No one wants to walk in the front door of their home from the 100 degree heat and open the door and feel warm.  We want to be embraced with cool and I’m not necessarily talking temperature.  I used to struggle with the facts that I wanted my home to be warm and welcoming all year around, I had a natural draw to warm colors and how to integrate those without having a hot feeling home in the summer. I think cool toned people have the same issue in the winter.

Here are some words that help describe that cool feeling we are after:

  • crisp
  • clean
  • light
  • airy

These are all comforting words not like icy or frigid or cutting or severe, don’t let “cool” scare you my warm color loving friends.   Maybe in your home, it feels cooler just to turn off the overhead lights and take the centerpiece and place mats off the table. That can work.

Here are some ways I cool down my home keeping in mind, we are in search of a feeling, not a formula

1. Neutralize

If you have a lot of warm colors in your home consider neutralizing them by adding in solid neutrals or cool tones as accents. You can neutralized a toile sofa with solid color pillows.  You can neutralize a green wall with white slipcovers on a chair or even throw sheets over a round table.

Red Toile is Neutralized with tan/blues and crisp whites–it’s  more of a winter look but still shows how you can use colors and pattern to neutralize each other

In the comments of this post,  Angela mentioned that she had a log cabin full of wood and heavy, warm feeling items.  She could cool it down by neutralizing patterns with solid colors–whites and beiges for window mistreatments or fill a hutch or shelf with plain white dishes or anything white she can find while shopping the house.

Now, as you can see in the top photo of this post, I’ve tried to completely neutralize my home so I can easily add in different punches of color.  Remove the flowers, pillows, throw, dish on the wall and change out the photo mats and I have a completely neutral room.  I like to use neutral bases BECAUSE of the fact that I love color.  Neutrals let your colors shine.

2. Add Some Blue and or Green and or Gray

I figured out how to incorporate lots of cool tones in my warm home. It might not work in every home to add a touch of blue or green but, I was able to work in some cool tones even when I had a red and gold palate–I used pillows, throws, painted doors, colored dishes, all the things I listed above.  I don’t like to spend big money on accent pieces so, I’ll use a can of spray paint on a small plant stand or hang a blue green $5 dish on the wall for instant cool.

Black bench Saturday

Same bench Sunday after being painted white and adding a $20 cushion from Old Time Pottery it’s clean, crisp, fresh and cool

3. Incorporate White.

Every room needs some white. White gives that crisp clean feeling without getting out the cleaning supplies.  And, my bench will still look great up against our black table.  Does your room have some white in it?  Remember, you can mix wood and painted furniture in one room.

4. Change out stuff

I have a pair of white lamps in my bedroom that I switch out with the green lamps in my family room.  They are pure clean white and feel lighter and brighter.

When we slip covered our sofa, I bought a $20 white blanket that we keep in a basket under a side table.  I was shocked at how even a blanket can seem “cool” compared to the gold fur throw I used before.  I’ll pull the fur out again in the fall.

Remove heavy feeling pillows and go pillowless or search for some inexpensive pillows in cool tones or plain neutrals.

5. Lighten Up

Remove rugs. I love a big area rug but, one of the suggestions for staging a home for sale is to remove the rugs so the space feels more open and not chopped up.  If you have lots of rugs around that are just for looks, consider removing a few to open the space.

This is VITAL.  I beg of you don’t simply twist the blinds open, consider pulling them all the way up to the top to let fresh sunlight pour in. I’m not telling you that you have to do that even at 5pm on a west facing window but, I get depressed when I pass a house and the front blinds are always closed up tight.  Also, window treatments are there to enhance the window NOT to cover up the window.  Check to see if your drapes are blocking precious home cleansing light on the sides or top.

That’s how I keep it cool.