by Brenda M. Miller
Designer of Interior Spaces, The Miller House
photos by Lauri Bridgeforth
Now that summer is drawing to a close, it’s time to shift your design focus toward the images of autumn.
Changing seasons outside are the perfect reason to change your decor inside. Decorating your home is easy when you use ideas from nature incorporating these into wreaths, table settings and more. Let’s “fall” into the season by transforming your home into a festive and fun place for family and friends.
Bring out the throws and pillows
If you folded up your throw blankets and fall pillows for storage when hot weather arrived, it’s time to bring them out! Gathering around the television for a football game, reading the newspaper on a lazy weekend, or even in the morning when you’ve got a cup of tea in hand, it’s twice as nice when you can watch leaves float down from the tree tops as you cuddle up with your favorite blanket or pillow. Fall pillows in a beautiful array of yellows, reds, oranges and browns will instantly change the feel and look of any room.
Decorate the kitchen accordingly
During the summer it’s a nice to place green, large-leafed plants around the home and outdoors. In the fall, making the transition to an earthier plant or vegetable display is something to consider. As “corny” as it may sound, placing a variety or gourds, nuts and pumpkins around your home sets a definite autumnal tone. Placing corn kernels in glass hurricanes with a candle is easy and inexpensive.
Highlight the wood in your home
If you have a wooden kitchen or dining room table try losing the tablecloth and simply going with fall-colored placemats. Polishing hardwood floors, wooden cabinets and wooden tables really brings a crisp, woodland feel, especially if the wood is of a dark tone.
Accents of fall
Adding autumnal accents throughout your home can be as easy as grabbing items from outdoors. Here are some fun & easy projects and techniques to help:
Leaf pressings – To preserve the beauty of colorful fall foliage, press leaves between books. When fully dry, display leaves between two pieces of same-sized glass. Secure the pieces of glass together by wrapping the edges with colored, linen book cloth tape.
Pumpkins with function – Little ornamental gourds can be a big help in keeping a festive tablecloth in place, especially when it’s used for an outdoor gathering. Add grommets to a tablecloth (use a grommet kit, available at crafts stores). Then attach string to the pumpkins and loop through the grommets for functional seasonal flair.
A simple display of mini pumpkin gourds can be a stylish centerpiece. Place pumpkins atop overturned bowls, cake plates or candlesticks for creating an interesting display. Try painting the pumpkins in metallic silver or gold for a sophisticated, glitzy effect.
White autumn – Plain white dishes are anything but boring when accented in unique autumn flair.
Leaves, gourds and miniature pumpkins create a pretty fall tablescape — perfect for a harvest party or Thanksgiving dinner. And let’s not forget the white pumpkins! White pumpkins lined up down the center of a table with a bit of bittersweet is a great tablescape for any style home.
Orchard fruits – Arrange brightly colored apples or pears on your mantel, placing them on decorative glass urns for height. Use artificial fruits if you want the display to last of the fall season (anything to avoid those annoying fruit flies). Add branches you have gathered in the yard for additional height and drama.
Harvest corn (Indian corn) – Tie a grouping of Indian corn ears together and hang from a cabinet door. Display jars filled with dried corn and seeds behind glass-front cabinet doors for an added fall touch.
Fall mantel décor – Pinecones on a fireplace mantle are a simple and elegant way to make your home feel warm and cozy. Start by draping a natural garland across the length of your mantle. Next, lay the pinecones on top of the garland, alternating setting them upright and on their sides. Finish by nestling fresh apples and nuts between the pinecones to create a stunning and wonderful display.
The Miller House will offer extra-large pinecones for both the fall and winter season
Easy centerpiece – Create an easy centerpiece by setting several pumpkins or gourds on the table. You can display them on a long white platter, but a low basket or tray would work just as well. I like to garnish with a few leaves, berry clusters, or flowers to add a bit of color and texture.
Plain pinecones make eye-catching accents, too. Gather the pinecones in the middle of your table as an alternative to a floral centerpiece. I often place a pinecone on individual plates to add a natural touch to place settings.
Collect old brass plated or any metal candle sticks and spray paint with copper metallic paint.
Gather candlesticks together in the center of the table and add leaves, garlands and gourds for a striking display.
Branch out – Fall branches make wonderful — and cheap — decorations for your home. Look for interesting shapes with leaves, acorns or berries to scatter throughout your home. Add a little bit of copper colored spray paint for a unique surprise!
Fall chandelier – Makeover your light fixtures. You could attach ribbons to paper mache gourds with hot-glue, then suspend from a chandelier. I like creating a dramatic look with use of a fall garland of floral sprigs woven around the chandelier arms.
Traditional fall décor is a celebration of the harvest season, so natural materials are a natural fit. I hope these ideas inspire you to start welcoming fall in your own home.