It’s at this time of year in the North East Highlands that you really feel the nights ‘drawing in’ as we say. Right now the sun rises at around quarter to eight in the morning (which isn’t too bad compared to the depths of winter) and the sun sets around quarter past 6 in the evening. Having the evenings significantly darken from dinner time really makes the days feel shorter and encourages the desire for added cosiness and warmth, even if it’s not that cold outside (for us, that is 😉)
Last year, I bought the book “Welcome Home” by Myquillyn Smith, (also known as “The Nester” online). I am a big fan of her work and philosophy on what makes a home cosy and inviting. At the time, I was keen to add a bit of seasonal variation to our home without adding extra clutter and things to manage. In Scotland, at least in my perception, it’s not really the done thing to decorate for the seasons year round as it seems to be across the Atlantic. Those cute “sweater weather” mugs can be appropriate at any time of year here!
Adding cosiness to our home
Anyway, I digress… As I said, I wanted to add a bit of seasonal variety without clutter. I have a hard time with decorative items as I feel I don’t have the knack for displaying them as attractively as others do, and since the house has been in renovation limbo for the past 6 years, I don’t want to commit to anything expensive. Myquillyn’s book is full of lovely ideas that can be achieved simply and suited to where you actually live.
To experiment with this idea, I bought two inexpensive faux-fluffy-fur-stuff cushion covers to cosy up the sofa. It immediately made the room feel a bit more cosy and autumnal without being stuck in a particular season. I also bought some lovely smelling reed diffusers from Essence of Harris (Horgabost is quite autumnal in my opinion). Don’t underestimate the power of scents in your home – I’m not one for fabric softeners and air fresheners but a good quality diffuser or candle really helps to create a lovely atmosphere.
This year, I haven’t bought any autumnal-ish diffusers yet but I have bought some lovely candles from Wick and Nook on Etsy. I chose the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Sticky Toffee Pudding scents and they are so nice, spicy, cosy and vanilla-ey. (Yes, I know it’s not a word 😉 )
Autumn Makes and Bakes
Bought is a word I don’t like using too often, so let’s get onto some autumnal things to make. The first thing that comes to mind in early autumn is homemade plum jam – I have a video on YouTube for my recipe for Plum and Strawberry Jam. Plum deserts have been less successful in this house though, I still haven’t found a recipe we all like. Bramble picking is another autumn favourite activity, they make a lovely jam and work well with apples for a crumble or cobbler. Definitely the perfect pudding for a cold autumn night, with plenty warm custard.
Making our home autumnal and cosy is still a work in progress here, much like everything else, but adding cosy textures, spicy, fruity scents and tasty deserts using fruit in season locally feels like autumn to me, as well as that indescribable, beautiful clear light you get on a lovely day.
On my to-do-wish-list is a crochet blanket in loosely autumnal colours to put on the sofa or snuggle up with on an evening. Not sure if that’ll happen this year thought to be honest, but it’s nice to dream of projects 🙂
What feels like autumn to you where you live? Do you like to decorate seasonally?