Those who know me best know that Autumn, and then the run up to Christmas, is quite possibly my favourite time of year. I like the sun don’t get me wrong, but being a whiter shade of pale I definitely do not enjoy sweating like a pig or summer dressing particularly, and feel much more ‘me’ when the need for layers kicks in and I can get cosy at home
and not leave the house unless necessary
I’ve been reading a book all about the Danish concept of ‘Hygge’ (although more on this in detail in another post), and essentially it’s all about ‘less is more’ and creating a cosy, authentic way of living. So in theory, a night gaming in front of your widescreen telly with an Donner Kebab is probably ‘out’, but board games by candle light whilst drinking tea (or wine, I’m not a total sadist) is ‘in’. Pretentious and faddy right now in this country, maybe, but still I do love the idea of hunkering down at this time of year, and Autumn decor goes a long way in creating that cosy vibe.
Usually I would’ve have already filled our home with mini pumpkins, and rustic bits and pieces, but due to our impending house move this hasn’t happened yet. I’m hoping that when we’re in our new place next Friday, I’ll still have some time to decorate with a few bits and bobs before we go shooting into December and all things festive!
I’m a big believer in shaking up our homes a little to reflect the current season, and you don’t have to spend a fortune doing so. We change our wardrobe to suit, so why not our home? I think it really gets you in the ‘zone’ when it comes to the time of year, by making our living environments feel in sync with our mood and the weather.
Here are some relatively inexpensive ways to get your home ready for Autumn/Winter:
Flowers – Fake & Fresh
Now is the time to swap your (probably fading) summer blooms for winter berries, holly, eucalyptus, and non-deciduous foliage. This is a really quick way to inject some freshness into your home, and with real fir and pine cuttings the smell can be incredible! Don’t be afraid to mix the real with the faux though- decent fake plants and flowers are for obvious reasons low maintenance and you can get some fab ones too. Try and Dunelm and Ikea, I’m off to the latter shortly!
Get Back to Nature
We’re fortunate that we where we currently live, and where we’re moving too, are within easy reach of some beautiful woods and a common (unexpected in zone 5 London!). When we go walking with the children at this time of year, I love to collect bits of holly, twigs/small branches to put in a vase, and also pine cones that I can gather in a bowl. We also have a HUGE fir tree in our current garden, where whopping pine cones fall frequently (a daily hazard!), and I like to collect these too to create an autumn display (I’m secretly hoping a shitload fall before we move next week, and I can take them with me).
Of course, one of the first things that spring to mind at this time of year when it comes to Autumn decoration is the humble pumpkin. Where as traditionally it just used to be the big carving variety available, now in certain supermarkets such as Waitrose, they stock a variety of big, medium and mini ones for a pound or two, that are perfect for styling your mantelpiece and shelves with. I have to admit that Adam doesn’t really ‘get’ the small pumpkin thing, but I adore them!
If you want to get fancy with your pumpkins there are ton of options, with much of my inspiration coming from Pinterest!
Another reason I love Autumn so much is for the gorgeous smells that are flying around. I love that pine smell (and I’m not talking toilet cleaner here), and I ADORE cinnamon and gingerbread scents too (Yankee Candles do candles that cover both of these and they are DIVINE). If you’re looking for something a bit richer, spicier and smoky, then Abigail Ahern stocks some lovely wood scented candles, and I’m also a big fan of LollyRocket ‘Brown Sugar and Fig’.
If you want something even more natural (not everyone is suited to candle fragrances) then strongly scented herbs and flowers can work wonders in the home- bunches of cinnamon sticks, rosemary and thyme are fabulous placed around the home and last longer than you might think. Sticking cloves in apples and placing them on shelves, or in a bowl, also creates a heavenly smell.
It’s all about the candles and fairy lights at this time of year! Candlelight creates simply the best, cosy, atmosphere (see Hygge, above). I like to cluster tea lights together and put them at different heights in a room (we use LCD ones if the children are still up, for safety reasons). When we move I can’t wait to buy a load more fairly lights too- Sasha has already requested some strung from her bed, and who am I to argue?!
I also love this idea that I had when doing my Scandi table styling for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas last year, but the principle and look still works for Autumn too: Get some Oasis (or playdoh in my case!) and cut to fit an old tea cup or pot, insert a taper candle in, then cover the bottom with artificial moss (this can be purchased online, I get mine from Ebay). Looks great and creates that cosy Nordic look on the cheap.
This is the time of year to bring out the (faux) fur and cosy throws, and scatter them on sofas and chairs, should anyone want a blanket whilst watching telly (or playing your Hygge-esque board games).
How do you get your home ready for Autumn? I’d love to hear!