It’s that time of year again: There’s a cool breeze in the air, pumpkin is on the menu once more and we’ve pulled our boots out from under the bed to kick up crisp leaves on brisk Sunday morning walks.
There is much to enjoy about the autumn months but, this year especially, we are all learning to embrace spending more time in the great indoors.
Few years have required us to hunker down quite like 2020, so creating a living space that helps you lock the chaos of the pandemic out and revel in everything the autumn season has to offer has never felt more important.
Every season offers a fun excuse to refresh your home, from floral accents in spring to winter-worthy festive finds that show off your Christmas spirit. For autumn though, that means adding cosy textures, a seasonal colour palette of burnt oranges, firey reds and mustard tones, and, of course, plenty of pumpkins.
Changing the ambience of your home doesn’t have to involve weekends of DIY and heated debates over which shade of greige to paint your walls. Instead, try making small additions that will bring a warm and inviting atmosphere into your home.
From festive wreaths to dining room decor and autumnal aromas, here are five ways to transform your space into a seasonal escape.
Add an autumn wreath to your front door
Wreaths are something that most of us associate with the festive period but, with Halloween just around the corner, your front door is about to get a lot more attention than usual, so why not dress it up a little?
An autumn wreath makes for an eye-catching and Instagram-worthy addition to your home and can be made yourself using dried foliage, berries, acorns and pine cones. If you’re not the DIY type, reach out to your local florist or you can find plenty of ready-made options online like this champagne-coloured version from John Lewis that features berry sprigs and honesty.
Remember, while wreaths are a great way to greet guests, they are not limited to front doors. They also look great hung up on walls, above mantelpieces, or even used as a table centrepiece.
Pick a focal point
It can be easy to go over-the-top when it comes to seasonal decorations, so we suggest choosing a single focal point in your house that will give you the most bang for your buck.
After the kitchen, the fireplace is often considered to be the heart of the home so, if you have one, the mantle is a great place to start. When the cooler weather sets in, there's nothing better than cosying up in front of a roaring fire, and this will be made all the more appealing if it’s been decked out.
Mantel decorating is all about being creative, whether you choose to bring in the outdoors by incorporating foliage and pumpkins or stick to more vibrant accessories like festive garlands.
Alternatively, you can create a lush autumnal tablescape on your dining table with jewel-toned placemats and napkins, rattan baskets and ceramic plates. Stores such as Anthropologie, Zara Home and Oliver Bonas are particularly great when it comes to decorative dinnerware. Dinner by candlelight is also particularly fun when the nights start to get longer, so invest in some candlesticks that are pretty enough to be left out all-year-round.
Bring the outdoors in
For a more subtle approach, you can create small areas of decorations throughout the house on empty shelves or less-trafficked corners. The autumn season is best known for its rich colours and textures, so why not bring those into the home?
Think tiny pumpkins nestled in a bookshelf or a small vase of dried botanicals on your bedside table. Luckily, dried flowers have made a comeback in recent months – according to Etsy, there has been a 93 per cent rise in searches in the last six months – and it’s not hard to see why.
As well as coming in an array of styles, dried flowers can quite literally last a lifetime, so they are a great investment that promises to never look sad. If you’re looking to purchase a bunch online, check out The Happy Blossoms, Lavender & Rose and Mud Urban, which all offer beautifully wrapped bundles for delivery.
Upgrade your sofa with stylish soft furnishings
A super-soft throw is one of the easiest ways to add a touch of luxury to your home in autumn. Not just a great way to keep warm, blankets can be draped over sofas, transform your bedding and add a splash of colour and texture to an otherwise nondescript living space.
If your room is decorated in neutral tones, give it a seasonal update with a blanket in warm shades like burnt oranges or moss green. Or, if you’re a fan of patterns it will serve you well to remember that plaid is not just for the winter, it’s a cold-weather classic. An oversized plaid blanket in any hue is the perfect practical layer for any bed, chair or sofa.
Alternatively, experiment with textures using decorative cushions made from velvet or wool boucle that you can cuddle up with on movie nights. H&M offers an extensive range of blankets and cushions in variety of textures and prints to suit your style. One of our favourites is this wool-blend cushion cover that comes with a textured zig-zag front.
Invest in autumnal aromas
From mulled cider and smoky vanilla to pumpkin spice, autumn-inspired scents are one of the best things about the new season.
Candles have the potential to change the atmosphere of a space almost instantly, depending on the aroma you choose. For classic smells, look for ingredients like fig, pine, pomegranate and musk, or if you prefer sweet scents choose candles made with vanilla, pumpkin or pear.
They don’t just smell good either. Most candles come housed in stylish containers, from mason jars to pumpkin-shaped pots like this one from Anthropologie. Place yours on the mantel above your fireplace or coffee table for a soft glow and cosy ambience.
Diffusers are also a great option for a fragrance you can catch a whiff every time you walk by. We recommend the White Company’s Autumn Diffuser which is inspired by afternoons spent picking fruits and features a combination of crisp pear, quince and apricot with warming musk and amber.