When I was a child, I would re-arrange the furniture in my bedroom every few months to make it feel fresh and exciting. Whilst it was the same items in the room, I felt totally different sitting at my desk, or sleeping in my bed as these familiar pieces of furniture assumed their new positions. A couple of points can be taken from this; firstly, yes, even as a child I was a saddo but more importantly, how a space can feel totally transformed with just a few cheap and easy tweaks. In this month’s blog I’d like to share a few tips to easily transition your home from the bright and breezy of summer to the yearned for warm and welcoming of autumn and winter, without breaking your back or the bank.
1. LAYER UP
In the same way we layer up our clothes as the temperatures drop, we should layer up our interiors to provide added comfort. Place fur rugs on benches, footstools and floors for a soft textural feel under foot and bum. The colouring and natural warmth of sheep, reindeer and cowhides are perfect but, understandably, many prefer to avoid real fur, and it turned my cat into a little savage, so had to go. There are loads of faux animal skin rugs on the market in colours ranging from soft snow white through hearty greige, to rich nut brown and deep charcoal.
Add additional layers of throws in faux fur, chunky knit or of pattern and colour. These can be layered on top of furry rugs, draped individually on chairs, stools and beds or piled deeply in baskets. The only rules are that they are close to hand and there’s enough for everyone to snuggle up in one.
2. COLOUR IT IN
When the weather’s warmer, our tendency is to want spaces to feel open and bright. In contrast, when it gets chilly outside, we want rooms to draw us in and envelope us. One way to make a room feel more intimate with minimal hassle and expense is to paint a single wall in a deep colour. Choose a wall your seating arrangement faces, such as a chimney breast. Some perfect autumnal shades would be Neptune’s Chestnut, Fired Earth’s Ham House, Little Greene’s Olive, and Farrow and Ball’s new Preference Red. Come Spring, the wall can simply be re-painted in a lighter, brighter shade to open the room back up.
3. DIM THE LIGHTS
Next month’s blog will focus on the importance of interior lighting in detail, but for this post I’ll just suggest a mellowed lighting scheme to help create a sense of being cocooned (though not cocooned in the film sense, obviously!!). Don’t rely on overhead lights as, used alone, they tend to cast dull overhead shadows that are hugely unflattering to interiors and the people in them! The easiest way to soft, welcoming lighting is with a variety of table lamps. Ensure bulbs are warm white and opt for lampshades that allow the light to shine through and cast a cosy glow. Whilst, specialist card linings can be stunningly effective, they are better suited to pendants above an island or dining table, than creating a cosy nook, as they block the light coming through and bounce it directly upwards and downwards.
Candlelight will add inexpensive but beautiful extra layers of warm light and will set off those deep coloured feature walls to perfection. And, for those with an open or gas fire, it goes without saying that, a dose of majestic firelight will enhance the rich lighting in the room.
4. TRICK OR TREAT
Which leads me neatly to those without a working fire, or even a fireplace. Warmth is naturally something we crave indoors during the darker half of the year, and whilst you may not have an actual fire to provide heat, piles of logs and a flaming glow can hint at there being one in your home and help create a warm hygge glow inside. If you have a redundant or fake fireplace, fill it with logs and place candles in front of it, or fill the fireplace with candles and position a basket full of logs next to it.
If you have no fireplace at all, create a glowing focal point with a collection of candles on a coffee table, console or sideboard or in a key position on the floor, and simply fill a nook or basket with some textural chopped logs.
5. TURN TO NATURE’S BOUNTY
Of course, it’s what’s happening outside that really transports us from summer to autumn so one of the most evocative ways to create an autmnal atmosphere in your home is to capture the seasonal sights and smells of mother nature. Big branches of rich russet coloured leaves and dark laden seed pods are ideal and can be foraged for free. For longer lasting results opt for, or mix your foraged bounty with, some of the incredibly effective faux foliage available, from interiors brands such as Neptune and Oka. Augment displays of branches by placing them in front of a mirror and accompanying them with big bowls filled with pine cones, conkers, nuts or pomegranates and a selection of squashes in varying sizes and colours.
And finally fill your home with your chosen scent of the season, be it the richly ripe berried smell of The White Company’s Cassis collection, the luxurious soft comfort of Zara Home’s Cashmere candle or the enticingly spicey, and great value, Amber Noir from The Range.
For an optional finishing touch, just add a mug of hot chocolate dripping with melting marshmallows or a very large glass of red wine…………after all that foraging and throw draping you’ve certainly earned it!
I hope you've enjoyed these tips. If you have a project you’d like to discuss, please do get in touch.
All images from Juliette Moon Interiors, Pinterest and Google.