I THINK IT’S SAFE to say that fall is officially here. While my fellow home bloggers blazed the autumn trails on the first day of September when the temps were in the mid-90s here in the Northeast, I took my time easing into fall with the weather. Last week brought intense storms, much needed rain and cooler weather. Since I’ve needed a sweater a few times and I’ve had no less than six autumn-inspired food products this past week, I’m of the opinion that it is no longer obnoxious to talk about what’s on everyone’s mind: pumpkins!
Yes, like every other “basic white girl” – according to BuzzFeed, and various other legitimate Internet sources, this is what I am because I wear only leggings – I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pitch Perfect, infinity scarves and fall foliage. In fact, yesterday I drank a #PSL (I think I should be using the hashtag here) whilst browsing a craft market carrying a hand-embroidered bag made by a fair trade company before eating a hummus pita from a food truck. So, all in all, pretty basic.
I also love to put pumpkins ALL.OVER. my living room in the fall. I painted a few of them first.
Here on my side table I have one of the pumpkins I painted with Martha Stewart’s gold metallic craft paint. I also erased the pineapple I had on my chalkboard and replaced it with the Internet’s definition of autumn.
The little acorn in the top right corner of my chalkboard came from a banner I purchased at the Target Dollar Spot. As usual, I got sucked into the overfull bins of cheap goodness when I went into Target to pick up some photos I’d ordered. This time I was shocked to find some really good fall décor. There was even an end cap full of Halloween goodies, and I scooped up an amazing Trick or Treat banner to use next month. The mantel certainly gets a workout at this time of year. First fall, then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I used two Target Dollar Spot banners, one with acorns and one with wooden glitter leaves, to make the top banner. I simply removed the pieces from their separate twine and strung them together as one banner. The “autumn joy” banner is thin cardboard cut into triangles. Then I traced letters onto cardstock using a plastic stencil from the craft store, cut the letters out and glued them to the triangles. Easy peasy.
I usually go a bit asymmetrical with my mantel décor, but since I have two of these things made of wheat I tried to keep it balanced using the wheat along with a collection of faux pumpkins and matching photo frames.
I added teal burlap and green jute twine to the wheat for a bit of interest and to tie everything together. The ribbon that came on the wheat is black, which I thought would look a bit harsh on this light and airy fall mantel.
The last thing I did was swap out the photos in the frames with pictures of my son from last fall. The pumpkins in the photos add a nice touch, I think. And my kid is cute and I like looking at him, so there you have it.
Other than the two banners from Target, the only other new item I purchased for my fall décor this year was this cool HomeGoods pumpkin. Last year I had my green pumpkin in this spot, but I decided to use the green pumpkin as a cool centerpiece on my fall tablescape so this guy works perfectly in greenie’s place.
Some people might think it’s a faux pas to use fake gourds, but I can’t see any reason to buy new ones every year that will rot and leave stains on my furniture if for some reason I get too busy to take them down within a reasonable time. That, and with the faux gourds you simply get more bang for your buck. Real pumpkins ain’t cheap. I will get real ones for the porch and carve a few for Halloween, I’m just not going to spend the cash on them for inside. All of the fakies you see in my home come from Michael’s craft store. I think they look pretty convincing, and I can use them again and again.
I put a few bits and bobs in my ottoman tray for these pictures. These fall lovelies will probably stay here for just a few hours. Then my husband will come home from work and throw the mail and TV remotes into the mix, killing the autumn mood.
But they are fun to enjoy for even just a little bit.
I considered doing a completely separate post with my fall tablescape, then I thought I should just strike while the iron is hot and the kiddo is taking a gloriously long nap. Here’s my fall table:
I’m in L.O.V.E. By the way, that’s probably a really basic white girl thing to do – mid-word punction and overuse of caps. Oh well, I guess the Internet has me pegged.
But, seriously, I really adore how the table came together. I’d been seeing gorgeous fall table settings all over Instagram, which is my main social media playground. Most of them were benign from a color standpoint, so I was beginning to second guess the outrageous color combo I’d planned.
I had the idea to use this vibrant blanket my in-laws got us in Guatemala for a tablecloth. Typically, this blanket is folded up for cushion in my son’s red wagon because I don’t have a place in the house where it makes sense. At the beginning of the month I walked by his wagon in the garage and got the random idea to use the blanket as a tablecloth.
The blanket was draped over the table for a few weeks as I thought about how I could make it work. Then I added my green pumpkin and chargers, which started to bring it together for me. Then I added a few bunches of vibrant mums, pumpkins, acorns and some wooden candle holders to create the final look.
I actually considered buying a set of white plates because I thought my mismatched Fiestaware was going to be too crazy. Just this morning it occurred to me that I needed to follow my own design mantra and “love what I have.”
So I set the table with my plates and I still wasn’t sure. Then I pressed my white napkins, added a faux pumpkin and a few fallen leaves from my yard to each setting. It was just the ticket.
The similarity of each setting was what I needed to get over the eclectic mix of colored plates. I also think the white napkins tone it down just enough to make all the colors play together nicely, and the fall foliage is the perfect natural accent to finish things off.
My final fall touches are in the foyer. I mixed in a few more faux pumpkins, some woven acorns and dried flowers with the typically coastal décor on the bookshelf.
UPDATE: Since I originally posted my fall home tour, I attended a Painting with a Twist fundraiser for a brave little boy named Garrett who’s been diagnosed with Batten Disease (read here to learn more about Garrett and his family). We painted beautiful dandelions gone to seed, or Wishes as our instructor referred to them. I wasn’t sure where I could hang my canvas masterpiece because it doesn’t necessarily match my décor. After having it around for a few days I realized it would compliment my fall décor on the bookcase so there it is.
It’s also a grand coincidence that I can use this painting as part of my Happiness Practice. Just this week on the podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin (Episode 31), the ladies spoke about incorporating a threshold ritual of gratitude into your day. The theory is the more often you acknowledge what you’re grateful for, the happier you’ll be. Gretchen suggests stopping to have a moment of gratefulness each day, perhaps when you’re getting into your car on your way to the gym or when you’re riding the elevator up to your apartment at the end of the day.
I think my lovely dandelion painting will be a wonderful gratitude prompt. Not only will it make me think of Garrett and his bravery, but also it will help me to think more about things I can often take for granted like my own health and that of my family. I plan to have a moment of gratitude each morning as I go up the stairs to get my son up from his nursery.
Thank you for stopping by to check out my fall décor! Have you decorated for fall yet or are you waiting until October? Or do you skip this season altogether? I’d love to hear from you!