Hot Design for Keeping Cool

Written by Guest Blogger Kayla Harvey

Its summer, its hot, and its not showing signs of stopping.  Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy some cool breezes rather than bake in the sun?  If you are trying to beat the heat here are some helpful tips to keep your outdoor spaces cool as the dog days drag on.
1. Green is Cool
Energy efficiency is always a good idea, but in this case literal greenery will help to keep you cool.  We all know that shade trees reduce heat, but did you know that grass and other plants can help to keep temperatures regulated in your yard as well?
Take a look at the driveway and patio shown in these images.  Concrete and pavement absorb heat and radiate it back long after the sun sets.  The use of grass and concrete pavers together helps to limit the amount of water needed as well as reduce heat retention.  This creates a more comfortable outdoor space, and happens to be a sharp looking design.
2. Catch the Breeze, Block the Rays
If your outdoor space receives frequent afternoon sun a shaded area is a must. A patio with an overhang provides an excellent opportunity to utilize outdoor curtains. Your best bet for keeping cool is to open up cross ventilation so that you can enjoy the breeze.  Be sure to hang the curtains with a bar or wire that allows you to move them as needed.  This way you can make the most of the wind while blocking any direct sunlight.
If outdoor curtains are not for you, try this novel planter wall.  The wall and plants provide shade, and the slats through the middle will allow air to circulate.
3.  Light Up the Night
When the sun goes down so do temperatures, so make the most of your yard with illumination.  There are a variety of ways to create outdoor rooms through the use of solar powered light fixtures, outdoor lighting, and even illuminated furniture.
If you are unsure you want to commit to new furniture or lighting try this simple trick to light up your yard.  Take oversized balloons filled with air, and just before you tie them off add a small neon glow stick to the inside.  These are great tossed into a pool for parties, or if anchored, to line a driveway.

Now that you know these tips, get on out there and enjoy your summer!

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