September 13th, 2012

Simple Pleasures – Autumn

Autumn will officially arrive on Saturday, September 22nd. This is the season that defines a color palette and excites the senses. The mountains of Virginia virtually ignite when the sugar maples, poplar, beech and hickory trees show their true colors. Pumpkins and gourds mingle with Indian corn and spicy apple cider at road-side market stands. This is the time to plan a road trip, but not an itinerary. Just drive leisurely through the countryside and stop when the spirit moves you. Pick some apples, feel the crisp breeze on your face, taste some wine, buy a gigantic jack-o-lantern to be! The peak time for leaf peeping is a few weeks away. So, in the mean-time, bring some autumn into your home with these easy ideas.

Start at the front door with a leafy wreath and a collection of pumpkins. Choose flat ones in various colors to stack, and a few round ones, too!

Think beyond mums! Use gourds, pumpkins, dried corn, branches and leaves.

A simple collection of pumpkins and small gourds can adorn a deck or porch.

A few berry branches create a dramatic arrangement.

A bunch of wheat tied with a satin ribbon is a quick way to add autumn texture to a table or mantel.

A half-dozen sunflowers in an antique pitcher add a splash of autumn sunshine to a kitchen counter.

A small “pie” pumpkin on a window sill

Pie size pumpkins are perfect to place in a row on a mantel or across the top of a doorway. A single pumpkin is all that’s needed to adorn a window sill, bookcase or end table. A mini pumpkin next to the faucet in a guest bath or powder room is a simply elegant touch.

Display your autumn produce in a basket, bowl or bucket.

Mix natural materials with artificial. Already have a floral arrangement you like? Add some branches or pheasant feathers to make it feel more seasonal. Pine cones, nuts and seed pods from your garden can all be incorporated.

An arrangement of dried hydrangeas, oak leaves, pods and tallow branches create a still-life on a foyer table with small white pumpkins, Osage oranges and a small basket to catch the mail.

Use your imagination to bring some of Autumn’s splendor into your home, but remember – keep it simple. A single branch pruned from a shrub or tree, a bowl of walnuts, a glass hurricane filled with tiny lady apples or mini pumpkins…simply beautiful…simply autumnal.

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