The air is beginning to cool. The nights are growing longer. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be setting our clocks back an hour. I feel pretty sure that this fall is not like any other fall we’ve experienced before. I doubt many of us can say, “This isn’t my first fall with a worldwide pandemic”. I mean, maybe it’ll be nice having masks to keep our nose and mouths warm everywhere we go. Maybe some of us aren’t too sad about not having to trudge through the cold with our children as they collect candy that we’ll inevitably spend the next few weeks hiding and possibly stealing from them. Maybe we’re ready for at least one holiday season with a few less social engagements. I think one thing we can all agree on though is that fall brings some beautiful colors and since we have not much else to do these days, we might as well get out and enjoy them. Fall feels so magical, and maybe it’s because Halloween is one of the holidays fall has to offer, but I find myself every year, as soon as the temperatures take a dip, longing for all things feminine and witchy. Candles, dried herbs, stews, smudging sticks, stones and crystals, and of course, all of my best girlfriends gathering around a fire with mulled wine or warm tea in hand. All of those warm desires are quickly followed with a desire to decorate my home for the season. Let me tell you, this woman takes her fall decorating pretty seriously so covid is not about to stop me from loading my mantel, front porch, and generally ANY clear space available with all things red, orange, yellow, and maybe even a little plum.
This year, let’s see what we can do with what mother nature has to offer. Since I’m sure most of us are trying to avoid as many trips to stores and amongst strangers as possible, why not take a hike for our hunt for fall decorations! If you have little ones, bring them along with a bag or two. Kids have great eyes for spotting the unusual and beautiful. And mother nature does a fabulous job of bringing the perfect combo of colors together. She is the original designer. Your job is to think in terms of size, pattern, and texture. The color combo will most likely fall into place all on its own.
When taking into consideration size you’ll first want to consider where you want things. Mantel? OK, what is the size of the mantel? What is the largest size the mantel can hold? Porch? How much room do you have? Where on the porch can you place items that will be easily viewed yet not in the way? Once you’ve determined where and maximum size limits, think in terms of threes. That’s threes not trees. You’ll generally want three things in each setting. One large item, one medium item, and one small item. If you have a rather large space like say a large porch or table, then you can increase the number in your setting to five but still be sure to have at least one large, a couple of small items, and a couple of medium sized items.
Texture plays a big role when matching a decorative grouping of items that are the same or close to the same in color. This is when you’ll want to use your hands as your eyes. Blending soft, prickly, and smooth items into one group. Don’t forget to make sure though that the items vary in size!
Pattern works much the same as size. When blending patterns think in terms of the size of the pattern. Large patterns mixed with smaller patterns. Same sized patterns usually work best when they all offer the same colors. Most patterns offered in nature are textural and blend quite beautifully and easily but maybe you’d like to introduce a few man made items such as bowls, ribbons, or decorations from the year before.
Whatever you choose, the most important thing to remember is to have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to add a rock whose shape you fell in love with, or a bowl of those strange round prickly things that are all over the forest floors, or maybe a garland of pinecones and acorns that the kids collected. There should be no limit. These times are strange and stressful enough as it is. Go easy on yourself and give yourself permission to have fun and experiment with whatever pleases you at the moment. Then top it all of with a few pillar candles, light them, pour your glass of wine or cup of tea, and sit back and enjoy your space. Oh and if you bought a bag of candy for the kids to make up for no trick-or-treating this year, go ahead and steal a little.