The Autumn equinox passed last month, but October is really the month that ushers in fall here in most of the northern hemisphere. The days are growing cooler and shorter and as we add layers to our wardrobe, we do the same to our homes. Preparing your home for the seasonal shift doesn’t have to mean keeping bins of plastic decor, but setting yourself (and your home!) up for the dark, cold winter ahead in a way that is comforting and intentional.
Bring In Light
If you’ve been considering adding lighting to your space, there’s no better time than just before daylight is in short supply. I’m a firm believer in ambient lighting, and find there is nothing cozier than an evening spent by lamp or candlelight. Take a look around your home noting the dark spots and consider whether a floor lamp, table lamp, or even a sconce would help the space feel less dreary. If you’ll be using your lamps more than you do in the brighter months, you may also want to stock up on bulbs, but take care, as they are not all created equally! I prefer lamplight to lean warm in color, and look for LED bulbs that are 2700-3000 Kelvin to keep that harsh hospital glow at bay.
Now is a good time to stock up on candles, which make any evening feel special, and if you have a fireplace, either refill your tank or order some firewood so you're ready for that first frosty night.
Upgrade Your Textiles
In the same way that we swap linen and cotton for wool and tweed in our wardrobes, we can usher in a cozier vibe in our homes by layering thicker, softer fabrics over our upholstery and bedding. I always look for throw pillows that have a removable cover so that I can upgrade the fill to a soft, plush down that will hold its shape, and so that I can swap the covers to fit the season (or my moods!). Vintage textiles, boucle, grain sacks, wools, or nubby tweeds bring so much texture and comfort to a space -- and don't forget to bring out a throw blanket or two for those chilly nights. Adding a rug underfoot is another way to introduce an additional layer, and my smaller gallery rugs are ideal for that purpose.
Even if your climate doesn't call for flannel sheeting, you can still add layers and softness to your sleeping space. An additional lumber pillow (the longer the better!), a patterned throw folded at the end of the bed, or a new set of shams to introduce more color and pattern to the space will add instant coziness.
Add Signs of the Season
No, I'm still not talking about plastic leaves here (though admittedly there are some good dupes to be had if you're willing to do some internet sleuthing), but rather taking time to note the seasonal changes around you and incorporate them into your decor. Dried blooms or seed pods from your garden take on a more sculptural quality when brought indoors, but even a branch or three placed artfully in a vase can truly bring a room to life. If you burn candles or diffuse oils, making the switch to heartier scents can help signal the seasonal shift in a positive way, a practice that is good for us all.
These things may seem inconsequential, but after a tough couple of years, the prospect of a long, dark winter can seem daunting. Taking a few steps toward readying our homes to approach the upcoming season with intention and care is just another way that our homes can serve as a much-needed soft place to land.