The chill in the air, the long hours of darkness, the sense that another seasonal chapter is coming to a close, I admit, it makes me a bit wistful and I work to remain motivated. Or perhaps the ol' brain just seeks to hibernate, and recharge for brighter more active days.
So as a little departure from the traditional Treasure Box Wednesday post here at The Thrift Shop Romantic, I thought I'd share with you a few things that have helped drive the autumn ho-hums away... Little things you also might want to try around the house to make it feel more warm, inviting, soothing and cheerful for those long cold evenings ahead.
Now, naturally, for individuals who believe they may have Seasonal Affective Disorder, this is something you should discuss with your doctor. My suggestions below are not meant to trivialize the condition, or "cure" it in place of actual medical treatment.
But given our busy lives, sometimes it really is just a small change... a little nicety... and unexpected merry detail that can help make even the longest, darkest day seem just that much brighter.
- Fill the house with an inviting scent. Whether you prefer a tart warmer, scented oils, or fragrant candles, a favorite warm autumn scent can temporarily help lift the spirits. While the world outside may be musty with dried leaves, a nice fragrance at home can trigger cheerier, comforting images of baked goods, fond memories, vacations or just warmer days.
- Light candles. Separate from the concept of scent, I've found lighting candles, and getting to see that nice warm glow, adds a lot to a room-- even if there's no special occasion-- and can create a cozier atmosphere. Obviously with kids and pets, this may not be ideal-- and would certainly require supervision to be safe. But as fall light wanes, a little flicker of light in the night does a lot to make the evening feel more special.
- Change textiles to richer, more vivid colors. Trade usual pastels for juicier colors and suddenly an autumn room takes on more life. I was surprised at the difference, for instance, in my bathroom, as I swapped out the pale greens, light pinks and whites, for this deep plummy purple, eggplant and warm dark pink. The room seems deceptively warmer-- and without ever touching that thermostat.
- Break out that Crock Pot. What's better than to come home from a long day of work and find dinner already made? A pot roast, soups, stews-- even a whole roast chicken-- are fantastic slow-cooked in a Crock Pot. And you can't beat the smell of home-cooking the moment you step through that door!
- Use reflective items-- luster and mirrors-- to bounce light. Those of us with older homes know, getting enough light isn't always easy. But the Victorians used items coated in luster-- a layer of metallic opalescence-- to reflect off the limited light there was, and flicker under the attention of candles. And this trick still works today. Add to that a few mirrors, or other metallic surfaces, and you can brighten up your space easily.
- Tackle that long-procrastinated craft. Whether it's sewing, latchhook, crochet, knit, needlepoint, sketching, beadwork, or a thousand different crafts, cooler days and shorter nights are a great time to think creative.
- Switch shower gel to a new, heavier scent. I know this seems like such a strange detail to suggest, but a good hot shower is the way so many of us start the day. And for those of us who really respond to scents, changing up the soaps you normally use to something new and fun-- and a bit more fragrant than normal-- is
- Take even fifteen minutes to a half hour, if you can, to curl up with a book or magazine. Time to mentally regroup can be extremely helpful when the days feel bleak and busy. So a little quiet time with a book... or my fave, a decorating magazine... is a nice way to settle down a bit and gain a fresh perspective.
Well-- that's all I have for today. But what are the ways you make the colder months warmer and more cheerful? Leave a comment below-- I'd love to hear from you!
- If you missed Sunday's post on Halloween decorating-- another fun way to make the house spookily whimsical for Autumn, click here.
If not, perhaps I'll see you Sunday when I hope to show the progress on the faux fireplace I'm installing! Take care, friends!