7 ways to make life extra lovely this autumn

Nice things to see, try and do this autumn...

It’s the little things that make us happy! With this in mind, why not try our wish list of lovely things to see and do this autumn…

1. Raid nature’s larder
No such thing as a free lunch? Think again! Download The Forager’s Apprentice, 79p (iPhone or iPad) – it’ll inform and inspire you on how to make the most oif nature’s bounty.

2. Rustic storage
Store your bits and bobs in The Basket Room’s gorgeous range of ethical baskets, individually made by small craft collectives in Africa using age-old weaving techniques. Prices range from £9 for two small storage baskets to £55 for a bike basket.

3. Design a rustic dog bed
Make your pet’s sleeping space extra special with a personalised bed, upcycled from a sustainable apple crate. With a dipped front for access and a washable lining, it makes the perfect addition to a country home – choose from 10 colours and have your pet’s name added. From £39.95, Plantabox.

4. Go for cosy layers
Don’t pack away your warm-weather wardrobe just yet – wooly tights and a chunky cardigan make a light cotton dress more seasonal. Complete the look with an oversized tweed jacket to keep you toasty as temperatures drop. Green tweed coat, £130; blue twisted knit cardigan, £75; scattered spot tea dress, col Grape, £75, all Cath Kidston.

5. Kick up autumn leaves
Found a lovely leaf? Download the Leafsnap app onto your iPhone (free, Natural History Museum) and share a picture to discover which tree it belongs to. Learn all about our native species with mini fact files and browse over 2,000 beautiful images of fruits, flowers, seeds and more.

6. Go wild with sloes
Make this fruity gin tipple and let it mature for 3 months – just in time for the festive season!

Find ripe sloes growing on blackthorn bushes in hedgerows; wear gloves when picking to protect against prickles. Tradition says they should be collected after the first frost to soften their skins, but freezing them overnight works just as well.
Wash
500g fruit in warm water and prick the skins a few times with a fork.
Place
into a Kilner jar along with 250g sugar and 1 litre gin.
Store
in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every few days until all the sugar has dissolved.
Strain
out the gin-soaked sloes after about three months. Rather than throw them away, why not try this delicious homemade chocolate recipe? Melt 500g dark chocolate and stir in the sloes and toasted hazlenuts. Spread onto parchment paper and leave to set for a tasty sweet treat.
Decant
your sloe gin into decorative bottles and add a label for a cool handmade gift idea.

7. Empty a tired mind
Soothe away cares with these fragrant stress-relieving elixirs…

Gentle, soft and rich in vitamins and antioxidants, this relaxing blend of orange and geranium targets stress, sleep problems and low energy. De-Stress Bath Oil, £10.95 for 100ml, Tisserand.

This blend of calming essential oils – including lavender, jasmine and rosewood – nourishes tired skin. Daily De-Stress Face, Body & Hair Oil, £32 for 100ml, Neom Organics.

A luxurious treat fragranced with rosemary, frankincense and camomile, which are known for their clarifying powers. De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil, £45 for 55ml, Aromatherapy Associates.

Feeling inspired by all of these nice things? Check out the Country Homes & Interiors home page for lots more autumn loveliness.

Ideal Home loves...