10 Tips on Decorating for Autumn

Image from http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/advice
Image from http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/advice

We’re officially into Autumn now, and so far it’s lovely. The temperature here in the UK hasn’t really dropped, but there’s a cooler breeze in the air, and the leaves are crunching underfoot. It’s a real ‘change of season’ vibe out and about, and so it only makes sense to have a change of season with your décor, right?

I’ve always been a big fan of neutrals for big items at home. Your sofa, curtains, rugs etc. It might not work for everyone, but if you’re someone who likes to decorate for the seasons, then neutrals in your big pieces is the way to go.  That way you can swap out summer linens for winter knits, bright and breezy blues for rusts and reds. Here are my top ten tips to up the Autumn in your home:

1. What colour instantly comes to mind when you think of Autumn? For most of us, it’s orange. Add a little September into your interiors with pops of colour, be it in the form of a new piece of artwork, a vase or two, or your soft furnishings.

2. Swap out your cushions. This has to be the quickest and easiest way to get some colour in, and change things up. Deep pumpkin orange is the perfect shade, and works beautifully if your neutrals are more beige-y warm tones. If you’re more of a cooler, grey or white neutral fan, then bright orange-orange is a fantastic match. And don’t be afraid to have fun with prints. One or two token ‘seasonal’ items such as pumpkin prints and plaids can really set the mood.

3. You shouldn’t stop at colour either. Texture is a big scene setter in décor. By switching out linens and cottons for knits and flannel, just in the same way you will with your wardrobe is really going to give that cozy feeling. I know I compare clothing and home interiors a lot, but it’s because it sets the right mood. If you love throwing on cable knit sweaters come this time of year, then you will also love snuggling up to a cable knit throw on your sofa.

4. Pumpkins. Of course. Be they real (lovely for table decorations, especially the tiny little mini ones) or not, there’s a huge selection out there. You don’t have to stop at pumpkins either, there are lots of fantastic, pretty gourds out there, that make wonderful decorations and just shout out that Autumn has arrived. And you can always go down the ceramic / wooden route and have décor items that you can bring out year after year.

5. Plaid is a very Autumnal pattern, don’t you think? If I think of a soft, warm flannel shirt, I’m thinking of this time of year. I’d love a rocking chair, and there’s just something about the image of a plaid blanket over a rocking chair that just screams cozy. And makes me think of warm mulled toddys. Ahhh.

6. DIY art work is also a great way to add some seasonal trend to your home. Whether you prefer to paint, outline, or decoupage, framing up a piece of your own art is a creative and affordable way to dress your home for the season. Think of woodland animals like foxes and squirrels, or pine cones and mushrooms for some great ideas.

7. Pimp your dining table. Yes, I really did just use that phrase. But adding checked napkins, cute acorn napkin rings, and fabulous fruit and floral centerpieces will bring a whole lot of warmth and season to the table, so much so, you probably won’t need anything else Autumnal in the dining room.

8. Adding natural elements will also bring the outdoors in. As I already mentioned with the pumpkins, what better way to celebrate this time of harvest than with a few natural items. But you can also switch out your floral displays for tall, twiggy branches, and add another twist of the outdoors.

9. A wreath is also a great idea. Be it on your front door, or inside, there are so many to choose from these days and countless tutorials online to make your own. In the UK, it’s very common to see wreaths at Christmas, but not so much in Autumn, which is such a shame, as with vibrant orange and gold accents, acorns and pinecones aplenty, they can be so damn pretty!

10. Last, but definitely not least, you want your home to smell like Autumn. If you don’t have time to bake pumpkin pie all day every day, grab yourself one of the hundreds of cozy, autumn scented candles out there. Almost every brand releases them this time of year, and you have such a huge selection to choose from. Whether you’re a typical spiced pumpkin fan, a creamy sugary spiced cookie person, Autumn leaves, cozy cashmere, brisk autumn air, spiced cider, whatever takes your fancy – there is an Autumn candle out there. Don’t think they’re all gourmand scents, there’s the fresh, and cozy scents as well.

So enjoy decorating your home and set the scene so that your indoors is resembling the outdoors. I’d love to know whether you like wreaths for Autumn wherever in the world you are, and also what your favorite Fall candle is, so please comment down below and let me know!

For now, with love,
Ellen

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Air Wick Essential Oils Infusion Candle Review

Hello Autumn! It’s officially the first day of Autumn today in the UK, and I’m so ready for it! I love changing seasons, and I’ve already walked through crunchy crisp leaves, reached for scarves, and dipped into more autumnal scents with my candles.

I do occasionally check out the candles alongside the air fresheners in the cleaning aisles at the supermarket. I usually get tempted by the Wintery, especially Christmas fragrances (I can’t resist anything that has ‘mulled’ on it, especially the wine!) but they can be very hit and miss.

While some smell gorgeous on cold sniff, they have absolutely no throw when lit, and others just burn terribly. Sometimes, they have the combination of the two, and I ask myself why I purchased this type of candle again.

Well, I needed dishwashing sponges, so I found myself down the cleaning product aisle, and that’s when I noticed this Air Wick Essential Oils Infusion candle. It was on offer, £2 down from £3, and looked to be a good size, so I thought I’d try it out.

I bought the scent ‘Purple Blackberry Spice’ which sounds like the perfect September candle, an introduction to Autumn without being full on pumpkin pie just yet! The description said notes of blackberry and fig, although the pictures show blackberries and plums, so obviously some miscommunication there, but it was a very Autumnal fruit and berry scent, with the very light hint of spice bringing a little warmth, and Dear Fiancé liked it too on cold sniff, so that’s always a bonus.

Out of the box, it’s a pretty frosted glass tumbler, which would be ideal as a votive / sampler holder, though then made me realise the candle was probably smaller than I had first thought. I’ve since thrown the box away, though I don’t recall it mentioning a burn time. I got less than 15 hours from it. But again, for the price, I can’t complain in that respect.

To begin with, I was really impressed with the scent throw. Without being lit, it had a very good fragrance that scented the room anyway, and once lit, this was just amplified. However, it was such a soft wax, I think it hampered it’s burn. I burned it for a good four hours the first time, which for a small candle is more than enough, but I wanted it to burn nice and evenly, and it wasn’t doing too bad. But despite a wick trim, on the second burn it still tunneled enough, that I decided to scoop away the excess wax once it was cooled. I popped this in the top of one of my wax melters, assuming the candle would continue to burn poorly now, and I’d be able to enjoy the last of it as a melt.

However, surprisingly, the last bit burned quite well, nice and even, and pooled right to the sides. On the downside, at the stage the scent had vanished. Literally, poof! Gone! I can detect a strong fragrance still from the cold wax I’d scooped out that’s sat in the open air of my tart warmer, whilst the actually candle had just stopped smelling. Very strange.

Still, now it’s almost done – I think I’ll just remove the wax rather than burn it – I’m left with a decent votive holder, which considering I only paid £2 for the candle isn’t a bad deal.

Would I recommend it? If you like the scent, give it a go. It’s pleasant enough. Fruity and autumnal. Likewise, if you think you’d reuse the holder afterwards, definitely worth the small price. However, I wouldn’t rush out for it, and personally, I wouldn’t re-purchase it. I WOULD however, buy this brand again in future, so I’ll keep a look out for other scents over the coming months.

Do you ever purchase this type of branded candle? Any recommendations of ones to buy or ones to avoid? If so, please comment below and let us know!

For now, with love,
Ellen

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One Box Challenge 2016 – Declutter With Me

Hopefully, you read my One Box Challenge 2016 – Jewellery Declutter post from a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned Rachel from Sweet and Simple Home, and her One Box Challenge. The motivation behind a group challenge like this is great, as is seeing other people’s videos on YouTube, and pictures on Instagram.
If you don’t follow me on Instagram yet, you should – I already gave everyone a sneak peak of what was in my box.

Well, I finally decluttered the whole room, and also added the couple of bits I already had in my ‘donate box’.

If you don’t have a dedicated box/bag/space for charity/thrift donations, I definitely suggest it. It makes decluttering so much quicker and rewarding. I find it especially useful for clothing, but it works for everything. If I come across clothing that no longer fits or I don’t like, it goes in the box. Once it’s full, or when I do a big declutter like this day, I already have a good headstart to motivate me to declutter more.

There are six large charity bags in total, some clothing, shoes, bags etc. One large, heavy bag is just crafting materials I know I’ll no longer use. And another is home type stuff, hence the picture. To keep this a “one box” challenge picture, and with this being my home-based blog, I thought I’d show you the contents of that particular box. Or bag, as it has ended up.

There’s a huge floor pillow/bean bag. Some dinner placemats. A plastic basket. A floral table runner. Some small plastic baskets. A large green mat from Ikea. Some battery powered dragonfly lights. Candle holders. A jewellery box. Some artificial flowers I no longer care for. Tea light holders, a phone cable, wooden drinks coasters, decorative pebbles, a table centrepiece mat, a small key or bag hanger, some photo frames with felt inserts I made from my craft fair days, and a sequinned bottle bag.

The reason there’s so much random ‘around-the-house’ stuff in one room, was because it was all stuff I no longer needed, that had been relegated to various boxes and bags and inevitably ended up in the room closest to a junk room.

Well I don’t need a junk room, because no one needs junk! There’s a few bits I chose not to get rid of, because although I don’t use them regularly, they WILL be useful (aka Christmas decorations etc.) that went into the loft. The trash bag became two trash bags, and a handful of bits I didn’t photograph were sold on eBay.

It’s amazing how much you can dig out when you get started. It’s also surprising how what looks like a few items can take up a huge amount of space, especially in a small room. So far, I have six garbage-sized bags of charity donations, including the clothing, but I still have some drawers to go through, and if I was really honest, I could probably clear some more. But I’m almost there now, and just need to think of a way to organize what’s left so that my ‘writing room’ can finally be used for that. Although with the recent purchase of my sewing machine, it may now become a writing/sewing room, but I’m totally ok with that.

Hope you’ve been loving decluttering, I’d love to know your tips and what you’ve been getting rid of this summer! Leave me a comment below, and I’ll look forward to getting back to you.

For now, with love,
Ellen

Top Picks under £10: September

9 september_mood_boardThe kids are going back to school, the sun is setting earlier, and the rain seems more of a probability than a possibility. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached September.

I love September, however. I think it’s a very noticeable, change-in-the-season kind of month. Despite it still actually being late Summer. All those ahead-of-themselves shops have started stocking Halloween goods (so excited!) and you just have that sense that Autumn’s on it’s way. Whether you’ve been on your Summer holiday yet or not.

I also think, that similar to a walk in the woods after a good rainfall, September just has that fresh earthy smell about it. Probably due to the rain again though. Oh well, wellies at the ready.

With the school season starting again though, whether you have children or not, I always think September seems a great fresh start in the organizing stakes. The shops are rife with folders and organizers, buckets and totes and boxes galore. So what better theme for this month’s TPUT (That’s Top Picks Under Ten to new readers) than some affordable home organizing goods.

I’ve also grouped these because of the colour as well.  On browsing online over at House Beautiful last week, I came across the Sherwin Williams Colour Of The Year 2017 article. There, you can read about Poised Taupe, the it colour in wall paint for 2017.

But isn’t it so now?! Yes, neutrals and natural shades will always be en vogue, but again, after the brights and freshness of Summer, don’t we just love taupes and greiges and mushroom and beiges come the latter sector of the year? I do. I’m wearing taupe, I’m painting my nails with taupe. I’m enjoying being a comfy, cosy, relaxing taupe blank canvas. I blend in with my latte.

Back to the point, however, and here are my top ten picks at ten pounds and under for neutral toned home storage:

1. Home Love Heart Wooden Carved Drawers – George – £8.00
This could be ideal for jewellery in the bedroom, or for keys and bits in the hallway. And it doesn’t get much more neutral than wood!

2. Mesh Single in Tray Silver Effect – Wilko – £2.75
Another multi-room piece, obviously perfect for a desk or in the office, but again, could work in your hallway for letters and leaflets to keep them altogether. Plus, a bargain price!

3. Byholma Basket in Grey – IKEA – £6.00
This handwoven rattan basket comes in three different sizes, so you could go for an easy coordinated look for a room. Oh, and obviously, Ikea is pretty much the king of small storage shopping.

4. Marble Print Pop Up Storage Bin – Primark – £3.50
Whilst a pop up laundry or storage bin isn’t going to be everyone’s style, I can see these selling out fast for university students moving away for the first time, and for teens everywhere. They don’t have just be for laundry either, they could be for soft toys, clean clothing, and I’ve definitely seen them to store wool in craft rooms. Like the rest of the internet, I LOVE the marble print.

5. New Naturals Heart Storage Box – Wilko – £6.00
This is one from a whole new range called New Naturals at Wilko. Everyone is on trend with this for this Autumn. An alternative to the first item, I adore the colours in this one, and it’s one of my favourites of the nine pieces.

6. Felt Storage Basket – H&M – £9.99
This is one that is just as stylish as it is practical. Plus, the neutral grey would fit in with almost any existing colour scheme you might have.

7. Grey Rope Basket – Primark – £8.00
It’s back to Primark, and another of my favourites here. Just look at that chunky texture! Divine.

8. Svira, Box with Lid – IKEA – £10.00
I did say Ikea was the king of small storage. These would work perfectly in or on a wardrobe, and there’s also a matching shallow but wider box, ideal for under the bed or bottom of the wardrobe.

9. Chalkboard Crate – Dunelm Mill – £5.99 – £9.99
And to finish off, I’ve chosen this wooden crate with chalkboard panel. There’s something about chalkboards that makes me think of kitchens, so I imagine these lined up in a pantry. Of course, they could also be perfect for a child’s room, allowing you to label up the boxes and give them a helping hand when it comes to tidying.

So there you have it, nine affordable small storage solutions to help you get a little more organised around the house, while still having a fabulously stylish home. If you’ve got any storage solutions, hints or tips, please let me know below. If I get enough responses I’ll compile your suggestions into a blog post to share with everyone.

For now, with love,
Ellen