Summer is the season of being outdoors. It's when you tend to your garden, soak up the sunlight and try to forget there was ever a time when you woke up in a morning shivering with cold. As August begins to slide into September, the rush of Fall brings with it a change in lifestyle as well as a change in season.
Soon, plants will fall dormant, and you pull winter covers over your outdoor furniture. You retreat inside, the memory of being bathed in sunlight already fading, and - hang on, why is the house so shabby?
It's a nasty shock after a summer of neglecting the interior. It's made all the worse by the change of light. Thanks to the tilt of the earth - thank YOU, Mother Nature - the lower sun through winter shows up every speck of dirt, dust, and damaged paintwork. You look at it all and wonder how you're going to cope. The rush of Christmas, celebrations and hosting parties, seems to be barreling towards you and the weeks are ticking away. Something needs to change. Now.
Focus #1: Areas You Use The Most
The kitchen is often considered the most-used home in the house, so it's a good starting point. Depending on your time and budget, you can begin changes to bring up to date. From a full-scale kitchen remodeling all the way down to a thorough cleaning and decor swap, it's a room that deserves extra focus. The same goes for the living room. By simply adding a few Fall-inspired pieces, you can completely update the look of the room. I'm really loving the marble and granny florals trends right now.
Focus #2: Lighting
That winter sun we mentioned above has another downfall, in that there just isn't much of it. Good lighting is the key to your home feeling cozy through winter rather than dark and bleak. And let's face it, "dark" and "bleak" are not words an estate agent would use to sell a house. So try and create the exact opposite for your living space. Invest in quality lighting at all levels, so the ceiling light should be complemented by floor or table lamps.
Focus #3: Eye Level
Rather than trying to fix every single problem, look at the areas that are most likely to be seen. So in the living room, the area surrounding the TV or fireplace. In the kitchen, the space around appliances (and the appliances themselves if they're in need of a polish). If there's a mark on the floor you can't quickly wipe away, consider putting something over it. Umbrella stands, tall decor and plants are great for this purpose. Then it's just your little secret until spring when you can consider a full replacement.
Focus #4: Declutter
It's been a buzzword of 2016 thanks to Marie Kondo, so it's only natural decluttering should come up again. Nothing can make a house look worse than being packed full of items, with things shoved into every available space. Move what you can to the attic or basement, and package the rest in pretty storage boxes. I'm the queen of hiding things.