Now that Autumn is well underway, and in preparation for the Winter months yet to come, it’s time to cosy up our homes. When the temperature dips towards freezing and that cold autumnal wind blows, there are fewer simple pleasures in life than coming home to a warm, welcoming retreat at the end of a long day, kicking your shoes off, wrapping up in cosy layers and enjoying the warmth and comfort….. However, we need to create this perfect winter hideaway first and sometimes it can be a struggle to bring it all together at a time of year that has its own added expenses, so here are a few ideas on how you can nail the Autumn retreat look for your home with a few key tweaks…
It’s no secret that energy bills soar when the temperature drops, so try to introduce some heat into your home without simply turning the thermostat up. Our choice of accessories, lighting and colours can offer a genuine feeling of warmth and cosiness in the home, along with the usual practical changes such as using draught excluders or adding thermal lining to your existing curtains (alternatively, try Next for its range of made to measure thermal lined curtains in plaid or plain fabrics in classic shades of red and grey).
Introduce textural interest and a log cabin-esque homely feel by investing in soft woollen and woven blankets placed inside a wicker basket by the sofa or drape a thickly padded quilt at the bottom of the bed. Find wicker baskets at your local garden centre or try Garden Trading for their lovely range of both rattan and wire storage baskets. Swap your crisp cotton bedsheets for soft flannel ones in wintry tones of off-white, grey and heather; these colours also suggest a sense of tranquility and relaxation and provide a nice backdrop to deeper, earthier shades of plum, berry and mustard. Lay down a sheepskin or high pile rug over cold tiled floors to give your toes a snuggly welcome on those frosty mornings (the Gåser rug from Ikea is a great budget option here), but if budget isn’t a limit, invest in a long lasting and warmth providing sheepskin rug, such as this beautifully fluffy, grey one from Nordic House.
The colder months of the year are all about focussing our attentions on the comfort of our home as we tend to spend so much more time indoors, so have fun accessorising your abode with touches of plaid, fairisle, tweed and felt across your cushions, throws and other soft furnishings. Bring the outside in with cushions and lamps inspired by woodland animals. George at Asda has some really cute woodland themed homewares in store this season as part of their AW15 ‘Hibernate’ collection, which are very reasonably priced and therefore perfect for a quick update to your living space. It’s also the time of year to replace those delicate springlike blooms with baskets of pine cones or bare willow branches arranged in ceramic vases – keep an eye out for interesting branches and fallen pine cones whilst out on long countryside walks. Choose an odd number of branches cut to varying lengths, strip any leaves off them and pop into a vase or jug.
These crab apple branches have been effectively arranged using a trio of old glass bottles.
Image source: Country Living
Image source: George at Asda (Hibernate Home Collection)
Introduce warm metallics of copper and brass into your decor scheme, with accessories such as bowls, plates, candle holders and lighting all featuring heavily in this season’s home collections. These warmer metals really help to bounce light around a room, add a touch of richness and complement on-trend hues of deep navy and grey perfectly.
Finally, lighting and scent are hugely evocative and go a long way to creating a cosy ambience during the darker evenings, so add some intimacy and warmth to the room with glass lanterns and scented candles (try the Turf Fire candle from local Northern Irish artisans The Bearded Candlemakers – find their shop on Etsy), or by replacing your regular lightbulbs with Calex globes, widely available online but also from your local hardware store; their wonderful smoky finish gives a beautiful soft glow, reminiscent of old times.
Now there are no excuses, you can hibernate in style this Winter :-)