Create a seasonal centerpiece with nature’s colourful bounty to announce the arrival of fall.
A cornucopia of fall flowers and produce spills onto this welcoming porch.

Dear Debbie;

Have you any tips for adding a bit of the glorious fall to our home without going over the top. It’s a short season, but we love the colours. Thanks for your inspiration.
— Daniel

Dear Daniel;

Each season of the year introduces us to a different mood. Nature’s abundant array of crops and colour transformations lead the way and inspire a change in decorating palettes and displays. While it is not practical to re-paint a room two or three times a year, it is simple to celebrate the seasonal swings by replacing throw cushions and blankets. As the arrival of fall’s cooler days is upon us, it’s time to add cozy textures; bring out the fleece and the fuzzies. A few bold prints in autumn shapes and shades will mirror what’s happening outdoors.

Celebrate the season’s bounty with an eye on tabletops and creative centerpieces. Gather items that engage the senses: dried leaves and flowers, acorns and other nuts, twine, straw, burlap, pumpkins, gourds and candles (battery-operated for safety). It’s canning time so why not build a display around freshly bottled tomatoes and other preserves? Utilize some of the spare jars to hold nuts, straw, dried grasses and flowers. Decorate the jars inside or out with paint or fabric, think fall shades of brown, faded yellow, rusty red and twig grey.

If you want to add some bling, paint or gild some of the display items such as small pumpkins and branches. Set up your arrangement either under or in front of a mirror to boost the reflective power. Handmade displays should be freshened up over the season. Shift around the dried materials, add something fresh to the look even if it’s simply a few stones and branches and garden wildflowers.

Welcome visitors at the door with some old crates turned on their sides. Have autumn offerings stacked and flowing out of the crates like a cornucopia of delights. A lantern tucked into the display makes an especially warm greeting.

Dear Debbie;

When we redecorated our living and dining rooms, which are open to each other in an L shape, we found that the lighting wasn’t right. We have gone more contemporary and our fixtures are dressy traditional. Crystal chandelier, glass lamps, pot lights all look dated. Please help.
— Andy

Dear Andy;

Lighting isn’t the first thing we think about when we renovate or redecorate but it should be. The positioning and style of light fixtures has a big impact on the room’s mood and how we see details large and small. Contemporary and traditional elements can live together harmoniously as long as there is a good balance. I suggest you start with the pot lights and switch to spots instead. The wiring is in place so it shouldn’t be an expensive ordeal. These will act as overall lighting and can be adjusted with a dimmer. New shades will transform the character of your lamps. Check out modern shapes – large shades are popular right now, or how about a splash of colour? Lampshades are fun to make yourself if you can’t find anything you like. Paint, decoupage and beading can all be designed around a craft store shade for a unique look. Chandeliers are super popular right now in every kind of setting. And the sparkle will tie in with your glass lamps for a cohesive look.