Is color the secret to a cooler-feeling home during the summer? 3 tips from a color psychologist

These expert-suggested colors can indeed help you feel cooler inside the home during the warmest months

(Image credit: Lick / @yellowwrendesigns, @onsiteathome, @homeoflala)

We all know that colors have the ability to alter moods, but did you know they can also affect how warm – or cool – you feel when inside your home?

During the summer months, having a cool home to combat high temperatures outside is a must for a comfortable and relaxing space. While you've likely considered heat regulation through decor, from decorating with natural fabrics to minimizing the amount of direct sunlight streaming in, experts say you should also consider decorating with colors that repel heat.

According to Tash Bradley, Director of Interior Design at Lick and color psychologist, certain colors should be used during summer for their unique cooling qualities. Read on to learn what they are for all your summer decor ideas.

1. Choose cool colors

living room with brown leather sofas and blue accent wall

Lick's Blue 05

(Image credit: @yellowwrendesigns)

The first step in room color ideas for the warmest months is choosing a cool color scheme rather than anything too warm, according to Tash.

'When it comes to creating a relaxed and cooling atmosphere at home, look to the cool side of the color wheel.'

Blue is a go-to color when we think of cool hues, and Tash shares some of the best blue paints to decorate with: 'Lick's Blue 05 is a universally appealing mid-blue with lilac undertones, which evokes the feeling of tranquillity, without feeling too chilly. This color has vivid associations with the sky and water, making it a natural choice for creating a serene environment and a fresh feel.'

2. Avoid dark tones

white bedroom with black fireplace and artwork on wall

Lick's White 01

(Image credit: @onsiteathome)

'It’s important to keep things light when choosing a color that will make your surroundings feel on the cool side, even on a scorching summer’s day,' continues Tash. 'Dark colors have the opposite effect, as the darker the color, the more it absorbs the light and makes your room warmer and more cozy, having the same effect on the people within it.'

Turning to cool-toned white paints is therefore a great way to maintain a cool feel while also creating a light and airy environment. 'Lick's White 01 has a crispness that will help keep things fresh, conjuring images of whitewashed Greek villages and calming Scandi interiors,' says Tash.

3. Embrace nature-inspired greens

green painted wall leading into black and white bathroom

Lick's Green 14

(Image credit: @homeoflala)

Decorating with green is an expert-approved way to create a cooler feel in the home, so long as the specific shades aren't too warm. Tash explains that its strong links to nature allow you to create a summer-inspired feel indoors, without having to let in warm air by opening doors and windows.

'Keep your green hues fresh and zesty if you want to feel cooler within your home as these colors will deepen your connection with nature and the great outdoors, without having to fling open the windows and let in the warm air,' explains Tash.

'Lick's Green 13 is an uplifting color that will remind you of cool pistachio gelato, whereas Lick's Green 14 with its gray undertones has more restful qualities which make it a perfect choice for bedroom ideas on balmy summer nights.'

Always remember that decorating with color can be just as effective in smaller amounts. While painting the walls will have the biggest impact, reflecting these summer colors through smaller accents will also work well, especially if you're starting with a neutral base.

For more seasonal decorating tips, interior designers share their favorite summer color combinations in our dedicated feature.

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.