As we settle into autumn, new routines begin to take shape. Summer clothes are swiftly swapped with waterproofs, salads replaced with soups, and nights out exchanged for nights in. Slowly but surely, we transition in time with nature, ushering in a season of cosiness in all its forms. To emulate this feeling at home, you needn’t seek a major overhaul; instead, a few simple tweaks, made with practicality in mind, will help you to create a cosy autumn aesthetic. Here, Antoni Roig and Sarina Hawkins, two of the experts behind our Interior Design Service, offer their tips on how to decorate your house for autumn.
As the nights draw in and the temperature dips, we begin to navigate our homes differently. Dinners are taken indoors once more; the sitting room is reappointed as the hub for entertaining; and the kitchen comes alive with new tastes and aromas. With this in mind, a good place to begin is by thinking about the essentials you need to make the next few months as effortless as possible – perhaps it’s a log basket for your fireplace or some cosy soft furnishings for colder evenings? Both are perfect if you’re seeking autumn living room décor but want to incorporate design elements that will last beyond the season. “Fashions come and go, but you’ve got to identify what reflects you, your life and your family,” explains Sarina, who advises avoiding trends where possible. “It’s also about choosing pieces that evoke a certain sensation – for example, a cosy throw might automatically make you think of snuggling down and watching television. Everyone has a different take, so look out for what speaks to you.”
“Think about how you spend your evenings,” Antoni adds, “and let that influence your choices. What do you need from your coffee table, for example? Do you need somewhere to store the remote control, a glass for your drink, a tray to hold candles and accessories? We’ve learnt a lot over the past couple of years about how we live, so let’s make it practical.”
Autumn décor is all about feeling warm and cosy, and there’s no easier way to introduce this into your home than with tactile textures. Autumn decorating ideas don’t come easier than this; simply swapping out your cushions can help you emulate that subtle shift in seasons. “To make the transition a little gentler, identify what materials and finishes give you the look that you want,” Antoni says. “It doesn’t have to be streamlined colour; a mix of patterns and textures will create a warm aesthetic, whether that’s a linen, silk or velvet – any of these finishes can make a huge difference to how your home feels.”
What better way to mirror nature’s transitions through your interiors than by taking inspiration from the great outdoors itself? Turn to florals and foliage for autumn home decorations that will instantly make your space feel more appropriate to the season. “Different faux flower arrangements are a great quick fix,” Sarina says. “Our Maple Bud branches are really lovely and work both in summer and autumn – the yellow brings a hit of sunshine, but layer in some of our lovely orange Wild Rowanberry stems and you’ll have something very autumnal.” You could even add an autumn wreath to your front door, to really tap into those autumn vibes inside and out.
The designers also advise looking for flowers that are actually in season, to ensure your arrangements feel authentically autumnal. Berries, foliage and stems, for example, will mirror the natural world and give bouquets a seasonal twist – great for autumn table décor. “You don’t even have to go for a whole bunch,” Roig adds. “A few stems in a vase will bring the drama and scale that you need. Less is more.”
With the right accessories, you can alter the mood of a room in an instant. Take lighting; as the darker evenings approach, a warm, soft glow creates the snug feeling that the season calls for – the perfect addition when it comes to autumnal home décor. The best way to achieve this is by using lots of sources to spread the light evenly – think a combination of floor and table lamps, as well as wall and ceiling lights. Lampshades also impact the way that light – and shadow – is cast in your space, so to achieve a romantic glow, look for fabrics such as linen, cotton or silk in soft colours. These are better at diffusing light than more opaque shades and will give your space a cosy autumn feel. “Candles and candle holders are also great for making a space feel warmer and more atmospheric,” Sarina adds.
Switching up the accessories on your shelving, mantelpiece or coffee table is another easy way to make your home feel different. Antoni likes to find beautiful antique books and “mix them in with some nice new accessories, such as a rustic pot or colourful vase”. You could also introduce autumn ornaments, such as gourds, pine cone-shaped candle holders or leaf motifs, to make a nod to the season. These can be placed on your dining table as autumn table centrepieces, or alongside existing accessories on a mantelpiece for the ultimate autumn fireplace décor.
Sometimes a simple reshuffle can make a world of difference – moving an armchair to a new position, changing your shelving arrangement or swapping lampshades can give spaces a completely different look. “There’s no reason why a piece of art or mirror has to be married to a specific wall,” Antoni says. “You can move them to different rooms or switch them out for the season.”
The same goes for areas of your home that have been a little unloved – if you have a corner that’s missing a plant or a bare wall waiting for that perfect piece of art, this could be the season to take the plunge and finish any incomplete projects. It’s small swaps such as these that can help your home feel instantly refreshed and ready for the cosier time of year “If you want to give your space a different feel then think about those really minor tweaks,” Sarina says. “There’s no need for a complete seasonal overhaul. You need longevity in your home at the end of the day, because it should be something that you love all year round.”