Here at Hygge & Cwtch Design Studio, we’re very much about enjoying the moment and living in the here and now. Embracing the seasons and aligning with nature to create a home connected to the world around us. So as we step into a new season, we think it’s a good time to share our five top tips for the transition into Autumn.
We believe the transitions between seasons is more than just aesthetic. It’s the transition we make in our mindset and our lifestyle, enabled and supported by the haven we create at home.
Designing for the senses is central to creating a home which can holistically enhance our wellbeing and enjoyment of a space. This is the approach that we take when transitioning into new seasons. By considering not only the look of a room but how it affects each of the five senses, and how we can practically make our house work for us throughout the year.
The clue is in the name. But in case you hadn’t guessed, we’re big on hygge. Pronounced “hoo-gah”, hygge is a Danish concept derived from the term ‘hugga’, meaning ‘to comfort or console’. It’s a concept which has really taken off in recent years along with the popularity of Scandinavian design, which lends itself nicely to the hygge aesthetic. It’s all about finding comfort in the small things, embracing the simple things in life and finding happiness in the moments that can be so easily overlooked.
While we champion the hygge lifestyle at all times of the year, it’s fair to say that it really comes into its own during the Autumn and Winter months. Lighting the fire when the temperature drops outside. Cosying up under a blanket with a book. Serving up warm homemade soup (we love these recipe ideas in Olive magazine). Those small, comforting moments somehow feel extra special when the world outside is a little less inviting.
So for the transition into Autumn, think hygge. Pull out the chunky blankets, create atmosphere with candles. Perhaps invest in some cookware that will make home-cooking a pleasure, not a chore. What are the simple things you can do in your home to make you feel peaceful, cosy and content?
We’ve talked about biophilic design many times on the blog. That inherent need we have as humans to connect to nature and other forms of life, and how we can nurture this in our homes to enhance our wellbeing. The Autumn season is the time to think creatively about how we can nurture that connection even when we perhaps don’t want to spend so much time outdoors.
Read up on hardy indoor plants that can withstand central heating and lower levels of natural light, and surround yourself with feel good foliage. Consider nature’s colour palette. Greens, oranges and chestnut browns reflect the colours outside and evoke feelings of calm and warmth, inviting you to hunker down and cosy up. Whether it be through cushions, artwork, throws and accessories, it’s a simple aesthetic change to make, inspired by nature.
When considering how we design for the senses, our sense of smell can be a powerful tool which is often overlooked. We’ve talked in more depth in our ‘Designing for the senses‘ post, but filling your home with the scent of the season is one of the simplest methods of moving your home, and your mindset, into the new season. Think of design-led options, such as Autumn-scented candles or diffusers. Or a lifestyle switch up in line with the seasons, such as more home cooking and baking, filling your home with the scents of warm bread, soup and good comfort food. A hit of a particular smell will have an instant impact the second you open the door, triggering those feel good hormones before you’ve even set foot in the house.
One of the simplest and most impactful changes we can make to our home during a seasonal transition, is through texture. Activating our visual and touch senses, a change of texture throughout the home can instantly transport us from Summer to Autumn. Swap the light linens and breezy cotton fabrics for heavier, warmer materials. Chunky knits, faux fur and sherpas are all ideal fabrics for cosy throws and blankets. The natural fibres and composition of these textures alone can provide visual interest, however layering colours, patterns and textures can really elevate a look and creates a real feast for the eyes.
Texture can be a key player in continuing the connection to nature throughout the seasons. While a firepit or chiminea may be an investment, don’t underestimate the simple joy in cocooning yourself in a knitted blanket or a faux fur throw, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors for just a little longer as the temperature drops. Think of the soft furnishings in your home like your wardrobe – it doesn’t have to be a costly outlay each year. Add to your collection as you find pieces you truly love (we have a thing for Welsh Otter’s lambswool throws), then pack away the Summer textures to make way for the Winter textures, and vice versa.
Lighting is a key element of any interior design scheme. Usually considered in terms of ambient, task or accent lighting, especially in current times it’s important to consider what lighting you need in each category to have maximum impact with minimal effort or power. Take a more strategic approach to lighting for the transition into Autumn – really thinking about how you use each part of the space and light the room in a way that is most practical.
Ambient lighting is considered the most general type of lighting, when a room needs to be lit almost in it’s entirety. Enter ceiling lights and spotlights.
Task lighting is the light required to enable you to do specific tasks. Do you have a favourite reading or working spot? A place to cosy up in the colder seasons and get a job done, whether it be for enjoyment or work? A well placed lamp, shining sufficient light solely on that one spot can be all you need, rather than a room full of light.
Accent lighting is about creating atmosphere. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you see your home from the outside, with the lights on inside, and it looks so inviting that you just can’t wait to get in there. The transition into Autumn is the perfect time to consider mood lighting, setting the scene for cosy nights in and embracing the hygge lifestyle.
For more hygge and Autumn transition inspiration, check out our Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Get in touch if you’d like to talk about working with Hygge and Cwtch Design Studio to create a feel-good home for all seasons.
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