Define Your Style

The first thing to do is think about the look and feel of the room you’re styling. Is it a mid-century bedroom, a traditional living room or a new-build kitchen? Think about your space and what your style is. Each home or space will have its own requirements.

Think about what vibe you want to create. What do you absolutely love? No matter what your personality, there’s always room for a bit of considered styling! If you live in a traditional cottage, look for items that reflect the history of your home. If you live in a modernist flat, maybe you’d prefer a few mid-century pieces. If you like unfussy interiors, minimalist styling would be best for you.

If you’re unsure what your style is, take a look at Pinterest and Instagram and see what you respond to. You should also think about a colour palette – I suggest sticking to a maximum of three or four tones. I personally love sage green, peachy pink and a bit of a rust tone to bring autumn in.

Collect Your Props

Choose props you love for a cohesive look. If in doubt, choose vintage or handmade pieces. If these are hard to find, there are lots of high street shops that sell a fantastic selection of home decor that have that handmade quality to them.

The basic items are a collection of vases in different sizes, classic crockery and cutlery, different mugs, a selection of cushions and throws, vintage books, nice magazines, stationery, good quality pens and pencils, framed prints in different sizes and a few candles. I always try to have something living in my home and photos, so potted plants and flowers are a must. For an autumnal look, I suggest using dried foliage and flowers. A good florist will be able to find something you like but I personally love dried wheat, seed-pods and poppy heads.

Add Botanicals 

To really bring autumn into your home, little bowls of crab apples and rosehips look lovely on a coffee table or sideboard. Try to source some petite and pretty pumpkins too; I love the pale green and cream ones and they look wonderful on a mantlepiece. Why not go out foraging one day? You’ll be surprised how much you can find, even in very urban areas. Look for foliage as this will last a long time – and if you’re lucky enough to spot any autumnal fruit or dried hydrangeas, pick those too. Just don’t take too much and never pick things from someone’s garden unless you have permission!

How to style a sideboard

Once you’ve collected your items together you can start adding them to a display. I always start with the larger props that will sit in the background.

For this sideboard, my florist friend Gee from Bloom & Burn made a simple arrangement in one of my favourite jugs and I added in a candle, a stack of vintage plates, bowls full of crab apples and pears, a small handmade basket (that I bought on my honeymoon in Greece), green pumpkins and a few decorative blooms and stems of foliage. I just love the soft peachy tone in this display, it’s autumnal but not Halloween-esque.

Top tips

Make sure to incorporate items of different height in your styled areas – you can see that the heights of my items jumps around from left to right, which creates more visual interest. Having things in height order or displaying items that are all the same height will look odd or boring.

Remember to leave enough white space between your objects: you don’t want your shelves to feel too hectic and crowded. It’s also important to use items with varied textures and colours to add visual interest and draw the eye in.

You may want to introduce a candle for added glow, even better if it smells like autumn! The final touch is to include something personal, perhaps a family photo or a souvenir from a special holiday.


By Helen Baron @hel_bow