7 ways to get Autumn ready
Pass me a blanket, the Quality Street and a good book - let's get our homes ready for Autumn.
Thanks a bunch Storm Aileen for bringing our summer (*cough* you know those two scorching days we had whey back when), to a gusty end. With it comes the arrival of the season of colour – the time of year when we revivify our home, as the nights get longer and the days colder. It’s a time to reconnect with your home – we’re so over the garden – to create a nurturing and cosy space to enjoy those Sundays by the fire, candle-lit evenings and three months of Strictly!
Who better to turn to for help in how to transition your home from Summer to Autumn than local interior designer Emma Rees. Emma runs Mistletoe Interiors, and she helps clients transform their homes with as much individuality as the people that live in them. So let me leave you in Emma’s capable hands, as she sure knows her stuff on the furniture front – in fact on all interior fronts.
1. An Autumn clean
Power up the Dyson and get out the Shake’n’Vac. Whilst we’ve been living it up around the barby the behind of my sofa resembles a council tip. It’s an ideal time for an autumn clean, to put away the summer cushions and reach for warmer colours. It’s hard to find a independent fabric shop these days but The Cambridge Fabric Company is a modern take on the traditional and they have a great range of warm winter woollens if you’re considering a new window investment.
2. Lighten up
Just because it’s bleak outside it doesn’t mean it has be inside, carefully chosen lights can create a warm and radiant atmosphere. Switch off the ceiling light and opt for table or floor standing lamps that will create a cosy hue. There are some fun numbers around that don’t take themselves too seriously but still look stylish. Graham and Green still remains my go to place for lighting and the Gold Flamingo Table Lamp ( £135) is a cheeky chappy that’ll bring a smile to your face.
If you’ve a family room to brighten up then the Memory Ball Balloon Lights from John Moncrieff aren’t cheap (they start at £155) but then sometimes you just say – what the heck, I want one!
3. A Roaring Fire
A roaring fire is one of my favorite parts of this time of year. Practically, if Mr. Muddy keeps turning the thermostat down we’ll all die of hyperthermia so it’s time to stock up on kindling, firelighters and most importantly firewood. Don’t underestimate the beauty of logs, if decoratively stacked, or placed in fabulous baskets they can make a real design statement. The Secret Garden at Burwash has a great range of baskets and if you’ve got an open fire then an attractive fireguard will add a feature. It’s not always easy to find one that doesn’t look like you’ve raided your granny’s attic but OKA’s Knot Fireguard is a practical and stylish option (£134).
4, Early nights
Get out your winter duvet and if it’s looking a little ‘flat’ splash out on a new puffy one to keep you warm this winter. Cover it with warm, cosy duvet covers finished off with co-ordinating quilts or mohair blankets.
5. Layer up
Ease you way into winter gradually – layering is key. Introduce warmer textiles gradually – you don’t reach straight for your thermals come October and the home front is no different. Hold fire on the big guns until the temperature really starts to drop. Indiana, a Cambridge based interior company has some beautiful warm coloured throws, many of which have been produced ethically from India. They are sold at this time of year at Christmas charity fairs and home sales so check out their Facebook page and look out for them locally over the next few months.
Texture can also be added by accessories, these doorstops (with a handy handle to tug) are sold at Dial House Gallery. Hand made by felt maker Rachel Morley from British sheep they’ll add a warm feel to any room.
If you’re really feeling the chill then Johnsons Farm Shop have a large range of dyed sheepskin rugs, deer skin and cow hide. Prices vary depending on size and style but the trend for hides continues this Autumn/Winter. Hides prefer colder weather (too much central heating doesn’t do them any good) so kick them outside now and again – you don’t really want them getting sopping wet and they work really well if you have an outside seating area that you use in the winter – chalet style.
6. Indoor plants
Indoor plants can be a brilliant mood booster and I often find that a cheery little number is a great gift if you’re looking to move away from a candle or chocolates. Most will need some sunlight so windowsills and garden rooms are ideal and they’ll have ten times the shelf life of a bunch of cut flowers. If you’re lucky enough to live in a hothouse then orchids offer a great colour pop, Cyclamen are another winter option but they prefer a cooler spot and if you kill most things just by looking at them the Christmas Cactus is hardy, stoic and likes central heating.
7. A scent of Autumn
As the nights draw in lighting candles becomes a ritual in the Muddy household and a good whiff is an essential requirement. It’s time to change from the holiday-induced scents to a muskier frangrance that will complement a winter mood. Dial House Gallery in Kimbolton has a range of beautifully scented candles that make statements on their own or come in decorative pots. Perfer an oil to burn or splash around your room then I recently discovered Neal Yard’s Womens Balance. Ignore the name – it shrieks menopausal to me, but they’ve nailed the smell – it’s on constantly at Muddy HQ and its purpose is to try and restore my serenity and poise – you’re kidding, right!
9. First impressions
Finally don’t forget the outside of the your house. Store external cushions in rattan boxes and garden furniture should be covered in waterproofs. Don’t forget to plant your Spring bulbs for colour in January and plant winter hardy plants like Heathers or Cyclamens in pots by the side of your entrance door to get immediate benefits through the season.
Before you know it, it’ll be time to get ready for Christmas. Don’t panic – your trusted Muddy editor will be letting you know the best way to get prepared for the big season nearer the time