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It's Autumn and Time to Seasonalize Your Home

10/18/2013 12:37 am ET | Updated Dec 17, 2013

The weather is finally turning cooler, and the air is crisp and clear. It's finally autumn! Although the calendar introduced the season weeks ago, it was in name only. Summer refused to exit on cue and took its time winding down to its inevitable end. Now autumn is finally here and it's time to seasonalize the nest!

Seasonalize is a word you won't find in the dictionary, but decorators use it a lot. It means to bring your indoor environment in synch with the outdoor environment to reflect the season outdoors within your home. Seasonalizing goes to the core of nesting by fostering snuggling in the fall/winter and lightening up in the spring/summer. I love October and celebrate it every year by seasonalizing my home. By doing so I am acting as a creature of nature and am present within it.

How do you start? It's really easy! Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

1. When: I seasonalize twice a year, in the fall and the spring. In the fall, I'm happy to begin the process of hunkering down in the warmth of my home during the cold winter months. In the spring, I'm looking to bring nature in and be part of the outdoors. Like other animals, we are impacted upon by the seasons. When we acknowledge our primal need to be one with the seasons, we are much more comfortable in our indoor environment.

2. Put Summer in Storage: Clear out anything that reminds you of summer. Put away beach towels, bathing suits, flip-flops, shells, summer-themed placemats, lacy pillows or sheer curtains, summer-weight area rugs, cotton and silk sheets and anything else that is too light and summery to warm you up as the weather gets colder.

3. Layer on the Warmth: Get out the flannel sheets, heavier blankets, and a luxurious throw for the bed. In the living room, put throws on the sofa and change up the accent pillows from lighter summer-themed ones, to fall-inspired hues. Go for jewel tones. Anything that mimics the colors of fallen leaves will work beautifully. If possible, put up heavier drapes at the windows to visually and literally keep cold air out. Replace summery area rugs or cover bare floors with heavy, plush wool rugs. Your toes will thank you.

4. Make the Fireplace a Focal Point: If you're lucky enough to have one, a fireplace can be the star of your fall/winter nest. Make it stand out by bringing the fireplace tools out of storage, rearrange the mantel to feature fall/winter themes (candles, gourds, jewel colored vases, etc.), and make sure there's a stack of firewood ready for use.

4. Create Seasonal Vignettes: Just because we want to keep the cold weather outside, doesn't mean we want to be cut off from nature. Put apples and pinecones in a bowl. Gather pumpkins, squash and other gourds from the farmers' market and display them like treasures. Take a hike, collecting interesting leaves, acorns, and rocks along the way, and bring them home to display.

5. Set a Seasonal Table: The richness of fall and harvest time comes alive at the family table. Bring out placemats woven of natural fibers, such as rattan or water hyacinth. Rustic dishes, napkins, and heavier trays and serving pieces complete the look. Put a bowl of pears, pomegranates and pinecones in the center of the table. Fall/winter decorating is all about warm, nubby and interesting textures. The table is the perfect place to bring those textures alive.

The seasons of nature create an ebb and a flow that cycles with perfect balance. When we plug back into that flow and honor the seasons, we resonate and reconnect with life itself. We should take every opportunity to nurture ourselves and return our body, soul and mind to balance. There is no better place to do that than in our own homes. Nesting and taking the time to seasonalize your home honors our place in the world. Let me know if you come up with ideas of your own to bring your nest in synch with the colder seasons.

Originally published on WhereWeGoNow.