Autumn is a beautiful season, bringing with it colours of reds, oranges and yellows. It’s the perfect time of year to get your home ready for autumn
An Autumn Welcome
As well as cheering up any guests you get to your house, a warm welcome to your home is a nice thing for you to come home to.
It should still be warm enough to give your door a lick of paint if you have a wooden one. If you don’t have a wooden door, you may want to invest in a new door handle or letterbox.
Late summer is also a good time to tidy up the outside of the house, especially the front as that’ll be the area that will be getting more attention during the colder months.
If you have room, consider planting a few small evergreens to maintain some colour during the autumn and winter. Winter-flowering plants are also an option.
Inside the doorway, put away any summer sandals and flip flops. This is Wellington boot season after all!
Make sure that your clothes pegs are strong enough to take the winter coats that will no doubt be hung on them. A new sturdy welcome mat will also be a good addition, as well as getting some kind of umbrella stand for those rainy days.
It goes without saying that as the colder weather approaches, you’re going to need to think about keeping warm.
It’s worth getting someone to bleed all your radiators and maybe even check your boiler is in working order before you start using it. The last thing you want is to find yourself stuck without warmth when you most need it.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a wood-burning fire or a working fireplace, get your chimney cleaned before you start using it. It’s also prudent to start stocking up on firewood and kindling – you can never get enough of this when it gets really cold! Also make sure that all your fire alarms are in good working order.
It may also be worth investing in some pipe lagging now. When winter comes in earnest, burst pipes are a most unwelcome problem.
If you spend most of your time in your living room, get yourself some throws and blankets to snuggle under on stormy nights. As well as feeling cosy, these can also have a more practical purpose by helping to limit heating costs. They look very nice too!
Getting your house in order always makes you feel better. As autumn and winter roll in, we’re not able to utilise the outside spaces as much as we’d like. It’s worth making the best of the last summer sunshine to clear out our sheds and outhouses so that we can use them properly in winter.
Inside the house, go through your kitchen cupboards and throw out any items that you’re not going to use or are gone off. You’ll be surprised at how long some things have been there! It’s also a good idea to stock up on larder basics, so that you can quickly rustle up a nice warming meal when you get home. If you’ve made home-made jams or chutneys with harvest fruit, store these away for a rainy day and decant pasta or rice into nice-looking jars.
Clean out the fridge and if you have time, get the oven cleaned too.
Elsewhere, pack away summer clothes and give your winter coats a good airing. Get your comfy slippers out and leave them in the hallway so that you can pop them on when you come in.
With natural light fading by the day, we turn to other means to illuminate our homes.
Lamps are probably one of the best ways to make our homes cosy, lighting up any dark corners of the house and bringing a sense of warmth.
Wooden bases bring depth to your home and if you add autumn-coloured shades, you’ll be bringing the outside in without the weather. Make the brightness appropriate to the room.
One thing you won’t want to overlook is the type of bulb that you’re using. You won’t want to use anything that will give off too much glare but you also don’t want to leave yourself too short on light. Dimmer switches can help if you have the budget to install these.
Exterior lighting can welcome any autumnal visitors, especially around your front door and porch area. If you are lucky enough to have a front garden path, consider adding lamps or even a security light that will come on when triggered by a sensor.
Autumn is an ideal time of year to invite friends over for cosy suppers so if you have a separate dining area in your house, you’ll want it looking its best.
Keeping it simple is one way to go, with clean white linens and dark wood to stay in-keeping with the season. If you are planning on serving up hearty casseroles, go for deep bowls and chunky cutlery, serving up chunky bread in rattan baskets. Candles will provide visual warmth and a runner across your dining table will add a touch of luxury.
Now is the time of year to take down any light curtains and put up thicker, heavier versions. If your front door is draughty, consider hanging a door curtain there. It will help keep your house warm throughout the day and night.
Throwing a few rugs underfoot will help, especially on hard floor surfaces such as stone or wood. You’ll appreciate this when you’re stepping out of bed or the shower.
The final finishing touches should include soft furnishings that will help complete the look. Heavy throws and blankets are perfect for snuggling down with, both for you and any guests.
If you’re the sort of person that likes buying nik-naks for the home, look for ones made of wood or other natural products. It could also be a good time to hang some new pictures on your walls that are more in keeping with this time of year.
If you don’t have a log burner, you can now buy candles that give off the aroma of burning wood and even crackle as they burn. Smells are just as powerful as sights in creating a seasonal home.
Read our Autumn gardening feature here