Can you tell there’s a change about? You’ve probably noticed that the light has evolved in the last couple of weeks, becoming less potent, but also more golden. The air has also stilled a bit. Except when hurricanes come ashore, that is. The scents borne on breezes have also taken on a bit of an edge. Fall approaches. And aren’t we glad? No sense waiting for crisp mornings and forests of turning foliage to give you official permission to create a bit of change in your seasonal décor, however. Select a couple of surfaces you want to use for fall bounty, start now, and add elements as the season progresses.
I’m using two surfaces today, the sideboard and dinning table. They’re large enough to hold all pieces I want to add during the season. Here, on the sideboard, I’ve assembled the usual suspects: fall mums in terra cotta; warty and deeply colored squash; occasional branches; mini pumpkins. If you begin your display with what’s expected, you can add what’s not later. What’s the overall goal? Use matte textures redolent of autumn, and strong color in a few pieces. Pile and strew them about with little to no regularity.
Now, let’s move to the dining table, also a great space that lends itself to changes and augmented design throughout the season. I began with green, but not the grassy verdant shades. Olive pots, and typical windowsill plants that also have a hue that evokes late summer, early fall. And note the little boxwoods for a bit of prim order. Once you’ve arranged and mixed the plants, then scatter votives around and a few turning leaves. Those votives don’t shine when lit as much as they provide a shimmer that also is great this time of year.
You can add pumpkins and squash as you encounter them. Stores will soon be piled up with fall produce, so you might even like something else besides pumpkins. Try ripe ears of corn, pomegranates, or anything else you find. The idea is that the design evolves over time, and you add little items to evoke the season.
No seasonal design should stand alone; you want it to rest comfortably within the room and complement what’s already there. Using fall colors makes your wooden surfaces gleam and, if you have a bit of gold or other metallic in the room–like the mirror frame–you’ll notice that everything takes on a burnished glow. And the improvised cornucopia on the sideboard fits into the room, with its bright painting and plant in a stand. You want to use found objects and plants, but you also want a bit of serenity in design. And it doesn’t take much to make it all come together. If you look at what’s already in the room, you can always find design unity in color, texture, and shape.
Check your design every few days. Turn the plants, if they’ve grown towards the light, and move elements around. Add to your design when you find something that evokes the season, or that you just plain like.
Once you’ve created the tablescape, step back and admire the mix. Because that’s what it’s all about. Maybe you didn’t think these white modular dining chairs would work here, but they do. By adding just what I liked–nothing too large or overpowering, mind you–my design complements the entire room. Personal seasonal design is just another term for using what you have, along with using what you like.
Once you find the right pumpkin, give it the place of honor. As the sought-after guest, it can arrive later, only when you find the one that works with what you already have in place.
Fall décor? Pretty simple. Use the expected elements of the season, and pile them up as needed. Showcase the season. And chances are, since you’re adding what you like, it will blend with and complement what you already have in your room. It’s not just about texture, color and placement; it’s also about using the things that resonate with you.
Live Life to the Fullest,
Chris H. Olsen