Laying out a living room for autumn

Spring cleaning tends to hog the limelight, but rearranging and cleaning your home at the end of any season can be just as important. As summer winds down, it is a great idea to take stock of your living area and rearrange to suit the colder months. Here are some ways to get started with your autumn interior design of the living room.

Change the orientation

Throughout the summer, we tend to direct furniture and focal points towards outdoor areas. A table on the deck, garden nooks and putting chairs out underneath porch lights are all common examples of putting the onus on the summer-friendly areas of the home. But as the sun sets lower and earlier, staying outside in the evening when everyone is home becomes less feasible. 

This is when it becomes time to shift the focus of your home from these sun-dappled areas inwards towards your living room. Outdoor tables may need cleaning, sanding and a wood stain but can easily transform into side tables indoors, and chairs can become part of the dining area if need be. 

If you have specific rugs and feature items that are put away during the summer months, now is the time to think about bringing them back out as well. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day and your living area doesn't have to be either – plan this as a process over several weekends. 

Designated decorations

Flowers are a staple of home decorating in summer, but as it gets colder and the sun fades it's no longer practical to rely on them as much for your interior decorating. While there are obviously some that flourish around this time, you may want to switch to a more durable decorating solution that doesn't require ongoing care, such as decorative wreaths.  

Autumnal patterns on the walls, whether they are hung and framed paintings or more creative ideas like decorative, removable tree stencils are always a good touch to signal the changing of the winds as well. 

Find your centrepiece

Every living room needs a focal point, and what better piece than a fireplace? Staging couches and tables around this is a great way to establish a relaxing atmosphere on those crisp autumn nights. If your living room allows it, replacing regular light switches with ones that dim is a great mood setter.

Candles and a fireplace provide excellent lighting for quiet evenings, and decorating with ornamental pinecones and crafted branches add a rustic charm to a living area. Keep tables low, and consider large cushions or pillows as floor seating if people want to get close and cosy by the fire. As always, keep in step with the colours you have chosen for your walls. 

If you don't have a fireplace, an inconspicuous television or projector onto a large wall provides a great excuse for family get-togethers. 

Check the drapery density

Lighter curtains in the living area are great for letting light flood into the room during the summer, but as temperatures fall it may be prudent to replace these with heavier materials. This will keep the heat from the fireplace in during the long nights, and keep it warm for the early mornings if you're lucky as well. 

If you're willing to go a little further, opt for thermally lined blockout curtains to really seal in the light if you are intent on creating a purely candlelit mood. 

Preparing the living room for autumn can be a great way to give it a makeover, so you can hunker down comfortably over winter.

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