As much as I love the long nights, warm air and al fresco dining opportunities that summer offers, I’ve always looked forward to the change its closure brings. The bite of autumn in the air, the brisk, crisp walks, log fires and and steaming mugs of mulled wine all fill my inner child with boundless joy.
A by-product of colder, shorter nights is of course the powerful desire to stay in and cosy up; a combination I unashamedly support. As an interiors addict, with a penchant for 1970s-style ski chalets which borders on the obsessive, kitting out my home with seasonally appropriate décor is one of my favourite and most satisfying pastimes. And you could A/W is when I’m in my prime.
So with summer and its long shadows cast firmly behind us, here are some of my favourite hygge (or in Scots, Colsie) starter for tens.
If I was more of a hygge purist, I would advise sticking to a neutral colour palette as is favoured by authentic Scandis. However, I think a flat with splashes of colour allows more scope to inject a bit of fun (and less ‘holistic’ vibes) and can act as a successful counter to bleak weather.
On a recent trip to Store 84 (the boujee little shop next door to the popular Mhor 84 motel off the A84), I enjoyed a lengthy perv over dark pink and turquoise sheepskins by Danish company Dyreskinn. You know that thing when you don’t buy something but proceed to think about it from that point on? Enough said.
While it’s doesn’t feature a dyed sheepskin, below is one of my favourite corners of my little Edinburgh flat, including a reindeer skin we picked up at the markets in Krakow a couple of years ago.
Across the street from me is a flat which is perpetually lit by “the big light”. No table lamps, no side lamps, just a bare wall illuminated by the harsh glare of the ceiling light.
And honestly, seeing it makes me sad.
It sounds dramatic, but my mood is very much governed by my surroundings, and I can’t stand being in a room for too long which has either no light on or only the ceiling light for company. As far as I’m concerned, you can have all the other pieces in place, but soft lighting is what really seals the cosy deal.
This is why I have fairy lights strewn across shelving, a curved floor lamp with a gold bulb in my living room, a lightning bolt light mounted on my wall and, most recently, this gorgeous little pineapple light I picked up from Lidl for £12.99 last week.
While I can never have enough cushions in my flat, I’m quite picky about textures, sizes, colours and designs. These two cushions are among my favourites. The red one is from trusty Oliver Bonas and the lobster is Juniqe [gifted].
I have had my eye on some Tibetan wool cushions I spied a while ago in the aforementioned Store 84, but at £65 a pop I’ve had to control myself (which is unusual if you are aware of my needy relationship with homeware.)
I’ve always loved the idea of these, and in my student days my flatmates and I rescued a vintage (‘Pat Butcher’) bar from an alleyway in the west end, decked it out with fairy lights and then ruined it by populating the shelves with various brands of value vodka.
I regrettably haven’t purchased a newer model for the flat yet, but one day I hope to own this beaut from Oliver Bonas.
Which brings me nicely on to my next point…
‘Cos nothing warms you up better than a dram of the good stuff. Best enjoyed by a fire, where possible.
Bed is a welcome location any time of the year, but it certainly holds a heightened allure during the cold winter months – which is why proper bedding is one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to cosy up your space.
Splash out on the cotton thread count, use plenty of throws and invest in piles of wool cushions. Brushed cotton sheets and a couple of sheepskins go a long way too.
Life goals include owning a bedroom like this one. Attic conversions are, quite simply, everything.
Smells are a powerful gateway into accessing some of our earliest memories, or associations of a time and a place. Autumn/Winter is famous for scents such as apple and cinnamon, mulled wine, oranges, firewood, ginger, pumpkin spice, pine needles and musky perfume.
I picked up some apple and cinnamon room spray from Lidl last week, and (in September…) I’ve become obsessed with spritzing it around rooms and feeling all excited for colder climes. I also like to burn incense sticks in the evening, which I normally pick up from Cloud 9 in Edinburgh.
It’s also become a bit of an annual tradition for me to buy tiny vials of “refresher oil” from Marks and Spencer which, simply put, smell like Christmas in a bottle. You’re meant to add them to an oil burner or diffusive, but I add it to candles or put a couple of drops on hot water bottles or my bedding (sounds weird, probably is) but the smell captures childhood Christmases of the ’90s and frankly you can’t argue with that.
Nothing cosy ever came out of clinical perfection. Embrace the dodgy bits of your house by hanging wall decorations over exposed brick, put Persian rugs down over marked floor boards, brighten up tired upholstery with a handful of throws and hang fairy lights over old fireplaces or beaten up bookshelves.
Et voila! Your home is now hygge-fied.