BY Pallavi Pinakin
Here’s how you can transform your home into a cool refreshing oasis away from the blazing heat outside.
MAX THE AIRFLOW Good cross ventilation is key to keeping your home cool. This means the breeze should flow in from one end of your home and out of the other, rather than stagnating in pockets and dead ends.
You can maximise airflow by adding strategically placed windows or knocking down unnecessary walls.
If the layout of your home is fixed, ensure that you don’t add any barriers that obstruct the breeze. A ceiling fan or desert cooler can help keep the air moving while an exhaust fan is a must in the kitchen.
COOL TO TOUCH In a hot and humid climate, it’s vital that you pick the right materials for your home – from flooring to furniture. Opt for surface materials that are cool to the touch and don’t retain heat such as stone, porcelain, bamboo or marble. Avoid vinyl, carpeting, metal, velvet and parquet as they retain heat, and will make your interiors feel warm and stuffy. For bed linen and upholstery, use cool and breathable fabrics such as cotton and linen.
GENTLE PALETTE Light neutral colours such as beige, cream and ivory paired with cool hues of blues and greens are perfect for tropical climes. Fresh pastels like lilac and pink also work well. Don’t cram your interiors with overly busy patterns and textures since this stifles the space. Opt for minimalist patterns and clean lines.
PLANTS GALORE Did you know that plants can reduce heat, humidity and toxins in the home? For instance, Aloe vera not only reduces the temperature but also removes formaldehyde from the surroundings. Other cooling and purifying verdure include Ficus, rubber plants, ferns, snake plants and palms. By filling a corner with these green detoxifiers, you can create a mini-ecosystem that brings down the mercury in the room. If possible, you could add a greenbelt around the exterior of your house to minimise heat absorption.
WATER FEATURES Anything water related offers a welcome respite from the heat. Flowing water is known to bring down the temperature and elevate the mood. Luckily, you don’t need a huge house, garden or patio to enjoy these benefits. Springs, fountains and ponds are available in a variety of compact versions now, which can easily fit into an apartment. Moreover, according to feng shui, water features bring you good luck!