It's officially fall and has been for a while now. Our days have gotten much shorter and for many of us, much cooler. We've shut our windows, and for the first time we've turned on the heat and lit our first fires of the season. Our trees are turning quickly, some of us are at peak and some of us are already past that, with bare trees and orange, red and brown leaves now blanketing the ground. Our ovens are getting used more now, and they're preparing heartier meals that warm our hearts and soul. The wonderful aromas of roasts, stews and soups permeate the air as they simmer away. We'll put our summer clothes away for the season and bring out our heavy sweaters, corduroys, velvets, leathers and furs. We will do this for our homes as well. Many of us will bring out warm blankets, swap out pillows, area rugs and curtains. The dining room table may be dressed in more autumnal hues, mustards, orches, browns, golds. There are also many simple and natural ways to transition your home for the season, naturally and organically - and you have to look no further than your backyard!
Use items from your kitchen to create a pretty palette. Fill a large bowl, platter, plate or basket with pine cones, oranges, tangerines, cinnamon sticks, star anise, chestnuts, unshelled walnuts, small branches and sticks, add a couple of decorative ornaments, even sea shells or river rocks if you live by the water.
Trim some branches with your clippers - find those with bright, vibrant leaves or fresh berries and arrange them in jars or bottles of assorted sizes and shapes. Group them together near a window, on your mantel, on a coffee table, dining table or console.
Fill a bowl with assorted and colorful leaves. Casually place them on a plate to create a few layers. Pick the freshest leaves you can find as they won't last terribly long unless they are preserved. To learn how to preserve your leaves so they last and maintain their color and moisture, read my post here.
Wrap small votives with colorful leaves and twine or simple white string. The colorful leaves look magnificent when all brightly lit.
While you're out raking leaves keep your eyes peeled for small sticks and branches. They're perfect to wrap around candles, jars and votives. Tie a pretty bow around them with raffia, twine or a pretty thin velvet ribbon. To do this simply adhere glue to the back of each little stick or branch with a hot glue gun and place on to the desired location.
Create colorful autumnal vignettes with branches, bowls of fruit - oranges, apples, cranberries - and or nuts. Buy autumn colored flowers, light candles, light your fireplace!
Have fun with metallic spray paint! Paint branches, decorative twine balls, pine cones, shells, leaves - Paint anything you want. The metallic colors will transition perfectly into the Thanksgiving and Holiday seasons.
Hydrangea are the loveliest of flowers, fresh or dried they perfectly accompany any autumn decor. Cut branches while the flowers are in full bloom and bring inside to dry out - or cut them as they begin to turn on the branches.
Bundle autumnal flowers and fruits together with candles and don't forget to use the outside while you can!
Don't forget the pumpkins and gourds! You needn't stick with traditional oranges and yellows. Follow the color palette in your own home or the colors that naturally pull you in. If you get tired of the colors you chose, you can always pray paint them to create a new color scheme for the months ahead.
Additionally, you can to add some warmth and texture to your room for the season without changing out your furniture or color scheme simply by adding few faux-fur throw blankets and layered area rugs.
These are just a few simple ideas to add a touch of fall decor to your home without much effort and at very little cost. What's best is if there are children living at home, this is a great way to get them involved - gathering leaves, sticks, pinecones, etc. Let this be a family activity and let them have a hand at decorating.