We’re now well into autumn and according to some weather forecasters, winter is hard on its heels. Well, after the glorious summer we’ve had, we can’t really complain can we?
And while I still love getting out and about in this beautiful season - especially onto the hills with the dogs - my thoughts have turned to interiors, and specifically how I can cultivate a warm, cosy - and, yes, stylish - environment at home. Now that Christmas is on the horizon - I know, I know - and the nights are drawing in, I want to come home to rooms that feel seasonal and, dare I say it already, a little festive.
A bit like us, our homes need a winter wardrobe - a few touches here and there to keep them feeling contemporary. But how - without breaking the bank?
Well, there are so many inexpensive and easy ways to create a warm, welcoming, seasonal space. Let’s start with scent, the most powerful of all the senses, and its capacity to completely transform a space. A great place to begin is our blog post on creating a scented fire - warm, spiced and woody hints work particularly well in autumn and winter.
If you’re lacking an open fire or woodburner, experiment with a naturally scented candle or two: check out local craft fairs or independent gift shops for inspiration, or you could always try our very own Bridge Park Candle Company that produces a range of divine-smelling small batch candles. May we recommend Bonfire Heart or Spiced Orange for a burst of seasonal fragrance?
Candles also create a magical glow, which brings me onto another way to move your home from summer to winter: lighting. Strong, overhead lights can be harsh and work against the cosy atmosphere you’re trying to create. Opt for lamps instead - you could always go bargain-hunting in an antique warehouse for something a bit different (Afonwen is one of our favourites) - or get the fairylights out a bit earlier than planned.
Throws and cushions are a great way to update any room without spending a fortune. It depends on your decor, but berry and jewel shades look fabulous in autumn and winter, and plush materials like velvet, wool and fleece create a sense of warmth and cosiness. We adore Loopy Ewe’s quirky homewares range (that tweed throw!), The Archers at the Larches indulgent alpaca pillows and BaaStool’s sheepskin pouffes and footrests - perfect for putting your feet up in front of that (gorgeous-smelling!) fire.
An autumnal or wintery flower/plant arrangement can give a nod to the changing seasons outside. Invest in a bronze or copper or cut glass vase for maximum style points (hit up those antique shops again) and go foraging for pine, holly, berries and greenery. Or you could ask your local florist to make you up a number of small posies and spread them around the house to make your money go further. You could even unleash your creative side and create a stylish centrepiece complete with log slices and candles.
So there are some of my top tips for getting your home ready for the festive season without spending a fortune. Enjoy - and please do tag us in your efforts if you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We love seeing what you’re getting up to and your ideas will inspire others!