As winter approaches, it's time to snuggle down and make the most of being at home. Although it can be hard to motivate ourselves to make major interior changes as temperatures drop, there are plenty of little tweaks that will make a surprisingly big difference. So ring in the new season with these small but enticing changes.
Trade pillows. If pretty florals are starting to feel all wrong, embrace the new season with something fluffier. Most of us are happy to switch our wardrobes from summer to winter, so why not our home accessories too?
Try swapping your current pillows for cozier and more tactile ones in winter whites, oranges or browns to mirror the seasonal hues - and switch light cottons for sheepskin, velvet, wool and felt. The shaggy numbers here make a pair of compact armchairs feel much more inviting on longer evenings.
Lay a jewel-bright rug. Gray has its place, but there's nothing like a colorful rug to give a living room a warm, inviting feel, especially now that the seasons are turning. It will also keep chilly toes warmer on hard flooring. If you're worried about rugs slipping and sliding around on hard floors, use double-sided carpet tape to keep them in place. Alternatively, use felt, rubber or vinyl nonslip rug pads. You can often cut them to fit (though watch out for cheap pads that leave a sticky residue on floors).
Sprinkle some fairy dust. Fairy lights definitely aren't just for Christmas. They add a lovely twinkly feel to rooms, which is especially welcome now that we're heading into autumn and winter. Hang them on a window to add an extra warm glow on those dark, cold mornings or to cheer you up at the end of the day as the light fades. They also look lovely coiled in a fireplace, hung on a mirror or picture frame, or arranged across a closet door.
Mix in metallics. Coppery and golden tones were made for autumn. They add a touch of warm luxury but also seem to fit with the colors and low light of the season. You don't need to make a big change — one or two lampshades, a side lamp or a vase can make a huge difference to rooms. Copper tones also go beautifully with a neutral palette of grays, whites and beiges, which so many of us have in our rooms these days.
Display evergreen foliage. You don't need to spend a fortune on expensive bouquets to cheer up your rooms. Spring and summer flowers such as daffodils and tulips may be behind us now, but you can celebrate the change of seasons with evergreen foliage or even a display of autumnal leaves.
Pop branches, cuttings and sprigs of autumn berries in tall, colorful vases to add natural beauty to the dining table. Head to your garden for ideas, but be careful not to collect poisonous berries if you have young children or pets.
Illuminate kitchen cabinets. Undercabinet lighting makes kitchens look more appealing at night, as it creates soft pools of illumination. It's also practical for cooking and prepping, especially in gloomy corners, when natural light is at a (inevitable as the seasons turn).
No need to despair if you don't want the fuss and expense of getting lights wired in. Instead, look for simple stick-on, battery-operated lighting that can be secured in place using sticky tabs and operated at the switch of a button. Puck lights are compact and often feature energy-saving LED bulbs.
Try a wall light. Similarly, if you like the practicality of wired-in bedside or office lights but your walls are already plastered and painted, then try this trick: an angled plug-in light that has the look of a wired-in number. With visible wires being very on-trend, this can easily be styled as part of your interior design.
Glam up your grout. If your grout is in need of a quick cleanup (and let's face it, whose isn't?), consider a grout pen. This nifty device can tidy up grubby grout in a flash. Although it may not be a long-term solution, or look quite as good as replacing it properly, it can tide you over, covering up stained and cracked patches.
Simply choose the color that matches your grout — or, if you want a change, choose another color and draw over the top. Most are antibacterial too, so they should help keep mold from sprouting.
Light a candle or two. Whether you refer to it as hygge or something else, there's no doubt that, as the evenings start to draw in, we're more likely to light a candle and hunker down, maybe with a mug of cocoa or something a little stronger.
If you already have an assortment of tea light holders and candlesticks stashed in your drawers and cabinets, why not turn them into a flickering display on a low shelf or table? Just always be safe and never leave open flames unattended. Ordinary glass bottles and jars can also work well if you don't have anything else at hand.
Add a bright blanket. Now that it's cold outside, it's time to take out your blankets. But don't view these just as functional accessories — they can be part of your design and give tired bedrooms a seasonal refresh.
Go outside your comfort zone and choose something with a bold design or shade to change the feel of your room. Replace summer pastels with rich colors that add a mellow autumnal atmosphere, for instance. This cozy mustard number ties in with the pillows and brings the neutral bedroom to life.