get your home and garden ready for summer

Owning your own home gives you freedom to improve and change your house, and if you have just bought a property, or done your first demolish and build, now is a good time to start thinking about how you will prepare your home for summer.

Every season brings with it its own joys and complexities, but summer is the time of year when we get to most enjoy our properties, as the majority of people have their annual holiday at this time. The biggest part of getting your home ready for summer is basically preparing to enjoy yourself - you deserve it.

Keeping cool

Let's get the obvious out of the way - summer in Perth is hot. There are several ways to keep cool this summer, ranging from budget ideas to major projects. If you own a single storey house, chances are all or most of your bedrooms are on one side, and get either a lot of morning or afternoon sun.

Although you might think lighter is better in Summer, heavy curtains in the bedrooms can mean cool mornings and evenings, and longer sleep-ins as the light won't wake you up. If you have a bit more of a budget, installing an air conditioner or home ventilation system can make the indoors a welcome respite in the middle of the hottest time of year.

If you are more of an outdoor person and have a serious budget, a swimming pool will go a long way to helping you cool off this year. Just bear in mind the continued maintenance involved.

Taking it easy

One of the best things about summer is not having too do much if you don't want to. Creating an environment in which you can relax is essential to enjoying some downtime in this sunny season.

If you've got a couple of tall, robust trees, consider a hammock for some outdoor naps in the shade or a few precious moments absorbed in a book or magazine. If you've only just built your house and don't have established trees, a couple sturdy posts cemented into the ground will do fine. Don't forget some kind of shade though. A shade sail or umbrella will work well.

Inside your home pay attention to fabrics. Heavy, textured or itchy sheets, blankets or pillows could make your summer uncomfortable. Some couch cushions may be perfect for snuggling up in winter, but could be stifling in summer.

Green is good

A lush patch of grass can be an invigorating part of summer, essential to backyard cricket or footy. Take care not to mow your grass too low or too often in summer. If you cut down to the yellow, chances are your lawn will be ruined by the sun.

Both the inside and outside of your home can benefit from some potted colour. Some brightly coloured flowers with familiar scents can give your home a real splash of fun. If you don't have a green thumb, consider planting succulents, palms or grasses. Alternatively, skip the plants altogether and add some cool paint colours to your palette for a different kind of colour influence. This is a great option for those with pollen allergies.

Pick up a summer project

Lastly, pick a project around the house to complete in your spare time. Relaxing in your time off is essential, but a decent job or two around the house or garden can make you feel like you really earned that beer.

For double storey houses, an extendable pressure hose could be used to clear gutters and clean soffits that you wouldn't normally get to. Alternatively something indoors like a carpentry project, or learning a new recipe or two could provide just the right amount of "hard work" to balance out your midday siestas.