Now the days are colder and the nights longer, our homes have become our sanctuary from the great outdoors. Hunker down under thick throws, warm up with soft rugs underfoot and add a touch of sparkle to brighten up your space.
From berry colours to chunky knits, from rustic woods to faux-fur rugs, we can reflect the shift in seasons by adding small tweaks to our homes, with autumn into winter being the most tactile. The natural world – think: earthy colours and rural scenes – is a key trend which goes hand in hand with the search for escapism that we feel at this time of year.
Proclaiming ‘Spiced Honey’ – a warm shade of amber and rich caramel – as its Colour of the Year for 2019, Dulux has captured the idea in its paint colour. Describing it as having ‘a raw, natural quality that works like a warm neutral’, the colour is an ideal base to create a cosy ambiance which also looks contemporary.
Alex Whitecroft, head of design at I Want Wallpaper, agrees: “Wallpaper is an easy and affordable way to introduce the latest trends and colourways into homes, especially for those who prefer pattern and design over a flat block of colour. Spiced Honey is a versatile shade that’s ‘happy to take a supporting role’, which means you can really go to town and play with the patterns you introduce.”
Daniel Prendergast at The Rug Seller, meanwhile, advises on how to build around the shade: “Spiced honey has warm undertones, so it’s really cocooning, and, therefore, the perfect shade for rugs. Using spiced honey on the floor will infuse homes with a warm, welcoming feeling as we head into autumn and winter. Incorporate it by investing in a thick-pile, shaggy rug for added warmth and a feeling of contentment.”
You can also reflect the rural trend with delicate prints, such as the Meadow Scene and Sea Leaves textiles at Victoria & Rebecca, a brand which is inspired by the British countryside. While, at Paint and Paper Library, its latest must-have shades include variations of deep ochre, dark brown and russet red, which are also inspired by Mother Nature’s autumnal palette.
David Mottershead, managing director of Little Greene, agrees that this time of year is perfect for introducing soft textures and organic colours. “They are instantly grounding and relaxing – the perfect antidote to our hectic schedules and tech-driven lives,” he says.
Get in touch with nature
Sue Kim, senior designer at Valspar, gives her colour tips
- Rich and vibrant shades of green, such as Fertile Fern, provide the essential connection between nature and modern life.
- Offset botanic and jungle prints with neutral, icy tones, such as By The Seashore.
- Shades of brown and red, such as Dante’s Cardigan, work well against wood and woven materials and give an inviting feel.
While typically associated with the summer months, florals can also bring a touch of wintery romance. Opt for overblown prints in darker colours to give an edgier – and more modern – feel. Giving a dramatic twist on the trend, Farrow & Ball’s Helleborus and Hegemone wallpapers come in deep colourways to give a bold statement for your walls.
When it comes to underfoot, meanwhile, Brintons suggests a return of the floral carpet is on the cards and has collaborated with design studio Timorous Beasties to create carpets and rugs featuring butterflies, plants and natural woodgrains. Natalie Littlehales, consumer marketing manager at Brintons, explains:“The range has been inspired by the great outdoors – and they are ideal to help create a cosy winter wonderland. Bold designs featuring all manner of florals, birds and butterflies are featuring heavily in home décor designs this year and are set to increase further in popularity. Pattern and colour have been brought to the forefront to create a fashion statement in the home. Working with Timorous Beasties has shown that large-scale florals can add a new and exciting dynamic to your space.”
Also working in collaboration with a heavyweight name, Sofa Workshop has bought out a collection of furniture with the V&A Museum, with pieces inspiredby its rich archive, featuring autumnal shades and floral prints. “At the heart of this exclusive, archive-inspired collection is a passion and commitment to British design and craftsmanship,” says Megan Holloway, marketing manager, Sofa Workshop.“There is a huge amount of expertise behind the collaboration from initial archive research through to finished design. Each fabric design has been lovingly recreated from the original subject and the furniture shapes engineered from the ground up in our British workshop.”
David Mottershead at Little Greene explains how to bring in the flowers
- All over ditzy florals are fresh and playful. Use on all walls for maximum impact.
- Bold floral trails are both classic and contemporary and ideal for bedrooms to add a romantic touch.
- Floral wallpapers, with heavier patterning on the upper part of the design, create drama in kitchens and dining rooms, and are the most indulgent of all floral designs.
Of course, when it comes to creating the definitive cosy room, accessories are paramount. Layer up with different textures and textiles – velvet sofas, sheepskin rugs and cashmere throws will not only feel soft and welcoming but will add that all-essential finish and polish to your room.
Crafting the softest throws and cushions from the historic Moon Mill in Guiseley, Yorkshire, which was first established in 1837, Bronte by Moon is a great source of ‘winter warmers’. “Earthy, muted shades, married with the natural feel of wool, balances the increase of modern technology in our homes,” says Martin Aveyard, design director. “The cosiness of a nature-inspired colour scheme complements our soft woollen cushions and throws and gives an organic look – perfect for warming up the home.”
Match them up with DFS’s new Balboa and Hackney sofas, which come in soft buttery leather upholstery. Taking lounging to a new level, the furniture is an ideal backdrop against which to layer natural textures.
Of course, you can’t beat an open fire for the ultimate in home comfort and joy. Adding her unique twist to Chesney’s classic fireplaces is designer Kelly Hoppen’s latest collection for the brand. Combining marble, stone and metals, to add a touch of Hollywood style, she comments: “I wanted to reignite the love of the fireplace to make it the focus of the room, in as much as it could stand alone, as a table does in a hall, and be seen as a work of art.”
Finally, a hint of sparkle as a finishing touch, will add a final flourish to any snug and comfy scheme. Whether it is Andrew Martin’s decadent Brooklyn light or the gold satin pillows, festooned with bees and birds, from Timorous Beasties, it’s all about giving a nod to glamour. It’s summed up in the Swedish ethos of ‘lagom’ – “not too much, not too little – just enough.”
MY TOP TEN COSY BUYS
Hand Knit Throw, £145, ellajames.co.uk
Palm Print Stool, £60, ellajames.co.uk
Zaina Table Lamp, £120, johnlewis.com
Scarab Beetle Box, £20, johnlewis.com
Elephant Grove Wallpaper, £15.99, iwantwallpaper.co.uk
Gold Effect Leaf Trinket Dish, £12, Lauraashley.com
May Cushion in Midnight Blue, from £60, victoria-rebecca.co.uk
Mink Sheepskin Rug, from £59, modern-rugs.co.uk
Cassia Side Table, £119.99, my-furniture.co.uk
April Throw by Slowdown Studio, £245, wagreen.co.uk
*This article is also published in the November 2018 issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine