Baby, it’s getting cold outside.
Here are some ways to make your home more autumn- and winter-friendly.
There’s no need to switch on the heater when you have a cosy throw rug within easy reach.
When choosing a blanket, some fabrics and knits are warmer than others. Loose weaves are warmer than tightly knitted fabrics because the holes and spaces between the yarn fibres trap the warmth of your body. Luxurious fabrics, such as angora (shorn from rabbits), alpaca and cashmere (shorn from the Kashmir goat), are warmer than regular wool, but wool is more affordable and will still keep you toasty.
You might want to change your bright and breezy summer cushions for something more cosy. Dark tones, thick wool knitted cushions, velvet and subtle gold prints add depth, warmth and texture to a room.
Earthy copper pieces
One of the big trends this season is copper and copper-coloured pieces, such as chunky knit cushions and throws. Larger items, such as copper lamps, bed frames and side tables, give rooms an earthy, warm quality.
Now is the time to flip your mattress (or rotate it, if you have a mattress that can’t be flipped). Give your winter-weight doona a good airing and get out your cosy bed linen. Who doesn’t love flannelette sheets in winter?
If you’re a curtain person, replace your summer drapes with something that’s thicker or lined for extra warmth.
Victorians would have a set of summer curtains and a set of winter curtains. In this era of eco-consciousness and high electricity bills, you can save on heating by using thick curtains or lined velvet or wool drapes to prevent draughts and stop warm air leaking out of older windows.
Australians have gone a bit candle crazy, with scented candles in just about every homeware store. To create a winter feel, go for a pine needle, cinnamon or winter wood aromas.
Plant winter-flowering annuals in autumn to add colour to your deck, patio or garden in the cooler months.
What you plant will depend on your location and climate, but think pansies, cinerarias, violas and polyanthus.
It’s time to plant winter vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts, so you have something to munch on from the garden through the cooler months.
Prepare for spring
Autumn is the time to plant bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, so their flowers burst from the soil in spring.
When homes are heated in winter and the air is dry, floorboards tend to contract and thin gaps can appear between planks. This is normal and you don’t need to do anything about it, but if you don’t want it to happen consider using a humidifier in the room. Optimal humidity level falls in the 40-60 per cent range, and as long as humidity doesn’t fall lower than 40 per cent, no gaps should appear in the floor boards.