I have a few rituals to prepare my cottage for the colder months. Yep there’s all the usual stuff like clearing the gutters, getting the chimney swept and putting away the garden furniture but that’s not particularly inspiring. Instead I want to talk about the pretty bits I do to ‘autumnise’ the house. I don’t think that’s a real word but I’m sure you get the idea.
I’ve found myself spending more time in my lounge preparing for a stint of hibernation. Here’s what I’ve been up to.
Plumping the cushions
As I have a slight cushion obsession, there’s nothing I like better than buying a few squidgy pillows. If I’m honest it’s actually getting bit tricky to find a spare spot on the sofa now. This year’s additions are the soft pink ones from BHS and the herringbone detail ones from Dunelm Mill. Sometimes you can’t beat the high street! I’m a big fan of having a stack of throws and blankets on hand too, as well as some snuggly cashmere socks.
Lighting the fire
In our house, lighting the fire used to be purely a weekend custom. Sweeping the debris and laying the kindling seemed too much like hard work on a weekday. Then we found a load of fire logs in Aldi (the ones where you just light the paper) which makes having a roaring fire a piece of cake. If I’ve been on a woodland walk I throw on a few fir cones or acorns to add the scent of the season to the fire.
My old abode didn’t have a fireplace so I used to fake it by lining up rows of candles for a dramatic centrepiece. I’d love to have a wood burning stove one day but it’s just a dream at the moment.
Stocking up on candles
Speaking of candles, I always have a stash of tea lights so the lounge is never without a soft glow. I have far too many votives to count but also have a stock of fragranced candles too. My current favourite is my homemade vanilla fragranced candle. Not your quintessential autumn scent but it burns for hours.
Adding seasonal foliage
The traditional burnt orange palette of autumn is beautiful but I’m more a fan of the pinks and purples around at the moment. I like to throw in a few berries to my usual supermarket blooms. I picked these pink ones from my local florist but they could easily be foraged from the garden.
Layering the rug with a carpet
You may have noticed we’ve added a carpet since my first home tour. It was slightly controversial as both James and I loved the previous slate floor. Quite frankly though it made the room very cold. I spent most of last winter huddled on the settee terrified about putting my feet on the icy tiles. We opted for a snazzy ‘majestic’ underlay and the room is so much cosier now, especially with the textured rug underfoot.
How do you prepare for autumn? What have you been buying to create a warm and cosy glow in your own home this ‘fall’?