Monday, 7 November 2016

Autumn Days...Fall, Leaves, Fall!

Admittedly, it could be something to do with the fact that my birthday falls at the start of Autumn, (or perhaps it's the fact that Autumn for me signifies the start of baking season...which means CAKE! ) but it has always been my favourite time of the year.  Who can resist the beautiful russet colours twinkling in the golden Autumn sunlight...

The feel of fallen leaves crunching beneath ones feet on a leisurely walk, and the aromatic smell of logs crackling on an open fire, or perhaps it's the fizzing and sparking of a bonfire that inspires feelings of warmth and cosiness for you at this time of the year?

I mentioned how I enjoyed changing elements of my home decor to suit the seasons in my previous post, but I must admit that I also relish the moment when I can get cosy in a cardigan and a scarf. It's not that I enjoy the cold exactly, but when I am outdoors,  I do love that cocooning feeling of getting cosy whilst being enveloped in luxuriously soft and natural fabrics.  I'm not alone in that thought either - have you ever heard the following Marilyn Monroe quote?
"Designers want me to dress like Spring; In billowing things.  I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm, red Autumn."
Well, Marilyn - I totally agree.  I'm not a billowy person either - give me cashmere, tweed, a corduroy trouser and the softest of wool in earthy Autumnal tones any day!

Like Marilyn, my love of Autumn stems from a delight in the amazing earthy colours - at no other time of the year am I so drawn to the colours orange and red!  Nature loves to put on a good show, and even the sunlight joins in to cast a magically enhancing golden glow on everything it touches.   I suspect that Coco enjoys how flattering this seasons natural backdrop is against her conker brown coat too...

Autumn is an eclectic month that can jump from sunshine to mist and from warmth to frost overnight, and so, in keeping with the spirit of Autumnal eclecticism, I'll leave you with a 'jump' from Marilyn Monroe to Emily Bronte's vision of Autumn...  Emily was born just a few years before Hill House was built, and I like to think that the leaves would have fallen around the house in exactly the same way had she visited back then.  Unlikely bedfellows they may be, sexy Marilyn and melancholic Emily, (although we now know that Marilyn was sometimes melancholic - and who knows - perhaps Emily was secretly sexy during her time..!) - but isn't that part of Autumn's changeable beauty, and how differently we perceive the stunning charms of this golden season?

Fall, Leaves, Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the Autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;

Emily Bronte (1818 - 1849)

Until next time,


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Styling For The Seasons...Autumn!

When I was growing up, our house was decorated shortly after we moved in, and that was that for the duration of our time there.  My mother certainly considered herself interested in interiors, in fact she regularly bought House and Gardens and Country Life magazines, in order to drool over the houses - a habit that I obviously inherited. However, once a decorating style had been decided upon, that was that for at least the next 10 years.

The only exception to that rule was at Christmas time, when we put up the tree and went to town on decorations such as large paper bells, brightly coloured tinsel and peculiarly shaped balloons.  My mother was also quite partial to any interesting and new kitchen gadgets ... (My mother does love a kitchen gadget - even if it remains untouched in a drawer, shelf or cupboard shorty after being release from it's box) and thus items such as a shiny new food processor fulfilled her need for any household change throughout the year.

The idea of changing or enhancing the decor to suit the seasons (apart from 2 weeks at Christmas) was absolutely unheard of in our household.  In those days Halloween decorations meant making a paper spiders webb to stick on the window at school, and perhaps a rubber snake shoved through my bedroom door to make me scream on waking...yes - I do indeed have an older brother!

Cut to 2016, and you have my mother quietly bewildered at the amount of pumpkins littered about the house and termed as 'decorations' rather than ingredients for soup...

She also wonders why I choose to intentionally revisit the blackout periods of 1970's London by filling the house with candles.  I tell her that these are " Decorative" or "Scented" candles - and therefore "Cosy" and "Atmospheric!"  She replies, "Yes, but you have 'Light Switches' - and they work perfectly well all year round Dear...".

Fuelled in part to the many wonderful American bloggers and instagrammers who style their houses so beautifully, and inspire my desire to have a home that embraces and reflects the changing seasons, I have certainly made up for lost time since my childhood.  Styling my home to suit the seasons has become something that I delight in doing, and enjoy with the same gusto as a child plays with a dolls house.

As well as  Christmas and Easter, Autumn has to be one of the most fun periods of the year for getting into the seasons spirit, and it shows in the choice of colour tones used in the flower selections, cushions and yes, even the choice of vegetables as table decorations!  The best things is that it doesn't necessarily mean having to spend an arm and a leg changing curtains and furniture - unless one wants to of course!  Cushions, throws, flowers, candles and other accessories go a long way in changing the ambience of a room to suit the seasons, and can be changed as quickly as does the English weather...

And I really don't mind if we have to eat pumpkin soup for a fortnight to placate my mother - pretty can also be practical and even tasty!!

Until next time,

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