Ideas & Inspiration

How to Stay Cool in the Summer

Add Water Features
A backyard pond and waterfall surrounded by river rocks and flagstone.

The trickling and splashing of water are naturally cooling. If you don't have a pool, you can make up your own water feature such as a corner pond, cascading garden waterfall or even a tabletop fountain.

Stay Hydrated
Glass beverage dispensers filled with lemonade and fruit punch.

Chilled and ready, drinks on the deck or patio are a sure-fire way to quench your thrist and refresh your spirit. Fill drink dispensers with ice-cold flavored waters during the day and frozen mocktails at night.  

Tip: Puree chunks of seeded watermelon with lime juice, sugar and water for a refreshing taste of summer.

Use a Patio Umbrella
A red canopy patio umbrella covering a dining set

By the pool or on the porch, an umbrella provides welcome shade from the hot sun. Choose an umbrella that fits your space, such as this Hampton Bay offset umbrella. It casts a long shadow and allows whatever breeze there is to find you. 

Create a Shade Garden
Hostas with purple blooms growing next to a four trees

The soothing blues and greens of hostas and other like-minded plants will bring your inner temperature down. In fact, seeing almost any shade plant such as foxglove and dead nettle will remind you of the coolness of a forest floor. 

Tip: If you have the spot for it, make plans to install your own shade garden with hostas when the temps start to drop in fall. 

Plant Cool Colors
A white picket fence surrounded by white daisies and blue hydrangas

Plant from a cool palette, even if your location is sun-rich. Blue and white, like these hydrangeas and daisies, work together to provide soothing visual relief. Seeing icy colors and soothing hues can trick your mind into thinking the day is a couple of degrees cooler.

Add Outdoor Curtains
White summer curtains in front of a window with a running fan above.

Hang breezy outdoor curtains on your porch, patio or deck. They block the sun and dip the temperature, creating the perfect al fresco dining spot. Plus, they provide some much needed privacy for outdoor lounging.

Install Outdoor Fans
A white ceiling fan spinning under a green ceiling.

Rather than getting all hot and bothered, stay cooler and drier with an outdoor fan. The fan's warm breezes will relax you and help evaporate any sweat. 

Misters and Sprinklers
Kids playing outside with water hose toy.

Playing with water squirters and turning on sprinklers around your yard will help cool down the area and make it more comfortable. Combined with a personal mister, it's a great way to find relief even during the hottest days.