September and October are funny months. They half herald a new year as we return from holidays, the kids trudge back to school and the students flock to university, and they bridge the transition from sun-soaked daylight-drenched days into darker, damp and chillier climes.
For me they represent a peaceful time of calm after the fun-fueled summer months and before the madness of festive-frolicking begins. A perfect time to weave inner tranquillity into weary spaces.
Now this is something I can profess to be an expert on. Juggling the equivalent of three jobs for many months whilst trying to maintain some semblance of a life, meant by the time that front door slammed each night I was an irritable, knackered bundle of stress. Mess, clutter, bright lights and noise made me just about ready to explode, so I set about thinking how I could turn my home into a soothing sanctuary of serenity.
Ahead of the mayhem and madness of the festive months, now is the absolute perfect time to set about nurturing your spaces, so that they will nurture you. There’s nothing more important than protecting your energy and creating a home where you can rest and recharge. It doesn’t take much, but trust me, just a few small changes and you’ll breathe a long sigh of relief. Here are some tips:
1) Candles & Incense
Flick off the overheads and scatter candles everywhere. Their warm glow instantly soothes the soul and lowers the stress levels. I love to burn incense, it tickles the nostrils with its pungent fragrance and whisks my mind to exotic places.
2) Fluffy Towels
Especially in the winter months, there’s nothing like cocooning yourself in a soft, thick towel after a soak in the bath. Scatter candles around the tub, splosh some bubbles under the tap and unwind.
Bring the outside in and brighten dark spaces with some flowers. They evoke beauty and tranquillity, adding a feeling of grace and sensuality to a room.
4) Scatter cushions
For the bed, for the sofa, for the armchair. Invest in some rich Autumnal shades in a range of sizes to sink into when you’re indulging in a film night or sneaking back to bed with a morning cup of tea.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em you can’t deny they’re a great addition to a sofa when you want to take the chill-off and nestle down for a quiet night in. You can always hide them in a basket or box if you really do hate having them on show.
6) New bed sheets
There’s nothing like silky soft new bed sheets. Even better is that feeling of fresh clean sheets straight from the washer and onto your bed. If you can stretch to it, the feeling of Egyptian cotton on your skin is akin to being stroked with silk.
7) A cup of something
A hot chocolate in the evening, tea or coffee in the morning, there’s nothing like a warm cup of something from your favourite mug (mine have to be white inside, thin rimmed!). A cup of tea in bed on a weekend feels fantastically indulgent and relaxing.
8) Soft Lighting
This is similar to candles, but in case you don’t always want to be burning the wax it’s worth investing in a couple of lamps that will add a warm hue to your spaces and help you avoid those harsh ceiling lights.
9) Tuck Away Cables, Turn Digital Devices Off
Hide those ugly television cables, tuck away the laptops and force yourself to spend time away from pesky mobile devices. We’re becoming a generation of digital addicts and it’s time we detoxed a little both for our mental and physiological wellbeing.
10) Cosy Carpets
Don’t you just love the feeling of nestling your bare toes into something deliciously soft and comforting? If so, you may want to consider investing in a rug. I can’t profess to be an expert on rugs, so it’s worth checking out Bessy’s buying guide here.
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Images as they appear: The White Company, Oliver Bonas