How do you transform your home décor from sizzling summer to cool, crisp fall, even though we may still be having some 90-degree days?
Here in SoCal, we have few opportunities to witness the dramatic season changes experienced by folks in other parts of the country. You know – where all the leaves turn brilliant hues of orange, red, and gold, and the weather becomes chilly. Time to light the fireplace? Not for us. However, we can create a vibrant fall ambiance with a few home décor changes, and those changes can be the basis of our fall decorating throughout Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I usually start transitioning to fall décor in late September, with subtle fall-tones in the living areas, entry, and front porch. No scarecrows and bales of hay – just copper-hued candles, a wreath of fall-toned silk leaves, and flowers for the front door, to start. My summer doormat is switched out for one with a fall motif, which stays until October and is then traded out for a Halloween-themed one. After Halloween, the fall mat returns until it’s time to decorate for the Christmas holidays. Little changes can make a big difference!
Inside, decorate the hearth by scattering mini pumpkins and acorns across the fireplace mantel, adding sprigs of greenery. The weather may not be cool enough to light a fire, but at least the mantel will have the look of the season and can last through Thanksgiving Day.
Brea-based interior designer Jo Blake suggests giving your living and family rooms a seasonal change by switching out decorator pillows for pillows a shade deeper than what you already have, inviting fall hues into your décor. For instance, if you have bright yellow or tan pillows on the sofa, switch them out for deep gold and rich brown ones for a fall change. “Just going a shade deeper than whatever you currently have will do the trick,” says Jo. If you sew, make covers to easily and inexpensively transform your pillows. It’s better than buying more pillows you’ll have to store away at the end of the season.
The latest trends for fall, added Jo, lean more toward jewel tones, including pink to raspberry, lime green to emerald green, or powder blue to navy. “They’re meaningful changes to warm up any room,” she says.
Bringing a change of seasons into your home can also begin by checking your kitchen pantry! Dried white, brown, or red beans or brown rice can provide the base for many fall decorations. A tall, clear-glass hurricane vase one-quarter full of brown rice or dried beans can be decorated with items such as colored leaves or a small branch adorned with tiny pumpkins, acorns, or mini pine cones tied on with colorful ribbons. Add mini bats and goblins at trick-or-treat time.
Some of my favorite plants for all seasons are succulents. They add warm green tones to décor, require little care, and easily blend in with mini pumpkins, fall leaves, and foliage.
An accent that looks great throughout the fall holidays is a succulent-topped pumpkin. Linda Trimble of Yorba Linda taught me how to easily make one that will last well beyond the fall season. Start with a fresh, firm, uncut pumpkin, dried moss, a variety of small succulents, a hot-glue gun, and a spray bottle of plain water. Dampen the dried moss (available at craft stores) and hot glue it to the top of the pumpkin. Next, trim the stems of each plant, hot glue them, and arrange them atop the moss. Give it all a spritz of water and you’re done. Just be sure to spritz the succulents every couple of days.
Your beautiful pumpkin can be the focal point of your fall décor all season long. And when you tire of it, just plant the pumpkin in the ground. It will become fertilizer for the succulents and grow more for you to use next year.
Fall is a wonderful time to invite new hues into your home to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving, paving the way for the bright colors and excitement of the Christmas holiday season.
Terri Daxon is a freelance writer