STEPHANIE DOUTHWAITE, FOUNDER

Planning for the Seasons

Creating a welcoming and stylish home for Autumn.

The key things to consider when creating an autumnal feel in your home
Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and you can take a lot of inspiration from what’s going on outside and nature and the colours that are involved are. If you’re looking at for example, a sitting room, you want to really up the cosiness factor – easily achievable by having a really good base, maybe linen curtains that work well both in summer and winter. You will also want to focus on colours in the room, neutrals, or greys, even some of the darker neutrals are particularly nice nowadays. Another consideration is adding into the room items that are easy to swap in and out, according to the season. Ideal things are the small items, things like throws, chunky rustic knitted throws to give that cosiness factor. And things like cushions with nice deep colours, velvet cushions, in particular, provide a lovely depth and richness to any room at this time of year.

Considering layering the room
In the summertime, you may have just used sheers or road lines in the window, but then in the wintertime, you can combine those and layer up the windows, so you have that as well as some interlined changeable curtains that make you feel all warm and cosy.

The other area is rugs. So again, it’s that idea of layering. You can change the look of a room entirely by swapping your rug for something that’s more autumnal or a little more luxurious and richer, and that will have a big impact on your room.

It’s a good time to start thinking about your Christmas guests
The other thing is that this time of the year you could be thinking about Christmas guests, look at how to dress their bedrooms and how you’re going to accommodate everybody over Christmas is one of those key areas. So, think about that very tired sad spare room, guest room, and think about making that a little more welcoming as well.

Considering colours in more detail
Crown Wall has recently released some new colours into their range, which are really quite lovely, and they are quite autumnal. There are some really beautiful greens in there, a few neutrals as you’d expect, pale neutrals, but then they have this particular green. It’s like an olive-y green that’s called ‘Vanture’ which is gorgeous. But they’ve got a very dark neutral in there called ‘De Neen’ which is just stunning. It’s this kind of pea green, navy blue, and then you’ve got some beautiful pinks. I love the combination of green and pink. So, you’ve got this very pale dusky sulky room pink, which is beautiful and then you’ve got some really nice deep burgundies.

And when you look outside, that’s what your combination is. It’s like the deep burgundies of the turning colours of the leaves and you’ve got obviously lovely olive green leaves in there still. So, it’s picking up on those colours.

Finding inspiration in the world around you.
I think you should take lots of things as inspiration. Going on holiday, travelling, that kind of thing. Well, I tend to take lots and lots of photographs of various different things. I even take photographs of concrete paving slabs because they have a nice pattern on them.

You can take inspiration from all these different places, and when you look at colour combinations, you often find that colour combinations that work really well are things that you see outside. If you go to a family beach and you have a lovely blue sea and the gold colour of the sand, that is a lovely colour combination.
So, I think you can use these ideas quite nicely and I don’t necessarily think it has to be seasonal, but I do like that idea of reflecting what’s going on outside with what’s going on inside.

Consider your ‘swappables’
Swappables are inexpensive interchangeable elements, and they’re accessories really. But they can completely change the look. A velvet cushion is around £50 but it can change the look of whole room very quickly and very easily and very inexpensively by just changing out these accessories.

Other considerations as we head towards Christmas
Make sure that your guest rooms are well aired, they look a little bit more cared for perhaps, get some nice fresh bed linen, get some water glasses and jugs. Really think about your guests, maybe a tin of digestives on the bedside cabinet, books for reading purposes. That kind of thing but think about it well in advance. Don’t think, “Oh, my goodness. It’s a fortnight until Auntie Mabel comes to stay and I haven’t got any curtains up at this window.” Think about it well in advance and just put some love into your guest room. Give it a little bit of TLC.