" That I am here afore thy sight, For gifts and grace;
A burning and a shining light
To a' this place."
---Robert Burns
  • Warm up to autumn. Once the first cold snap sends you to the cedar trunk to embrace the warm woolen blankets, you will know that the time has arrived to seasonally adjust your home.

  • Add warm layers to sofas and chairs by way of paisley or plaid throws; add attractive runners to visually warm tabletops; and layer hooked or Oriental style rugs on the wooden floors.

  • Now is the time to store your summery china and glasswares and replace them with the holiday stoneware or china you have collected throughout the year.

  • Slipcover your down comforter in a warming cotton flannel, and add colorful panels of fabric to the windows, over your sheers.

  • Remember to rearrange your furniture away from drafts and cold window areas, drawing the sofa or table up to the hearth. Now is also the season in which to stack the books you've been meaning to read on the coffee or side table. If you like, cluster your easy chairs around the dining room table, and/or pull a small side table in front of the hearth for cozy games of chess or cribbage, or perhaps a small supper in front of a gently warming blaze.

  • Cluster candles on a plant stand or stack in a fireplace to add visual warmth to a room. Place small votive candles in salvaged martini glasses all around your kitchen (add a bit of water to the bottom so the glass won't crack). This seems to dispel unwanted cooking odors. (And, of course, always keep lit candles out of reach of little hands.)

  • Borrow from nature and gather bouquets of fall leaves, and fill wooden bowls with pinecones, colorful gourds, Indian corn, or a combination of all of these.


Excerpt from: Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons, Bantam Books, NY, 2000.