There’s nothing nicer than having a space in your home where family members of all ages can gather in comfort to spend time together. And with the weather turning, and chilly days ahead, now’s the time to begin thinking of ways to make your family room even cozier and more inviting.
You might have spent the long days of summer doing all kinds of activities outside, but when the temperature begins cooling and the sun goes down earlier, home is where you find yourself wanting to be. When there’s a nip in the air, nothing is more luxurious than finding a comfy place to sit and tucking yourself in a warm wool vintage Swiss Army blanket. All that’s left is to wrap your hands around a mug of hot chocolate (or a hot toddy if you think you’re old enough) and settling in for a night of reading, TV, or board games.
While you’re thinking of fall, here are some other ways to bring your family room into the season:
Gather up some pillows
Cozy is the name of the game, so grab some good-looking pillows and toss them on the couch, put them on chair seats to make them super soft, and even pile them on the floor for the kids to flop on. If your room’s color scheme can handle it, find pillows in warm autumnal hues and don’t forget lumberjack plaids for the quintessential look of fall.
Add a variety of textures
We sometimes forget how important the sense of touch can be. A squashy velour throw, a homey knitted afghan, a soft cotton quilt… they’ll not only keep you toasty, but envelop you in tactile comfort. Hard, slick, and shiny finishes are perfect for summer, but come fall, it’s the more comforting textures that you want.
Layer some rugs
Gleaming wooden floors are beautiful, but fall and winter temperatures call for something warmer under your feet. And if you’ve ever spent the cold months with tile or stone floors, you know that bringing in some rugs is a must. A fluffy shag rug, a richly colored Persian rug, a plush hand-loomed natural fiber rug, even a rustic woven rag rug will keep the chill off, and add interest to the room. Even a carpeted room looks and feels warmer with an area rug or two to dig your toes into.
Bring nature inside
Natural elements spell fall, and there are so many to choose from when you’re thinking of dressing your family room for the season. If you’re lucky enough to have maple or other trees that turn glorious colors at this time of year, gather up some leaves and arrange them in a low vase. A few sheaves of golden wheat, real or faux, are stunning in a tall pitcher. You can even make a pumpkin into a container for fall flowers like chrysanthemums, Michaelmas daisies, sunflowers, and the delicate orange blooms called Chinese lanterns.
Include edible decorations
Put out a big, deep bowl of walnuts and pecans in their shells, and don’t forget to include a few nutcrackers so family and guests can munch. A basket of pomegranates, crisp red and green apples, tangerines, and luscious pears are also not only seasonal but delicious.
Let there be light
Longer evenings require good lighting, so banish dark corners by making sure you’ve got balanced light in the room. Candles are a great touch at this time of year, adding a warm glow as well as whatever scent you like. Poke around your favorite store or online to find big fat pillars or mason jar candles that will fill the air with the soothing aromas of cinnamon, apple cider, pumpkin spice, and medleys of wood and pine that are reminiscent of a forest.
Start fall at the front door
You don’t have to wait until Christmas to decorate the front door. A grapevine wreath twined with red and golden berries, a circle of cornhusks highlighted with dried mums and other seasonal flowers, or a wreath of cattails studded with mini pumpkins will tell family and friends alike that warmth and welcome wait inside.
And what if you live in a part of the country where no chill ever sets in? Choose the elements that work in your climate, and celebrate fall anyway.