My favourite colour is October
– Unknown

The autumn nights are drawing in- time to take stock on the year and huddle down into softer, warmer spaces.

The colours & textures of autumn are more muted than the brights and vivid of spring & summer think russets, golds, plums and berry shades.

In order to create the sensory feeling of autumn in our homes, consider these four elements: textiles, lighting, scents & colours.

Tickling Textiles

Who doesn’t like the feeling of cuddling up with a beloved furry pet? Well known for it’s destressing and therapeutic effects- fur creates a warm sensory feeling when wrapped around skin.

However, leaving the ethical debate out of this piece- animal prints and textures also have added a sensual element to interior decor.

Faux- fur throws and blankets- piled up and layered over a sofa or bed whilst nestling down reading a book, has to be a simple pleasure, doesn’t it?

It produces what the Scandinavians have coined as “Hygge” (a sense of wellbeing) like no other. Think darker nights, cups of steaming hot chocolate, faux fur pulled over you, open fires & candles you’re all set for wonderful autumn tableaux!

Sheepskin rugs are used in interiors for the exact same reason as faux-fur- it creates a warm tingle between bare toes! However, Vegans may disagree with this but again, it’s a personal choice and it is using a by-product to good use. Wool offers its own hygge-effect. Rolls of woolen blankets or throws create an immediate warm sensory look to any space.

Sensuous Velvets

Did you know real Velvet comes from the covering of deer antlers? The biggest producer is in New Zealand, where they collect 500 Tonnes of antler covering to be processed into velvets for soft furnishings and fashion textiles annually.

It’s eco-friendly as there is no harm to the Sika deer in it’s collection. It is however expensive!

Which is why cheaper versions in the form of velors are often used. I would say, if we are now more sensitive to stocking our homes with more eco-friendly textiles; better to have a little real velvet than acres of synthetic, ( plastic-based) Velor.

Candlelight

Why is candlelight so timeless and considered beautiful?

A small flame of a candle is in the realm of magical light- a sacred thing- a softer illusion. It’s not easy to separate the aesthetic from the spiritual when it comes to candles. The light is gentle not fierce and flooding. It’s flickering, humanising and forgiving.

This could be why it’s often used in restaurants for evening dinner settings and romantic meals out. The candlelight can be blown out, so it’s fleeting and time-bound. I remember as a child loving the count-down to Christmas by the ritual of lighting an Advent Candle every day in December. My sister and I would take turns and would really look forward to watching the flickering flame over the next 5 minutes or so- building up the excitement to the festive ahead.

Candles for home use had had a resurgence over the past couple of decades- it could just be the balm to soothe our stressed out over wired 24/7 modern existence,

So if you want a softer signature to your space in the autumn, light a candle or three, scented would be even better!

Smells Like Bonfire!

Bonfires are so redolent of autumn- notwithstanding echoes our violent past with ‘Guy Faulks Night’ but of the garden tidy-ups necessitating a good burn off of all the dead-heading and surplus vegetation. So these scent memories are recreated in natural or synthetic scents (although I would truly advise against cheap, nasty chemical-filled ingredients- try choosing soy-based or natural bases.)

Think, woodsmoke, apples & cinnamon spice, berries, cocoa, fresh dug earth or cinder-toffee! I’m often struck by how my mood is transported and uplifted by lighting a stick of incense, a scented candle or wax-burner to “freshen the house up”.

Estate agents have long cottoned on to the trick of putting potential house purchasers in the mood of domesticity by wafting freshly baked bread & coffee smells about the space. It’s a cliche, but it works!

The Colour Of October

Leading paint manufacturers have long recognised the change of seasons is a huge opportunity to sell more wall coverings and paint.

We want to be in harmony with nature sat in our interiors! So matching the season to the industry paint/wallpaper current trends, tends to go in cycles. It’s obviously a matter of personal taste but generally autumnal colours in the warmer tones of russets, golds, and plums are always going to create a warmer surrounding palette.

The current fashion is basically in two camps- The Scandi/Tribal vibe is still current and will always work with natural fabrics and texture but it’s starting to wane and the Art Deco/ Luxe revival with deeply saturated tones of Burgundy, Navy, and Evergreen- Evan Black!

The deeply dark rich tones lend themselves to bedroom and dining room interiors, however, a cursory read of Elle Interior magazine over the last few months will inform you that dark shades are the ‘IT’ trend in interiors.

Your curated accessories will absolutely ‘pop’ with a dark interior- It can make a space feel cocooning and safe.

So, if you want to transform your interior spaces this autumn, refresh your linens, soft furnishings, invest in a velvet cushion or two, light a scented candle or three and snuggle down to enjoy the season slowly transforming to prepare for winter.

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile

– William Cullen Bryant