It can sometimes be quite difficult to pinpoint the exact start of summer and winter, but autumn is one season that is easy to spot. The beautiful colours on the trees, the mist hanging in the air in the mornings and the darker evenings are among the signs that nature is once again winding down in advance of a deep sleep.
Now that it's officially autumn for meteorological purposes, you might already be making a few changes at home, such as swapping your light duvet for a warmer one or packing up those shorts and flip-flops ready to put in the attic to make room for comforting woolly jumpers.
However, why not take this opportunity to make some alterations and freshen up your home decor too? We all have accessories and items dotted around in various rooms to provide some personality, but some of the more summer-themed ones can begin to appear a little out of place as the nights draw in.
For example, ornaments or faux flowers with big blooms will bring to mind the heady days of June and July, not the cosy ones of October. To rectify this, we'd recommend taking a leaf out of the US's book and bringing in some specifically autumn-themed decor this season.
We might not have Thanksgiving like they do, but we can certainly express our gratitude about this most bountiful of times. To get you started, we've got a few ideas below.
Look for earth tones
Outside is all about rich browns, russets and oranges, so evoke this indoors by bringing in colours to match. You could get a new throw for the sofa or a piece of inexpensive wall art to hang in the living room, which will instantly create a cosy ambience. If you add some autumnal curtains, you should also benefit from more warmth through insulation as the mercury drops.
This should be enough to feel like a change, although you could go a little further if you like by painting a feature wall in a rich hue. Remember you might feel like doing this again in spring, though.
Create an evocative scent
Stand in the countryside in autumn and your nose will be treated to a bouquet of rich scents: leaves, perhaps a wood fire or two, even the cold in the air. Similarly, indoors might be fragranced by pies cooking and fruit boiling up for jams. To make the most of this, you could swap your usual home fragrances for something a little spicier.
For instance, if you're usually a floral person, try an Orange Spice candle from our range at Heyland & Whittle with its dashes of cinnamon and clove, or a Sandalwood and Oud reed diffuser. Both are really comforting and ideal for this time of year.
If you don't want to buy accent pieces for autumn, you could always make them. Craft shops will be full of autumn inspiration now and the longer evenings offer up the perfect opportunity to get creative.
Remember the centrepieces we suggested that you make for summer garden parties? Try some new ones with orange and brown ribbons, faux leaves (or real ones encased in varnish) and clusters of berries, complete with candles in the middle.
Fill decorative jars with acorns and conkers, or have a go at a pomander. If you use rustic colours as opposed to reds and greens, they won't look too Christmassy.
Look for natural items
Nature is putting on quite the display outdoors, so steal little bits of it for the home. A wooden bowl on the kitchen table can be filled with rosy red apples, while a simple vase will look great with strands of wheat and dried seed heads inside.
Also, remember that wreaths aren't just for Christmas - there are some great ones made of orange berries and pine cones, which can be hung on the inside of windows or above the fireplace if you don't want them to get dog-eared outside.
Once the end of October arrives, pumpkins will make a striking display on their own too, whether you opt to carve them or not.
The start of autumn is the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for the busy months ahead and to liven it up with a fresh look at the same time. Why not try a few of these ideas and let us know how you get on? We'd love to see your pictures too.