With any change of season come ideas about how to change your interiors for that season. Yes, you could alter the entire color scheme of your room or house, remove pieces of furniture and haul others in to take their place, bring in yards of fabric, and empty the contents of a barn to create fall ambiance everywhere you look. Or you can be a bit more subtle, and incorporate smaller items that still make a big impact. All I did was add a pair of shelving units above the mantel and pile a bit of seasonal color at the base. Light a fire, and you have instant seasonal display.
Begin at the beginning and set up your floor display. Remember to use the three elements of design: color, texture, shape. And don’t use pumpkins and gourds solely. I brought in the rock from the patio and a twig apple that matches the spirit of the season. And don’t be afraid to use both real and artificial components in any display. The lit pumpkins are from Botanica Gardens. They come pre-lit with an orange bulb, and are glazed, which gives them a look of elegance, but a nice touch of spookiness for Halloween.
Like so many, I have a flat-screen television above my mantel. And I didn’t even move it for this look. I just decorated around it. Note the squash and branches beneath the screen. The anchor for my look is a pair of bookshelves. They’re actually brackets from The Container Store, and a book slides into them, which means an actual book becomes the bookshelf. I chose matching vintage books with metallic titles to go with the season. The compartment boxes within the brackets and between the books are vintage slide boxes I bought at an estate sale in San Diego. (Another bit of advice: Always be looking around for personal additions to your home; you will find them just about anywhere, and often in your travels.)
The bookshelves become a tower for the season with little effort. I brought in flowers in an earthen vase, an owl, a pumpkin. Three components are all it takes to represent fall. Or spring. Or any holiday. You don’t want a heavy hand. And I left all those little compartments empty. If I hadn’t, I might still be looking for small–tiny–objects to fill them, which illustrates my design point; be sparing.
The casual seasonal mound on the floor is comprised of natural and man-made elements, real and artificial. The one unexpected piece–and you should have one–is the large aggregate quartz rock. Talk about texture!
The pair of shelves isn’t clunky or overbearing, and represent fall at its best. Wood tones, a bit of color, and texture. And, because I didn’t fill this display with lots of items, the vertical lines of the shelves aren’t hidden, and echo the lines of the mantel, which makes the ceiling appear higher. I created a mirror effect by incorporating identical pieces and matching each shelf with its mate on the other side.
The overall look matches the room, and both the floor and wall displays use the same elements. I’ve both blended my seasonal look with the existing room décor, yet created a shrine that immediately pulls the eye up. And something else to note as well. Not everyone thinks about painting the mantel silver, but use of this color makes my mantel a neutral staging area for any seasonal look.
You don’t have to fill up a room with representative pieces of the season to get your point across. Make one slight addition, use pieces you already have, bring in some natural elements, and you’ll have a chic display, and one that conveys your personality and sense of whimsy. That’s all you need for decorating changes that will tower above.
Live Life to the Fullest,
Chris H. Olsen