Like Miss Bronte, I love the fall, the flutter of every leaf dressed in red or gold or purple. Squirrels frolicking in piles of crunchy leaves. The brisk breeze that sweeps away the stifling humidity of summer. Being greeted in the morning with that invigorating nip in the air. Or staying inside and listening to the sound of rain on the roof.
My love of fall is reflected in my home as the décor transitions from its summer linens and pastels to warm, colorful and cozy. I do the transition gradually; there’s no need to disrupt my living space nor my budget. Here I have five easy-to-do changes to share with you so that you also may celebrate the splendor of the season in your home.
Bring the Outside In
Nature is filled with an array of decorations that are yours for the taking.
- Seasonal fruits provide the colors and shapes that can create a display that would rival the finest still life painting: apples, pears, peaches, clementines and kumquats in a bowl or basket, perhaps with accents of acorns, berries and nuts.
Bonus: There is always something delicious to grab for a snack or to turn into a pie.
- Gather up branches, twigs, leaves, pine cones and moss and create lovely arrangements in tall vases next to a fireplace or in a foyer or as a centerpiece for your dining table. Вrаnсhеѕ wіth the bеrrіеѕ still attached add a natural, yet sophisticated, touch to any space.
A print of birds flying home is a perfect accompaniment for your fall arrangements.
Revitalize the Textiles
Pillows, throws and rugs are simple ways to add fall to a room without making major changes or changing your color scheme.
- Switch out or add accent pillows in soft, warm colors and fabrics, such as faux fur, knit, flannel or velvet. Pillows that are in different materials, sizes and shapes make a more interesting design. A pillow decorated with a pine cone print is even more interesting!
- Faux fur also works for throws, but the crème de la crème of fabrics is cashmere for its signature warmth and texture.
- Layer rugs on carpet or hardwood floors to give a room a new look without much effort. Plus it’s fun to experiment with colors and patterns—perhaps a faux zebra skin on a sisal rug or a cowhide on an Oriental rug. The extra softness and warmth feel fabulous on bare feet.
As the sun sets earlier and earlier, candles create a soft, warm glow that ups the cozy quotient. There is a wonderful selection of candles so that you can mix or match on tables, mantels, shelves and windowsills—especially windowsills where candles make your home the warmest and most welcoming in the neighborhood.
- Tealights are like small sparkling gems creating multiple points of light.
- Votive candles in their glass holders bring the drama of flickering candlelight to a scene.
- Pillar candles work alone but in groups of different sizes they are enthralling. Try an arrangement on a mantel that has a mirror hanging above it or an arrangement on a mirrored tray and watch the reflected light bounce around the room.
Fall is the time to switch from scents such as beach breeze, linen and honeysuckle. Start slowly, with vanilla then on to scents such as cedarwood, ginger and sandalwood. Later on in the season, you can pull out all stops and fill the house with pumpkin and cinnamon and any hunger-inducing aroma of your choice.
Candles do double duty, filling your home with fragrance as well as those beguiling flickers of light. Then you have incense, sprays, essential oils with diffusers, potpourris and light-bulb rings. So many wonderful ways to have your home smelling gloriously like fall. Just a word: Never use them all at once!
A vignette, in interior design, is a harmonious grouping of disparate items that may have a special meaning to you or may be your creative expression of colors and shapes, much as a painter arranges a still life. A vignette may be displayed on any flat surface: table, mantel, countertop, bookshelf or window ledge. The transition from summer to fall is a great time to replace or revamp your vignette(s). You don’t have to replace every element in a vignette, but choose your items wisely—the style of summer is much different from that of fall.
Use accessories such as vases, mirrors, plants, photos, books, knickknacks or exotic artifacts. Many of the things we have discussed above make interesting elements for a vignette: fruits and nuts; branches, twigs and pine cones; and candles. Try a print of a red roseto accent a fall vignette! You will have people coming by to see your seasonal vignettes.
“. . . fall comes, . . . as it always does, one day sometime after the midpoint of September, and it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed.”