Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
How do you like my red painted dairy milk jug vignette? This was a lot of fun. I had the milk jug for several years and had used it in decorating without much embellishment. It had become rusty over the years and this summer I decided to spray paint it red. First, I did use naval jelly to remove as much rust as possible. I used Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover Paint + Primer in Colonial Red-Gloss. It covers very well, so you don’t have to be meticulous with the naval jelly. Once painted, I knew I would be putting a potted plant in it. Since my milk jug never had a lid, I repurposed a plastic pot that fit perfectly in the top of the milk jug. I spray painted the plastic pot red to further disguise it. When it came time to decorate it, I began with a potted, red, tall grass. I added a few autumn leaf sprays and some sunflowers. I had intended to add a bow, but I was so pleased with the shiny red paint finish, that I decided to leave it as is. (Sneak preview: I will be reusing this as part of our winter holiday decorations.)
I really like galvanized metal containers. On a recent road trip, I saw one displayed with a large mum in it. It looked so charming in its simplicity. I decided to copy it for our front garden. I had the large galvanized container. All I did was add the large mum. We found the acorn sculptures several years ago at the Shaker Woods Festival. I have these in our garden year round. They get moved around, but they are always out. The simplicity of this arrangement pleases me.
The anchor of this display is a large pumpkin made by a local craftsman from recycled barn wood. Each pumpkin was painted in a different manner. I love the shading he did on this one. It could probably be recreated using an old pallet. In front of the wooden pumpkin, I added a wooden bushel basket filled with a variety of plants: red grasses, decorative cabbage plant, mum, and some cattails. There is even a white pumpkin or two tucked into the arrangement. I added the orange and white pumpkin to complete the vignette.
The lamppost got an Indian corn and wheat arrangement makeover. The droopy wheat is the result of a strong wind and rain. I hung an acorn nut birdhouse on the post as a link to the other acorn sculptures. Repetition of materials can add continuity to the décor.
Here we have one of the “deck-orations”. I’ve begun scouring flea markets and resale shops for blue speckled granite wear roasters, coffee pots, canners, and more. So far, I have three pieces, and I plan to use them for potting plants next spring. I paid $2.00 for this roaster and had it planted with herbs this summer. For fall, I used autumn leaf picks, plastic gourds, an old small grapevine wreath, and a red candle jar. I cut dried pods from Black-eyed Susan plants to add height to the arrangement. All that was left was to add the birdhouses and pumpkins. (Note to self: Change out lime green pots to red for autumn décor.)
I am always sad when the plantings of summer are spent. I wasn’t about to move this large planter, so I decided to dress it up with the help of Mother Nature. I already had the branches and the garden sign in the planter. I added the rustic birdhouse and looked around for some “filler”. Woods surround us and the oak trees have been dropping their leaves in clusters. I gathered up a bunch of them and inserted them into the planter. I cut a few Black-Eyed Susan dried pods and stuck them in for added interest. Lastly, I added a few plastic gourds. This vignette has the most natural elements of any I’ve done and I found them in my yard! This may be my favorite arrangement.
Lastly, it’s only fitting, that Mother Nature is given the credit with all her marvelous fall colors. All I did was hang a birdhouse on a hanger and let Mother Nature be the backdrop. She is amazing!
I recently retired in July of this year from 37 years of teaching elementary school. This fall, I've turned that energy and creativity that I use to exhibit in my classroom, to our home. Here are some photos and ideas. I hope a few of them may inspire you. My personal philosophy is to decorate with what we love and makes me happy. Many times simpler is better. Use what we have, and know that one doesn't have to break the bank to have a warm, stylish, and cozy home.
Use What You Love and What Makes You Happy!: This is a little vignette on our family room bookshelf. I had all of the pieces. I didn't purchase anything new for this display. I love my Williraye candlesticks. The plate I found at a local Made in America shop. My sheep was from another shop. I thought they all went together and they make me happy! Then, I just added some autumn picks of leaves and berries I had from decorating my former classroom. Ta dah!
Lanterns are all the rage right now, although I’m not sure that they every really go out of style. We bought these lanterns almost 20 years ago at Restoration Hardware. They’ve actually been sitting on a shelf in the laundry room for a while now. I decided to use them in my autumn decorating and I am quite pleased with the outcome. I elevated the tall lantern with a stack of books. Having different levels adds drama to a vignette. Then I simply wound picks of leaves and sunflowers around the tall lantern and swagged it next to the smaller lantern. With the addition of some pumpkin candles, these lanterns really add a beautiful glow and scent in the evenings. I had a garland of rusty stars (from my rust period) and wound those around the base of the lantern.
Use What You Have and Use What You Love!
Here, I took an existing potted violet, placed it in a favorite ceramic pot with a leftover burlap square. I then added artificial fall leaves around the pot and have a dining room centerpiece. I absolutely love the tablecloth by April Cornell. This one is Farm Fresh in black. Her colors and designs in table linens make me happy, as does the Lazy Susan from Sticks Furniture Arts and Crafts. The Lazy Susan was an indulgence in celebration of an anniversary and it has graced our table for many years.
I wanted you to see the display on the top of our China hutch. Rather than pack the Byer’s Choice figures away for just Christmas time, I have them up all year. They were a gift from friends, reminds me of them, and they too, make me happy. All I do is change out the garlands with seasonal decorations.
I hung a garland from JoAnn Fabric or Michaels on the fireplace. 3M Command Hooks are holding the garland in place. More pictures of the autumn basket with the twinkling lights below. Did I mention, how much I love twinkle lights?
Display Things You Love! : Here is a photo of one of our bookshelves that flanks the fireplace. You’ll notice that the things we love: Bob’s special teapots, art books, more books, stone schoolhouse, and rooster pitcher that was a gift from friends, are all prominently displayed. I can honestly say that everything on these shelves are things that we love and express who we are. I added a few sprigs of fall berries and foliage to them for the autumn décor.
The lights that are tea lights are hanging from the bookshelves using Command Hooks. I found these black, metal tea light hangers one year before Christmas. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to use them, but I knew I really liked them. I am very pleased with the added ambience they add to bookshelf. I even found battery operated tea lights on Amazon with a remote control and that solved the problem of having to turn them all on by hand.
Coming Soon: Outdoor Autumn Decorating From Our Welcoming Home!
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