Creative designer Collette Hanlon has tips for a house warming

 Written by Collette Hanlon.

“The winds of change are upon us…”

 Change can be quite refreshing and, although autumn is not my most favourite season, I really enjoy the natural shift in the seasons. This time of the year is beautifully earthy and organic, gardens and hedgerows are heavy with intense ripe colours and texture that, as a designer, I just love to capture and use as inspiration in interiors!

 I am really excited by the autumn collections for interiors this year; gorgeous tartan weaves in a woolly myriad of rich tones. If you prefer the warmer palette and have a decorative scheme with wheat toned neutrals there is a choice of stunning olives and mustards that encompass Tuscan hues through to rich reds and nutty browns.

 However, if like me you prefer the cooler tones and have white and grey neutrals at home, the tartans and wools this autumn have rich dramatic slates interwoven with mulberry, fig and heather tones. The tartans weaves in this year’s collections are simply beautiful as they have such an interesting palette that can be drawn on for inspiration.

 Layering textures is a key tip to achieving that comfortable cosy style, choose fabrics with character like chunky knits, felts, soft mohairs, washed linen, and vintage leather .

 Autumn for me would not be complete without masses of logs, there is nothing more satisfying and pleasing than a beautiful orderly pile of stacked logs! I squirrel them everywhere, in the porch, in baskets and in great organic piles that I can see from the window. Home really is where the hearth is and a wood burning stove or an open fire feels like an essential as the evenings draw in. However, modern homes are not built with open chimneys and not only loose that focal point within the room they can be missing the heart.

For some, the flat TV has replaced this wall-based vista, but the result can be cold and harsh particularly at this time of the year. At Home Stagers, given this, issue we try to move the emphasis on to the layout of the furniture by creating intimate seating arrangements, introducing interest through pattern and colour which can effectively move the focus of the room. Shots of colour can be cleverly introduced with artwork and rugs without the worry of long term commitment to a particular decorating scheme or major expense.

Country living-inspired motifs are also big news with stags, pooches, and hares offering an injection of humour. These look brilliant when combined with tweedy accessories and worn leather chairs.

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