Wanting inspiration to make a few updates to our home interior design for the winter, I turned to Ashley Evans, founder of Ash Lane Design for some insightful ideas.
When I lived in a 609 sq. ft. studio in Chicago, I often rearranged my furniture at the start of a new season. According to Psychology Today, “An impact on the environment, whether an imprint or a removal, lifts mood, provides concrete satisfaction, and instills a sense of effectiveness.” While I don’t want to reposition all of the furniture at home this season, I do like the idea of incorporating a few living room interior design trends and other thoughtful interior decoration ideas to embrace the changing of the seasons.
While there are many interior designers near me, I’m lucky to call Ashley a friend, and happy to share seven interior design ideas with you:
1. Layers, layers, layers
Kind of like in fashion, if spring and summer are all about keeping things clean and fresh, then fall and winter are the best times to layer. We can do this in a couple of ways: color and texture.
Color: If it makes sense in your home, add warm colors like those found in nature. Not necessarily primary colors but rather warm browns, grassy greens, rust tones, and golds. If you have a reversible throw with white on one side and warm orange on the other, now is the time to reverse it!
Texture: You can create ambiance; adding plush textures like velvet, fur-lined, or cashmere to make for a cozy, inviting feel.
Adding oversize throws in a warm color and soft texture is a lovely way to update your home. For example, if you’re a neutral person, adding a chocolate-colored cashmere throw goes a long way in a neutral home.
2. Nature and seasonal produce
Update for the season and go outside to collect beautiful branches of berries, pinecones, holly and birch. You can toss the branches in a gorgeous tall vase or create a big bowl of birch bark to further add texture for a rustic interior design vibe.
Scavenge the grocery store and grab what’s in season to further add nature into your decorations. Maybe November’s tablescape has a big bowl of clementines, an arrangement with pumpkins and squash or a collection of beautiful apples. Perhaps December’s display has bright pomegranates. Whatever the month, take advantage of the bountiful seasonal produce available.
This is always everybody’s answer…because it’s a good one! Ashley has a stash to swap out seasonally: in warmer months the aesthetic is pink and grey; in cooler months she pulls out Ralph Lauren wool plaid pillows in deep charcoal with notes of chocolate brown and cream. Circling back to our first layers/texture idea, velvet! If you have ever wanted velvet pillows, now is your time to go for it!
4. Earthy & Sustainable
On a recent Business of Home podcast featuring Anthony Davey, CEO of Farrow & Ball paint, the creative team draws inspiration from everywhere, and some paint colors are named directly after earth elements. “Mizzle, for example, is named for weather that’s a mix of mist and drizzle.”
Further, customers are investing in less but better. For instance, instead of buying a cheap sofa every three years, which ultimately ends up in a landfill, more and more clients are embracing high quality, sustainable décor. Leather was one of the first sustainable products used; after the animal protein was obtained, the material was recycled from nature for further use.
The concept of quality over quantity is one of the core principles of Ash Lane Design.
5. Shopping Local, small businesses, & made in the USA
Another big trend is shopping small, shopping local, and buying products made in America. Two of Ashley’s favorite local stores are The Home Market in downtown Milwaukee for sophisticated, neutral home furnishings and Past Basket in Bayside for colorful lifestyle home accessories like tableware and bedding. Both of these independent, women-owned shops are premier destinations for high quality items and consumers are seeing the value in investing in top-of-the line pieces. Plus, both of these retailers offer unique merchandise from many independent makers.
6. Being resourceful: go shopping in your own home!
Pulling pieces from one room and bringing to another can freshen up your living and dining areas. Maybe it’s a bench that has been used in a bedroom for a while—could it have a new home in your family room? Another idea would be to rearrange art and other decor pieces around the home; a very simple way to completely alter the way a room feels.
7. Embracing household entertaining
Now is the time to think about entertaining at home and making everyday special with your interior home decoration. You CAN use the china and put it in the dishwasher (on the ‘light or china’ cycle of course.) If you’re going to stay home more often than in years past, you should really enjoy it, which is Ash Lane Design’s mission “Love to live in every room of your home.”
Need a little creative guidance? Ashley is offering a limited number of entertaining idea sessions via mini Zoom consultations. She can give you ideas for beautiful holiday or family entertaining to reflect your personality in a fresh way. To get started, you can send her pictures, let her know your goals, the “who’s and what’s” of your event, and come to the call with your stuff ready for an interactive, open-ended consult session. Limited appointments available. Contact Ashley for details!