I have to say I’m definitely a summer person and we were lucky to have a last spell of warm weather this September. But October is the month when we switch from feeling sand between our toes, lazy evenings on the patio and the tropical aroma of suncream, to crunching leaves under foot, fresher mornings, dew on the lawn and that lovely smell of autumn. 

We’ve already had our log burner annual check so we’re ready for the cooler nights, throws on the sofa and a hot chocolate treat while watching Strictly!

It’s all about getting cosy, hunkering down and nesting your home. I’m focusing on accessories this month: one of my favourite elements of interior design and so important in ensuring your room has those stylish finishing touches!

The best way to create a cosy look in your lounge or bedroom is to layer up and use a variety of soft textures. Waffles, soft wool weaves and velvets all create a warm environment. Think cushions, throws and even upholstery. Have you ever considered reupholstering an old-fashioned footstool, instead of buying a new one?

Fur rugs (fake obviously) are number one for adding a really warming touch and they are generally good value. I personally like to buy them from John Lewis but check out your local interiors shops, as well as high street favourites, such as M&S.

For candles and fragrances, I personally think you can’t beat The White Company, Diptyque or NEOM. But if you have a more limited budget try looking out for autumn or Christmas fairs in your area where crafters may be selling home-made candles: it’s also a great way to help local small businesses. If you don’t mind travelling a little, the Wealdon Times Midwinter Fair is wonderful! (It’s located at The Hop Farm in Tonbridge, Kent. wealdentimes-fair.co.uk)

If you have a blocked up fireplace and your budget doesn’t allow for a renovation, fake it with either a pile of real chopped logs and/or candles or create a stylish focal point inside the recess with plants or vases.

In general, shopping for accessories is all about supporting the design scheme you have chosen. Here are some great high street retailers who will help you build a particular look:

And finally, if you have a good amount of time spare to go shopping, head to The Packhouse in Farnham, Surrey – it’s a treasure trove of interior furniture and accessories, I have to be dragged out! They do great fake flowers too.

Happy shopping!


For cosy nights in front of the fire this winter visit Surrey Burners in Bletchingley village.

They supply and install solid fuel, gas and electric heating solutions and offer free site surveys (HETAS Registered Retailer).  

Deborah Smith is the founder and design director of Menagerie Interiors. Enquiries to deborah@menagerieinteriors.co.uk and follow her on Instagram

Find Deborah’s other columns here.

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