SEASONAL SWAPS Refresh your home throughout the year with small changes.
Refreshing your home through the year doesn’t have to mean painting or decorating, says Caroline Rowland – simple swaps can reflect the changes in nature
As our outside environment evolves and changes with each season, it provides us with a natural prompt to also adapt our interior spaces for the months ahead. Not only does it prepare our homes for the change in temperature, but a refresh of your surroundings also allows you to see things with fresh eyes and become rejuvenated simply by making a few small adjustments.
While it’s true that high street homeware brands update their ranges seasonally, spending lots of money to create a complete overhaul to your interior is not a path that you need to follow. Some simple swaps of existing items and a bit of a reshu e will be su cient to make your home feel fresh and new, ready for whatever our unpredictable weather systems throw at us.
“I love refreshing the look and feel of my home all the time,” says interior designer and stylist, Dee Campling (www.dee-campling.com). She does this by simply moving things around. “I call it shopping my home; using items I already have in di erent rooms for new purposes,” she explains. “For instance, I might take a co ee table and repurpose it as a bedside table or a lamp table in a sitting room.”
Consider where you spend most of your time during a particular season and focus your e orts on that area. Dee took the indoors outdoors during the summer months this year: “I styled our covered outdoor space with a leather sofa, rugs, cushions and a rustic crate as a co ee table. I used lots of jute and seagrass accessories for a beachy, summer feel.” When autumn arrives, those rugs and cushions can then be brought back indoors and layered up in the living room for a cosy look, plus the addition of some soft throws and sheepskins brings extra warmth and texture. Dee likes to create a cocoon of cosiness as the evenings draw in. “I dot candles and fairy lights everywhere for warm light, and I bring in logs and branches to remind us of the outdoors while we’re indoors over the winter,” she explains.
Scent is, of course, another aspect of how your home can feel di erent at various times of the year. During the warmer months, it may be fresh owers that bring in the breezy smells of summer – lilies, roses and sweet pea provide natural aromas, uplifting you as you walk past. But as the lighter days fade, along with the blooms, opting for warming scented candles, smudge sticks and incense will ll the ower void. There are lots of lovely candle brands out there, so do shop around, although we particularly love the range from Essence + Alchemy (www.essenceandalchemy.co.uk), whose candles are 100% natural and blended from sustainable rapeseed wax and essential oils.
Your surfaces don’t need to go owerless all winter either, as you can switch up fresh for dried. Certain owers are just as stunning in this form –
hydrangeas, phalaris, poppy seed heads and even artichokes are all great examples. Dry your own by hanging blooms in a dark, dry cupboard for a few weeks, or take a look online for unusual varieties.
Colour is another way of giving your home a new lease of life in tune with the seasons. But this doesn’t mean you must start trawling the DIY store aisles for a new shade for the walls or spending your Saturdays stripping wallpaper. “We have a busy family life, so don’t have a lot of time to redecorate our rooms or change the colour of the walls,” says Kelly Gri n, owner of children’s lifestyle store La La Loves Décor (www.lalalovesdecor.com). “Instead, I like to regularly swap around décor such as pictures, cushions and throws to keep it fresh and to re ect the season.” She nds inspiration in nature: “In the autumn, I’m drawn to the beautiful shades seen outdoors, such as gold, mustard and rust. I add dried owers, wreaths or painted leaves to create that autumnal feel indoors,” she explains.
Kelly’s seasonal changes are also based in practical adaptations too; she layers up her bed at this time of year with more textiles for warmth – an earthy-coloured throw and extra cushions. This gives her the opportunity to tone in other bedroom décor to match; a coordinating wall hanging at the head of the bed and sprigs of eucalyptus placed at the bedside. As spring rolls around, she strips the bed back, adding linen in lighter colours, and the wall hanging is replaced with fresh artwork or even owers taped to the wall.
Altering our interior spaces in line with the seasons is not only a chance to make your home look and feel fresh, but introducing nature indoors can also bene t our bodies and minds. “An immersion in nature is not solely spending time outside,” says wellbeing coach Gemma David of The Quiet Heart (www. quietheart.co.uk). Living with the seasons is at the core of her work, having found that it can not only improve our mental health, but also lower blood pressure, improve concentration and decrease fatigue. “Observing even a houseplant, or anything that connects you with an element of the season, will positively impact your entire human body,” she explains. “Simply looking at an object of nature and taking a few slow deep breaths will instantly lower the stress levels in your body and will help you to feel good.”
Foraging for natural nds to decorate with also means getting out in the fresh air and either enjoying some me-time by yourself or quality time with loved ones. “Sometimes my daughter and I will make mobiles – hanging foraged feathers, leaves and sticks from big branches. Stones gathered from my travels around the UK are also scattered around our house and garden, and we often make patterns or spirals with our favourite ones,” Gemma tells us. This natural creativity has become a seasonal ritual for her: “Throughout the year, I create wreaths to hang around the house, and in autumn we love collecting pine cones, acorns, chestnuts and di erent coloured leaves.”
Whichever season you feel most akin with, we are so lucky to be able to watch the ebb and ow of the natural world. Relish each change and see it as a chance to replenish yourself and your environment. Let your indoor and outdoor spaces connect and you’ll nd more enjoyment and beauty in the slow passing of time.