The end of summer is fast approaching, and with a global phenomenon of unusual weather, it is only fitting that we should start thinking about preparing our homes for the cooler months before the rush begins. Autumn is synonymous with falling leaves, cosy evenings and a colour palette of burnt oranges and reds. The favourite season of many, as we are still blessed with hours of sunlight, warm days, and nights that we can sleep peacefully under the warmth of our duvets. For the summer months, homeowners and interior decorators prefer to use a light colour palette for their seasonal linen and furnishings; this is to ensure a space remains cool, and feels breezy and airy. Heavy fabrics and dark colours are simply not suitable for hot weather. On top of the fact they attract and retain heat, they can make a space feel closed and dark—certainly not emotions you want to experience during a hot summer!
For autumn, you can gently begin to add heavier fabrics, medium weight colours and moodier textures. Earthy tones are the most suitable during this season, and can help you transition between two very different climates. Today we are going to provide you with some inspiration and give you some tips on how to prepare your home for this coming autumn.
You can finally change your interior design colour palette! Switch the white and blue tones for oranges, khakis, olives and mauve, and you can begin to recreate a scene which resembles a blackberry pie or plum crumble—the best autumn delicacies! One month prior, you can just imagine the coat rack in this picture had hats and caps hanging from it. Now, it's scarves and umbrellas to attack the unpredictable autumn weather head first.
The same applies for curtain and drapes. When we think of fashion, scarves are one of the fastest ways to add a completely new dimension to your outfit. When it comes to curtains, this principle is very much the same. Satins, and heavier linens are a great addition for the perfect autumn room. During summer, to allow the sunshine into our homes, we favour light curtains made from semi-opaque or sheer fabric. These too, are generally very sparsely decorated, the strongest patterns you would ordinarily see are a gentle stripe or scatter of flowers. For autumn, you can exchange your drapes for their heavier counterparts, so that once the sun has set, you can retain as much of the heat as possible that has penetrated the windows into the space. You can also opt for deeper tones and bolder patterns. Drapes and curtains are a very simple way to change the overall appeal of a room. It can go from a sprightly summer maritime ambience, to a sultry and intimate radiance all in an instance.
Just because the flowers outside have died and the leaves are falling, doesn't mean the floral patterns in our homes should go with them. In fact, the perfect way to retain a little bit of spring is to add it back into your home. Following a slightly darker colour palette, the pictured floral couch can easily be mixed with darker hues and tones to complete a more sultry look in your home. As you can see, the deep chestnut sideboard matches wonderfully with the chair, creating a harmonious fusion between two contrasting styles.
Patterns and textures are a very important element in bringing an autumn aura into your home. During summer, we commonly see white on white colour palettes, with very few additions of bright colours or patterns. This is especially true for decorating trends, which neglect or forget to reference other seasons within one design. A home can be both breezy and warm with simple additions like soft florals and pale wood accents. These create a trans-seasonal home that remains pleasant on the inside even when outside temperatures are falling.
The beauty of unfixed pieces of furniture is that when the seasons change, so can your rooms. Perhaps the way you oriented your couches during summer was to ensure the fabric didn't fade from excess light that seeped through the windows. Or, you moved the dining room or kitchen table closer to the patio doors so you could create a juxtaposition between your inside and outside spaces. Maybe you even shifted a piece of furniture in front of the fireplace because it wasn't in use? Whatever the reason, you can now start to think about setting up your main living spaces for the coming seasons. Centre the couches around the fire place, or move the kitchen table closer to the oven, so you can capitalise on the warmth provided by both of these elements. It is also a time when you can start adding woody decorations and accessories back into your home.
Freestanding lamps and lights which weren't needed during the long daylight hours can be moved out of storage and back into their designated areas. On top of this, it is likely the house was vacated or scarcely lived in during the periods of summer vacation, so some expensive items or pieces of furniture may have been packed away for security reasons. These can all undergo their annual clean, and be added back to the position where they took centre stage.
You may not be entirely ready to switch your pale and muted bed covers for the fluffy winter ones just yet, so, the next best thing you can do is slowly start to introduce throws and rugs into your bedroom. This small detail, while seemingly insignificant, can instantly make a room appear cosier and warmer. And you never know, there may be nights cold enough during autumn that you may require the assistance of the throw rug which was originally placed for decoration on the foot of the bed.
This is also another good opportunity to prepare yourself in event the evenings are cooler than on average. Sometimes after a few months of your quilts, blankets and even your heavier pyjamas being in storage, they can take on musky and dusty smells. Autumn provides an awesome opportunity for you to wash these heavier items while the days are still warm, ensuring that they will dry and smell fresh and clean for when you need to use them. You should also check that pesky little moths or rodents have not chewed through any of your prized linen that was stored in the top cupboard or basement.
Just like your bed linen that has been kept in storage, your heating system has been sitting idly, too. Before the heating technicians get backlogged with emergency calls for broken heaters and fires, now is the right time to organise an appointment and have your heating system checked. Having not used it for five or so months, there may be hidden issues that went unnoticed because it was simply not in use. We suggest to do this now to beat the scores of last minute people who have the unfortunate experience of their heaters breaking down as soon as the cold snap comes. For you organised folk, you can be sure that yours is fully functioning and in complete working order. This means if the cold comes early, you're all set.
This is also a great time to get a new heating system installed, if it surfaced as something you wanted last winter. There are so many options available these days, and it can be very difficult to settle on one idea. If you want to add warmth to a space with more than hot air, you can have one of these unique and bespoke heaters installed. The watching a fire crackle while you are tucked away under a blanket with a cup of tea is a worldly pleasure we are all too familiar with. If doing this from a campsite with a bonfire is not your idea of a good time, you can easily import the same concept into the privacy of your own living room, creating a romantic and intimate addition!
Just like our perfumes and colognes match different seasons, so do the candles, incense and fragrances we have strategically placed around the house. Summer scents are always fruity, light and floral—reflecting the characteristics of the season perfectly. Autumn fragrances on the other hand, are a little spicier, with woody accents such as sandalwood and agarwood. The key is to add warmth, instead of citrus and sweet notes. So, swap your gardenia and coconut candles, and replace them with delicate notes of rose and vanilla. Make your home not only autumn in appearance, but in atmosphere and scent too.
The entrance hall is the perfect space to bring autumn charm into your home! Even if this is not reflected in any other room, you can at least make your guests feel welcome and start preparing for the Christmas cheer! One of the most common decorating elements during Autumn is a wreath. Hung either on the front door, or used in conjunction with dried flowers and branches, you can bring that mischievous woody and earthy element that reminds us most of the harvest season. This is a very common attribute in country or rural homes, and it is a way to remind yourself of the successful, or unsuccessful harvest season that just took place.
DIY wreaths are also a great activity to work on with kids. It needn't be a complicated interwoven piece, rather, you can use your imagination and use other autumn elements such as maple leaves or dried berries to create your own special memento. As you can see in this picture, the wicker baskets, coupled with dried grasses and tall white candles, are a wonderful way to welcome in the autumn season!