Make the most of chilly weather and longer nights by creating cosy rituals for the season ahead.
Across the US and Europe, the shift in the seasons is well underway. The clocks have gone back - making for dark nights that start around later afternoon; crunchy red leaves blow around the pavement and yikes - it’s time to crank the heating up.
The temptation to hibernate until spring is real. But there’s a lot to love about autumn and winter, and turning your home into a cozy retreat from the elements will take the edge off even the gloomiest of weather. With the following tips, you’ll find yourself embracing the shorter days and slow weekends. Happy hunkering.
In the same way that you reach for more clothes in cold weather, apply this school of thought to your sofa and bed. You can never have too many blankets to snuggle up with - in fact, the more the merrier. From patchwork quilts to sheepskins, extra rugs and even more cushions, layer them liberally so that watching TV or reading in bed becomes a well-dressed affair. For extra points, prepare a hot water bottle 10 minutes before climbing in.
Harsh ceiling lights don’t help foster a soft and warming glow. The trick is to use several light sources - simultaneously. So that means wall, table and free-standing lamps switched on from early afternoon. Use them unexpectedly for maximum effect: interior designers love traditional table lights on kitchen worktops for instant ambience.
It’s amazing how foraged finds can be turned into decor: a long branch in a sculptural vase is as impactful as a bouquet of fresh flowers. But why stop there? Place fallen pine cones in bowls, stems of Old Man’s Beard in bud vases and have a go at making your very own wreath. Pressed leaves (leave for 2-3 weeks in-between the pages of a thick book) can be strung together with a needle and thread to make a natural garland.
You don’t need to wait until dusk to light a candle (or a fire). There’s something so decadent about softly flickering votives lighting up a room from morning coffee until lights out. Use tealights in sets of threes along a windowsill, or burn a large scented candle in a hallway to incense the home. Light a taper candle for a WFH mid-week lunch because… well, why not?
In the same vein as above, remember that a warming bath can be enjoyed at any time of day; curate your favourite lotions and potions for a restorative face or hair mask. Comfort is key: position a stool nearby with something to drink and read. Aaaand just sit back and soak.
No-one needs an excuse to devour a box-set a week come winter, but do carve out an area away from the blue light from screens to unplug with a book or magazine. Take one comfortable armchair, a floor lamp, a side table for a mug of something hot and of course, a blanket.
Don’t get so cocooned that you forget to go out! Time outside is vital for vitamin D absorption, and our bodies need a break from central heating. Get your blood pumping with a crisp walk, or turn an outside spot into a seating area with a firepit or chiminea and yes, you’ve guessed it - plenty of blankets.
Here's some more decor advice to get your home ready for the cool weather.