Nature-themed décor brings a sense of the outdoors indoors, allowing you to celebrate the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world in comfort. Once autumn comes around, the aim of nature-focused décor is optimal cosiness. In fact, bringing a little bit of nature indoors gives you an even more inviting space to hunker down and wrap up in.
We’ve put together this feature to get you inspired and thinking along the right lines. As well as covering the visual décor elements, we’ve also included plenty of advice about home fragrances – which will be key to getting the ‘hygge’ effect.
What’s hygge? It’s a Danish word that’s not just about a home look or style, it’s a whole feeling. A cosy, calming charm that is the perfect vibe for homes this season.
With our advice, you’ll create your very own sanctuary for the upcoming autumn season and the change that comes with it – the sharper weather, the starker landscapes and the shorter days. You’ll have somewhere you can hibernate and settle in for the long haul of winter.
The four main colours to incorporate in your autumn décor:
Although that’s common knowledge, it is important to remember why: because they’re the colours the leaves turn during the season – from green to yellow, then to orange, to red and finally to brown.
Of course, the balance you strike between these colours is totally up to you, and you can even omit one or two if you wish. Even though orange and red are arguably the most striking of the season’s colours, you’ll still achieve the autumn effect with the right shades of yellow and brown.
If you want to make big changes, a vintage leather chair in autumnal tones adds earthy contrast to your current seating arrangement in your living space. You may even want to go as far as repainting a feature wall in your favourite leafy autumn colours to add welcoming warmth to your home, but always balance it out with lighter neutral shades where possible.
Small changes can be just as effective, like adding orange blankets or pillows to a sofa to match the season and pairing them up with an autumnal fragrance. Don’t forget to mix patterns in these seasonal colours to add vibrancy to your home, for example you could have plaid curtains alongside flower patterned quilt covers in the same orange or red.
Why not go out into nature and bring home some autumnal flowers and fauna that you’ve hand-picked (or bought from a florist)? Show off these beautiful colours by arranging them in a clear glass jar to really let the seasonal tones speak for themselves.
The rustic look
For many, the rustic vibe is about ruggedness and taking things back to basics – certainly in relation to colour, but also in terms of materials and textures. Unpainted wood surfaces, rough finishes, asymmetry. There’s an undeniable beauty to it. You can pick up wooden pieces almost anywhere, and flea markets or vintage furniture shops are an ideal place to start. When you’re looking for these older pieces, remember the more unrefined and imperfect the better, as a bit of elbow grease and polish on bumps and scrapes can really show off the well-lived look you’re going for.
You’re going to want to accentuate these rustic features, so it’s best to paint some walls in neutral colours to really show them off. These lighter tones paired with earthier autumnal tones that we mentioned further up are an ideal way to bring cosiness indoors with a mix of colours.
Hardwood flooring is an enduringly popular rustic trend, and will give you a fantastic starting point, but huge features like that are by no means achievable by all. Rustic décor is accessible to everyone – yes, even if you have luxuriously thick carpets and slick-looking mod cons here, there and everywhere. Some carefully chosen accessories will do the trick.
Rustic accessories include brass or weathered metallic objects, so why don't you swap your regular tealight holders for a hammered brass design - evoking simple living and cabins in the wilderness. Then when you're ready to curl up with a blanket and your favourite book, there's nothing better than the ideal accompanying fragrance to indulge in.
Woodland-inspired designs and objects
When many of us think of autumn, the first things we picture are fallen leaves and bare trees – the striking changes in nature. This applies equally to those of us who live in cities and towns (perhaps even more so).
As such, woodland symbols are an essential source of inspiration for you. In addition to leaves, trees and branches, think pumpkins, pinecones, chestnuts and so on. Because the silhouettes themselves can be evocative enough, you don’t even have to strive for autumnal colours, don’t forget that modern and clean neutral shades can accentuate other natural tones.
Don’t only think about woodland décor, you can bring nature indoors thanks to botanical or wildlife prints on your cushions or throws along with a decorative candle. If you want to go a bit more ambitious, why don’t you try out a woodland print stuck on to a neutral-coloured wall, or go all out and add nature-inspired wallpaper to your room.
If you’re redecorating your bedroom, make sure to complete the look with layers of soft natural colours on your quilts and pillows. If patterns aren’t your thing, deliberate layering can add the effect of moss, leaves and trees in a forest if you get the colour scheme right with greens and soft whites mixed in with the reds and oranges. Add the finishing touches with a playlist of nature sounds while you sleep, it’ll be like laying under a forest canopy.
Remember to think beyond the living room and bedroom, too. Autumn-themed magnets on your fridge will give the kitchen that little touch it needs, or could even work in your bathroom if you have the right surfaces.
Do you rotate your artwork season by season? If not, consider investing in different sets of prints to reflect the different times of year.
As we all know, fallen leaves are an enduringly popular symbol of the fall season – and there’s a whole internet out there full of autumn-leaf-inspired artwork, catering for all tastes and budgets. One quick example would be three A4 or A3 prints side by side, each one featuring a leaf but each one different in their colouring and patina.
If you’re particularly into hands-on arts and crafts, you could bypass the prints and frame your very own autumn leaf (or leaves). All you need to do before framing is wait for the leaf to dry out and then spray it with a clear, UV-resistant acrylic coating (cans of which you can get from any good arts-and-crafts supplier).
Objects and artworks incorporating woodland creatures will add some welcome detailing to your autumn décor, increasing the comfort factor even more due to the hibernation connotations. Items referencing the following animals will all work well: