Fall for these fall cleaning tips

A new trend is to leave fall leaves on the ground until the spring as a protective layer for garden plants. PHOTO: Christine Roberts

The arrival of cold nights and clear crisp days means fall is finally here – and with it the reminder that soon, most of our time will be spent indoors. It’s time to get our homes ready for winter days and nights.

Along with the chores you should put on your fall schedule to finish before the weather turns frigid, there are also some fun, decorative ways to warm up the home so that spending extra hours there is more enjoyable.

First, the checklist of things you should try to get done before winter takes hold:

Clear eavestroughs: Schedule this carefully. You want to have it done after most of the leaves have fallen, but before it starts to freeze.

Have chimney cleaned and inspected for safety: Do this in anticipation of many nights by the fire ahead.

Turn off water to outdoor taps: Be sure to drain all water from hoses before you coil them up for storage so they don’t freeze and crack.

Clean air ducts and have your furnace inspected or cleaned: Since the furnace will no doubt be running more than usual in winter, you want to be sure it’s clean and ready to go.

Air out all your beds and wash the mattress and pillow protectors: Bring out duvets and heavy bedding and hang it out for several hours before remaking the bed for winter.

Clean drapes, blinds and shutters: Clean your windows inside and out. Remove screens and wash them, then store away for the winter. You will let more light in without screens on and will most likely not be opening windows again until the spring thaw.

Give baseboards and trim work a good cleaning: Touch up or repaint if needed.

But think twice about clearing all of those leaves off your lawn and garden. A new trend is to leave them on until spring – it creates a protective layer for garden plants and protects the soil and grass, too.

With all of that time saved not raking, you can get cracking on more interesting – and fun – ways to transition your home to fall and winter.

Copper is the new must-have metal for 2016.
Copper is the new must-have metal for 2016.

Now is a great time to repaint walls since you can still keep windows open to air the house out while the paint dries. Try something lighter to brighten things up while you’re inside for the winter. If you are looking to paint your walls white (this trend is still going strong), look at “Simply White” by Benjamin Moore. Most designers call this their go-to white. If you want a softer look with a bit of warmth, look at “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore. Somehow this light grey manages to look good in every room, in every house (it’s my fave and one I recommend often). When you lighten up your walls, the whole house is brighter and won’t feel as gloomy.

Interior trends often follow fashion trends, and it’s easy to incorporate some of these into your own home to freshen it up and add some chic style to your space.

Layering is hot right now for fall – in fashion and interior design. Think of layering pillows, throws, and rugs in the living room. Dining room tables can be layered with neutral tablecloths underneath a gorgeous table runner.

Think texture, layers, and monocromatic tones for fall home decor.
Think texture, layers, and monocromatic tones for fall home decor.

But above all, texture and materials are the most important thing to take note of. Leather, fur (faux or real), textured wool, rough hewn wood, thick plush carpets and fabrics, all welcome winter and keep your home feeling cozy and warm.

Gold and rose gold have been on trend for the past few years, but copper is the newest must-have metal. Add a small item, like a table lamp in copper finish or copper plant pot or vase to keep your look current without making a huge investment.

Another hot look right now is to keep everything fairly monochromatic. Various tones of white or grey layered in different materials makes the space feel very chic and luxe.

Try taking old items you have and reworking them into your home. One of our vendors at the Leslieville Flea makes pillows and throws out of vintage fur coats or blankets. If you’ve got any of those things stashed in a closet, think of bringing them out and having them reworked to be part of your décor.

Christine Roberts is an interior designer, stylist, avid vintage collector, and co-founder of the Leslieville Flea. She makes furniture and home accessories of reclaimed materials. Find her at shes-crafty.ca and leslievilleflea.com

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