What’s your favorite season? Many folks don’t even have to think about it… “it’s fall!” Fall is indeed glorious! And, yet we rush through one of the best autumn months… September. That’s the time of the year when the heat of summer eases up a bit and that first cool crispness in the air is a treat for the senses. And yet so many of us don’t take time to really savor September. The early autumn beauty of the month tends to be ignored as we rush to “pumpkin-up.” But, believe it or not, your home can say “autumn” loud and clear with a lot less hoopla in September.
Once upon a time decorating for Halloween was a one night affair, Thanksgiving lasted one day, and Christmas filled up the house for two weeks tops. But, that’s not how it is today. Somehow over the past couple of decades practicing the art of simply welcoming each season by enjoying its natural colors and scents in our homes sort of slipped away. Our Big Holiday decorating with all the trimmings stretched from just a few days to several weeks. Of course we all want to dress our homes as festively as possible for major holidays. But why not ease up a bit for those in-between weeks and enjoy a bit of seasonal simplicity at home. Taking a more relaxed attitude as we add touches of autumn to our homes might be just what most of us need right now. It’s a “less stress” approach for creating the atmosphere of fall before Big Holiday decorating gets into full swing. The time to decorate in a big way for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and beyond will be here soon. But, not today. So, let’s show some love for September first.
Here are some easy ways to add a touch of September to your home:
NATURE’S PAINT BRUSH
Take your cues from Mother Nature as her pallet turns from faded greens and soft yellows into warm dusty golds and faded russets and finally into deep brilliant oranges and reds. Bring nature’s changing colors inside with temporary additions of accessories and natural elements from the great outdoors that compliment your existing color scheme.
If you use a predominantly neutral palette (today’s prevailing trend) or a warm scheme with autumnal undertones at home you’ve got it made. If not, you still have lots of fall accent color options with that will work. Any color scheme will welcome an arrangements of fall flowers, branches, and berries for a natural touch of color, or…
a simple pop of color from fall’s favorite flower always works. Mums can don’t always have to look so Country Casual.
And a pop of autumn color is always do-able with a pair of plump pillows in warm tones that complement, rather than fight with, your at-home hues.
Let’s start with the place at home where many of us often show off the colors of the seasons with our antique and vintage finds. It’s the dining table. September is your first opportunity to use a gorgeous mix of traditional serving and place pieces that are fit for a hearty fall menu. So, why not feature an antique tureen with soup bowls or cups… they’re meant for this time of year.
To bring some September color into other rooms of your home rethink your normal accessory placement. Rotate the usual accents you have in place with pieces that feature fall tones. Sometimes the perfect fall color is found among your “favorite things” as it says in the song… “bright copper kettles!”
Or use the soft gray patina of antique pewter to complement impromptu fresh arrangements. It pairs beautifully with twigs and fall berries.
Displaying a collection of vintage amber glass adds a rich glow to a room… especially near a window or candlelight.
Bring the color and sculptural quality of terra cotta inside in September. It’s not just for your the garden… especially in the fall.
Vintage gathering baskets of rustic dark brown are perfect for fall floral arrangements.
And, while we’re on the subject of the color brown… no, it doesn’t top the list of favorites. But it’s a powerful nearly-neutral hue that can add depth of color for a strong anchor in an interior scheme or provide a contrasting dark pop in lighter surroundings. Almost just like black does but with a bit more warmth.
Antique accessories with brown tones are perfect to add to your decor for fall. The best time to shop for vintage brown accents in your favorite stores and online is right now while you’re still in the mood for the darker tones of the season. Pretty soon your mind will wander to bright and bold holiday hues.
RETURN TO RUSTIC
In the fall more than any other time of the year rustic vintage and antique items just seem right. They are perfect for setting a mood reminiscent of earlier times. Choose nostalgic items that fit well with your particular interior decor style. For some that might be a stack of well-worn leather bound books. For others it goes way beyond that to rusty and crusty relics from bygone days. Just be you!
Never discard an antique or vintage heirloom just because the style or color doesn’t really fit your personal taste or decorating style. Sometimes a misfit is perfect as a decorative accent for a specific season. Check in the attic to see if autumn colored accessories are hiding up there.
Consider rotating your art throughout the year to reflect the seasons. Museums don’t display their entire collections all at once so why should you? If you’re an art lover then rotating what’s on view in your home gives you the opportunity to add to your collection without worrying that there’s “no more wall space.”
For seasonal art you can’t do better than antique botanical prints. Select ones depicting a variety of plants and flowers that represent each growing season of the year. As seasons change your botanicals on the wall can change, too. So, when fall arrives it’s down with the summer flowers and up with the mums…
and the “woodsy” stuff… trees, mushrooms, and the like.
Fine oil paintings can also be rotated. For example, an antique woodland landscape showing the changing color of leaves on the trees can take the place of a tropical seascape that might seem to be a little too summery for the fall.
What’s in season in September? Lots of delicious and beautiful things! September’s signature edibles do double duty. While they’re waiting to be cooked up into something delicious they can be major players in an early fall decorating scheme. What could be easier than creating casual fall arrangements with fruits, veggies, or herbs from your own backyard garden or the farmers market. Of course, your local grocery store has fresh seasonal produce as well, but there’s something so comforting and old-fashioned about a hand-picked edibles with all the little imperfections and attached foliage.
Hanging harvested bundles of herbs and flowers to dry is a charming nod to the past and a useful culinary nicety in the kitchen.
Not into cooking? Everyone will think you are if you hang a gorgeous dried wreath of herbs and everlastings in the kitchen to fill the air with a savory scent. It’s the perfect chef’s kitchen accent (even if you’re just so-so when it comes to whipping up gourmet meals yourself.)
If you’re always looking for a different idea for filling that antique wooden dough bowl on the table try something like this September vignette featured in an issue of Victoria Magazine… dried herbs and flowers, gourds, autumn leaves, and sweet antique poetry books.
And while we’re on the subject of dried gourds… they are a definite must to include in your early fall mix. Some folks consider them to be the ugly cousins of pretty fall pumpkins. Nonsense! Their unusual shapes and imperfections give them a lot of character. And when properly dried they can last forever. Use them liberally in bowls, on the mantel, or anywhere you need volume and soft autumn color.
Be on the look out for unique examples of gourd art for truly unique autumn accessories. Larger outdoor arts and crafts fairs are good places to start your hunt for these artistic creations this fall.
A WARM GLOW
Candles! You’ve got to have candles! As the days grow shorter it’s nice to add a warm glow to the evenings. Short ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones… take your pick and light up! Choose a lightly fragranced candle or sweet unscented beeswax. Remember to use only unscented candles at the dinner table.
COOK UP FALL FRAGRANCE
To fill the air in your home with the scent of autumn all you really need to do is cook up some traditional seasonal favorites in your kitchen. So, bake those apple pies…
make the soups…
and add a little spice to your favorite cookie recipe. Who needs one of those overpowering cinnamon brooms in the house when the yummy aroma of freshly baked treats is so much nicer?
Fallen branches… with dried foliage or bare… can be used in in a variety of ways to make big seasonal statements for spaces that need extra height and volume. So take a walk in the woods (or your own backyard) to forage. And, always ask first if you’re not on “family land.”
Backyard clean-up in the fall can be much more fun if you make it an opportunity to collect centerpiece finds. Get the kids to help with the hunt and also in the creation of easy-does-it arrangements for the family table.
Take advantage of all the little ways to add a touch autumn color and comfort to your home. Add useful accessories like soft woven throws and cushy pillows to make your living spaces warm and cozy for reading or just relaxing in a quiet spot.
One of the easiest ways to set the scene for any season is to display a carefully curated stack of books that fit in with the time of year. It’s pretty simple for avid readers to choose titles and subjects that are September or autumn related. What if you’re not that much of a book person? Look in used book stores or antique shops for books with bindings or covers in warm fall colors.
A vintage magazine or two can add a retro touch to your coffee table. They’re fun conversation starters as well. Choose issues with covers that have fall themes and brilliant warm colors.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Now that you have so many September home styling tips it’s time to think up one or two of your own. Use you imagination! Have fun with your September look and add that little fall-ish something that no one else would… something that makes you smile.
Seasons change quickly so savor all the subtleties of September. It’s a relaxing little break before October’s fun-filled flamboyant pumpkin fest begins.
Montgomery Antiques & Interiors