Tag Archives: small apartment

Cooling Your Home Down without A/C

For centuries, older houses had no such thing as air conditioning for relief during the warmer months. Instead of flipping a switch, the following eco-friendly, old-school methods were used to get air flowing through the house during the dog days of summer.

Using the passive-cooling principles that hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, you can design or retrofit your house to make use of fresh air to stay cool and invite in those long hot days of July and August.

Open Up the Room

Open windows for ventilation in the summer

Since hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, a house that has vented openings on both sides of the building has a lot more airflow – and any air movement is a good thing. Using operable windows on the cooler side of the house, you can open them wide to draw the air through from the hotter side of your home.

Shutters Aren’t Just for Outdoors

Shutters can be useful inside too. Shutters aren’t just a decorative alternative to curtains and blinds, they’re also a green way to ventilate – you can open up the windows behind them to let in air, and close the shutters to keep out the sun, and voila! The room is cooled down the old-fashioned way.

It’s Obvious, but: Fans

living room ceiling fan

Courtesy of housesen.com

Fans have been used since ancient times to keep things cool, since any air movement is good and a fan can suck away the warm air and push cooler breezes around a space. Ceiling fans are available in every conceivable design, whether you want something unobtrusive or bold.  Fans are even offered in retro palm-frond styles, and most fans also offer a light fixture combination if you don’t want to lose overhead lighting when you install the fan. Look for fans with a reverse switch or feature for winter, which helps push warmer air (it rises, remember?) back down into the room.

Take it Outside

Screened in porch sunroom

Courtesy of jpandcompany.net

Screened-in porches have long been an architectural staple in hot regions, and they deserve a comeback. Consider enclosing your covered porch, or enclosing a deck with screens, and you will have created an airy, insect-free outdoor living space. You can use a screened room for months, provided you furnish it with pieces made from materials that can withstand some rain, like wicker or metal. Bonus: a generous couch with some indoor-outdoor cushions becomes an ideal spot to sleep on hot summer nights!

Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 2

If you haven’t already, check out Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 1.

Here are three more things to keep in mind when coming up with living room ideas:

Do you want to tie two rooms together? 

A really cool trick to make the decor of your home seem more “designed” is by the use of color. For example, you can tie two rooms together by using a prominent color in one room as accent color in another. Look at this room, for example:

Picture of a living room and another room tied together by use of color.


The color red is used a lot in one of the rooms, and red accents are sprinkled throughout the living room. Such a cool idea! Now, if they’d just paint the dog red, it’d be SO cool! 😉

How do I make the living room in my apartment seem less cave-like?

This doesn’t apply only to living rooms; it’s relevant for any rooms that don’t have windows. But if you’re like most people living in an apartment in New York, and you’ve flexed it to add a bedroom, you may very well not have a window in your living room. So, here’s an idea to prevent your living room from seeming dark and gloomy. Don’t paint it dark!! Duh… Use light colors and brighter artwork to add some life to the room. Brightly colored throw pillows can also help! Kick it up a notch by have a couple pillows made with your favorite fabric!

What if I can’t paint my walls? Or, what if I just don’t feel like it?

If you rent, you may not want to paint your walls. Even if you own your home you may not want to paint, because, well, you just don’t feel like it! I know we mention it a lot, but pillows pillows pillows! They’re so much fun and can add life to any room! You can also supplement your living room ideas with a cool patterned rug or a fun, even crazy slipcover for your couch! Seriously, imagine pillows with this fabric:

Picture of fun fabric called lollipop by shumacher. Great for lively living room ideas.


(Lollipop by Schumacher)

Isn’t that fabric just adorable? Look at that happy couple!

So, there you have it. Three more ideas for your living room. We hope you enjoyed this installment. Stay tuned for Part 3!

Tell us some of your living room tricks in the comments, below!