Seasonal furniture shuffle

Ah, autumn. Mists, mellow fruitfulness and the X-Factor being on. After a glorious summer here it is hard to face the fact that autumn is upon us – but a dip in the sea on Friday confirmed it. The light is beautiful but the heat is going out of everything. I have of course taken steps to deal, what with the new stove and all. But this weekend I also embarked on another bit of autumnal adjustment that cost much less and is just as (ok, almost as) pleasing.

wood burning stove

Every year when I was little I have fond memories of the excitement around my mum changing the furniture. We had – she still has – a big through room with a bay window and fireplace at one end, and French doors to the garden at the other. Each spring mum would start shoving the furniture around in an act of wild reconfiguration, pushing the sofas back from the fire and opening up the space to the doors. And each autumn the process would be reversed, with a cosy enclave of sofas, stools and armchairs gathered close to the fire. Both shuffles marked the change of the seasons in a way that always struck me as positive and enriching, as well as practical.

wood burning stove

Above is the new autumn configuration, with the sofa near the fire – and this has the added benefit that I will now be able to read the guide on our ‘tiny’ TV without squinting. I love how the room feels now. I always thought a sofa in the centre of the room was the very last word in sophistication, and now I have one – admittedly I probably had a cleaner sofa in mind but hey-ho. Nothing a face-off with a steam cleaner won’t fix. Next on the autumn-to-do list is carpet and curtains. And no, they won’t match.

8 Responses to “Seasonal furniture shuffle”

  1. Mirrored
    September 28, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    For the the factor X of this room is this mirror giving as Escher-esque touch to the decor

    But mirrors have been my kind of thing for maybe too long now 🙂

    • myfriendshouse
      October 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      thank you! Yes, Esher to go with the tiles I thought – glad it works!

  2. Lynsey Alexander
    September 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous I’ve been looking for a fish eye mirror for ages. Love the tiles too xx

    • myfriendshouse
      October 3, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

      Thanks Lynsey – I thought I’d find such a mirror in a junk shop but they seem to be very tricky to get. Found this one on eBay which always feels a bit like cheating… but anyway, thanks very much and I insist you get one too x

  3. ben
    October 24, 2016 at 3:28 pm #


    my boo really wants the stuff but every picture i see is restored floorboards and haven’t really seen any i’ve loved that don’t look lumpy & uncomfortable. please post lots of carpet dilemmas!

    • myfriendshouse
      October 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

      Ben you’re in luck as a carpet dilemma is next on my decorating list. Yes this house has lovely floorboards but sadly, not in the front room where it is just very noisy hardboard that I’ve painted. Noisy for my neighbour too, so it’s time to carpet. Look out for my post in the next couple of weeks!

  4. Marc H (Down South)
    December 30, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    Hi Ross and Jill, I found you via the Telegraph website and have spent a good 20 minutes this lunch time browsing through the website (when I should have been helping my son setting up his Lego he got for Christmas!) so am being called back to the lounge as we speak(!) but just wanted to leave a quick comment – I love the content, and this one struck a particular chord given that my mum used to be exactly the same – my wife and I are embarking on the same plan in January in our new place.

    When I was a kid we had a sofa in the middle of the room, and I remember sneaking down the stairs and hiding behind it whist my parents were watching TV – I should have been in bed and the game was always to see how long I could remain until getting rumbled.

    Anyhows, great website and hope to get some inspiration here in the New Year for both myself and some clients my wife and I plan to attract in 2017 with a new business we are launching – all the best and a Happy New Year!

    • myfriendshouse
      January 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm #

      yes thank you so much for that. The Big Furniture Change was always such a thrill, and of course as a kid changed how you interacted with (i.e. played in) the room too. Another early memory of a new sofa coming, and being allowed to play under the old one with a blanket over it as a den for a couple of weeks.Thanks for your kind comments

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