INTERIORS / STYLE / WELLBEING

Seasonal Update: Autumn

As I learn to live in the moment, appreciate the details and embrace mindfulness with spades of gratitude for the world around me, my attention has turned to the seasons.

I used to rush about like the little busy bee that I was, always flitting from one task to the next. Hardly taking in the time to stop and appreciate what I was doing or indulge in cultivating my personal space, or to an extent, my appearance – I was in a bit of a wardrobe rut and rarely experimented with my hair or make up. Blessed with growing up in Brisbane’s subtropical climate, Winter was never a big deal. My wardrobe remained largely unchained, except with the addition of jeans and outerwear.

Autumn

I hardly remember winter last year, and I’m quite sure it got away so fast that I forgot to wear my favourite over-the-knee boots! The whole time my head was in Summer, preparing for a big trip through France, Italy and Greece which would be ending their summer, while winter finished up back home. I felt like for most of the year I was confused about which season I was meant to be thinking about and where my head was at. Even when I was home, it was weird to find that the weather was cool getting warmer rather than warm getting slowly cooler.

Getting out of touch with nature has its pitfalls. The months raced by, blurring into one another. I wished for a real winter or autumn, but didn’t do much about it. Without noticing the seasons, everything seemed a bit more dull. It never felt like Christmas time before the big day was here and Easter was suddenly there, without any warning.

Mireille Giuliano says in her book, French Women for All Seasons says “When the passing of the year doesn’t impress itself upon my senses, I am, in some profound sense,lost.”

People who live in dense urban environments follow seasonal fashions more closely as a way of re-rooting themselves with nature. When you have less grass underfoot and live in a concrete jungle, you need other cues to help you float with the ebbs and flows of the seasons. Despite living in the leafy suburbs about seven minutes from the CBD and with a view from my living room is a panoramic wash of green leaves, in Brisbane our climate is very mild and there aren’t major seasonal differences in the environment It appealed to me in that I could enhance the subtle nuances of each season.

Nature takes its time. It does not rush from activity to activity yet it gets everything done. I am finding pockets of time during my day to celebrate Autumn and it feels good in a way that I can’t achieve through my usual activities and achievements. Getting in touch with nature’s rhythm enriches everyday life. It’s a nice reminder that we are human, to feel so good from a seemingly meaningless activity. The importance of rituals and symbolism to humans throughout the centuries now makes more sense. It’s not make believe, but creates meaning.

Style

  • Out with the summer dresses that make me cold just looking at them – boxed up in the back of my cupboard
  • Working with my cool weather colour palette again – camel, bordeaux, army green, crisp whites
  • Replacing my black, over the knee suede boots which have seen better days (mostly thanks to snow in Europe). Looking for a (faux) leather pair this time
  • Experimenting with ankle boots
  • My beige handbag is back in the cupboard, out comes the tan tote
  • Searching for a big coat

Beauty

  • Replaced my watermelon nail polish with a warm bordeaux shade – it is amazing what a difference such a trivial detail can make.
  • Upping my moisturiser game – ideally, from zero to hero as I don’t really use moisturiser during the warmer months. Time to invest in an organic moisturiser, most likely from Little Alchemist or Grown Alchemist
  • Using FrankBod coffee scrub once a week, to fend off scaly winter skin (it is the most amazing moisturiser as well!)
  • Trialling an Oh Hello Hair mask
  • Safe swap: toxin-loaded make up removers for nourishing, antibacterial coconut oil as a make up remover
  • Storing my beautiful summer perfumes in my duchess ( better for them, anyway!) and giving my daytime cold weather perfume, Miss Dior Cherie, pride of place
  • Time to start hunting for a new nighttime cold-weather perfume – I’m tossing up between Byredo’s Rose Noir, Bulgaris’s Mon Jasmine Noir, Balenciaga’s L’eau Rose, Chanel’s Coco Noir, Valentino’s Valentina Assoluto or possibly D&G’s The One. …It’s going to take a while!

Eating

  • Swapping a lot of my cold berry smoothies for a bowl of oats with berries, apple and cinnamon.
  • Eating seasonal produce and experimenting with new recipes that celebrate what is in season – pumpkin soup, apple and cinnamon cake, any dessert with pears!
  • I really want to try a healthy hot chocolate recipe I found online

Physical Space & Decor

The Nife en l’Air has a great post about how the Japanese make a small shrine to the season in their house. I want to reflect Autumn a little in my bedroom, but prefer modern, almost minimalistic design (I am Australian). The stuffy Autumn decorating ideas I find on the Internet don’t quite cut it. I have never celebrated Halloween and the leaves don’t change colour as much as in other parts of the world, so pumpkins and golden leaves don’t mean anything to me. Superfluous decorating (or superfluous anything) is my pet hate because it feels inauthentic, so I’m making small adjustments to my personal space that whisper, not shout, that it’s getting cooler.

  • Moving my fluffy rug to underneath my desk, so my feet don’t freeze while I work
  • Flannelette sheets – also a necessity as it gets colder
  • My beautiful little citrus candle from the famous Carthusia in Capri has been put away, now I’m using my Glasshouse “Tahaa” Vanilla & Caramel candle. Yum!
  • Little leis I had wrapped around my bedpost have been put away ( too summery, plus they are kind of clutter)
  • Wall art: I tore out the best articles and most inspiring images from my favourite magazines before throwing them out. I’ve got 4 beautiful black and white fashion shoot photos which I’ve arranged around my Garance Dore print
  • Flowers: Swapping out summer flowers for dahlias and camellias, whichever I can get at the market this weekend
  • Currently compiling an updated playlist which is a little moodier, a little cooler and a lot less summer-pool-party-ish. Songs that induce curling up with a good book, a glass of wine, a hot chocolate or a group of friends
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