Get your home Winter ready

Get your home Winter ready

With the clocks about to go back and Autumn in full swing, we've turned our thoughts to preparing for the colder weather! Winter is coming, and we're making our homes and interiors as cosy and welcoming for family and friends as we can. There's nothing quite like coming home to a crackling fire, a tasty casserole as the evenings draw in.

Create a reading nook

Reading is something that a lot of us only make time for at bedtime. It's time to break that nightly ritual and make a bit of space for you to enjoy reading at anytime. Making your own little reading nook is as simple as finding a small unused space and claiming it as your own. Find a small bookcase, book trough or side table to store your favourite books or new reads on, find a comfy chair, and get reading! Grab some cushions or a blanket, perhaps a table lamp or a few candles to make it a luxurious, comfortable space. Make a reading list and work your way through it. Busy modern life often means that we don't spend enough time on ourselves, and as we all know, keeping a healthy mind helps us in every aspect of life.

Be kitchen ready

With the colder weather, feeding our bodies with some traditional, homely meals is a must. Have a look through some old recipe books and find your favourite meals, perhaps you have some childhood favourites to recreate - there's nothing better to get that warm feeling than a bit of nostalgia! Dust off the slow cooker, buy some produce from your local farm shop, and get a stew or casserole bubbling away for later that day. Slow cookers are wonderful time savers for busy families. Casserole dishes and pans are a great addition to have cooking away on the stove if you're at home and prefer to add as you go! Keep a few extra herbs and spices in the cupboard or on the window sill to add flavour.


Entertaining friends

Get ready for welcoming friends by restocking the booze cabinet and glassware. Here in Cornwall we have some wonderful Gin distilleries, such as Tarquins and Caspyn that we're a bit partial to! For those friends who prefer to have a hot cuppa, make sure you have tea and coffee to hand, and hot chocolate for children (or grown ups of course). Grab a glass jar and fill with marshmallows for that extra sweet surprise. Jars of marshmallows also look great in the kitchen. Rainy Sunday afternoons are made for hot chocolate and luxury biscuits in front of the television, especially if you've just got back from a muddy trek in the woods. 

vintage glassware

Soft lighting

Counter the darkness with pockets of light across a room. Floor lamps and table lamps are lovely for this time of year as they emit a soft glow from various spots in the room. The right lighting really helps when creating a cosy atmosphere, as does having the right shade on a lamp. It isn't all about the wattage of the bulb, changing a lampshade for a different colour or fabric can make a lot of difference to the light it throws out into the room.


Using colour

The Autumnal landscape is full of wonderful colours, and you can capture that autumn warmth to see you through winter, by bringing those colours indoors. Look to the leaves for inspiration, you'll find deep reds, burnt orange, dark greens, pair these with teals and plum shades for a real depth of colour. A simple way to bring colour into your home is by using cushions and blankets. Look for sumptuous fabrics in a variety of textures, such as velvets and chenilles. Drape blankets over the arms or back of sofas and chairs, and layer cushions to create a luxurious, welcoming atmosphere.

vintage home accessories

Light a fire

There's nothing cosier than a real fire on a cold day. If you're lucky enough to have an open fireplace or a wood burner, stocking up on logs or coal, kindling and firelighters is a must.  We like to make our own Pine Cone Firelighters with beeswax [these also make lovely homemade, rustic gifts for anyone with a real fire]. We've included how to make them below! Make sure you have the fire tools sitting next to your hearth in case you need them. We love antique fireside accessories!

vintage gifts

Make your own Pine Cone Firelighters

These rustic pine cone fire starters are a lovely item to make at home.  If you have children, get them out in the woods collecting pine cones, and leave them somewhere warm to dry out completely. You can find them in craft shops, if you can't get to the woods. If you use beeswax candles, save the stumps throughout the year - you could use these for the wax to make your firelighters. They make beautiful, practical Christmas gifts to give to family and friends with a fire or log burner. No-one can resist a handmade Christmas present!

You will need:

  • Old saucepan
  • Old bowl - glass or metal
  • Pine cones [dry, large or small]
  • Pure beeswax or an eco wax
  • Twine or candle wick
  • Bun tin/muffin tray
  • Cinammon/cloves./all spice [only if you want them scented]
  • A little cooking oil to smear on the bun tin

Melting the beeswax

Twine wrapped around pine cones 

How to do it!

- Melt the wax slowly over heat. We used a bain-marie , a glass bowl in a saucepan with some boiling water. If you want to make them scented, add in your cloves, cinnamon or all spice now. We used approximately 200g of pure beeswax to make six good sized firelighters.

- Wrap the twine or candlewick around the base of each pine cone, you can push it into the cone to stay in place. Leave a length long enough to light. If you use several small pine cones, you can wrap the same piece of twine around them to join them together. You can use tin cans or other small bowls if your pine cones don't fit in bun tins.

- Wipe some cooking oil around each bun tin so you can push the finished firelighter out of them easily later.

- Pour some wax into the bun tray and place a pine cone into it [do this one at a time because the wax can set quickly]. Pour or spoon some more was around the sides of the pine cone to fill the space. Carry on with as many as you wish.

- Leave them to cool. Push each firelighter out of the tin. Trim the twine or wick if you need to.

- Place them in the fire with some kindling under and around them, and enjoy!

How are you preparing for Winter? We'd love to hear your tips for getting your home ready for the colder weather. Let us know if you make the pine cone firelighters!

Kernow Furniture - online store based in Cornwall for vintage, retro & antique furniture, gifts & home accessories and quirky gifts.

We specialise in good quality 19th and 20th century furniture & have 100s of items for your home and garden in stock now. We regularly stock Ercol, G Plan, Ladderax, mid century, arts & crafts, antique pine, mahogany, solid oak, good quality vintage & antique furniture. We love vintage chairs!

October 31, 2017 — Benita Ellis-Kelly

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