Autumn is all about getting organised for winter. While capturing the last glimpse of summer, take time to sort out the garden, gather in fruits and berries, light the first open fire of the season, and enjoy the crisp bright mornings while they last.
Take a step outside to see how we might enjoy nature's rich pickings. Those romantics among us, habitually lulled by natural floral beauty, may take their lead from the weeping hydrangea pictured right – taken recently while in full, soft, vanilla blossom. Translated for use inside, seek out subtle floral linen prints in warm creamy tones, to combine with lichen, celadon and soft grey. These subtle shades find favour this season, particularly when accentuated with a shot of lime, red or air force blue.
As autumn unfolds, so too many a favoured interior palette. Be inspired by the fallen leaves on a forest floor – a palette of rustic red and orange hues interspersed with highlights of bright green, perfectly encapsulates a warm and homely spirit – the ideal decorating solution for a wintry snug.
Treat a family kitchen-come-breakfast room to a nature-based story with bird and animal motifs. Employ playful designs that take a walk on the wild side – as wall coverings and window treatments to blend harmoniously with witty birdy mugs, crockery and whimsical owl storage jars. Choose a handsome rustic oak dining table, flanked by a pair of sturdy oak benches and a smattering of jewel-like dining chairs in ruby red and autumn gold. A triptych of fabric or wall-papered pendant lampshades suspended low over the table, in a leaf pattern concludes the nature trail.
Exercise a little more restraint in the drawing room, settling on a relaxed style of country living. Blend exquisitely printed fabrics depicting colourful designs of birds, flora and trailing leaves, all in a mouth-watering palette of plum, magenta, old gold and ink blue. An emphasis on surface decoration enhances the autumnal scheme. Blend textural weaves, tactile hide, luxurious velvet, printed linen and patterned wallpapers.
As the darker evenings draw in, look to the drama of the twilight zone for your interior inspiration. A divine dining room decorating opportunity, for all those cosy wintry celebrations, might be midnight blue on the walls, combining elegantly with soft grey shot silk taffeta to lighten the windows. Use dark teal alongside these and a cluster of fallen leaves as your palette for a set of upholstered dining chairs. Tones of bronze, burnt orange, autumn gold and chocolate will set alight the ambience.
Add a collection of sparkling, coloured glass vase lamps topped with shimmering taffeta shades – smokey grey, bronze and amber should suffice.
Underfoot, a warming woven rug could be the singular autumnal investment that signals the change in season. A large leaf pattern in a wool/silk tuft will be an alluring addition, while textural autumnal tones will be easy on the eye and offer a seductive, calming influence.