Get the autumn feels in your home

I love this time of year. The light, the colours, those crisp crunchy leaves underfoot. We’ll not mention that last week full of the joys of autumn I kicked a huge pile of leaves while out walking our dog and toddler, slipped and sprained my ankle. Calamities aside what’s not to love about autumn?

I enjoy adapting my home to the season and thought I’d share a few tips for getting a more autumnal feeling in your home. I’ve recently read The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking and I’m sure the Danes will agree that there’s no season more Hygge that autumn.

It’s not autumn unless you have candles and lots of them. I love a candle and it’s quite possible that I can’t walk past a display without sniffing a few and more than likely purchasing at least one. I recently jumped on the bandwagon and tried out the Aldi dupes for Jo Malone. For the price they are great, you won’t get the same scent intensity as Jo Malone but they burn well. Warning – forget the beautiful packaging and excellent customer service synonymous with Jo Malone.  The Aldi checkout is a gauntlet of sweat and nerves as your  candle is thrust through the till in nano seconds and you stand there trying to catch it before it breaks, while simultaneously trying to pack your other items as the member of staff barks cash or card at you.  Personally, my favourite candles are from The White Company, simple yet striking, a great range of fragrances plus often a cheeky 15% discount voucher. To create further ambience in the home, I recommend simple candlesticks on the dining table, lanterns filled with church candles and tealights in lovely holders strategically placed around the home.

Never mind spring cleaning we spend more time at home over the winter months so it makes sense to look at any updates you want to make to your home over this time. Have you been meaning to replace curtains or blinds around your home? With the dark nights you’ll be closing them an awful lot more so make sure you love them and they work for your room. Cushions are a great way to update your home for autumn and with velvet making a big comeback there’s no better time to invest in some luxurious cushions in rich, sumptuous colours or fabrics to compliment your existing interior scheme.

With your home looking cosy and inviting, why not get some friends round for red wine and hearty food. One of the things I learned reading about Hygge is that being with people is rated one of most important ingredients of happiness. So turn on the porch light and welcome visitors over for an evening of laughter and fun. Just remember to go easy on the wine because I’m not going to tell you that a hangover is any better in autumn than it is the rest of the year.

Talking of hearty food, in autumn I turn to soup making. My favourite being this recipe for red lentil and tomato soup from BBC Good Food. Perfect for filling lunches and a great warmer after being out in the cold. It’s particularly good with some crusty bread dunked in and it’s super quick to make.

Finally, my top tip for autumn is a cosy throw. There’s a lot of faux fur around just now so if you are looking for a little autumnal update for a sofa or chair get yourself a faux fur throw which will not only look good but will be perfect for snuggling under when watching those classic festive movies. Did I say festive? Watch this space for my Christmas blog series.

 

Is that you, Spring?

It really feels like it’s been a long winter.  Finally, though we are starting to see signs of spring coming and I don’t mean just the crocus in your local park, I mean the sun shining, the nights getting lighter and most importantly the temperature finally feeling a little less sub zero.  I wouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet though I keep hearing that the Beast from the East is coming back later this week (seriously?!).

Spring in Aberdeen – does this seem familiar?

At this time of year the cliche is we begin spring cleaning and I’m no exception to that tradition, I begin by changing over wardrobes, although I’m not ditching my down coat just yet, that Beast might come back and I’ll not be adequately equipped for the school run in my spring trench.  Beyond the clearing out, changing over of wardrobes and sending piles of stuff you don’t need anymore to the charity shop, what other things can we do to get ready for spring in the home?

Scented candles

Change up your fragrances for lighter more floral scents or if floral isn’t your thing then go for something a bit zestier.  Heavy winter fragrances tend to remind you of just that, winter.  Pick some new scents and make them your spring staples.

Flowers

My home is rarely without fresh flowers and at this time of year I start to inject a bit of colour starting with tulips in my kitchen.  I simply cannot wait for peonies to be in season, they were my wedding flowers and I love having a huge bunch on my coffee table in June.  We often associate spring with pastels so pick up some nice bunches to compliment your interiors.  As we know grey interiors are everywhere and pastel shades look fantastic paired with all shades of grey.  Embrace what’s in season and even pick some from your own garden, if it’s worthy of picking that is.  I’m looking out to mine and can’t help but thinking it’s looking a bit tired after winter but as things start blooming bring the outdoors inside.  Make sure your vases are up to it, it’s good to have a collection of different shapes and sizes to suit different arrangements. Think out of the box too, jugs, Mason jars, old fashioned bottles and carafes also make wonderful vases.

Peonies – my favourite spring flowers

Soft furnishings

Look at lighter curtains for spring, it’s not unusual to want to hang lighter curtains for the spring and summer months.  You’ll not be closing them so much over these months so concentrate on something light that drapes beautifully. As for cushions, change up your cushions to lighter and less heavy cushions and look at adding in a new textured throw.

Open your windows

Not interiors advice as such but air your home, let the fresh air flow through, not only is it good for properties to help reduce the risk of damp and condensation, you can’t beat the smell of fresh air.  It’s a bit like hanging washing out on the line.

Finally, for me spring is also about fresh ingredients, lighter dishes and Easter eggs so get some lovely new tableware and accessories such as platters, new dishes and glasses.  Even if it’s just a bowl to put your Mini Eggs in.  Is it even spring if you’ve  not over indulged in Mini Eggs?  Trays are also a great purchase for carrying food and drinks to the garden, for the rare days it’s warm enough to dine outside, it’s good to be prepared so make sure you get yourself some bright and colourful melamine tableware for outdoor dining too.

Display your food with coordinating tableware

So, until next time get those windows open and embrace the signs of spring but don’t go packing away all your cosy stuff just yet!

Mini Eggs – need I say more?