When my three children were young, I went completely crazy decorating for every holiday. In the fall, that meant brightly colored, kitschy ceramic ghosts and bats, spooky light-up haunted houses, and enough pumpkins to start my own pumpkin patch! Now that all of the kids are grown, I have revamped my philosophy with a more sophisticated fall decorating vibe. And, instead of decorating for each holiday, I add seasonal pieces that work for months (with the addition or subtraction, of course, of random bits and pieces such as a jack-o-lantern here or a turkey there). This dramatically helps cut down on my “switch-over” time and ensures that I don’t still have bowls full of seashells displayed once the autumn leaves begin to fall.
Over the weekend, I made the swap from summer to fall. And, I came up with a few “rules of thumb” that will help you find the best fall decorations, which will last you straight through until Thanksgiving!
Start at the front door. Adding a holiday-neutral fall foliage wreath creates a welcoming entrance and can be kept up until it’s time to decorate for Christmas. Mine features faux leaves wrapped around a grapevine wreath. But, there are so many options available.
Commercial Silk Greenery is one of my personal go-to’s for faux plants and wreaths. And, when choosing, pay particular attention to the color of your house and especially your front door color, as traditional autumnal colors of rust, yellow and red simply may not work (if that’s the case, try neutrals, natural looking green such as eucalyptus, or a stark rustic twig wreath).
Create focal points. Rather than scattering random pieces throughout your home, mass them to create dramatic displays. For example, a stack of pumpkins will make a bigger impact than those same pieces scattered throughout the home. Choose a fireplace, a window, or an open shelved hutch and go for broke with trailing leaves, gourds, signage, candles, lanterns and more. Your imagination is your only limit!
Shop your home. You never know what you’ll find! For example, not too long ago I discovered several sturdy vintage wooden wine crates in my basement. Stacked, they flank my front door and offer perfect great display space for fall’s bounty of pumpkins and potted mums. Other “finds”? A footed cake plate makes a great display for a stack of pumpkins. A long forgotten throw in pretty plaid cozies up a reading nook. Split oak baskets can be filled with fragrant pinecones gathered from the yard.
Never underestimate the power of a printable. No time to create art? No budget for pricey pieces? No problem! Etsy is filled with talented artists who offer beautiful designs (including plenty of fall inspired word art, gorgeous fall landscapes, and more). Pay a small fee, download and frame. Use new frames and create a gallery that changes seasonally. Or, temporarily replace a current image in an existing frame for a budget friendly option. One of my faves for all sorts of art is Sonder and Serendipity.
Mini pumpkins and gourds. Real versions are available everywhere from the grocery store to farm market stands. Incredibly realistic faux versions can be found in your local craft store (and sometimes even the Dollar Store).
Pressed for time? Simply load up on a variety of colorful, attractive mini pumpkins and gourds and use them to replace the candles in your candlesticks, stuff lanterns, fill crystal or wooden bowls, perch a row on a windowsill, and you’re done!
Look UP. If shelf and table space is at a premium, chandeliers offer an exceptional opportunity to create a spectacular display filled with autumn leaves, branches, seasonal ribbon and more.
Metallic accents. Whether you favor silver or gold, metallic accents create glam decorations. Simply spray faux pumpkins for a rich look. Inexpensive tag sale glass pieces can also be turned into “mercury glass” simply by using spray paint. My favorite is Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint.
Make it simple. Of course, a candle ring can be used to encircle a candle. But, it can also harness a pumpkin, a soup tureen and more. Small seasonal candle rings turn sconces into an integral part of a larger display.
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If enjoyed this Sophisticated Fall Decorating post, please visit the Holiday Style tab for even more home essentials and finds or decorating inspiration. Or visit Susan’s Halloween or Susan’s Thanksgiving for even more fall inspired ideas!
DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation was received for this Sophisticated Fall Decorating post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be beneficial for my readers.
Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to style for the way you really live and was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com. You’ll find everything from fashion and beauty, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors and DIY projects, plus the latest ideas for holiday events and parties of all kinds.
Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the Delaware-based literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!
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