In many parts of Australia, Autumn is a season of colour and warmth. A time for hot tea, cosy slippers and old-school family bonfires.
A little rain and a chilly breeze make it an excellent time to shelter inside and enjoy the hues of gold, red and chocolate. Gardens stand tall with fruit trees, and kitchens loaded with cinnamon and spices inspire people to unleash their inner chef. Outdoors, it’s the season to grab a shovel and wheelbarrow, and put the gloves on for some garden maintenance.
These surefire tips and ideas will make you want to celebrate the season and your home!
Before decorating and all the other fun stuff, start by decluttering the house. It not only opens and brightens up the space; a clean canvas is simply the best way to get started.
During the autumn and winter months when you spend more time inside, it’s great to have a big, healthy space to move around in. If you need help, bring in the cleaners!
- Clean the overflowing gutters before the cold sets in to avoid damage and frozen mishaps.
- Reverse the ceiling fans – it’s a nifty trick to push warm air down – but wipe them down first.
- Ensure all alarms, detectors and heating systems are in working order.
- Flip over or turn the mattresses (do this every season).
- Clean the curtains, carpets and upholstery.
- Fertilise the lawn to protect it through the coming winter
- Prune trees – it not only improves the appearance, it promotes healthy growth.
- Plant new flowers and prepare new flower beds. The latter will bloom in the spring.
- Weed neglected areas. It’s better to do this before the soil is cold.
- Use dropping leaves to make compost, a natural fertiliser. As the season draws on, grow this pile with grass clippings, tree cuttings and other pruning. Use it over your flowerbeds or herb garden.
Bring Nature Inside
Bring that autumn colour into the house by filling it with plants and flowers. Not only do they detoxify the air, studies have been shown that proximity to plants can improve memory and concentration by up to 20%. Nature is an affordable way to imbue a healing influence into any environment, with a far better return on investment.
The mere presence of plants in a hospital has been known to accelerate the healing process, improving performance and energy. Apart from their pleasing aesthetic, flowers encourage positive moods as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
Layer autumn leaves and climbing vines around the home, put flowers in copper vases and oranges in ceramic bowls. Create arrangements of the season’s brightest. Your home is a canvas.
Need a few plant suggestions?
- Swiss Cheese Plant: a stunning, green plant that grows to fit into any space. It thrives away from direct sun, in a warm, moist environment. They like to climb, so any support structure like a trellis will help.
- Devil’s Ivy: a lovely, low-maintenance vine that can grow anywhere in the house, from a pot to a vase. Their heart-shaped leaves come in various shades of white, green, cream, grey and even yellow.
- Peace Lily: one of the best air purifiers out there. With beautiful white flowers and dark green leaves, this beauty bodes well in bright light. Keep away from children and pets, however. If ingested, their leaves are poisonous.
Colour Me Autumn
Plants do more than bring fresh air and nature’s goodness into your house. The green of plants supports harmony, balance, rest and reassurance in the home.
Green contributes to the psychology of colours that can affect the ambience of your home. As autumn skies turn grey, it’s the perfect time to add a healthy splash of warm colours to your surroundings:
- Red: Denotes the physical. Red is a powerful colour, both stimulating and demanding. It grabs attention. Used correctly it brings heat, strength, energy and excitement to the home. A great counterbalance to the cooling weather.
- Yellow: An emotional colour that is a textbook companion to red. Full of optimism, confidence and creativity. Using the right shade of yellow is key – too much or too little can give rise to fear and anxiety.
- Orange: A comfort colour, one of passion, sensuality, warmth and security. A child of red and yellow, it has the physicality and emotion of both colours.
- Pink: if you want tranquillity, feminine warmth, soothing and nurturing, add a little pink to your home. Just a little – too much of it is draining and emasculating.
- Brown: a serious, sophisticated colour with tones of warmth, reliability and earthiness. Warmer and softer than black, it’s a colour most find supportive rather than repressive.
Add colour to the house with paint, wallpaper, curtains, carpets and cushions. Play with contrasting colours and accent walls. Get interesting sculptures, artwork and pottery. Reupholster small chairs. Adding a large mirror with a vintage, wooden frame can bring more light and space to the room.
Dress Up Your Rooms
Decorating for autumn doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. Adding new pillows and throw rugs is a simple way to update your home for any season. For autumn, that means thicker, fluffier and more textured. More plaid and stripes in warm colours.
Switch to linen, velvet and flannel bedding. Get big comforters and cosy, white pillows. Pile on the textiles and chunky blankets for maximum cosiness.
When looking for warmth, look no further than the fireplace. Everybody can curl up beside it with those chunky blankets. Making this area the focal point of gatherings is a lovely way to get ready for the cold months ahead.
Clean the area; touch it up with paint if necessary. Spice up the mantel by gathering art and decorative pieces around it. Get some accessories like a fireplace screen or a firewood basket.
After all is said and done, light becomes the final, important touch. Switch out harsh lights for warmer tones that enhance that cosy, autumn feeling. And don’t forget the candles.