By Megan Murray
After carefully designing your home over time, we don't expect you to redecorate as soon as the first leaf drops. But, when dinner in the garden is swapped for tea on the sofa, it's impossible to deny that our homes should change with the seasons.
Preparing our environment for the colder months can get us excited about the seasonal switch and make it a more comfortable transition, too. And, there's lots you can do without upending the scheme you have.
In our Houses, we dial up ambient lighting with more lamps and showcase our fireplaces. We also layer up textures with cushions and throws, and influence the overall aesthetic of a space by bringing in darker tones through artwork and soft furnishings.
You can do the same at home - from starting small with a new scented candle and higher pile rugs to updating your bedroom with a sinkable armchair.
Here, Soho Home Lead Designer, Jessica Sims-Wilson, shares design techniques that will make your home a more inviting place to be this autumn and winter.
Introduce rugs into hard spaces
'What makes the most impact in your home? Often, it's what's on the walls and floor. Introduce a rug into spaces that don't usually have one - a runner in the entrance way is a good place to start because it sets the tone of your home. I love using a rug in the kitchen, too, as it brings colour and depth to a place that can feel quite clinical. As these areas are high traffic, use a flatter weave with some pattern such as the Bresle rug.
'I love a hardwood floor in the living room, but in winter this can feel cold underfoot. This is the perfect time for an oversized rug - it's like putting down a temporary carpet and much, much easier.'
Incorporate seasonal scents
'Swap out light, floral and citrus notes in home fragrance for something woodier. While diffusers are great for summer, in autumn and winter I much prefer to see a flame.
'Scented candles in interesting vessels like our solid alabaster or marbled glass emphasise the feeling of richness and ambience. I choose certain scents to position around the house, favouring Leather & Oud in the entrance, Fireside in the living room and Blackberry & Cedar in the bedroom.'
Get excited for dining inside
'Eating al fresco is lovely, but give candlelit dinners back indoors a chance - it might even help you get more excited about winter if you're missing the sunshine.
'To make more of an event of meal times, layer up textures on the dining table with tablecloths and runners, woven placemats and unfinished ceramic tableware.
'Position candleholders in odd numbers in the centre of a round table - I like three, five or seven. For rectangle or oval dining tables, place ornaments or bud vases down the table - nothing too high, so that you can see those opposite you. Be asymmetrical about it, with a smaller piece in the middle, then maybe something larger to the left, and mid-sized to the right.
Put a lamp on the kitchen island
'Lighting is your home's most important tool in autumn and winter. My advice is to position lamps at every natural opportunity; on shelving units, in bookcases, in the entrance or a hallway. People often don't think to put lamps in the kitchen and this is actually one of my favourite spots - especially on an island.
'For areas that don't have easy access to a plug, my tip is to use a cordless lightbulb. There are lots of different kinds available and it means you can give gloomy corners a glow.'
Layer throws on armchairs and sofas
'It's the oldest trick in the design book, but it's one of my favourites because it really does work. A strategically positioned throw can change the overall feel of a room because of the way we are instinctively drawn towards warm, cosy textures when in hibernation mode.
'Layer a bedspread across the end of your bed, a blanket on the arm of an armchair and a throw along the back of a sofa. My go-to is the Maria Alpaca Throw, which comes in seven colours. As it's 100% alpaca wool it's impossibly soft and is inspired by many of the throws used around Soho Farmhouse. And, you can have it monogrammed for a personal touch.'
Switch up artwork
'Art is often responsible for a large part of the home's colour scheme, so you can switch up the palette of a room by incorporating some new pieces.
'I use a print ledge so that instead of re-hanging a whole picture wall, I can quickly swap prints in and out. Whether it be a smaller, more casual art print or a huge painted canvas, choose pieces that feature darker, moodier colours.
'You could also experiment with more textured pieces on the walls such as fabric hangings, or even use a mounted rug as decoration.'
Dress up your shelves
'I edit my decorative spaces to suit the time of the year - this is where small changes with home accessories can make an impact. Bring in brass tones; I think our brushed brass Hansen candleholders paired with an olive or navy dinner candle look great positioned either end of a mantlepiece or shelf.'
Bring a chair into the bedroom
'Wherever possible, you'll find accent chairs in all of the Soho House bedrooms to give added depth and texture to the room, as well as somewhere for members to sit, read and relax.
'I love a deep chair in velvet upholstery, such as the Aderyn or Theodore. Plumped up with a cushion and a soft blanket, it's the perfect place to have your morning cup of tea.'
Experiment with a lick of paint
'Zoning is a clever way to create cosiness, especially in open-plan homes. There are lots of ways to do this - using rugs to form different floor spaces, shelving units protruding out from the wall to section off a nook, or even just positioning an occasional chair on its own. But a really quick, easy and cost-effective technique is to get some paint on the walls.
'Paint is pretty much the quickest way to make a big impact in a room. I would suggest DUMBO House Purple 03 or 76 Dean Street Teal 03 from our edit with Lick, painted in just a section of the wall. Try an arch behind a seat or piece of furniture, just painting the door, or perhaps bringing the height of the room down by changing the colour of the ceiling.'
Try new bed linen in darker colours
'Bedrooms are easy to transform because the most prominent piece of furniture, the bed, can be instantly reinvigorated with a change of bed linen.
'Bring in darker duvet covers and pillowcases to suit the season, layering this with a bedspread across the foot of the bed and a refresh of decorative cushions. A combination I like is our Luna linen bed covers in Olive, with the Obie quilted bedspread in rust. Accessorise with a few cushions - the Obie and Phoebe patterned designs are nice, as is the Margeaux in Lichen.'