INTERIORS: Give your home a seasonal make-over

Seasonal interiors

Interior Design
Niamh Tuohy

Just in case you hadn’t realised it, it’s summer. Let me start by apologising to any visitors to the west who happen to be reading this.
In our defence though, you knew what you were signing up to when you booked your flight. Yes, the craic is mighty, the music is melodious and the guinness flows like a burst dam, but if you were coming here in the hope of finding anything resembling a normal climate or I don’t know, a sun, then sorry, it’s not going to happen.
Irish summers start around May 22 and last for a week. But on the up side, you have a return ticket; the rest of us are stuck with it, for better or for worse. Which is why, when it comes to planning our interiors, we tend to work around three seasons. And seeing as autumn is here already, we should really get started.

This is one of the first things to think about. Many people go for the safe options of auburns, rustic red and moody browns. They’re traditionally the hues that spring to mind when thinking about the autumn. But try to think outside the box this year.
What most people don’t realise is that any colour will complement another as long as the tone is right. Play around with mauves, deep greens, metallic or ice blues and bring a different slant to your interiors. Farrow & Ball have a fabulous selection of unusual shades that will have you reaching for your paint brush and digging out the over-alls.

The range of materials and fabrics out there is, to say the least, daunting. From silks to linens to heavy damasks and crushed velvets, the choice is endless. This year though, try to experiment with other options – herringbone, tweeds, woollens etc. Use such fabrics in soft shades to take the tough edge off them.

This is one of my favourite areas to play with. You can really bring any room to life by using the right fittings. Occasional lighting is the way ahead when it comes to creating mood and atmosphere. Floor lights can make great use of otherwise unused spaces in any room. Remember to be careful when choosing lamp shades. Going too small will look cheap, too large will take over the room and make it difficult to tie the whole look together. If you’re going fairly neutral in other parts of the room, you’ll be able to get away with using bold colours in your lamps.

It’s quite possible to give any room a mini interior facial by introducing or changing your accessories – and it’s a recession-busting way of giving your home a new look. Such items as cushions, throws, rugs, wall art or candles can be easily altered.
There’s a huge amount to choose from that will cover all tastes. This is the one part of interior design that most people can access without too much difficulty. It’s also the area where mistakes are not too pricey to correct.
Don’t be afraid to get creative yourselves. Nature itself is a fabulous provider of materials. Dry your own flowers rather than throw them out when they wilt. Unusual shaped stones and different coloured shells can be great ornaments. Just don’t go overboard on it!

All in all, there is a myriad of clever options to avail of when re-inventing your space. As with anything, getting started is the hardest part, so break it down and take each room at a time. It will be less daunting this way, and hopefully the results you see in the first room will spur you on to create the ultimate in cosy interiors throughout the whole house – just in time for you to settle down in your new haven of warmth with a hot chocolate and a good book!