Cosying up for the turn of the seasons

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Much like the children, my house tends to become increasingly naked, as summer months progress. I jones for airy freshness, achieved via whopper charity shop donations and feverish selling sprees on Adverts. It’s terribly cathartic, this annual Kon-Mari fest; as well as the opportunity to give the place a really daycint scrub. But as autumn looms, and with it the prospect of long periods confined to the house, hygge gains precedence over the Japanese neat freak and I must start to repopulate the interior with elements that induce feelings of fireside contentment. My husband loves this. “Oh, fifteen more cushions to replace the ones you dumped last month…thank god”.


What’s imperative is that the process is an enjoyable one; nothing too stressful or worthy of grumbling from husbands who think the place is grand. So, I focus on an element or two that I know will offer maximum impact, without stealing the last few days of summer. This year, limewash paint is presenting itself as a premium option. Its imperfect textural finish tells the impatient under-prepper in me to lash it on — after the taping and base coat, of course — devil may care. The avoidance of patch-watch is highly appealing, too; and colour options in the French Lime collection by Irish company Porter’s Paints, are deliciously warm.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

Though, I’m also tempted by the notion of an overwhelmingly floral space, wallpapered in something William Morris-esque, to eccentric country house effect. Possibly a bit more of a project than limewashing (or at least one more requiring of getting a man in) as unfortunately a statement wall is not really the look. Wall to wall chintz is what we’re aiming for, here; doesn’t get much more cosy...or maybe that’s trippy.


Moving on from walls; if, like me, you live in a period house that’s been systematically destroyed by two centuries of updates, nineties light switches may take up an unhealthy portion of your thinking-time. Best get this sorted, before the season of wall-staring begins. And, thankfully, what at first seems like far too big a job to consider, is actually a reasonably achievable fix (again, with the help of a professional, rather than your IKEA lady drill and a Youtube tutorial), since Swtch appeared with a line of retro-inspired ceramic lightswitches that are so beautiful they’ll make you troll the company regarding their duty to produce matching electrical sockets. *I haven’t done that, though.*



Similarly, drab radiators, door handles, cabinet knobs and light fittings can be the sneaky culprits behind so much of what can make a room feel tired. Ordinarily, they fade into the background, but upscaling will do your home’s mental state, no end of good. Superfront is the handle company of choice, these days, offering only the most trendy of door decor, alongside a super contemporary collection of cupboard fronts with which you can disguise your IKEA kitchen skeletons, even helping them morph into sideboards and bathroom vanities. Another fab offering for IKEA frontage is Plykea, whose signature plywood cladding couldn’t be more modernist architect’s kitchen, if it tried.


But then again, I may just plan to banish the SIAD (Seasonal Interior Affective Disorder) with a good dose of Vitamin C — cushions, candles, curiosities — and spend the next few weeks in the garden, instead.

From my interiors & lifestyle column in Irish Tatler, August 2019 edition