The day after Labor Day has always marked the official start of fall for me, and this year the weather seems to have taken note. Driving home from a holiday weekend in the Hamptons, I noticed leaves beginning to fall and that some of the trees have already started to turn. Where has the summer gone?
With cooler weather settling in, it’s time to get ready for cable knit sweaters and cozy evenings by the fire, forgoing summer salads for heartier dinners like lasagna, and digging out fall jackets from the back of the closet. While you’re swapping out your swim trunks for warm corduroys, remember that you can bring a touch of fall into your home décor, just as you do your wardrobe. A few of my favorite fall touches are easy, accessible, and very affordable!
Long bare branches arranged in a large vase lend drama to any lonely tabletop. They look particularly great when placed in front of a mirror, as it amplifies their sculptural nature. Try clipping a few from a low tree branch in your yard and place them in an opaque vase. Be sure not to cluster too many too tightly together, or you’ll lose the elegance of each bare branch. Think of this trick as the opposite of forcing buds in a vase in springtime; the branches allude to the wintry months ahead of us while bringing a bit of the outdoors to your interior.
Cozy throws encourage curling up with a good book and are always welcome when the weather turns chilly. They can be found at any price point, in nearly any color. Whether you prefer wool-blend, chenille, or cashmere, a throw’s only requisite is that it be super soft. For a very of-the-moment look, try a faux-fur throw. They can exude a Hollywood glamour or a ski-lodge feel depending on the rest of your décor, but they always give a room a sense of luxury. Make sure you feel these in person rather than just ordering one online, as some retail versions look pretty but feel stiff and scratchy – not the soft, enveloping sense you want for an afternoon nap.
Feathers are an unexpected accessory that look so right this time of year. While there’s nothing specifically “fall” about feathers in general, pheasant feathers offer a fabulous range of autumnal browns, from soft tan to deep chocolate, in a single natural element. You can find them in a variety of forms at craft stores and online. My favorite finds include wreaths, placemats, and simple loose individual feathers. Create a layered effect by hanging a feathered wreath over a mirror. Use the round placemats as part of your dining room place settings or just purchase one and incorporate it into your centerpiece. Loose feathers, like bare branches, are a stylish alternative to the fresh, lush flower arrangements we tend to use during the spring and summer months. Stick to feathers in rich autumn tones to ensure that fall feeling.
Another great source for fall accessories is your local grocery’s produce aisle or the farmers’ market. I never tire of piling up mini squash, gourds, and pumpkins on a pretty cake platter for an easy centerpiece. Arrange several across a mantelpiece or group them together with large pillar candles on a tray to introduce a little of the autumn color palette to any room.
Get creative and take advantage of the colors and textures in nature this time of year, and you can bring a touch of fall to any space.©
Kitty Burruss is an interior
designer living and working in Briarcliff Manor. She works
for Barbara Sternau Interior Design, designing private
residences throughout Westchester & Fairfield counties.