The Cosiest Time of the Year…
I didn’t always love autumn.
There was a time in my life (many moons ago) when autumn used to be associated with many unpleasant things: start of the school year (hated it), rainy days (hated them too), mucky roads and paths (yuck!) and warm clothes (so not cool!). Little did I understand in life back then. It took me a few years of soul searching and a change of continents to realise how much I actually loved autumn and how much those yellow leaves rustling in the wind and the leaded sky of rainy days resonated with me. And of course, that there is nothing more beautiful in the entire world than the foggy mornings and blazing sunsets of October.
I could tell you all about my journey towards loving autumn (and all four seasons actually), making peace with all the negative associations I used to have with it and replacing them with good, but this is not the purpose of this blog. You may have your own thoughts on this account, you may love autumn or hate it, and I probably can’t change it. But there is no denial that at this time of year we all crave extra comfort and cosiness as the weather gets colder and duller. This is exactly why I decided to share my tips on how to make the autumn months the cosiest months you could easily fall in love with.
P.s. I meant to post this in the early days of October but that didn’t happen. You can sure apply all of these strategies now, and we still have November ahead of us.
How To Make Autumn Cosy?
Let’s begin with the Basics!
Autumn in Style
One thing that I have learned is that you should never underestimate the power of clothes! You can argue whether clothes are a bare necessity or a fashion statement, a manifesto of some sort – but they can totally make or break the mood. And when it comes to autumn you need clothes to create this cosy mood. It works in two ways:
- First, you create a wardrobe that is warm and comfortable for the colder months;
- Second, by choosing items that are associated with autumn you boost the autumn vibes. For clarification, I’m not talking about following the latest trends for Fall 2020. It’s more about the timeless pieces that you will love and enjoy for years to come (and chances are you already have them!)
Fun fact: you are probably more likely to get excited from pulling out a box of your favourite autumn pieces that you haven’t worn since last autumn than from buying something new purely for the purpose.
Knitwear is the best way to create a cosy feeling, especially when it’s really soft and warm, and possibly oversized. You have a wide variety of styles and thickness, you can go with something light on a warmer day, or something bulky and very warm on a colder day.
This another autumn classic, American Style. You can wear them buttoned up or unbuttoned on top of a camisole, tucked in or not, with skirts or jeans, turned into a dress and cinched with a belt. Choose flannelette for max comfort and cosiness.
Changing your beloved Converse or ballerina flats for any other pair of footwear can be difficult, but ankle boots are another classic, signature autumn look and make the change worthwhile. Flat, low, midi or high heel, classic, military or cowboy – play with different styles to see what suits and makes you most comfortable.
SCARVES AND WRAPS
Another way to transform any outfit into a cosy autumn one is by adding scarves and wraps. Scarves, ponchos and wraps can be used to style your outfit and create this really snug look. You have a wide array of fine knit and chunky knit pieces, patterned or monochrome, cotton, viscose or wool. I have a few scarves that I use to keep myself warm, but one of the best things I have ever bought was a 100% cotton checkered blanket. It’s not big enough to use as a proper blanket, but when folded it makes a perfect-size wrap that is very warm. I have been asked so many times what brand is my wrap and I just smile “It’s actually a blanket from TK Maxx…”
It is important that you feel both comfortable and yet presentable when you’re at home too. So the importance of autumn-y loungewear should not be underestimated. Again, you have flannelette as an option, as well as jersey, fleece, and many other beautiful, cosy fabrics.
Other items of clothing that can add to the cosy autumn vibe include but not limited to: blazers, leather jackets, coats, rain coats and trench coats, gloves, hats, knit leg warmers, etc. Depending on the weather and your personal style, you have an endless possibility of autumn looks that will put you in the mood for cosy autumn.
But before you go on a rampage and buy everything that’s trending this autumn, I want you to stop and think: maybe you already have some of these items but have forgotten about them? Maybe there is something that you could repurpose and wear in a different combination? To me, a big part of making the transition to autumn special is unpacking a box of my old jumpers and knitted dresses that have been tucked away for summer, and wear them again. And if you decide to buy something, is it possible to buy it pre-loved? Check out your local charity shops first.
Cosy Home Décor
Decorating your house for Autumn is a powerful tool when it comes to creating the autumn mood. There are several things to consider bringing into your home.
BLANKETS AND THROWS
It often gets colder at this time of the year and the best way to stay warm at home is by wrapping yourself in a cosy blanket. Plus, blankets and throws are a great way to add fall motives to your interior without much effort. Orange, mustard and brown colours, as well as beige, dark green and blue are all beautiful and cosy for autumn. You also have a choice of various textures, materials and from cotton to wool. It can be a fine weave, a luxurious quilt or a chunky knit. For the best results, try combining a few different textures and colours.
There are so many things that are associated with autumn! Have a look at the list and choose the ones that resonate with you (or add your own):
- Wreaths and Garlands made of autumn leaves (real or faux), pinecones, chestnuts or acorns.
- Table centre pieces with pumpkins, pinecones, leaves, acorns, etc.
- Scented candles: rich, heavy and woody scents such as amber wood, cedar wood, Oudh or sandal wood, spices. Nothing too fresh and flowery.
- Dried flowers: such as lavender, gypsophila, chrysanthemums, gomphrena; or Dried grass: dried wheat, oat, millet, Mexican feather grass, bunny tail grass, etc.
- Wall posters, photographs and paintings depicting autumn or autumnal quotes.
Dried flowers are a beautiful symbol of autumn – a reminder that things come to an end to give way to the new.
No, you do not have to repaint your walls or change your carpeting. But when it comes to bedding, decorative pillows and bed throws, choosing colours that are muted, or tuned down if you like, can help create a cosier look.
This is another thing to consider: the light. It gets dark sooner and sooner every day, yet the full light is too harsh for early evenings and even for late nights when your body starts winding down. Getting a few warm-light lamps and positioning them in different corners of the room, at different heights can help create multidimensional warm light and add to the mood. To boost it even further, try putting strings of fairy lights up or invest in a salt rock lamp. Finally, if you own a fireplace, light that fire!
Autumn Soul Food
Eating healthy and nourishing your body during the cold months does not need to be complicated. If in summer you may have your wide variety of fruit and veg that you can creatively chop into various salads, late autumn and winter tends to be slightly less varied. You have an abundance of root vegetables and fruits that are picked late summer or early autumn – like apples or grapes.
I always advocate for incorporating seasonal produce into your diet because it’s the most sensible, natural and environmentally-friendly thing to do. Luckily, during the cold months our bodies working a little extra to keep us protected from the cold and this is where all the starchy root veg comes in handy. We also crave some warmth and comfort, and root vegetables make excellent soups which are both nourishing for your body and comforting for your mind.
See below for some examples of soulful bowls of soup:
- The Perfect Pumpkin Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Chilli Oil
- Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
For more examples of hearty comfort foods I suggest you visit the Happy Pear (no affiliate here, just a friendly suggestion😉). And of course, if you want to learn more about eating in season, see my other post below:
This is where the most fun comes in!
There are certain things that can only be done in Autumn. There are also certain things that feel the best when done in Autumn. It was that special feeling that inspired me to create my first Autumn Bucket List back in 2017 (or maybe earlier?)
I am going to share here some of the activities, in a bucket list style, that feel the most special when done during the Autumn months. The rules are simple: choose an activity from the list, plan it and make a conscious effort to enjoy it – slowly. We are not racing for the ticks. The list is her to simply help and inspire to find experiences. You can create your own or stick to mine if it is your first time. Don’t forget to save the list to reuse in the future.
Even though I used to not see it before, autumn is so easy to love! I find I feel my best, calmest self during these months. It lets me slow down and reflect and decide what I need to let go of and what I want to keep. It brings me closer to nature too, every single year. I am convinced that you, too, can turn autumn into something cosy an enjoyable, despite the global pandemic all around. For what it’s worth, being locked inside most of the time allows for even more time to slow down and reflect. Use it wisely: it is probably a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.
You’re welcome to share your ideas of how to make autumn cosy in the comments below!