The mornings are getting chillier, sweaters and fuzzy socks are out in the stores, and pumpkin spice flavored drinks and snacks are everywhere you turn – it’s officially Fall!
Autumn is such a fun time to play around with decor— with coming of cold weather, it’s a natural tendency to want to snuggle up at home, and of course, you want that home to be as beautiful and comfy as possible. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, decorating your mantle can be a wonderful way to add a little something special to welcome the season (and if you don’t have a mantel, many of these same ideas can be applied to bookshelves, tables, door decorations, etc):
MIX UP THE TEXTURE
With fall, really anything goes when it comes to textures. You can incorporate smoother materials like satin and ribbon alongside rougher ones like burlap, crepe, and muslin, while velvet adds richness to the mix. Check out this how-to from Hydrangeas and Harmony where they discuss using wood, burlap, wired ribbon, and decorative berry twigs to create a great look like this piece for the top of a mantel:
ADD SOME SPARKLES OR METALLICS
Glitter, sequins, and metallics are all great to add a light-catching “pop” to your arrangement and can really help to bring some dimension into play as well (just take care to not get carried away, or you might step back and realize your mantel’s theme is Autumn in Vegas.) For some ideas, check out this silver look from Setting for Four:
and this gold / bronze look from Serendipity Refined:
UTILIZE SCENTED ELEMENTS
One of the best parts of fall is the scents that accompany this time of year! Consider engaging another of your senses by including things like scented candles, cinnamon sticks, and orange pomander balls (a.k.a clove oranges). For a how-to on making orange pomander balls like the ones below, check out this tutorial from Simple Bites.
ADD LIGHTS OR CANDLES
Often we only think of using lights and candles for Christmas decorations, but they can bring a lovely touch of warmth to your Autumn displays as well, especially in the evening when any natural sunlight has disappeared to keep your arrangement well-lit. A beautiful example is this Lighted Autumn Berry Garland from Plow & Hearth:
OPT FOR SOME FRESH / LIVE MATERIALS
Artificial ones certainly last longer, but choosing live flowers, pumpkins, gourds, etc adds an extra touch of elegance to your Autumn mantel for a beautiful look like the one below from One Kindesign. (To extend the life of flowers, a couple of good options are tiny bud vases or floral water tubes to keep them hydrated).
CONSIDER DEPARTING FROM TRADITIONAL COLORS
The classic reds, browns, and golds of Fall are beautiful, but if you want to mix things up a bit, think about trying out some greys, blues, greens, or even creams / whites in your design like this look from Blue Indoor Living:
or this one from Refresh Restyle:
LET THE KIDS HELP
This doesn't automatically mean putting their trace-your-hand turkeys up on the mantel next to your antique brass candleholders (although if that's what you like-- go for it!). Involving your children may be as simple as assisting you with choosing berry sprigs at Hobby Lobby or as involved as incorporating something they make themselves that still works with the style and theme that you're going for (e.g. orange pomander balls or glitter pine cones). Either way, having your children involved in the creation of your mantle decor makes it unique to your family and your home and makes it a family project that everyone can be proud of. (For instructions on making glitter pinecones like the one below, check out this how-to guide on Decor Adventures.)
ADD A WORD OR PHRASE
Do you have a word or message that you want your family to focus on this Fall? With the abundance of beautiful wooden and metal lettering out there as well as wonderful letter banners like those here at Swanky Party Box, it's easy to incorporate wording into your decor among the leaves, pumpkins, and pinecones.
WIRED RIBBON IS YOUR FRIEND
Wired ribbon is very forgiving when it comes to shaping bows and ribbon runners (especially if you're going to put pieces of your arrangement in the attic and re-use them next year). It’s also very helpful to have on hand if you’re not quite sure what design you want to go for and want the freedom to play around with things first with the option of straightening it all right back out again. For a wide variety of colors, sizes, and materials, take a peek at these wired ribbon options at Lion Ribbon.
Creating a mantle, shelf, or table display is such a fun way to get yourself mentally geared up for Fall and all that the season brings with it. So go grab a pumpkin spice latte, look online, in your favorite magazine, or at friends’ homes for a little inspiration, and prepare to welcome Autumn in style!