Angel and Blume


Change of Seasons

There was a moment this summer when the temperature was nearing forty degrees that our long-anticipated wood burner was finally installed – it looked wonderful but I honestly found it difficult to muster any real enthusiasm for it and when the installers said did I want to see it working, a collective sigh of relief was felt when I said not really, no. Now of course, I love it and the warmth it throws out, and it is hard to remember those days when the only place I wanted to be was in front of the freezer, contemplating which lolly to have next.

It sometimes takes a more extreme period of weather to make us rethink how to use our interior spaces to give us the greatest comfort, but even with our relatively temperate climate, those changes are to be embraced. I fully accept that the last thing we want to do is to make major alterations to home furnishings every three months but small seasonal updates can make a huge difference to how comfortable you feel in your home.

The first thing to understand about a house is which rooms work well in which seasons. This may be to do with light, warmth, doors to the garden, where there is a fireplace. It may even be as simple as which rooms just feel like a cosy winter place or an airy summer space. It helps to play to the strengths of rooms especially if you have enough space in a home to know that some rooms you will use more in the autumn or winter (and possibly also on a summer evening or a rainy day) and others are great for those days when you just want as much outside to flood into the house as possible. Holidays can be inspirational for gathering tips about how to furnish spaces that work best in different weathers. In warmer climates, rooms tend to have cold floors, doors and windows that open as fully as possible onto outside areas, curtains or blinds that provide a screen from the sun and light-weight furnishings. In those lovely cold climates, emphasis is on the heat sources, blocking off the outside, cosy furnishing and how artificial light works inside the home. These are all tips we need to think about when designing our home so that it works through the seasons.

You can make spectacular changes with lighting and autumn is a great time to review what you have got and what you are missing. As the nights draw in, check to see if the odd additional lamp here and there would help with making the place feel inviting. Also check your light bulbs – sometimes just adjusting the strength of the light or switching to a warmer white can make a difference. Lighting your garden is as useful in the winter as the summer and keeping a few lights on in the garden when the sun has gone down, will remind you that you have a garden and give you something cheerful to look out of the window onto, rather than just black window glass.


Tiled floors in the summer are wonderfully cool and it is understandable that houses in hotter climates often have tiles in all rooms, including bedrooms. However when it is chilly, a tiled floor with no underfloor heating is not much fun. Rugs help enormously with this problem and I wouldn’t be afraid to put a fairly practical rug down in the kitchen, hallway or even bathroom to have something soft and warm underfoot.


As we spend a lot of our time in our beds, this is one of the easiest ways to provide a bit of luxury as the temperature rises and falls. I would argue that a really good quality linen sheet is better on a boiling hot evening than nothing at all and when autumn rolls around, the comfort that a well-dressed bed with a flannel duvet cover and a warm throw brings, is worth keeping the temperature low in the house for. I also wouldn’t be afraid to take a similar approach to a blanket for the sofa (telly watching can be a chilly business), and if you can bear it, change your cushion covers for something wonderfully tactile and inviting in the winter, switching to cool cotton for the summer months.

The smells that fill a home through the seasons also makes a difference. Natural scents are always best - fresh flowers in spring and summer and the smell of woodsmoke in autumn is hard to beat. However, I think that helping these natural smells along with some artificial additions  – scented candles and fragrance sticks, bought and used wisely – can add a wonderful whiff that really stirs the senses. My advice is to choose lighter versions of artificial scents and to update them regularly, not only are they better fresh but your nose gets used to them surprisingly quickly so after a while, no real gain is to be had.

It really can be easy to adapt your home to make it as comfortable and enjoyable for the occupants as possible and they don’t have to be big changes to make a difference. Try to work out what you like most about your house in each season and emphasise that, but also work out what is most bothersome and see what can be done to address it.