Yep! It’s the first day of fall and the heat index is due to hit over 100° today! How’s a girl supposed to get in the mood for decorating for the early fall season?
Fortunately, since I am so unmotivated for this task today, the last half of August brought the needed fall decorating inspiration with torrential rains and nighttime temps so cool that it even confused the trees which started to change colors. Yikes! I was itching to exchange the summer patriotic beach touches of summer for pumpkins and all the elements of fall finery!
But, after all, this is Missouri which means that wild swings in weather are par for the course. So, exercising extreme self-discipline, I resisted the temptation to buy the first pumpkins and mums as the appeared at the grocery and hardware stores and I limited my early fall endeavors to my indoor decor.
If you hang around with me very long you will quickly find out that I like to think about seasonal decorating in terms of layers. By putting together a base decor layer and then adding in, or swapping out, seasonal elements, the task of decorating for new seasons or holidays becomes far less time-consuming!
If you cringe at the thought of the leaves starting to turn and readying your home for fall entertaining and holidays, I’ve got you covered! Because I think that the start of a new season should be fun and not daunting, I’m going to walk you through laying the groundwork for the coming season here at the cottage by the creek! Let’s get started!
Step 1–Remove everything from the prior season that is either season specific or that you are just ready to change out.
Don’t worry about changing every nook and cranny of your rooms every season! Ain’t nobody got time for that! The beauty of building your decor in layers is that the basic bones can stay in place as long as you like!
Take the fireplace mantle for example.
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I removed the window-framed flag from the center fully intending to replace it with something else immediately. It was at this point that dealing with water in the basement became a higher priority than my need to decorate for fall. Therefore, the mantle remained in this state for several days. The salvaged iron headboard still provides enough interest to keep the mantle from looking bare and the small vignettes are generic enough to be left as they were.
This is where some people would tell me that I should have also removed the rabbit bust believing that he is only suitable for spring/summer decor. What can I say? I have fully disclosed my penchant for anything bunny related and if leaving this stately gentleman in place as a basic design element is wrong, I don’t want to be right! This is no time for splitting hares!😊🐰
Because I am my mama’s daughter, I do try to pack the seasonal decor I am taking down into clear plastic bins so that it is ready to go for the next year. (This would make Mom so proud!) Any other more generic items go on the appropriate shelf in the storeroom. Siver with silver, stoneware with stoneware, etc. That way I can just head to the proper shelf and grab what I need as I put together new vignettes.
Step 2–Put together the base pieces in any new displays.
Because the summer vignette on the living room table was dominated by a carousel atop an ironstone cake plate, I needed to put together an entirely different display for fall once the carousel was boxed up for storage.
With one or two dominant pieces in place, it is then time to fill in the display with smaller objects. Having books, dishes and cake pedestals handy make adjusting height in a vignette easy on the fly. Don’t discount the impact of simply moving a piece from one place in the room to another, or combining it with different elements, making it look totally different.
The vintage church art angel was pulled from the fireplace where it had resided all summer. The antique Underwood typewriter was a late summer vintage sale find so, of course, it needed to be used immediately! To provide soft light on this side of the room in the evening, I threaded a set of string lights up through the back of the machine and clustered them in the open area below the carriage. A small vintage lamp base atop a couple of original Nancy Drew mysteries and a family photo and, voila, layer one is in place!
Step 3–Add seasonal items and fillers.
For early fall, layer one means dried hydrangeas and faux pumpkins of all sorts!
Over the last couple of years, the realistic quality of faux pumpkins has increased incredibly! I have been collecting white and green varieties in all manner of size and materials to use for early fall and late fall (post-Halloween). Most of mine are from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. Both stores run great sales on these beginning very early each season!
On the entry table, a pierced glass pumpkin is combined with an ironstone cake pedestal and stacked cups filled with old pocket watches. A couple of vintage busts finish off the display.
At the other end, a new display of iron candleholders from the “iron shelf” in the storage room combined with dear sheds get a seasonal touch of dried hydrangea and a white pumpkin.
The summer’s patriotic chalkboard banner was removed from the book page wreath hung on the mirror to allow the wreath to shine on its own for the early fall season.
The antique wooden crate that was added to the fireplace hearth to take the angel’s place gets its fall on with a faux green pumpkin and a giant sunflower head. (Plucking the heads off of the stems of faux flowers provides you with added options when using them in your decor!)
Fall came to the mantle with a basket full of dried hydrangea.
Lady Liberty came down from the front door but, in an effort to keep my neighbors from thinking I had lost my mind by decorating for fall too early, I put up a temporary late summer/early fall solution. The dried lavender heart is a separate piece. The hanging loop is slipped through the center of the cornhusk wreath and they are hung on the same hook. This trick that makes it super simple to change wreaths out quickly.
We are due for a weather change next week, so I will likely go ahead and separate the two pieces and either wire fall pieces into this wreath or use another one entirely!
As you can see, my assistant was totally worn out by the time we got to the dining room!😊
Early fall on the dining room table revolves around pumpkins and veggies from the garden on a wicker tray that is easy to slide out of the way at meal time. The buffet got a white pumpkin and a gravy boat filled with acorns as a nod to the coming season.
Remember that the point of layer one is for your room to look complete to the casual observer even if you would normally prefer it to look a little more filled in. Do as much or as little as you have time to do without creating stress!
Fall is a little tricky, in that I like to have some early touches in place by the beginning September, then comes Halloween decor, and then back to fall for at least the first couple of weeks of November. Now that layer one is in place, I can start hatching a Halloween plan!
To be completely honest, I was hatching Halloween plans in my head as I put these early seasonal displays in place! It’s one of my favorite holidays to decorate for and therefore, the early fall vignettes were put together so that I can simply tweak them when it is time to deck out the house for happy hauntings! Stay tuned!
Hugs ’til next time!
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