Fabulous Outdoor Décor For Fall

I am astounded each year at how much money is spent on Halloween decorations for the outside. Surveys show that Halloween is by far and away the second largest holiday we decorate for. I know I am an old-timer but growing up, the most anyone did was put out a pumpkin that became a jack-o-lantern for Halloween.

Now, it seems that all front doors have at the very least a pumpkin per child in the family.  Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to this.  But, what for years and years was a one-night festivity has turned into a full-blown holiday season.  Manufacturers and retailers now provide us with every imaginable way to decorate for Halloween.  Lights, moving figures, spooky music – you name it, you can find it in a store to buy for decorating.

I love Halloween.  I will never forget the Halloween when I looked like I was carrying my own pumpkin because I was a couple of weeks overdue with my first child, Benjamin.  Or the time I was in charge of his sixth grade Halloween party.  I can still see him cringing in embarrassment as I turned the jam box volume up on “The Monster Mash”.  I think I was a tad too enthusiastic for him.  Those were the days…

And I am the first to admit that I do enjoy the varying degrees to which people decorate for the candy holiday.  Just the other weekend while driving to Wisconsin to go apple picking, my David and I laughed hysterically at the massive black spiders we saw on the roller coaster at Six Flags.  I mean they were HUGE even from the interstate!  Traditionally every Christmas season my family and I have driven around at night to see all the different holiday lights and decorations.  Now I find myself doing it during “The Halloween Season”.  See?  I even refer to it as a season without realizing it.

Go natural the day after Halloween

Obviously, the colors of Halloween are also symbolic of autumn.  Why not convert your outdoor décor to simple fall décor the day after Halloween?  Get rid of the spooky.  Get rid of the creepy.  Get rid of anything that has to do specifically with Halloween and think fall.  Let the front entrance of your home honor the season as we approach Thanksgiving.  Let the colors of fall emblazon your home and send a welcoming message to those that enter or merely drive by.

Seasonal Mums

Seasonal Mums

Nothing beats what nature provides for us.  Go natural with your outdoor fall décor.  Fill your planters and urns with seasonal plants such as mums, ornamental cabbages and pansies.  Keep the pumpkins, too- at least the ones you didn’t carve.  Ignore the fact that you are giving the squirrels a feast to nibble on everyday.  Do what I do and enjoy their show!  Add gourds, Indian corn and cornstalks.  Think Pilgrims!

One of my decorating mottos is less is more.  A simple natural fall wreath on your front door speaks volumes.  But, add whatever makes you happy.  Just make it unique and inviting.  Remember, the outside of your home is the first impression you give of how you live in your space.  Make sure it reflects whom you are.  As with all things you do in your homespace, honor yourself in this way.

A simple fall decor

A simple fall decor

As I said, I love Halloween.  I remember many years as a kid walking in the dark with my sister, Mary Ann carrying our pillowcases door-to-door for treats.  We walked until we couldn’t hold the heavy pillowcases much longer.  When my kids were young, Halloween signaled “Bat Stew” for dinner and then the night that the dads in the neighborhood took over.  Kids in tow, they walked the neighborhood while we mothers handed out candy and enjoyed the moments of alone time.  And, since 1987, I celebrate every Halloween lovingly remembering my own dad as we buried him Halloween afternoon and then took all the grandkids trick-or-treating that night on October 31, 1987.  My dad loved candy more than anyone I ever knew.  How fitting that he was buried on the candy holiday!

Happy Halloween to all of you and may tonight’s fun fill you with laughter and love.  And, cheers to you Daddy.  I think I’ll eat some Mary Jane’s for you!

Fall on the farm

Fall on the farm

To celebrating fall…

Bring The Glory Of Autumn Inside

Fallen leaves

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

By now if you have been reading many of my posts on this Blog, you know that I place tremendous emphasis on nature.  Almost without exception, each of my posts speaks to not just the beauty of nature but also, the absolute necessity to connect with it.  Time after time I remind anyone that will listen (or read) that as part of humanity we must both singly and collectively connect with nature.

As an Interior Decorator and a Homespace Coach, my goal is to bring nature inside and bring interior spaces alive with all that it has to offer season after season.  In one of my summer posts, Celebrate Summer And Bring It Inside, I gave my “Helpful Hannah” tips on how to do this.  The season of fall offers just as many wonderful ways to bring nature inside.

Bring elements of nature specific to the season inside

Wonders of fall

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

I love all things found in nature.  I would much rather grace my homespace with “found things” than anything I can purchase in a store.  Just recently I put away my collections of seashells and starfish to make the transition for my fall décor.

What I enjoy so much is not just the fun of decorating but, the fun I get out of immersing myself in nature in order to collect fall’s treasures.  Being outdoors in any capacity feeds my soul and getting to bring into my homespace what I find in nature is what I call more toppings on the ice cream sundae of life!

Here are a few of the “found things” that  I have used to add natural beauty to my home:

Sarah, Ellie and Whitt Shrader

Sarah, Ellie and Whitt Shrader

  • Pinecones (placed in fun baskets)
  • Varying colorful leaves (placed on table tops after being pressed)
  • Dried grasses (used in floral arrangements)
  • Acorns and other nuts (placed in a glass bowl for display)
  • Fallen tree bark (hot glued onto candles)

Of course, the obvious things like pumpkins and gourds are also part of my fall décor.  But, instead of purchasing them from the store I have gone right to the source and enjoyed the fall excursion.  Why not do this for yourself or as a family event?  There is nothing like a trip to the pumpkin patch for memory making.  Year after year I enjoyed this with my children.  Hay rides, apple cider and pumpkins make for a wonderful day!

Make autumn come alive

Exploring autumn

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

As with every one of the seasons, the sky is the limit to how you can bring nature inside.  One of my favorite long lasting ways to do this (that can be enjoyed year after year) is to take an annual photograph of you and your family specific to the season outdoors in nature.  Then, every year you can bring the past season’s photo out to enjoy and thereby create a family tradition called “The seasons of life”.  What fun to watch the yearly changes in these family photographs each changing season.  What better way to make autumn come alive year after year?

Get out there and explore.  Hike, bike or simply stroll through the wondrous beauty our earth has to share with us this fall.  Then bring it inside!

Enjoy the color…