As the seasons start to change, we’re looking forward to autumn. Glorious leaf colours, a nip in the air and a chance to eat all the plum and apple cake you want on the grounds that the fruit needs ‘eating up’ – what’s not to like? If you’re still thinking ‘summer’ in your home, then these quick tips will help you make a seamless transition from one season to the next. Move indoors, light the fire and put the kettle on!
Create a colourful autumn display
As fresh flowers from the garden start to wane, then create a seasonal display of autumn leaves. You can either dry these, or use them just like fresh flowers. Sprays of rowan berries look particularly good, as do the beautifully coloured leaves of acers and maples. Mix them in with a few late blooming flowers such as roses, dahlias and chrysanthemums, if you have any left.
Autumn leaves come in a stunning variety of colours and shapes – make some into a decorative arrangement or collage for your home.
Add some texture
If you already have some snuggly throws and textured cushions, now’s the time to break them out. If you don’t have any, then think about investing – they really do make a difference to a room. As you start to spend more time indoors, let the natural world follow you in. Natural accessories of wool, wood, stone and terracotta create a cosy atmosphere and add warmth to the room. If you’re investing in a couple of new pieces, a chunky knitted throw is a good choice as you can use it on the sofa and in on beds. Wool or cotton rugs will add a touch of warmth to hard floors, and you could think about adding a few new houseplants for the winter to keep your green fingers ticking over!
Make the most of the harvest
Creative types can be spoilt for choice in the autumn, as there are so many wonderful colours and shapes. Pile small pumpkins and squashes into a wide, decorative bowl on the kitchen table, or use autumn leaves to make collages for the walls.
Light that fire
Now the nights are drawing in, it won’t be long before it’s time to light the fire in the evenings. Until then, draw attention to your fireplace with a display of dried pinecones – you can pick these up on any forest floor and they smell lovely when fresh. (If you have a real fire and you haven’t already done so, book a chimney sweep to check and clean the chimney ready for the winter. The National Association of Chimney Sweeps and the HETAS website are good places to find a qualified professional.
Makeover your lighting
To create a cosy atmosphere, position table and standard lamps to throw soft pools of light. If your room has overhead lighting for when you actually need to see what you’re doing, then you can use your smaller lamps purely for creating atmosphere. Install the lowest wattage bulbs you can get away with to avoid glare, and use lampshades made from natural materials such as hessian or jute to help diffuse light. There’s nothing so welcoming as walking into a warm room lit by lamplight on a chilly evening – add in some sofa throws as well and your guests will never want to leave! For an added quick tip, use scented candles with ‘autumn’ fragrances such as cinnamon to complete the perfect atmosphere.
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