9 Ways to Prepare Your Home for a Cosy Autumn
As the days get crisper and leaves start falling, it’s time to turn your home into a warm haven
As the days and evenings become colder, you’ll need to think about keeping warm. First things first – get yourself some soft throws and blankets. Then attend to the bigger stuff, like making sure your radiators are all bled and having your boiler checked.
If you’re lucky enough to have a working fireplace or wood-burning stove, now’s the time to prepare it for use. It’s important to have your chimney swept and tested once a year. Look for a chimney sweep who’s registered with the National Association of Chimney Sweeps or the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. Stock up on firewood and kindling, and invest in a couple of baskets to store it next to the fire. Most importantly, make sure your smoke alarms are all working.
Cheer yourself up on colder days by creating a warm welcome to your home. Autumn is the perfect time to spruce up your front door, as it’s generally still mild enough to paint outside. Choose a cheerful colour that will make everyone smile.
Make sure you give the wood a good sand beforehand and buy an exterior paint that will protect it in all weathers. It’s also a good idea to take the hardware off beforehand, so now might be a good time to invest in a brand-new doorknob or letterbox.
The rest of the front garden might need a tidy up, too. After all, you’ll probably see more of the front than the back garden during the winter. Plant some evergreen shrubs that will provide an attractive structure throughout the cold months, and add a couple of winter-flowering plants to boost interest.
The hallway will need a seasonal overhaul, too. Put away sandals and sun hats till the spring and organise space for larger outerwear. Make sure there are enough hooks for all your heavy coats, as well as a stand for umbrellas. It’s also a good idea to put a basket next to the door for gloves, hats and scarves. Lastly, allocate enough room for everyone’s wellies to be neatly stored after a muddy autumn walk.
With autumn comes delicious food: warming soups, roast dinners and hearty breakfasts. Prepare a dining area where you can enjoy some cold-weather fuel with friends or family. The simple linen tablecloth and white crockery here looks lovely with the wooden furniture and rattan basket.
Collect some bare twigs or branches during an autumn walk and put them in a vase, as these homeowners have done. The display will last all winter, and then you can replace it with spring flowers.
I think September and October are a great time for new resolutions, as you’re not recovering from the excesses of Christmas. Use the ‘back-to-school’ feel of these months to get your home organised and ready for winter action.
Put away your summer wardrobe and have a declutter at the same time. Organise your filing and invest in any new storage you think you might need. Now might be a good time to organise your kitchen cupboards, too. Throw away out-of-date food and store similar things together. Decant pasta, rice and pulses into attractive jars, and find some useful storage for your spices.
Even if you’re not planning to venture outside often, it’s still nice to capture daylight from the comfort of an armchair. Rearrange furniture so some of your seating is facing a window. On a cold, crisp day, you can cosy up with a blanket and a book while watching the leaves fall from the trees.
On a dark evening, arriving home or visiting the shed or dustbins will be difficult if you can’t see where you’re going. So it’s important to ensure any outside lighting is in good working order.
It’s also nice to have some lighting in the back garden to illuminate winter plants. TheAmelanchier lamarckii tree on the right here has a lovely sculptural shape that looks beautiful lit up. The tree is a good choice, as it has pleasant autumn colour, followed by early flowering blossom.
Quick summer showers make way for indulgent baths and pampering in the autumn. No matter how small your bathroom is, it’s possible to give it a luxurious spa feel.
Invest in some scented candles and reed diffusers, as well as a few good-quality soaps and oils. Place rolled-up towels in a basket to give the room a hotel look, then close the door and escape for an hour or two of rest and relaxation.
Turn your bedroom into a warm, restful haven by adding some thicker textiles to the bed. Here, crisp white bed linen has been given a cosier feel with a knitted throw and cushion. Just by adding a few accessories, you can make an instant transformation from summer to autumn.
The vase of flowers on the bedside adds to the natural warmth of the room. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea in bed on a Sunday morning.
Do you enjoy autumn, or are you more keen on warmer weather?How do you prepare your home for the new season? Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments below.