While we probably have a while until we reach legitimate cold weather here in San Francisco, because of the rain last Saturday I am already on a Fall nesting kick. Instead of trying to force Autumn’s typical reds and oranges on my more monochromatic apartment, I’m focusing on layering in dimensional textures, warm lighting, and cozy textiles in cool and calm tones that complement my existing apartment’s style. Here’s a round up of of a couple items I’m hoping to add to my home this season, along with a few tried and true items I already love having in my apartment.
Texture. Materials like Lucite, glass, wicker, and plants add interest and depth to a room without weighing it down. Lucite can be pretty costly depending on its thickness, but as an inexpensive starting piece I definitely recommend this Lucite tray I got a couple months ago. Although I originally got it to better collect my books and candles since they seem to be taking over every surface of my apartment, I have come to find it’s also a great place to set down a cup of coffee without worrying about coasters or damaging our coffee table table (read: my boyfriend now fully appreciates its function). Mirrors also add a great amount of function to a home. Especially when placed across from a window, mirrors help reflect light into every corner of your room, and also open up a space by making it seem larger. I think mirrors are a great thing to spend a little extra money on, since they have such a positive effect on a room and don’t have to withstand daily wear and tear of being touched like other items. Buy a mirror you love and it will last a lifetime (as long as you don’t drop it!) Adding a plant is another great way to add some dimension to a home: I love having my fiddle leaf fig tree in a basket, but I also like the non-maintenance of my boxwood topiary (similar here).
Lighting. Having multiple sources of lighting is crucial to having a comfortable and inviting home, especially in the winter when the nights are longer and the days are less bright. According to Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy, a room should have “three unique points of light that vary from bright, concentrated light to soft ambient light”. I would love to get a pair of these brass sconces some day, but since the walls in my apartment are cement in certain places I don’t think it’s exactly practical right now! In the meantime, I think I might treat myself to one of these Robert Abbey lamps, although I’m finding it hard to choose just one color to get! Additionally, I recommend installing a dimmer switch on the main overhead lights in your living room. I did this last year and was definitely intimidated at first, (because electricity ain’t no laughing matter) but as long as you turn off your breaker box and have a pair of needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver it’s easy. For $13 and five minutes of time you will get completely adjustable ambiance that you can easily uninstall later when you move apartments or houses. It’s definitely one of my favorite adjustments I’ve made in my apartment, and I wish I had done it sooner!
Textiles. Pillows and throws are one area where you can easily choose to splurge or save. On the one hand pillows are a great way to incorporate your favorite (and sometimes expensive) fabrics, since the small yardage makes them cost effective and easily interchangeable. However, if you prefer to spend your money elsewhere you can always find a classic linen or velvet pillow pretty inexpensively in stores, or you can make your own in an afternoon with a couple yards of fabric, a sewing machine, and with an old pillow cover as a pattern. Blankets likewise can easily be excessively expensive, but I find that since they get washed and thrown around so often its not always the best place to spend tons of money. I currently have this herringbone throw, (similar to this blanket, but at 1/10th the price!) which gets the job of napping and movie watching done nicely. I would also love to add in some additional seating in our apartment, and I think this bench would be a perfect choice. I love the grey tufted top paired with the clean metal legs, and I bet it could easily be recovered down the line if need be.
What are you adding to your home in preparation for fall? I’m also on the hunt for a great fall-scented candle, so any recommendations are appreciated! : )