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...