I decided to experiment with a more neutral palette for early fall decor. For this personal decor challenge, I decided to use creams, pale blues to turquoise, greens, and black and white. I also decided to move a few things around and use them in different places in our home. This is the joy of choosing pieces that you truly love. They can be used in many places in your home and made to look completely new.
I began with the fireplace. I have had the same basket in front of the fireplace for years. I change it up with florals and greenery to suit each season.
I liked the basket in front of the fireplace as it filled the black space of the fireplace when it wasn't lit. Sometimes, though, it is good to change out favorite pieces and try something new. The fireplace basket and mantel was the starting place.
Our mantel is very narrow. I decided to remove the pineapple lanterns that had flanked either side, and just keep it very simple. I moved a berry garland that has been draped above our window blinds in the dining room to the mantel. Then, I tucked in seeded eucalyptus leaves. I'd seen other bloggers using seeded eucalyptus and decided to give it a go. I searched in vain for it at local craft supply sites. I finally ordered some from an Etsy source: La Fleur by ArtistryinFlorals. I am very pleased with this supplier and I look forward ordering more from Brenda King in the future.
I like the airiness and laciness of the seeded eucalyptus. It has a very faint scent and I am told it dries well and can be used year after year. That's my kind of greenery.
The seeded eucalyptus and a berry garland was all I added to the mantel. I wanted to keep it simple. Sometimes, I feel like I've forced more on the mantle, than space allowed. (There have been times when gravity has done its thing and bits and pieces of "decor" have unexpectedly fallen off the mantle!) This time, I decided to decorate within the parameters I had. I'm happy with it.
Next, I began restaging the fireplace hearth. Remember, I wanted to change out the basket that had been positioned there for years. I went in search of a tall lantern. I saw some beautiful lanterns at one of our local markets. I thought I would give myself permission to splurge on this one item, until I found the lantern in the photo at TJ Maxx Home Good Store for less than half of the one I had been coveting. I purchased the flameless battery operated candle, with a remote, the lantern, and decorated it for much less than the price of just the lantern from the inspirational piece. Score!
I placed the rustic, green birdhouse next to the lantern as an accent piece. I added a green, cream, blue, and eggplant pip berry candle ring to the candle. I also placed some small, green, faux apples inside the lantern. I may need to play around with the arrangement to make the inside decor of the lantern more visible. Any ideas?
I offset the tall lantern featured on the right side of the fireplace, with a vintage coal bucket filled with faux lavender and birch logs. All of these items, including the coal bucket, were repurposed from other parts of our home. The tall lantern with the flameless candle was the only new piece in this vignette. (I did mention that I got a great deal on the lantern at Home Goods, didn't I? I love a good deal!)
Before I show you the fireplace baskets new home in the dining room, here are a few more subtle fall additions to our family room.
The change of season is a perfect time to review the treasures hidden away, deep in your cupboards. This rather large sunflower pitcher with its beautiful, blue glaze is a perfect vase for hydrangeas from the yard. (These hydrangeas are actually dried and holding their lime green color.) The stack of books and dried, log slab add height and even more texture to the vignette. I positioned a gourd gravy boat to the right of the pitcher and added more dried hydrangeas. The pumpkin scented candle from Pier One was the only new piece that I purchased.
I added a black and white piece of fleece that I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics to the back of the rocking chair. (I have a thing about rocking chairs. I like them. We have one in the family room, one in the living room, and two on the deck.) I haven't quite decided which pillow I like best on the Amish, cherry rocker in our living room. The pillow on the left is a print on canvas of a painting my husband, Bob, did of an area covered bridge. The red covered bridge gives a great pop of color.
I draped a fall quilt that I made several years ago over the back of this teal, leather recliner. As you can see, I moved the "Give Thanks" pillow to this chair--for now. I like to have choices and enjoy changing things up!
I accessorized the loveseat with a black and white buffalo plaid pillow that I had made in January. Once I made my first no sew table runner with black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots, I decided to bring back the black and white buffalo plaid pillow. It is such a classic. Click HERE for the coffee table table runner.
All is not what it seems, in this photo. The turquoise cake plate upon which the pumpkin sits, is not really a cake plate. Click HERE for the Fall Decor: Easy as 1, 2, 3 post for the secret to this vignette.
Keeping with the theme of simplicity, I moved the blue enamel bowl that has been housed on the kitchen counter to the living room side table. (I have another sunflower bowl that I can replace it with to house placemats, bananas, and basic counter clutter. It's amazing how housing items altogether on a tray or bowl, can make what was clutter, something decorative and functional.) I added my philodendron plant to the bowl and perched it on a set of books, covered with a swatch of fringed burlap. Layering and creating varying heights is a good way to add interest to a vignette. Lastly, I finished it with a (faux) white pumpkin and orange candle.
But, I'm thinking a few sprigs of seeded eucalyptus might be a nice addition.
My favorite part of decorating for different seasons, is "playing" with "stuff". When I take my time, and just "play" with my "toys", I almost enter a meditative state. Does that make sense, (or make me sound weird?) I am at my best, when I can be in the moment and experiment with textures, layers, and colors. Plus, I love having choices. I don't always leave an arrangement the same for days. Sometimes, I change it out, add, or subtract from it.
I added a layer of seeded eucalyptus in this equation. I guess it is now a 1, 2, 3, 4 arrangement:
placemat + cake plate + pumpkin + seeded eucalyptus.
This is the arrangement I settled on...for today!
My Tonka truck, that I spray painted red, is a standard in my decorating arsenal. This is my truck from childhood, that I spent many happy hours, playing in the dirt with the boys.
I added a few sprigs of seeded eucalyptus to my bright, red Tonka truck. I might need to add a few miniature pumpkins to the back end, too.
Now, to the fireplace basket, that I moved to the dining room table. This vintage basket has been a favorite of mine for years. I know I have had it for 10 years and maybe more than 15 years. This basket always holds a secret. When I arrange florals in it, I use two old bricks with holes in them. The holes act as a frog for holding and anchoring floral stems.
This fall basket arrangement has a secret, too. Most of the small pumpkins in this arrangement were orange, green metallic, or red metallic pumpkin Dollar Tree pumpkins. I painted the dollar store finds with cream and blue chalk paint. The large pumpkin was purchased at TJ Maxx. (TJ Maxx has a beautiful assortment of pumpkins this year. I don't NEED any more pumpkins, but they have some beautiful, reasonably priced velvet pumpkins, glass pumpkins, and every color you can imagine!)
This fall arrangement was really as easy as 1, 2, 3...basket, seeded eucalyptus, and pumpkins!
(Another secret: I left the bricks in the bottom of the basket as a filler and to give height to the arrangement. Plastic grocery bags were stuffed around the bricks for added filler. I am not too, proud to use what I have and "disguise" it, rather than purchasing something that will do the job, but adds to the cost of the project.)
In case you missed the post, this is the no-sew, black and white, buffalo plaid, fleece runner that I made, and you can, too. Click HERE for the post. At first, I was feeling a little guilty, because I didn't put one stitch in this runner and it came together in about an hour. I had to give up the notion, that for a project to be successful, it had to be hard and take a lot of time. Who needs that? Who has the time for that? I offer this tutorial to you, and guess what--I think I may repeat this runner for my kitchen island!
Finally, I will always have a touch of whimsy in my home decor. My Willie Rae hen with children selling eggs, just makes me smile. It's not particularly fall, it is just fun! I encourage you to always add some fun when you decorate
I'm doing fall decor in two phases. Early fall for me encompasses sometime in August through the beginning of October. The first phase for fall 2017, included a neutral color scheme in creams, blues, "pear greens", and a little eggplant. Seeded eucalyptus was a new player and one that I have completely embraced. Polka dots and black and white buffalo plaid make a strong appearance as classics that just make me happy. I also wanted to keep fall accents simple.
Phase 2 will begin in October and extends through Thanksgiving.. I will get my boxes of orange and red garlands, florals, and pumpkins out of storage. I will buy mums for outdoor. My intent, is to add touches of oranges and red to the neutral decor already in place. You may have noticed that the oak in our dining room set has a lot of yellow and orange tones. Other woods have the cherry and deep brown tones. I think the traditional colors of autumn will contrast well with the creams, blues, greens, and eggplant, and the wood tones of our home..
It has been an interesting challenge for me to decorate with more neutral colors and focus on keeping arrangements simple. At the end of the day, I find it to be a very calming palette and I'm so glad that I gave it a go. It's also been good to look at my home decor items in a new way and move them around. Like many things, when you start to make one change, it has a domino effect. The fireplace basket moved to the dining room table. The coal basket in the living room is now in front of the fireplace. The pineapple lanterns flank the bookshelves. Soon, I'll be posting about the new "Gathering Room" sign in the family room that replaced a long time floral swag. In the mean time...
One of my very favorite home decor "items" are family photos. Maybe it's because I live 800 miles from my mom and many extended family members. Maybe it's because my siblings and I "ended up at the four corners of the earth", as my parents predicted, but were truly dismayed that we fulfilled their prediction. (Actually the four of us are all in the United States, and for a few years we were all located somewhere off of Interstate 80 in various states.) Never-the-less, I had been doing a lot of "thinking" about updating family photo displays and it was finally time to get them off the floor, out of the box, and on the walls!
One inspirational lady for this post was my dad’s Aunt Leone. We stayed with Aunt Leone and Uncle Jul in Gainesville, Florida, for our first big family trip to Disney World. This was back in the late 60's or early 70's. It was a major vacation for us, made possible by the generosity and hospitality of Aunt Leone and Uncle Jul.
Aunt Leone had photos of her family all throughout their house. They were on the walls, under glass on dressers in all of the bedrooms, in the living room, and even in small frames in the bathroom. I thought it was great and loved looking at all the photos. You knew she loved each and everyone of the grandchildren, children, family, and friends in those photos.
I overheard my mom and Aunt Leone reminiscing over the photos. Then, Mom recalled that she had read a magazine article that said you should only display family photos in bedrooms, not in the living areas of your home. Aunt Leone got a twinkle in her eye and gave a little giggle, and said, "Oh, really?" Then she giggled some more, as only Aunt Leone was prone to do. The photos made her happy, and magazine articles made no difference to her. At some point in my adult life of home ownership, I made conscious decision to include family photos in my home decor, just like Aunt Leone and my mom.
I love hanging a wreath on my kitchen window. This one was made from a garland that I wound into a circle two times. I added the black grow grain ribbon with the polka dots. These make me happy, too. I first took this photo in early spring. Soon, there were little buds on the trees and eventually a wall of lush greenery. Mother Nature always completes the picture. I placed the mercury glass votives on the window sills as an afterthought. I like how they shine when the light comes through the window. Just imagine what they will look like on a sunshiny day!
So, in January, I got busy. I had been overthinking things for too long, and had photos I wanted to display and rearrange. Here is a report on my progress so far.
First up, I decided to change things out as part of my view out my kitchen window. Christmas decorations were packed away, including my favorite holiday plates that I hang on either side of my kitchen cabinets that border the window just above the sink. I decided I would replace the decorative plates with fun photos. After all, the view out the kitchen window is a little stark and bleak in January. I chose photos of my Dad and my husband, both as babies. Perhaps, the most important reason for including family photos in your décor is that you love the subjects of the photos and they bring back happy memories.
I had these particular photos in a file on my computer. This enabled me to print both of them in black and white and add the titles "Bath Time" and "Love" to the photos. I have a small laminator, and because these are near the kitchen sink, I decided to laminate them for extra protection. (I'll include a link to a tutorial for this quick and easy clipboard photo project, soon.
These photos have been lots of fun to have in the kitchen and I have gotten lots of questions and compliments on them. Family photos can be great conversation starters with guests in your home.
One of my absolute favorite photo displays is also in our kitchen/family room. My Grandma Marshall was known for her angel food cake. As a young girl, I can remember going out to get fresh eggs from the hen house for Grandma to make angel food cake. Then, I would stand on a small gray chair next to her at the countertop, and watch and chat as she made the cake.
One Mother's Day, I had the idea to have Grandma's angel food cake recipe framed with photos of Grandma and Mom and me, for my Mom. (My Aunt Phyllis helped me out with photos and the recipe.) I had the photos and recipe professionally matted and framed. I gave it to my Mom for Mother's Day and immediately vowed, that when I had a home of my own, I would make one for my kitchen. This is the result above. It was my house warming gift to me! (Since then, I've also made a similar one for my sister, using photos of Grandma and Sandra and Mom.)
Later, I had the idea to do something similar with photos of my dad and me. Photos, a silver dollar, and a song were the focus of this collage. Dad had served in the Korean War.
Prior to Dad being deployed to Korea, a good family friend, Annie Rose, gave him 4 silver dollars for good luck. Dad gave me one, when I moved from Iowa to Pittsburgh—for good luck. The silver dollar had to be in the collage. I added a photo of my dad in uniform with the family dog, Pepper.
Next, came the song. When I married my husband, Bob, I chose Nat King Cole's song, "Unforgettable" as our father/daughter dance song. That was a definite for the collage.
Lastly, I had a photo of Dad just looking at me as a baby. I took all of my treasures to the same frame shop and had them professionally mat and frame the second collage to match the first collage. (Side note: I scanned the original photos and made prints from the scans, leaving the originals intact. That is my personal preference when framing precious memories.)
I treasure these two collage photo displays. The collage of Grandma, Mom, angel food cake, and me was framed a few years before the photo collage of my dad. I am so glad I had them professionally framed and that the framer was able to match the frame and matting. The similarity in frames and matting add visual cohesiveness to this display.
The kitchen sink photos were so much fun, I decided to, change out the decorative plates in the living room for more photos. I had two matching frames. Some black and white kitchen towel ticking became the background for the photos. (Once again a tutorial for these photos will be coming soon .
My husband, Bob, took the barn photos at sunset on a cold, Iowa winter day. Obviously, these are not “family” photos, but they are photos of the barn on my grandparent’s farm in Clarion, Iowa. I have many fond memories of time “at the farm”, as we called it. I am so grateful that my husband, with his artistic eye and talent captured these images. They are displayed at the bottom of our staircase. The black frames add visual cohesiveness, and the subject matter is allowed to be center stage. Staying with one color of frame can tie a group of photos together.
I hung more photos from the same winter’s day in our bathroom of “the farm”.
Each day begins with remembering good times at "the farm" . It's a great way to start the day
I was once read that silver frames are excellent for displaying black and white vintage photos . When I lived in my townhouse, I framed many vintage black and white photos of my grandparents and some of my parents, too, and hung them altogether on a gallery wall. The silver added elegance to the photos and enhanced the coloring.
Vintage cameras make fun decorating accessories. Consider adding one to a vintage photo display. Here is one of favorite photos. This is my mom, Inez Marshall Hanig on her wedding day. Isn't she beautiful!
I love surrounding myself with "my favorites" in my sewing room/guest room. I had wanted to update this wall for ages, and after much "over thinking", I did it! The handmade mirror from an uncle of my husband, anchors the wall. More family photos surround the mirror. I also included favorite prints by Tasha Tudor from the "Secret Garden" in this gallery.
My sewing room/guest room is my sanctuary. I have always had family photos displayed here. I decided to do a little update. I purchased two new frames.
Wal-Mart had this collage frame. I put graduation photos of my nieces and nephews in it.
I put a collage of family photos in long, horizontal collage photo frame purchased at Michael’s Craft Store. It is part of their vintage frame collection.
This was a “rescued” photo from Bob’s family. His mother was going to throw it out. Fortunately, he saved it and brought it home. This is one of his dad’s older brothers, Uncle Tony. The period clothing, shoes, and hair are priceless. I love that he is posed with a book. The teacher in me, and the life long book lover had to hang this precious photo in my sewing room.
I also have a wall of photos on the wall that is the background for my sewing machine. Family photos of my grandfather with his parents, my grandparents with the beginnings of their family, and “the farm”, all flank a hand pieced quilt made by my great-grandmother.
There are more photos of family and friends displayed in our home. (I had photos of my Dad and Bob's Dad as young men in their United States Army uniforms displayed in the powder room from Memorial Day through July Fourth. It was a nod to their service to our country.)
I have so enjoyed sharing this post with you. It's been a so heart warming to remember the people I love and who have loved me.
Family photos displayed throughout our home give Bob and I so much pleasure. In some small way, I hope to be just a little bit like Aunt Leone, displaying photos above the kitchen sink, on the walls of the kitchen, in the sewing room, master bathroom, bedrooms and even in the powder room. (For the longest time, I had a photo of my cousin Mark's children as toddlers in the laundry room!) I'm sure, Aunt Leone would approve and would give a giggle. In my opinion, family photos make a house a home. They tell your story. They make you feel loved.
How and where do you display your favorite photos in your home? I'd love to hear your stories!
it took me awhile to figure out my early fall decor, but once I did, the pieces began to fall in place. I needed a second table runner for our dining room table. It seemed like a natural progression for me from a coffee table runner trimmed in black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots to a white and black buffalo plaid table runner. The white and black buffalo check plaid runner was even easier than my first table runner. (Click HERE for the first table runner.)
The first whimsical table runner is multi-seasonal, as is the second one. I like decor items that I can mix and match and change out no matter what the season. Click HERE for tutorial
I found black and white buffalo check plaid no pill fleece at Walmart for a very reasonable price. I was able to purchase 3 yards, at 60 inches wide for less than $15.00. I wanted a wider table runner to offset the size of the basket that I was planning to use as a daily center piece. I used my rotary cutter and mat to cut a piece of fleece 21 inches wide by 84 inches long.
The buffalo check fabric made it particularly easy to cut a straight line. The rotary cutter, cutting mat, and quilting ruler did the rest. My rotary cutter, self healing mat, and ruler are some of my favorite crafting tools. I use them for quilting, sewing, and paper crafts. The rotary cutter looks like a pizza cutter, but the blades are very, very sharp. There are several YouTube video tutorial on using a rotary cutter. Click HERE for one short video.
Here is a sampling of my rotary cutters. Rotary cutters, replacement blades, healing mats, and rulers can all be purchased at a fabric store. I watch for sales and coupons at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. Most people will only need one rotary cutter, but I use mine all the time and for different projects and materials. They make my crafting easier and my cutting more precise.
Once the fabric was cut, I decided to leave the long edges untouched. The rotary cutting makes such a clean edge and the fleece laid flat on my table. You have options in finishing the edges: serging the edges with a serge sewing machine, using a decorative stitch on a regular sewing machine, turing the edges and hemming, or leaving a "naked" edge. I went with the "naked" edge.
Next option was to fringe or not to fringe. Here is Option 1: The runner with a clean edge, no fridge. It hangs well and is nice and neat.
Option 2: Cut a six inch fringe, using the rotary cutter and quilting ruler as a guide. I went with option 2, as I really wanted a fringe. (I hear they are trending for 2018!) Usually, when making a fleece no-sew blanket, people cut the fringe about 2 inches wide and not it. I wanted a smoother finish with narrow strips for fringe.
I chose to use the rotary cutter and ruler to cut a six inch fringe. Each cut was about 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide. I just "eyeballed" my cuts. The rotary cutter was very helpful in making clean, precise cuts. Using the quilting ruler helped to keep the cuts square, as did the plaid of the material.
Tip: Use a strip of painter's tape to mark the cutting line. This will help you to make all of your cuts the same length and not exceed your 6 inch mark. (I thought I could do this easily, since the buffalo check plaid striping was my guide. But, alas, my mind wandered and I made one cut much longer than 6 inches. That's when I decided to use the painter's tape on the opposite edge.)
That's it! Measuring, cutting, and cutting the fringe! I am very pleased with how this turned out. I am usually the one, making something that is much more labor intensive. I stuck to my goals of keeping my early fall decor simple and elegant. In this case, the fleece fabric and buffalo check were factors in the ease of this project. I have more fleece left over from my $15.00 purchase that I can use to make pillows, placemats, and more!
This sweet little fall vignette was as easy as 1, 2, 3!
I am not quite ready to go full on with the oranges and red colors of fall. I wanted to experiment with bringing in some creams, turquoise, and pops of apple greens (or in this case "pear green".)
Step 1: Create the cake plate: 1 plate + 1 smaller dish = cake plate
I specifically was looking for turquoise accent pieces for my early fall decor. I like the height a cake plate can add to a vignette. I have been known to create my own cake plates with a plate, candlestick, and spray paint. (Click HEREto see tutorial.) I thought I would have to do that, but I found a turquoise plate and the small cassoulet dish at TJ Maxx for $3.00 each. All I had to do was turn the cassoulet dish over and center the plate on top. I chose not to use glue to hold the pieces together. I like having the flexibility of reusing the pieces in another way at another time. Gluing the two pieces together is an option.
Step 2: Add a large candle ring to the plate. I used a pips berry candle ring with green, cream, blue, and eggplant colored berries. I already had this candle ring and it goes great with my vision of early, fall, home decor colors.
Step 3: Add a pumpkin and a pair of pears!
I told you it was as easy as 1, 2, 3!
I am pleased with this sweet, little vignette. I think it looks great on my no sew table runner. (Click HERE for table runner tutorial.) I wanted to keep the look clean and uncluttered. The turquoise, "pear green", and creams take center stage. This was fun to do and I am excited that I have more pumpkins, polka dot ribbon, matching candle rings that I can use else where in my living room and family room to continue my color scheme and theme. What do you think?
After "auditioning" a few different fabrics from my fabric stash, this home decor fabric in a neutral shade with a pronounced weave texture, and just a hint of sparkle made the cut for my no sew table runner. I thought the black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots added just the right amount of whimsy to give this neutral runner some fun! The best part of this project is that it is no sew and "so-o-o-o" easy to put together!
I spent the most time on this project in fabric selection. I was not ready to commit to all the oranges, reds, and golds of fall. I also wanted to try my hand at adding some neutrals with pops of turquoise and blue. Then, another factor was the beautiful graining of our coffee table and the dark stain. I considered using burlap, but I had some gorgeous lengths of home decor fabric that we had used to make pillows using my husband's art work. This particular fabric has the "look" of burlap gone glam!
I chose the lighter of the fabrics, to contrast with the dark stain of the coffee table. It has a nice weave that doesn't compete with the graining of the wood and just the slightest bit of sparkle! I love a little sparkle!
I like the punch of whimsy that the black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots added to our front door wreath. (Click HERE for Late Summer to Early Fall Wreath.) I decided to add the same ribbon to the runner. Once I decided on the materials, the rest was easy
The iron on adhesive tape is really easy to use. I used the permanent bond tape. My tape specifically said NOT to attempt to sew through it by hand or by machine. I learned the hard way on another project, that you DO NOT want to try to sew through permanent, no sew tape. Lesson Learned: When in doubt: read package directions and follow them!
Once you iron the adhesive tape down, an adhesive strip will be left. Now you can iron on the ribbon, or fold over the edge to create a smooth, no sew hem. Once again, read and follow the packaging directions. The product I used said to let the tape cool, before peeling it up. I also found that the backing came off the most cleanly by pulling the tape directly up (not at a slant) and close to the fabric.
In a matter of an hour, the runner was ready for the coffee table. All it needed was to be accessorized. I just love the polka dot ribbon. It really gives the runner personality.
I wanted to create an easy, no sew, fun, table runner. I like the simplicity of the piece, as well as the nod to whimsy. Once again, I am tickled that I used materials I already had and materials that make me happy: Sparkle + Polka Dots = FUN!
Want to see how I accessorized the table? It was all about layering and as easy as 1, 2, 3! Click HERE for more.
I was out shopping for "basics" at Walmart and "wandered" into the fall decor aisle and the home decor aisles. I noticed that they had some very reasonably priced burlap table runners. One could purchase a premade table runner and add some cute ribbon to match your decor and personal taste. In a matter of minutes a custom table runner could be created
More inspiration pieces...
I also found some no pill fleece in black and white buffalo plaid in the fabric department. I think that is going to be made up into a no sew table runner for the dining room table. What could be more fun than putting black ribbon with white polka dots and black and white buffalo plaid with pops of turquoise and "pear" green?! Oh, the places my mind is going!
We will never share your email address with a third party.
Thank you for subscribing. You will have access to free printables and more!