Fall is a time to begin turning inward. The days get shorter and the temperatures drop. As we are spending more time indoors these days, making our homes warm and cozy becomes a priority. For me, a self-professed summer girl, making my home extra cozy for fall is one way I make the best of this change in seasons.
Let’s take a look at some ways we can make our home a sanctuary for fall.
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Of course we can use candles year round but when it’s 90 degrees outside and it stays light until 9 p.m. I’m just not inclined to light candles all that often. But chilly mornings or evenings after the sun has gone down? Several lit candles can be quite cheering. I indulged in a few new candles recently. I’m especially loving this one.
Fairy lights, Christmas lights…whatever you call them. Strings of tiny white (or colored) lights can make a room look festive. I have a strand around the window over my kitchen sink that I keep up year round. I have several strands in our family room, one over our bed and another over the bookshelves in our library. This is such an inexpensive way to add a little cheer to a room.
Cozy blankets or throws
One of the first things I like to do at the beginning of the fall season is to gather all of our blankets, throws, quilts and afghans and wash them. I then make sure there is one within reach of all seating in our house, plus a neatly folded stack in a huge basket by the fire place.
I have blue and white striped pillows on our sofas for spring and summer. I exchange those for pillows which suit the fall season better. One thing I’ve started doing is purchasing pillow covers instead of more pillows. They are less expensive and I don’t have to store so many out-of-season pillows.
There are a number of ways to add the scent of fall to your home. While the usual air fresheners are not terribly healthy (and often play havoc with my asthma), there are still ways to make my home smell good. One of my favorites is to simmer cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange peels. I sometimes do this on my stove but the better method is to use my tiny crockpot. This avoids the possibility of allowing all the water to simmer away and burn your pan. Yes, I’ve done this more than once.
Another option is to use an essential oil diffuser. I bought one a couple of years ago and I love it! I keep it in my kitchen and often turn it on in the afternoon so the house smells good when David gets home.
If you don’t have a diffuser you can use a small glass jar (or a shot glass works well) on a candle warmer. Fill it with water and add a few drops of essential oil. It’s not quite as effective as a diffuser but this is the method I used for years.
Puzzles or games
As we spend more time indoors, it’s a good idea to make plans for doing something other than just watching television. I love to set up a card table in the corner of the family room and start a puzzle. Board games can also be a fun way to spend an evening at home. We have a really nice Scrabble board which will take up residence on our large square coffee table soon. Pull out a few games or set out a deck of cards.
Coffee/tea/hot cocoa station
Fall is the perfect time to set up a hot drink station in your kitchen. We have our coffee grinder and electric tea kettle, plus containers for tea and coffee set up year round. However, as the temperatures dip I like to spruce it up a bit and add hot cocoa fixings (mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, peppermint sticks). I’m currently trying to find the right size cup hooks so I can hang some mugs from the upper cabinet over this area.
Here are some great ideas for setting up your own hot beverage station:
There is nothing quite so cozy as sleeping under a down comforter. Layer your bed with cozy linens and top with a fluffy down comforter.
Hearty soups on the menu
I love all the fresh summer produce and lighter meals but come autumn, hearty soups chock full of cool weather veggies really hit the spot. A big pot of soup simmering on the stove is such a warm and homey touch.
Bake bread or cookies
It’s a well-known realtor tip for home sellers to bake bread or cookies just prior to a showing. Nothing says “home” quite like the yeasty smell of fresh baked bread or the sweet aroma of cookies just out of the oven. Here are a couple of my recipes:
Cold and rainy weather can be very uncomfortable but proper outdoor gear can help. One of the things that made a huge difference for me was investing in a really good pair of rain boots. I bought them a size too big so I can step into them easily. I keep them by the door so I can slip them on when I take Shiloh for walks. I have this waterproof tray to put boots in:
I also finally bought a freestanding coat rack a couple of years ago. We don’t have a coat closet so there was no handy place to hang coats or sweaters. In addition to coats, I keep a couple of sweaters on it during cool weather – a lightweight one in case I’m a little chilly in the house and a thick warm one for quick trips outdoors when it’s not quite cold enough for a coat. I also hang my purse there, as well as a couple of hats and scarves.
I looked for ages for an umbrella stand and finally found this one:
It’s perfect for holding several umbrellas, Shiloh’s leash and a flashlight for walking him after dark.
I have a thing for the traditional English country home entry hall with its row of Wellies and an umbrella stand full of umbrellas and walking sticks. To me it is the ultimate warm and cozy look.
Music isn’t just for certain seasons, obviously. However, it’s one more way to add to a homey ambience. I often play music while cooking dinner. David and I also love to spend an evening in our library playing albums.
Here is my LWD Ode to October Spotify playlist:
There is nothing quite like sitting by a fire on a cool evening. If you have a fire pit be sure to lay in a supply of firewood. We are surrounded by woods so we can just gather up some fallen branches. Pick up a bag or two of marshmallows for a fun treat. Add a box of graham crackers and some chocolate bars for s’mores!
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove you are well on your way to a cozy room. If you don’t cut your own wood make plans to order some soon. This is going on my list for next week! We don’t depend on wood to heat our home (unless we lose power during an ice storm) but there is nothing as cheerful as a roaring fire on a cold night.
Lighting can go a long way toward making a room cosy. If you only have overhead lighting consider adding a lamp or two to your main living areas. We have three lamps and several strands of twinkle lights in our family room. I love to turn off the overhead lighting and just use the lamps and twinkle lights in the evening while watching TV or for parties. It really gives the room a nice warm ambience.
Put some lights on timers
And speaking of lighting, here is an idea I plan to implement: Get a couple of timers and plug lamps into them. Set the timers to go on at dusk. I hate coming home to a totally dark house. When I’m home I make a point of making sure the porch light is on as well as a few lights in the front rooms of the house before David comes home. I think this just adds to that feeling of sanctuary when coming home after a long day.
For more tips, check out these links to my Fabulous Fall Series: