You know what they say, that home is where the heart is? But if that heart is clogged by clutter, darkened by bad lighting and life choices, and its beat is arrhythmic rather than dependable, it can lead to a home that lacks a warm welcome.
Whilst our homes are, of course, firstly functional, providing shelter and somewhere to rest, they are also a place where individuality and self-expression can be nurtured.
In autumn, as the nights draw in and the temperature drops, domestic self-care feels more important than ever, and this is certainly true in 2022, with global turmoil insistent and oppressive, and temptation to hibernate until spring ever-present.
Instead, take solace in your sanctuary this season; here’s how to make your home a cosy place of comfort this autumn in 5 simple steps.
Let There Be Natural Light
Well-lit, whether that’s artificial or natural, spaces are hugely important to the overall running of the household, sure, but they also contribute a remarkable amount to your overall wellbeing at home, particularly as the evenings (and eventually afternoons) get darker, and you want to savour every moment of sunshine.
Natural light, in particular, provides some serious health benefits, boosting Vitamin D, alleviating the symptoms of seasonal depression, improving sleep and so much more.
Accordingly, you could do much worse than checking out these best ways to allow more natural light into your home, which will almost certainly make your home a more enjoyable place to spend time.
Dark and closed-off spaces can often feel overwhelming and intrusive, leaving you yearning for daylight and vast expanses of outdoor space (and this is not what you want when you are relaxing indoors). If you’re particularly prone to these feelings of oppression, consider more drastic steps, such as installing a skylight, patio doors (with the requisite patio door blinds, of course, for managing the light and maintaining privacy), or even a new window.
If you’re renting or simply don’t have the means for a renovation project right now, then fear not; you can use artificial wall light, ceiling lights, lamps and even candles to lighten and brighten up spaces, making them feel cosy, warm, and inviting, too.
Lose The Clutter (Where You Can)
When you are busy leading your life, you often fail to see clutter and mess building up around you until it’s too late, and you’ve been buried.
Clutter can amass quickly, and before you know it, it has taken the love and the enjoyment you once felt for your home and replaced it with the fear of tripping over every time you make for a different room.
You don’t want this in any season, but when you’re attempting to retreat into domestic bliss and sanctuary as the world falls apart around you, such clutter can be particularly intrusive, both physically and mentally.
To get the maximum amount of enjoyment you can from your domestic environment, you need to create more space in your home, and you can start doing this by decluttering. Getting rid of those things you’re inexplicably hoarding or hanging onto is what you need to be focusing your efforts on. When your home feels like it has space, and it feels uncluttered, then you will see (and feel) how much more enjoyable it is to be in.
The Power Of Colour
The colours and the shades that you use throughout your home can and will have an impact on the enjoyment you get from spending time there. Using softer and earthier tones and hues can help you feel more connected to nature and grounded in your property, which may heighten your sense of enjoyment. Or, you may also find that more colour schemes of a sunnier disposition may leave your home feeling warmer and calmer.
In fact, there’s a whole scientific discipline concerned with such matters. According to colour psychology, if you’re looking for colours that inspires wellness, dark greens and navy blues channel a harmonious ambience, whilst warm yellow or even muted bubble gum pink offer an uplifting aesthetic.
You could heap praise on autumn for its clear-as-glass branding, such is the strength of its colour association. Auburn, maroon, dark green and orange…earthy, rich shades take precedent as the season shifts and we’re well and truly here for a change after summer’s never-ending orgy of bright yellow.
The way you introduce these new tones is up to you; we wouldn’t recommend repainting with abandon. As time marches on, seasons are fleeting and it’s one hell of an ask to be changing your home’s colour scheme that often. You can, however, bring in throws and cushion covers of the requisite colour, as well as placing some carefully chosen trinkets which evoke those hues, too. Perhaps not a rotting pumpkin in the corner, but you catch our gist.
Comfort Should Never Be Undervalued
Forget stuffy interiors and chairs that cause pain to your bottom rather than cup it. What you add to your home in terms of furniture simply has to be comfortable.
Furniture can look good, but if there is no comfort to a piece, then you will find you never use it, and this means you never get the chance to fully embrace and enjoy every area of your home.
When you are looking at adding furniture or even replacing furniture, you need to remember to make it personal, but you also need to remember that comfort should never be undervalued. If comfort is undervalued or even overlooked, especially in autumn and winter, then you will end up with a show home.
Objects That Bring You Joy
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,” as William Morris once said, “or believe to be beautiful.” Well, if an item brings you joy, then surely that’s one of the most useful things of all?
While we did say earlier that you should declutter, we do think that you should collect certain things that bring you joy; think objects that can tell a story and trinkets that act as a visual reminder of a time you enjoyed, be it a postcard from Brighton Pier or a print of your favourite flower. Or, if you have a hobby that you love, incorporate that into the design of your home, should it provide treat for the eyes as well as the soul.
Even if the objects that bring you joy are not useful or unconventionally beautiful, so be it – there’s much beauty to be found in the weird and the whacky after all.
The Bottom Line
Aesthetics and appearances be damned. If there’s one thing recent crisis has taught us, it’s that life is short and happiness, when there are circumstances circling that are out of our control, is finite. Rather than living in a house that fails to cultivate contentment, instead you owe it to yourself to nurture joy, cosy and comfort in your domestic space. Only then can you truly call it a home.
And hey, if you’re keen to pour one up to celebrate the new season, you could do much worse than one of these autumnal rye whiskey cocktails. Cheers!