Column, Looking Back

Decorating for autumn using brilliant natural colors

By Mary Ellen Shaw

I don’t know about you but I find that decorating for autumn can be just as much fun as decorating for Christmas! The yellow, orange and red colors that are prevalent this time of year brighten the days that are getting dark so early.

Decorations outside bring cheer not only to you but to others passing by. Maybe it’s just me but a door without a wreath, any time of year, looks bare and in need of being dressed up. There are numerous choices when it comes to the makeup of an autumn wreath. If you need one, let the browsing begin! Local craft stores and the seasonal decoration section of several other stores have some beautiful choices. A wreath that comes ready to hang leaves no guesswork as to what it looks like. But you may want to get creative and make your own from options such as: grapevine, straw, or burlap.

Straw and grapevine wreaths come in various sizes and can usually be purchased for under $5. When you are the one selecting the trimmings your creativity has no boundaries. The craft stores have an abundance of decorating options for you to select from.

And why not find a spot in your yard for a couple of the stylishly clad scarecrows on sticks? They add a touch of whimsy with their cute hats, overalls and smiles on their faces. Let’s face it we could all use some smiles amidst the pandemic! Add a bale of hay to the mix and your decorations will look like the work of a “pro!”

Another great option is cornstalks. On our property there is a rail fence that is a perfect place to attach cornstalks on both ends. By placing a scarecrow in the middle it creates a fun place of its own.

And of course, who doesn’t want to use pumpkins when decorating for fall? Unfortunately, when you choose real ones you will probably need to take them out of sight each night or you may find them smashed in the street the next morning. For that reason I use small ones on our steps and they spend the night in the front hallway. Problem solved!

At our house we have a “board on board” cedar fence comprised of four sections. Each one is 8 feet in length. Its color has darkened over the years making it a perfect background for a garland of bright colored leaves. The gate in the middle is ideal for an autumn wreath that completes the seasonal touch in that area.

But outside isn’t the only place to show off fall colors. The inside of your house needs a seasonal change too. Small scarecrows on a base are perfect for mantles and shelves. Cute artificial pumpkins come in all sizes and keeping them on display right up until Thanksgiving is totally appropriate.

Remember, garlands aren’t just for outside. They are perfect for a mantle or buffet. Many come with their own lights. But I like to step it up a little and lay a string of small clear lights on top of the garland. It brightens the room on a dark rainy day and creates a cozy atmosphere in the evening.

Fall is also the time of year when pumpkin, mulled cider or apple scented candles have a permanent place on the coffee table in our living room. They become part of the fall décor. My old fashioned simmering pot in the dining room is filled with cinnamon potpourri. The aroma coming from any of these items for just a few hours each day creates a comfy feeling.

So embrace the change of seasons and display some creative touches of autumn…both inside and out.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!