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With the weather (finally) starting to cool down a little, I am ready to pull out my Fall Decor. I remember last year and thinking that it’s time for a Fall Decor upgrade. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, and I enjoy my Fall decorations from early October through late November. Are you ready for an upgrade? I like to approach seasonal decor the same way I approach interior decor, in “layers”. By looking at each area of your home, you can carry the seasonal theme throughout your entire home, Here are ways to take your Fall Decor to the next level.
1. As you approach your home- the first thing guests will notice when coming to visit is the exterior of your home. There are many easy ways to create an autumn “feel” to the exterior of your home:
- Plant mums: Mums are the quintessential fall flower. The beautiful colors lend themselves perfectly to the fall season. Mums are easy to care for, and when carefully tended can even be perennial. Around the mailbox, along the sidewalk, and in pots on either side of the door are ideal places for mums. When planting, think about using multi-height installments. Tall grasses in yelllow, beige or purplish colors and nandinas help add depth to beds or borders.
- Use lighting: Use uplights to highlight smaller trees with gorgeous foliage, plant beds, any vignettes you create, or even just your front door. Lights add instant impact and can be installed fairly easily with very little investment.
- Pumpkins: I love pumpkins. Probably because of their close association with Fall. Or maybe because my husband calls me “Pumpkin”. Pumpkins on the porch are cliche for a reason. They add a bright and beautiful pop of color. There are so many options available right now, from heirloom colors in white, green, and multi-dimensional orange, to realistic fake pumpkins that can be laser cut with many design options that can be used year after year. Also, don’t forget you can paint pumpkins to get the exact color you are looking for, even gold metallic! Use them with lighting for luminary beauty approaching your home.
- Topiaries: Placed by either or both sides of the front door, topiaries can work year round. For fall there are so many variations and ways to create a topiary! Start with the container. The shape and size of the container will depend on the size of the space and related objects nearby. I usually prefer a pedestal urn or pedestal vase shape of container for a topiary, but there are truly endless options. If you have a large porch you might choose a larger container. Typically, if you have a small door with a small porch or stoop you will want a smaller container. If you find a container with a perfect shape, but less than ideal color, you can probably paint it! I have painted cheap plastic containers with bronze and gunmetal spray paint and gotten fabulous results! (One tip: if you choose a cheaper, lightweight planter, fill the bottom with sand or rocks to provide stability). Once you have chosen your container, choose your topiary. Technically speaking, a topiary is a shrub or tree pruned into an ornamental shape. There are other ways to do “topiaries” in which objects are placed in or on the container in a stack. The largest item goes on the bottom, and the smallest item goes on top. Guess with what item this works beautifully! Yes, pumpkins! I’ve seen beautiful pumpkin “topiaries” with one, two, or three stacked pumpkins. If you are planting an actual tree or bush, make sure the soil you choose is appropriate for your specific planting, and make sure the container drains correctly. If you are using a faux plant or a stack of items, this won’t matter. The next thing and last consideration for your topiary is decoration. If you are using pumpkins, think about placing real or faux autumn leaves between the layers. Other options are berry garlands, fall colored ribbons, and the kinds of picks you see in floral arrangements. For bushes or trees, white lights (or another color) and a ribbon may be all you need. I think white lights are elegant and add a little bit of magic to any setting. Don’t forget to cover the base of your container (where the topiary meets the top of the container). This will hide any dirt, styrofoam, or supportive material you needed to secure your items to the base.
2. Doorway-This will provide a nice transition from your “outdoor space” to your “indoor space”.
- If you are feeling really ambitious, you can paint your door to match your fall mood. Orange and red are fall colors that make beautiful door colors! If I’m not mistaken they are also good for feng shui (although that may depend somewhat on the direction your door faces). If you do paint your door, remove it first. I’ve been told that that’s the only way to get a good finish. Paint your door in an area free from falling leaves, maybe in a garage. Also, I would do it early in the day and on a dry day so that the paint can dry thoroughly and be returned prior to nightfall. Don’t forget the back of the door! There is no law that says the back of the door has to be neutral. Pick a color you love and try it out! Worst case scenario is that you have to repaint one side of the door, which is really not that big a deal.
- Use a wreath or swag. There are so many beautiful door adornments now! Just go on Pinterest on into Etsy and I’m sure you will find some fantastic inspiration for a wreath or a swag. Lately, I’ve noticed several decorated picture frames on doors which is a fun twist!
- Use a garland. If you still feel your entry is a little drab, you can always add a garland. Try to make sure the garland “goes with” the wreath or swag and any other decor near the door. It doesn’t have to match, but it should look cohesive. You may decide your entry looks fine like it is. White lights could work on a garland too.
3. Entryway/Foyer-to set the tone
- If you have a small table in your entry, decorate it with seasonal foliage, ribbon, and/or produce (pumpkins or gourds). A candle (or several) is always a cozy touch in an entryway, but make sure there is no chance that the flame will ever come into contact with dry leaves or ribbon that could catch fire. (Side note, if your candles have leaves or any other item embedded in the wax, these items can catch fire. I know this from personal experience!) There are some beautiful battery operated candles out now that look real, so if safety is a concern you may want to take that route.
- If you have a bench, chair, or any type of seating in your entryway, make it cozy! Pile on lofty throws in soft textures and throw pillows with autumn colors, sayings, or sweater stitches.
4. Kitchen-the heart of the home
- Textiles in fall colors are a great way to decorate the kitchen. I use tablecloths, napkins, and placemats to bring more fall color into the kitchen.
- If you have a breakfast nook or eating area in your kitchen, use a nice fall centerpiece.
- I have a weird affection for dish towels. They are available in so many colors, and with so many prints and sayings! I usually hang a couple of specially selected dish towels from my oven handle.
5. Dining Room- for entertaining
- Pretty much everything I mentioned in the kitchen will work in the dining room. Since the dining table is likely the biggest piece of furniture in your dining room, choose a centerpiece that will command attention! If you want the “designer look”, set the table and include touches like a runner, cloth napkins, dishes in multiple patterns, and name place cards. If you have a buffet or china hutch, a couple of small decorations such as candles or mini pumpkins should suffice. If you have a dining room chandelier, consider decorating it as well.
6. Family Room – for cozy evenings at home
- Start with warmth and texture. Cozy throws and soft pillows will take the chill off a brisk autumn evening.
- Fireplace- I like to decorate my mantle and fireplace surround for fall. I use garland, white lights (of course), ceramic and glass pumpkins, and mums in a decorative container to spruce up my fireplace.
- Fall themed candles in spots around the room are the only other decor items I use.
7. Fragrance – for sensory reinforcement
- The last layer to up your Fall decor game is fragrance. The sense of smell is linked more closely to memories than any other sense. I like to use Bath and Body Works “Autumn” fragrance all over my house…using candles, Wallflowers, scented wax warmers, and air spray. To me, it instantly evokes the feeling of sitting by a campfire in an autumn orchard clearing. If you don’t like my choice, find your own favorite, and use it around the house for that final fall touch.
I hope you found some great ideas for upping your fall decor game. I’d love to see your fall decor masterpieces! Email me or comment on this post you share your creations, and be sure to include any of your own ideas that I left out!
Until next time,