Have you ever really thought about the pure enchantment that occurs right outside your home's windows when Mother Nature creates her own magical landscape? Every hue in autumn's spectrum is absolutely breathtaking. Oranges were never more alluring, golds take on a glowing quality saved only for fall, and crimsons seem to awaken the world. The air becomes crisper as the foliage turns, showcasing fall's extraordinary colors. This time of year, a walk becomes an adventure as leaves fall and squirrels scurry around gathering nuts. We begin to think of buttoning up our homes for cooler weather. With this vibrant scene in mind, ponder how you might bridge the extravaganza that is occurring outside and bring it into your home.
Warm Up Your Family Room
First, focus on the spot that will make the most difference to your family: the family room. Take a walk into your family room and just think about what you can easily change. Hmm, perhaps some soft flannel pillows in plaid that literally whisper "Sunday afternoon football and naps." Maybe opt for lampshades changes in a burlap or parchment paper that will bathe your room in a honey glow when evening arrives. Gather up lightweight and lighter-colored throws and retire them until next spring to be replaced with chunky scrunchy knitted ones, wonderful wool tartans, polar fleeces in a rich color of the season and, of course, the crème de la crème, cashmere throws!
Make It Glow
No fireplace? No problem! Find a wonderful tray, a basket or even a wonderful old cutting board and arrange an assortment of bee's wax pillar candles of all sizes, shapes and heights. Use so many that the coffee table literally glows when the candles are lit (although they still look amazing unlit). Do use your good old-fashioned common sense when burning so many candles. Find a great candle snuffer—new or maybe a flea market treasure—and place it with the candles. Maybe clip some pyracanta sprigs to place among the candles, weave some fall ribbon in among them or tie up bundles of sticks with raffia and scatter them between the candles! Basically, add anything that screams, "Autumn!" You can move this arrangement from the family room to the kitchen island or the dining room for a fall buffet. Yum!
How about filling an amazing old crock or large cachepot (big bowl) to the brim with wonderful uncracked walnuts, pecans, hazel nut and almonds—a fall display and a wonderful healthy snack tonight! Available at most grocery stores during fall! Tuck some nut-cracking instruments into the collection and grab some small bowls from the kitchen. With a little cheese, perhaps some cider or a lush merlot, and you are all set for an amazing evening with your family or a quiet evening by yourself. Life doesn't get any richer, my friends!
Hooray for Hurricanes
Finally, pull out a couple of hurricanes, an immensely usable year-round accent in your home. Don't have two? Well, get yourself pulled together and out the door for a pair! I personally think it is against the law not to have a pair of hurricane lamps. (Really, I think it's in the a code for homeowners—REALLY!) Check out the hurricane filled with faux apples and branches of fall berries in the photo on this page. Now, can't you just envision that on your entryway table! Maybe position a hurricane at each end of the mantel. It's little touches like these get your creative juices flowing and then the magic really begins to happen. Fill a hurricane with the appealing fragrances of fall with a bag of potpourri, add some baby pumpkins and maybe some preserved leaves, and tie up the outside of the hurricane with a ribbon in all the fall hues. Find these absolutes musts at a variety of places price from hardware stores, grocery stores, flea markets! Here are few examples from $4.00 at Pier 1, to $10.00 Wal-Mart, to $100.00 at William Sonoma!
It doesn't take much to bring the joy and beauty of autumn into your home. Now, go take a brisk walk with a crisp autumn apple, listen to the trees sway and the crunch of fallen leaves under your feet, and think of how lucky you are!
Jan Colvin has been a professional interior designer for over 25 years (Allied ASID). She accredits her mother Pat Robinson and Lucille Chase for her intense interest and love for design. Jan has taught interior design at the college level and operated her private design business since 2001. Today she spends a majority of her time completing her new book which will be available in the first quarter of 2013. After many years in the traditional interior design profession, "I found that the educational aspect is far more satisfying for me personally."Jan welcomes questions, which will be answered in her columns. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org