We had been enjoying the Indian summer days of early October when yesterday afternoon, as I walked with the dogs in the cutting garden, I felt this rush of cold air on my back. One second earlier it had been balmy and warm; the next moment it was if I had backed into a freezer! The sensation was strange — this rush air of so fast and seemingly from nowhere. But in an instant I thought, “Ah, the real autumn begins.” Time to bring out the sweaters and take the summer slipcovers off.
Last year I was a woman in need of a project. I decided to take my old studio at Weatherstone and turn it into a library for my garden, design and art books. While I have many bookcases in the main house, I had reached the point when the shelves were full and I had started to stack books on any available space.
I spend all of my non-garden working hours in my studio, so I decided I wanted seasonal slipcovers and rugs. I do that in Aspen as well. I love cozy wools and velvets on the furniture and carpets covering the floors in winter, but want the freshness of linens and cottons and sisal rugs in the warm months.
Back to the rush of cold in the garden yesterday that prompted my seasonal changeover. In the photo below, warm weather attire is a blue and white linen fabric covering the sofa and chairs; these rest on a bright geometric blue and white rug.
From spring through summer I have seasonal flowers from the garden to decorate the consoles and small coffee table. I find that blue and white fabrics complement a myriad of flower colors.
I like the mix of this linen fabric from Quadrille Fabrics and the graphic dhurrie from ABC Carpet.
But when the chill comes, the decor changes. First thing this morning I took off the warm weather slipcovers, revealing rich red wool underneath. I changed the pillows and seat covers to clipped velour and antique paisley throws. I replaced the summery rug with an antique carpet, grounding a richer and warmer palette. The white orchids were taken to the green house, replaced by russet mums. It took all of about 40 minutes. With very little effort I had my work space properly dressed for the upcoming crisp fall days that will evolve into a New England winter.
The cute little guy in the chair is Dennis (as in Menace!), one of several Havanese pups at Weatherstone.
I change slipcovers and pillows, but the blue and white pottery remains. It works with any color I use in the room.
While my homes are filled with antiques, my workspace is filled with reproductions that I have found during my travels.( A story on that will come later.) While I did this project on a budget that did not allow for antiques, I had so much fun working with the artisans who carved and crafted many of the things in this room. I am so happy with the results.