Into Autumn

It’s that time of year. The leaves are beginning to bronze, woodsmoke is in the air and the birds are taking flight. Summer says it’s farewell and makes way for the mist wrapped days of autumn. Stepping out of the door on Monday morning we find ourselves darting back inside to dig out our favourite scarf and pull on that woollier pair of socks. Change is definitely in the air and it’s carrying a bit of a chill!

But it’s not just outside that change is afoot — it’s in our homes too. It’s the end of warmer days and balmy nights when home was a place to celebrate the outdoors; a base for the adventures of summer. No longer are our windows open to the fresh air and rooms flooded with sunlight – the shorter days are drawing in and home really is where the heart is. It’s time to celebrate the great indoors...

Outside a squirrel is busy attacking a half eaten nut and it reminds me that I’ve been doing some foraging of my own. Like a dormouse readying itself for hibernation I’ve been hunting and gathering for my own little nest. For me the best autumn interiors are a warm embrace, a welcoming hug and an eclectic celebration of the people who live there. And what better way to make your home yours than to follow your heart? Trust your gut and let your intuition guide you to the pieces which make your house a home. I love finding things in the most unlikely places and bringing them together to create a space full of character with a life of it’s own. I tend to embrace a little clutter at his time of year, surrounding myself with the things that make me smile.

Stepping out for my morning walk I feel leaves and frost crunch underfoot as bending down I nostalgically crack open the prickly green coat of a fallen chestnut to reveal the silky smooth nut beneath. There’s a satisfaction to inviting this myriad of textures indoors that I can't resist; embracing the individuality of natural fabrics. From floral highlights to the satisfying creak of wicker furniture or the rustic, raw surface of a clay pot. It's grounding and reassuring to find a place for the natural world in my home especially when it can begin to feel all the more distant at this time of year. 

Just as the trees and skyline transform outside the window our own little interior landscape is about to undergo its own metamorphosis. As the cold draws in our homes become a sanctuary; a refuge from the bustle of the working year – and as the views outside become grey and drizzly, art feels more essential to me than ever. Drawing the curtains I turn from the window to the canvas; art becoming my new view when I’d rather not gaze on the monochrome street outside.

This is the time when the mantle piece really takes centre stage. As autumn creeps in the hearth becomes the heart of my home, a place for family to gather, relaxing nights in and celebrating the festive season with a bowl of chestnuts. It’s about now that year after year I find myself turning thoughtfully to the space above the mantle...this is the beginning of my home’s metamorphosis…The question of which piece will take this spot at the home’s heart is one I’m still deciding on. There’s a poignancy to autumn, the twilight months of the year, a time of cold and comfort and I’m drawn towards a piece which embraces this duality, making room for the dark with the light. I’m torn between two artists who capture this contrast in all of it’s beauty. The muddy shades of Pasmore’s works and the smoldering glow of Soulages' fiery blacks and reds evoke the harsher side of the season, the earthy richness of decay that leads to rebirth.


Pierre Soulages 1959, Victor Pasmore 1972

Though the winter months can often feel like an ending; a slow wind down to the start of the new year, I find a sense of fresh beginning in my home. Above all for me Autumn is a time for change, of transformation and reinvention – and while the leaves are fusing from green to orange I see no reason why my home should stay still! For me it’s an opportunity to join the natural world in one big celebration of change; of adapting – not just weathering the colder days but creating a space to thrive – enjoying all my home has to offer before we’re back outside for those first sunny days of spring!