Summer temperatures in Texas are no joke, and can affect even those born and raised in the Lone Star State. Take advantage of your outdoor living space by making it cool and comfortable under the hot Texan sun. Rachael Baihn tells us how to create a cool backyard sanctuary in order to enjoy the Texan summer outdoors.
Enjoying your time outdoors in the summer can only be done with adequate shade. Living in Texas you more than likely have a large yard. In places like Fort Worth, the average yard size is 7,641 sq ft–plenty of space to consider planting large fabric umbrellas to provide relief from the sun.
Alternatives to umbrellas are a sun shade or a pergola to help ward off the heat. Knowing what kind of sun exposure your backyard gets is important in being able to plan your time outdoors to stay away from the hottest portions of the day.
While many Texas homeowners have pools, not everyone has the chance to take a dip every night in their own backyard. For those who don’t have a pool, consider installing a smaller water feature like a waterfall fountain that can add both cooling effects and a nice sound. If you have kids, check out some great ideas online like this bike wash made out of PVC piping. Another good idea is to have a sprinkler running for the kids to use during your outdoor time to help cool down your outdoor living space.
A new idea to cool down backyards is to install misters into overhead coverings or to the sides of homes to drop temperatures by 20 degrees. Misters will keep a steady flow of cool air headed your way but won’t drench you as long as they are calibrated correctly. Consider installing misters in the ground as well to spray up from flower beds and borders in order to cool down the space without being directly on everyone who may be enjoying your outdoor space.
While selecting patio furniture for your backyard sanctuary it is important to keep temperature in mind. Metal can get extremely hot in the summer sun and can actually cause severe burns on bare skin. Wood is the best option for patio furniture. It is solid and should last a long time, if treated with water resistant stains. Wicker is another cooling option as it doesn’t get too hot to the touch. Plastic patio furniture can go either way in temperature tendencies but using plastic pieces that aren’t in direct sunlight, or can get a quick spray of a hose before use, will help to keep them cool for use.
Don’t Forget Your Cooler
Having a refreshing drink on hand is important in building a backyard sanctuary and there are many cooler options on the market that are more appealing than the standard plastic cooler. Consider purchasing, or building, a standalone cooler that will stay out in the backyard on a permanent basis. Many options feature wheels for easy moving as well as bottle openers that are permanently mounted to the side of the cooler. Another great idea is building a cooler inside the middle of an outdoor wood table, like this DIY project, that creates easy access to drinks during outdoor dining. Whatever you choose, make sure that ice cold drinks are always plentiful when spending time outdoors.
Texans love to spend time outdoors and being able to cool down your outdoor sanctuary space is important despite the sweltering heat. Make sure that your space has enough coverage from the sun and consider installing misters or a water feature to help cool down the temperature. Choose patio furniture that won’t easily burn you after soaking up sunlight and always have a cold one available with stylish outdoor coolers. All of these items combined will help to cool down your backyard sanctuary and allow you enjoy more time outdoors.
About the Author
Rachael Baihn is an avid gardener, both indoors and in her backyard sanctuary. She can often be found exploring the Austin Greenbelt or finding neighborhood dogs to play with.