Don’t save bold prints just for the upholstery; bright rugs like these from Moroso can liven up a room in unexpected ways. Moroso
MAKING A PAINLESS TRANSITION from summer to fall is all about forward planning. The better we prepare our homes for the coming months of rain and cold, the less we mind it. “A hub nest for autumn and winter is a place where you do not feel anxious, and where everything is fit for purpose,” says London-based designer Caz Knight, of Weller Interior Design.
The maxim “There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only inappropriate clothing” applies just as much to the home. Textures, color, lighting and just the right amount of clutter can winter-proof any room. There’s little comfort in minimalism when the skies turn gray, and this season’s home design trends—large patterns, bold colors, layered carpets and sheepskin—work particularly well to ward off any hint of seasonal affective disorder.
Pattern is not only back in fashion, it’s breaking all the rules. So don’t expect subtle splashes; interior designers such as London-based Turner Pocock are covering entire sofas in dramatic fabrics like Christopher Farr Cloth’s oversized floral Carnival.” We like to layer different patterns and textures in a scheme to create interest in a room, often in pop-out colors to contrast with a more moody background palette,” says co-founder Emma Pocock. “The key is to mix styles and scales—bold florals with geometrics and stripes thrown in—to make it seem organic and not too put together.”
But don’t save bold prints just for the upholstery; bright wallpapers and rugs can liven up rooms in unexpected ways. U.K. fabric and wallpaper company Lewis & Wood has brought out a dramatic collection of large-scale patterns. “We don’t actually follow fashion. If we are on trend, it’s purely by accident,” says Stephen Lewis, who founded the company with Joanna Wood in 1993. “I think what we are seeing is a return to the country-house tradition, which was really about bringing things back from one’s travels and mixing them all up.”
The firm’s designs, transferred from woodblock engravings, are full of drama and humor. Close examination of its country-life-inspired Royal Oak wallpaper reveals two feet resting on a tree branch. “They belong to King Charles I, ” says Mr. Lewis, “who was chased by the Protestants and hid in a tree.”
Adding to the country-house theme, oriental carpets (preferably layered on top of one another) can help create a perfect nesting environment. Whether faded, redyed or patchwork, carpets bring a sense of history to a home—and without your family having to have lived there for 300 years first. French Connection‘s FCCN.LN +0.81% throw rugs, such as the tasseled solid-dyed wool textured rug, will do the trick—and at a fraction of the price. Or, if you really want to settle in for the winter, throw sheepskin or reindeer hides on chairs and beds. It will transform the feel of a room instantly. If you’re daring, go for bright colors like Carmine Red from the Wool Company.
This is also the time to consider—or reconsider—lighting. “Regardless of how warm and comfortable a room truly is, you can create the illusion of warmth, intimacy and comfort—perfect for winter evenings at home—with lighting,” says Weller Interior Design’s Ms. Knight. She suggests mixing sofa lights, which pool the light down and bring focus to cushions and tabletop objects, with dimmed table lamps, to “create pools of light around where the people are, rather than lighting the room as a whole.”
But a nest needn’t take up the whole house. Create a small zone using a chaise longue like West Elm’s Bliss Down Filled Chairs. Smother it in sheepskin throws, paired with a standing light and a small rug. Furry dog at your feet, optional.