Ushering in Fall and Embracing Seasonal Décor

As the fall season comes to fruition it seems only fitting that we transform our homes into a place of warm color schemes and comfortable textures. Combine these with some deep scents of baking and cooking, and you capture the magical formula of cozy. Because you must ask yourself, “what is it that we are truly trying to create in our homes?” It’s a place of comfort, a place that you feel safe and secure. A place where we can escape the mundane activities of the world outside the home. This space isn’t just created for your enjoyment, it is to welcome others into it and share. To give them access to a space of comfort and security while they are in your home.

Just as there is a changing of the seasons outside we too express the gearing up of the holidays indoors. It symbolizes the fact that we have made it through another summer, another start to a school year, and another transition of our lives. This is the season where families and friends are the focus.

Fall gives us a color pallet rich in variety, offering choices for each individual’s discerning taste. The length of the decorating season should run from September 1st until December 1st. It’s important to let autumn linger in your home. Do not rush into the next season of home decor, let your home radiate the true presence of the season we are in. There is a universal acceptance to rush Christmas décor in a home. The urgency that is placed on bringing the Christmas season into a home is a misconception. A reminder that Thanksgiving is a holiday of gathering and welcoming others should be granted permission to hold a significant presence in a home.

When it comes to outdoor decorating:
Garnish your doors with wreaths and your porches with real and faux pumpkins. Incorporate hay to create dimension and height. Scarecrows are always a fun choice as are metal signs. When buying be sure that your outdoor décor can withstand the elements. Polyurethane spray is always a good buy from your local hardware store. Applying this will help items with color avoid becoming sun-bleached by the end of the season.

Hosting opportunities:
With so many opportunities to host friends, use this season to reconnect with those that are important to you.

One idea is to host a Sunday football party. The time of day is perfect because it allows your guests the morning for church or other plans, and they will be able to leave at a decent hour to prepare for the start of their next week. Be sure to pre-set the table for snacks. Fill trays of appetizers and have several bowls of chips. Having everything done before guests arrive will mean that you can enjoy them while they are there.

Another idea could be to host a progressive dinner in your neighborhood. Each house is in charge of a different stage of the meal. Choose three other families or friends in the area and pitch the idea to them. Appetizer, Salad, Entrée, and Desserts. Draw out of a hat to assign the respective courses. Choose a genre of food and let the rest be the choice of each hosting home. Opening your homes in the fall season will help remind you of all that we are truly thankful for during this season.

Interior Decorating:
Set the stage of your social gatherings by having swags of magnolia leaves on your staircase or mantles. Swap out your family pictures, change them to pictures that are set outside. Use pictures from years gone by of Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. Be sure to incorporate throw pillows and throw blankets. Layering your home creates depth. Have some pumpkins around inside your home too. Candles help to set the tone and the fragrance of your home, the season has amazing scents to choose from like apple strudel and pumpkin spice.

Color Trends of the season:
Navy, coral, spice and rich burgundies are all extremely popular. These colors are easy to find in wall art, lamps, pillows and accessories.

Quick Home Transformations:
There are several ways to completely transform your home without buying a lot. A set of lamps will dramatically change the space. You can update your home and replace lamps that might not be the look you’re currently trying to achieve. Another quick and easy way is to buy four throw pillows. You will be amazed by how much new pillows on your sofa or chair can change the look.

Remember your home is a reflection of who you are. You are the creator of the space, you share a part of your story each time someone is welcomed into your home. From the furniture you have to the color of your walls, it all leads back to you. This season of autumn invites you to open your home and let the love you have inside flow to others whom you welcome in. I wish for all of you to have a home filled with joy this season and to embrace the true meaning of the season as I also personally reflect with much gratitude for all that it is and always has been for me.

Happy Fall Y’all and Gobble ‘til you Wobble!

Author: Mallory Allison Dale is the owner of Laurie’s Home Furnishings in Tomball, Texas. Laurieshomefurnishings.com.

Holiday Tables

Entertaining over the holidays is a wonderful opportunity to get your creative groove on. Creating a thoughtful, unique and festive environment helps your guests get into the holiday spirit. We went with Darcy Bass, Interior Designer and owner of Bass Interiors, to get some tips and tricks on making your table reflect that magical seasonal ambiance. The perfect place for curating that holiday charm is Picket Fences, a local home decor store based in The Woodlands that sells beautifully curated home items with endless inspiration. The store is notorious for its holiday-themed home décor and has been favorite of The Woodlands since 2001. From place settings to place cards, simple touches ensure your holiday table looks as inviting as the food on it. We’ve created a selection of perfect holiday looks for you to choose from to match your home’s unique atmosphere this upcoming holiday season.

Naturally Chic

Inspired by the natural beauty of The Woodlands, this nontraditional look can be easily put together using ideas right from your own backyard. For a rustic yet refined table setting, start by layering neutral textures as a backdrop. Tablecloths, runners, napkins and plates layered in diverse but neutral tones will add depth and interest to the table. We also found large woodgrain chargers to add warmth and fall fun, contrasting them with gold-dotted, stemless wine glasses and jewel-toned water glasses.

Accents inspired by The Woodlands, like pinecones and locally sourced miniature cacti, come together to create artfully arranged centerpieces that won’t break the bank. In this case we clipped some olive branches to top off a creative burlap name card. Darcy Bass says that using found objects like wooden beads can help personalize the table and set the mood. She also likes to pull in simple yet impactful pieces such as the Thankful sign, which presents a sweet gesture to the guests.

Classically Formal

You don’t necessarily have to own holiday china to create a formal place setting. Pairing versatile white china with monochromatic textures provides the perfect canvas for a classic table. “Pull out the formal crystal glassware and family heirlooms. You can mix and match vintage items with new ones, creating a sense of character and history,” says Bass. According to Darcy, mixing metals is perfectly okay and part of the fun; using metallic accessories as accents will elevate the setting to a more formal look and feel. Here we paired gold-beaded chargers with silver candles and brought our own antique silverware.

Create a more modern, approachable look by using fringed pom pom placemats and napkins rather than a formal tablecloth. You can also elevate your tablescape in a minimal yet elegant way by making up your centerpiece from monochromatic flowers and seasonal greenery; we bought white roses and placed them in an antique crystal vase, setting them beside a winter pine garland. Lastly, top off the look by accessorizing with a favorite ornament or miniature wreath that can also double as a party favor.

Blue Whimsy

Picket Fences has a delightful abundance of whimsical, holiday-themed placemats, napkins, place cards and accessories, and adding these to any tablescape immediately elevates the look into holiday territory. If you have vintage china or everyday dishes that you love, but that are not necessarily traditional holiday colors, don’t hesitate to use them; they become unexpectedly seasonal when combined with fall fruit and seasonal greenery. Adding fresh seasonal fruit to the table is a simple addition to the look while staying within budget. When styling for her clients, Bass often ties the look together by pulling in holiday motifs through ribbon and ornamental accessories. Multicolored miniature velvet pumpkins added a seasonal touch while adding texture and whimsy. We also found whimsical notepads and paper placemats and decided that the paper goods would be a great addition to the blue plates. And with that, the table immediately became whimsical and seasonally appropriate.

Children’s Fun

Help your little ones get in on the festivities by creating a playful and stimulating children’s table. Encourage their creativity and imagination with brown paper kraft rolls, available at most big box stores, topped with mini buckets of crayons and art supplies. At Picket Fences, we found disposable plates embossed with thankful words of encouragement, and we paired them with beautiful—and disposable—wood cutlery. Sprinkle the table with delightful holiday treats and sweets, and it’s simply a wonderful table for the little ones.