediterranean homes have shutters on the outside of their windows? It’s because keeping the windows covered during the day, or during the midday sun spell at least, significantly reduces humidity and that stuffiness that hits you when bed beckons.

Beautiful as they are, having traditional wooden shutters fitted to your home’s exterior might be a tad extreme, and so instead, simply keep curtains closed and louvered shutters slatted shut to keep the hot air at bay.

When the temperatures outside are warmer than those inside, it’s wise to keep things covered as, rather than letting a summer breeze drift in, cool air is in fact escaping while warm air invades. Blackout blinds are especially helpful here as they prevent direct sunlight from penetrating your curtain or blind fabric – ask one of our home specialists about having our made to measure curtains and blinds fitted with a blackout interlining.

Pot some plants

Nature comes to our aid once again with this final home-cooling suggestion. From plant-based bedding to plants in pots, welcoming house plants into the fold is a promise of much-needed moisture that will breathe relief into a stuffy setting.

It’s down to the process of transpiration, which has the fortunate consequence of not just lowering room temperature, but doing its bit to maintain a level of humidity that’s in our comfort zone. Plenty of house plants also purify the air, so look into such species that can achieve the hat trick for you, such as aloe vera or ferns, palms and peace lilies, and ficus trees (try Ficus Elastica or Ficus Benjamina, known as the weeping fig – beautiful in name and in nature).

To make your home a more summer-friendly place, begin by investing in all-natural bed linen. Explore our collection here.