Thursday, 23 October 2014

Designing an Autumn room

Autumn clothing means lots of layers and different textures - tweeds, tartans, knitwear and shearling. Warm, comforting fabrics in deep colours, rich reds and extravagant purples. My seasonal clothing changes also encourage me to update my home too, from switching to cosy accessories or even looking to a complete make over. Just like the different layers of clothing, I like to use a variety of fabrics to furnish and accessorise a room. 

This autumn, I am going to update my bedroom for it is long overdue and this time of year there are some wonderful ideas in the shops and online for me to create my perfect autumnal look. 

Animal inspired items such as cushions and bedding give a woodland feel and bring the outdoors in. A childhood filled with stories of cheeky squirrels and sneaky foxes lets me indulge in bringing these playful woodland pieces into my home - deer prints, fox cushions and owl ornaments. 

I need a complete new wooden bedroom furniture suite and would like a wardrobe with a classic Scandinavian feel and an elegant dressing table to store my cosmetics in. I've been looking at this furniture guide to help me choose the most suitable ones for my room, and by keeping the furniture neutral I can really go to town on the accessories to create a soft and pretty look - one that can be easily changed.

A bed with layers of different textures gives a super warm feel with throws in rich oranges or cool blues as a contrast. Just as I love to layer my clothing, I do exactly the same with my bed. Faux fur throws have long been a favourite of mine, so snuggly and a plaid blanket always looks so classy and autumnal. The bedroom needs to be a place I would escape to during the daytime too for a read of a book on a cold autumn or winter's day. Knitted cushions in such a variety of colours mixed with some fun animal cushions gives an eclectic feel which is what I love. 

Scented candles are always welcome in my bedroom, this autumn I am loving spiced pumpkin and then cinnamon as we enter winter. A beautiful flickering light gives a tranquil feel and I would like to buy some cute lanterns to pop a tealight into - aren't tealights just the best thing! I've added them to jam jars in the past as a quick decorative addition to a room, especially effective to have a few in a row.

Display items on a small shelf or on top of the mantlepiece of the Victorian fireplace in my bedroom allow me to change the seasonal feel of the room. I have seen some coloured glass vases and bowls that could add collected treasures too such as the conkers we have found on Sunday afternoon country walks. A posy of warm hued autumn flowers lifts a room too, - thistles, russett coloured Chrysanthemums and berries, hand tied with string. It's the small details I love that give a rustic feel.

My bedroom can feel quite gloomy at times but a mix of lighting around the room will help with the ambiance so combining a ceiling light with table lamps gives different options. I've got my table lamp already sorted, my owl lamp that fits in well with the woodland feel that I adore. Combined with the candles and the lanterns I will have my ideal den to escape to. 

For a warmer decor, I'd like to experiment this year and add a featured wall of patterned wallpaper - feather prints, trees, textured autumnal tones, a scheme that will compliment the rest of the room and draw it all together. Then I will be hiding away here with my books, a cup of tea and my laptop every evening feeling the hibernation vibe whilst it is chilly outside.

This post is in collaboration with Argos

Picture credits:
Cat and woolly layers, Red lantern, Cosy lady - Shutterstock

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Autumn tidying at the allotment

running through the allotmentThe allotment is now a weekend visit, no more evening trips as the night is ever drawing in earlier and earlier. No more evenings sat on the tool trunk listening to the blackbirds or nodding heads at fellow allotment holders digging across the raspberries and bean poles. No more gazing at the hot air balloon that puffed its way across the allotment sky and gave rise to the most ridiculous chase across town to see where it landed..... hot air balloon at dusk autumn raspberriesWeekends can be a rush. After the autism club, the family visits, the shopping and the household work, there is barely enough time to visit the allotment. Plus the thought of all the digging over and moving bag upon bag of weeds to the council tip does not enthuse us. The lack of produce on the plot is a disappointment, no promise of beans or pumpkin patches to send me rushing there - we need to pull our allotment socks up next year. tap But still, we go and we dig and there is pleasure to be taken from looking at what our more prepared plot neighbours have grown and tended to; the huge orange Cinderella pumpkins and flourishing runner beans and I know that next year will be our year. DB is keen now to clear the plot and start the fixing jobs - the vine arch that is in a heap, building raised beds and sorting the shed out. This winter I am going to plan. No more growing crops I do not like and lots more heritage vegetables with their different colours and characterful appearance. Hopefully next year there will also be a pumpkin patch full of wonderful varieties - squashes such as Turks Turban and the blue skinned Crown Prince.  autumn allotment BlackberriesDespite our apathy, this feeling has not transferred to Little Bird whose excitement starts as soon as we turn by the town church and cross over the humped back railway bridge. Little legs kick with excitement into the back of my car seat and when we pull up, shiny navy Wellington boots jump out and away down the grassy paths. He's still feeling the joy with the blackbird, both chirping in their own fashion and bobbing along past nettles and clumps of nasturtiums. beans growing allotment town boundaries
The allotment is a good reminder of how far LB has come and how much he has grown. Not a toddler now but a boy who can manage to have fun here and not run off too much, to listen and come back when we call and not stray off onto other plots. I am filled with hope; he will tend to his own little patch and dig with a little trowel, lug a watering can across the plot and learn about the soil and the creatures that inhabit it. I will be his teacher.growing tomatoes blackberries sweet peas We secretly had an admiring look around the other allotment plots, the tidy ones with people still there busying away and lots of the ground still full of crops like beans and autumn fruiting raspberries, even sweet peas merrily climbing metal poles. Bountiful harvest gifts. Perfect and pretty, hard to believe that it is autumn as the sun shone.large pumpkin Pumpkins found nestling under weeds and vines led to triumphant shouts from me - 'come see, come see'  These curious fruits, the smell so divine. Some smooth, some warty. I found one on my own plot, I'd thought it was going to be a summer squash but the skin had slowly turned from green to orange and there he sat. Beaming, waiting to be picked.
Pie, syrup, juice, curry, cheesecake, roasted, spiced, blended into soup. Endless possibilities for the best allotment treasure you can find. 
allotment exploring


Friday, 17 October 2014

A gentle autumn weekend

old house A sunny autumn Sunday afternoon, driving around Cheshire admiring the colours of the trees and the blue sky. Pleasantly warm for this time of year. We took a trip to the farm shop, bought a few gourds and a pumpkin, gazed at cheeses in the deli and even had a look around the Christmas shop. Squeal! I know that Halloween should be well out of the way before indulging in fir trees, foil wrapped chocolates and gleaming baubles but I just could not resist. Little Bird was so good in such a crowded shop too so I felt full of happiness. A big achievement for my easily overwhelmed boy. I really want to snap a few pictures of the Christmas shop but didn't quite have the nerve too - it was so beautiful.

I saw a gorgeous old house for sale. Quirky entrance to it. One that begs to be loved and decorated. Adorned with pumpkins in October and holly in December. This is pretty much my ideal house except for the location. Busy crossroads and an animal feed works behind it. But the house. The house is my dream.
Victorian house corrugated iron building with cow autumn illustration shutterstockWe stopped off at the town park. Strolled to see the chickens with feathers that match the autumn trees and collected lichen covered twigs for kindling. I love gathering nature up. Pinecones to make firelighters, logs to dry ready for the woodburner - such a satisfying task. 

Isn't the light at this time of year is so mellow and buttery, perfect photography light. collecting kindling autumn finds
It was then time for apple pie at home. Made by DB with Bramley apples, a touch of lemon zest and cinnamon We still have a huge bag of apples to get through so next weekend crumble will be on the menu and maybe some other treats that are on my Pinterest sweet things board  Too many nice things tempting me and I really need to diet.  How on earth food bloggers stay slim I just do not autumn afternoon in the park

autumn illustration shutterstock

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn room styling

Owl lamp from Litecraft autumn
Litecraft owl table lamp
I love bringing autumn into the home. Such beautiful items like acorns, conkers and pine cones. Earthy colours and textures that make some good contrasts. I collect items and arrange them on the mantelpiece. This autumn, after our recent trip to Wales I have added seashells and pebbles into the mix too. So autumn is all about bringing nature indoors and the woodland theme is an interiors look I adore. Fox prints, deer, pine trees and of course owls. Featuring in my autumn woodland living room this year is a super white owl lamp from Litecraft
Autumn mantle dressing autumn mantle decorating with nature Mr Owl is sat on my little book nook area, looking very wise and brightening up a dark corner usually inhabited by spiders. He is a great addition to the ambiance of a room and it's very calming in the evening by the light of a table lamp and the fire glowing rather than a main ceiling light. Litecraft do all sorts of cute table lamps from simplistic contemporary styles to glamorous glass lamps. The owl lamp is a very good quality white ceramic, very sturdy with a white shade and well who cannot love an owl, especially this handsome fella. I think it would look equally great in a bedroom too and indeed that is where he may end up when I redo mine before Christmas.

Litecraft are based in my home city of Manchester and they sell a large range of lights for all rooms at a prices to suit all budgets. They also sell lights for the garden, bulbs, lighting accessories, curtains and bedding, making it a very handy website. It is free delivery on order as well as having several stores across the country.

I love changing the room each season. Do you do the same? 

book nook with lamp chestnuts**We were sent an owl table lamp for the purpose of the review. Words are my own honest opinion**