Sustainable and cost-effective autumn styling

As we head into the cooler months, it’s time to spend more time indoors. To kick-off autumn, leading property stylist Justine Wilson provides her sustainable and cost-effective ways to refresh interior spaces to ensure they are both cosy and inviting.

Vault Interiors Director Justine Wilson says with inflation soaring and many households under financial stress, she has some cost-effective ways to get your home ready for autumn or for sale.

“The change of season is always a great time to refresh your home, but you don’t have to break the bank,” she says.

Add layers to reduce your energy bill

This means having thick rugs in your home, such as sheepskins or layer rugs on top of each other for added depth. Introduce hall runners and matts where possible.

Add thick, cosy blankets and throws paired with extra plump cushions to your living and bedroom spaces, to create warmth and texture.

Faux fur, wool and thick fabrics like velvets are great. You can keep costs down by changing cushion covers only and reusing your inserts.

Or even consider hunting at your local op shops for blankets and cushions, which also give new life to these handy items.

Add warm tone-coloured accents

When it’s cold outside you want to visually warm up your interiors so opt for rich earthy tones, which are also bang on trend and echo the changing leaves and colours of nature.

Deep rich colours like chocolate, terracotta and rust tones, mustards, coral or orange hues are a great way to achieve this.

You can get creative and paint a canvas, or knit your own blankets or cushion covers. You can also bring in autumn foliage from your garden – gather branches with turning leaves for a great floral arrangement.


Lighting is a great way to battle the changing seasons. As the light fades earlier, consider adding extra floor or table lamps to your home.

Ambient light always creates an inviting space. Also consider swapping your cool tone bulbs to warm white for additional glow – this is an inexpensive hack.

If you don’t have enough space to inject additional lamps, opt for pretty candles.

You can even make your own candles; this is a fun activity to beat off the autumn blues.

You can also harness the sun, so consider outdoor solar fairy lights to create a magical glow.

Upcycle your furniture for a new look!

This is a great way to transform your space. Take any darker tone or dated furniture, sand it back, and paint easily with chalk paint (which doesn’t usually require undercoating).

Autumn can traditionally feel quite dark and moody, so why not brighten up and paint your older items white, or beige for a modern look – or even have fun with a colour accent to make your furniture item stand out.

This is a great project especially for smaller items like side tables, bar tables or bedsides, and the updated look will help your room feel fresh.


Bringing fresh smells and scents into your home at the change of the season will always uplift your space, for sustainable options consider creating your own simmer pot!

This is as easy as boiling water and adding things like cinnamon, cloves, orange slices or other natural elements that give your home an aroma.

This will penetrate your space and get rid of any musty smells. You can also consider making your own candles or wax melts, and it’s fun to pick the scents to customise to your palette.

Candle making is easy, and suppliers can be bought inexpensively online and delivered. You can use old vases, or old store-bought candle votives, and reuse and repurpose these to give them a new lease on life.

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Justine Wilson

Justine Wilson is the director and owner of Vault Interiors. She has a Bachelor of Interior Design from the University of Technology Sydney – and an impressive history of experience over the years in styling and staging homes for sale.