Laura Stephens is a British interior designer based in South East London who is recognisable for her eclectic, colourful design aesthetic. She studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Design before beginning her career in Interior Design and eventually establishing her own interiors practice. Since then, she has flourished in her profession, having had her work featured in multiple publications, from House & Garden to Livingetc – and now works from her airy home studio.
We’ve invited Laura to take over the journal for us this week to discuss the simple changes we can all make to our homes and spaces to ready us for the colder months ahead.
Simple and affordable ways to add touches of warmth to your home this autumn:
“Light candles…this is an instant way to feel cosy as the nights draw in. Scented candles are obviously lovely but I also like to add little tea lights in the evening. I have my eye on this beautiful candelabra from Petersham Nurseries to add proper cosiness to winter evenings around the dinner table.
You can also add autumnal dried flowers. Shida do lovely bouquets of preserved flowers which last and last, in the most gorgeous autumn colours.”
Don’t be scared to add a little colour:
“Winter can feel gloomy so don’t be afraid to add in some colour through soft furnishings. A cosy winter throw is the perfect way to do this – this beautiful wool striped blanket by Issy Granger is firmly on my wish list!
Talking of stripes I am going to buy a couple of these cushions by Fermoie this autumn; I find yellow really uplifting in autumn and I adore the burgundy stripe which is the perfect autumn colour.
I love to add little inexpensive Indian glass paintings from Ebay, Raj Tent Club and Re-found objects to change things up with the seasons.”
Alternatives to the log burner or open fire we all long for come October:
“Whilst an open fire or log burner is the dream for winter, more practical for city living are gas fires. You get the look and cosiness without the wood burning issues. Alternatively, if this isn’t an option, beautiful hurricane candles at different heights placed in a fireplace is a lovely way to bring some atmosphere to a room with a defunct fireplace.
Add ‘glow’ elsewhere – these shell sconces by Charlotte Packe are easy to install; pop a tea light behind it and it produces the most beautiful warming light. These pretty gold edged candle holders from Zara Home are also on my wish list to place on the mantle piece ‘Wee Willi Winky’ style.”
Changes I’ll be making to my own home this autumn:
“My office is at home and on wintery days, working alone at my desk is always cheered with a beautiful candle. The Evermore ‘Moon’ candle has the most lovely smoky floral notes and brings instant warmth and atmosphere to a cold study space.
I like to change up my lampshades in winter too – fabric and paper ones can add colour and warmth, transforming a tired lamp base. My favourite places for looking for these are: Rosi De Ruig, Tobias and the Angel and Samarkand Design.
If you’re in the market for new lamp bases to add some lovely, cosy low level lighting, check out Laurie Lamps for their unique and beautiful creations. Finally, I adore delicate Chinese lantern stems which I dot around the house throughout winter – they’re a tasteful Halloween decoration too.”
We would like to thank Laura for welcoming us into her elegant home and giving us all some an insight into the simple design changes we can make to our homes and spaces as we move into autumn.
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– Images by Liz Seabrook