INTERIOR DESIGNER, MWELL STUDIO
I don’t know about you, but every time the seasons change, I make minor adjustments to my interior to mirror changes in the weather outside. With autumn now upon us, here are some tips for creating a cosy atmosphere in your home. Welcome to this ultimate cocooning session!
There are several ways of showcasing autumn plants. While true enthusiasts are sure to sign up to one of the numerous workshops organised by florists where participants make seasonal wreaths for their doors (thus providing a dash of seasonal colour on entering the house), others will have no problem finding pretty compositions of dried flowers in bell jars like those traditionally used to preserve bridal bouquets.
For a more rustic look, you could fill a nook (you know – that recess in your wall you never know what to do with…) with a stack of logs. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, this will add such a cosy touch that you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before!
And rather than accumulating leaves in your children’s herbarium that they virtually never look at, why not put them on display for all to see? Just get some frames without backings and use these to present the various types of leaves you’ve gathered in the woods. Branches or dried flowers dotted around the house in transparent vases also add a tasteful touch.
Photo credit : Alisa Anton « on s’approprie le moindre recoin de la maison »
In autumn, the cosiness we can draw from our interiors is not limited to objects’ visual appearance, but also derives from what we feel when we touch them. You should therefore use and abuse cosy fabrics – fleecy cushions and velvet plaids. Consider fully covering benches, chairs and even windowsills with a few sheepskins to give them extra padding. It’s also time to swap your summer bedspread for cosier, more enveloping bedlinen, which should ideally be ochre in colour.
Imagine the warm feeling you get when you run your hand over a wooden table, ceramic teacup, or fur cover. Now perform the same mental experiment with metal, glass, or plastic. Can you feel the difference? The Danes have captured this perfectly in their concept of “hygge”, a comfort-based philosophy that can be resumed as follows: “hygge is about giving weary adults weighed down with responsibilities a break. Just a short break.” And what better break than to rest your head on a soft cushion while reading your favourite book?
Adapt your lighting appropriately
Choose your lamps carefully and position them strategically to create a haven of amber light. The secret lies in distributing small sources of light almost everywhere in the room rather than a single bright ceiling light. Try to use this technique to create small pools of light in your room.
For an even more vibrant result, choose lamps of different sizes and styles. If you don’t have a fireplace, which obviously helps create perfectly cosy lighting, try lighting a few candles on a mantelpiece or on your windowsills. If possible, use natural soy wax candles!
As a finishing touch, see if you can pick up an old-fashioned demijohn, fill it with fairy lights, put it on a landing, in the hall or under the stairs, and light it up at night. You could also arrange the fairy lights around the frame of a large old-fashioned mirror, which you could rest on the floor…
Crédit photo Moebe « les cadres herbiers »
Crédit photo : Joanna Kosinska « on mixe bougies, branchages et objets en bois »
It’s the small finishing touches that transform rooms and give them a completely different atmosphere. First and foremost, you should ensure that warm colours dominate by consigning any knick-knacks that are either too summery or whose colours are cold or flashy to a cupboard for the rest of the year.
Place a few books carefully chosen from a bookstore on your coffee table, so you can regularly dip into them.
You could also add a few brass decorations like candle holders to your windowsill, providing a gentle touch ideal for helping you through the shortening days.
In the kitchen, why not invest in a nice tea or coffee set with a large tray?
In terms of furniture, replace any steel structures from summer with side tables and other raw timber items. Basically, the idea is to create warmth through materials!
Another one of those Anglicisms we’ve adopted in French, embracing the upbeat spirit of our English-speaking friends. We say “waouh” (and not “Yahoo!”, in the manner of my grandmother enjoying the Internet for the first time). Our Larousse dictionary describes it as an expression of “surprise mixed with admiration”. How, then, can we achieve this holy grail of interior design? Here are some ideas to hopefully bring the “wow” effect (or “eureka”, if you prefer) into your home.
Written by: Mélanie Trinkwell, Interior Designer
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Written by: Mélanie Trinkwell, Interior Designer