Summer is fast approaching and everyone knows that no place can beat Louisiana for summer heat. It's hot, it's humid, the mosquitoes are deadly - I could go on and on. But we wanted to give you some pointers on how to make your backyard space a bit more enjoyable this summer.
Cover Your Space
This would seem like a no-brainer, but finding a place to cover in your yard is a must. Whether it's planting shade trees, buying a patio umbrella, or building a pergola, any kind of shade can make the temperature feel ten to fifteen degrees cooler. We rounded up a few suggestions for you from this umbrella from Frontgate, the Cabana from Pottery Barn, or this DIY tutorial for making a pergola. The tutorial says it should only take you a weekend with the proper tools and supplies, but I'd use a holiday weekend to get it done. Any DIY project is bound to have its surprises.
If you already have a covered front or back porch, adding outdoor drapery to the sides can shield your space from the rising or setting sun as well as deter mosquitoes. And if you're concerned about blocking those nice summer breezes, find a breathable fabric like cotton or linen to use as drapery. Here are some beautiful ideas from Pottery Barn, Frontgate, and Ballard Designs.
Plant a Garden
Plants have a natural cooling effect, so now that you have that big pergola up, why not plant some blooms that will climb it? Or build a trellis on the south side of your porch? The south side of your home is always sunnier, so it will block tons of light. Honeysuckle is a fragrant and beautiful climber, as well as the Peggy Martin Rose or Jasmine plants.
Use Light Colors
It's a scientific fact that darker colors absorb more sunlight, therefore absorb more heat. That's why black cars are hotter in the summer than white cars. So if we apply that same principle to our yards, we'd want to stay away from heavy dark colors in our outdoor furniture. That's not to say that you can't buy that black iron table set. It just means that you might want to dress it up with light-colored outdoor cushions and pillows or even a rug. This also doesn't mean that you can't introduce color into your backyard space. There are plenty of fun bright and light colors to choose from that will make your backyard fun and comfortable. Pro tip: "cool" colors like blues, greens, and purples are psychologically more likely to cool you off than "warm" colors like yellows, reds, and oranges. But again, if your personal style is more fiery, please by all means use those bright red tones. You want every aspect of your home to be a reflection of you and the things that make you happiest.
We've all seen people with outdoor heaters in their backyards, so why aren't we looking for outdoor cooling tech? Well, now we are. You can find misters and fans at nearly any home improvement store, but here are a few great ones from Frontgate (an outdoor mister and an outdoor fan or one that does both), this Mist Works system, or even this wall-mounted oscillating fan.
Add a Cooler
Is there anything more satisfying than an ice cold drink on a hot day? No, there isn't. So why not have a nice cooler outside to refresh yourself and your guests during those summer barbecues. Why not one of these three? There's the Teak Bar Cart with Beverage Tub from Frontgate (love the color of teak), Ballard's Castine Cooler if you like the wicker look, or even this set of double adirondack chairs with a cooler between them from Etsy.
Do you have any other ideas for cooling off your homes for the summer? Let us know how you and your family plan to beat the heat on our Facebook, Debbie Ahrens Designs, or on our Instagram, AhrensDesigns.