I love autumn. I grew up in several states across the country and most of them had four, distinct seasons. I recall the feeling in the air when fall arrived. It was the most delicious feeling and it lasted for a month or two before cold weather set in.
Since we don’t get a lot of seasonal change here in Houston, we have to create the feeling of fall however we can. With the current amount of time we are spending at home, I think it’s more important than ever to celebrate home and the seasons together. I suspect that people will really decorate this year – for all of the holidays. In fact, I saw a recent post on Facebook where a woman said she was going to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas – all at the same time! While that may not be my favorite approach – after all, orange and black and red and green really don’t look that great together – I think what she meant was decorating was going to be important to her and she was eager to get started.
There are some fantastic gourds and pumpkins at stores all over town. I bought a big Fairy Tale pumpkin and set it on my favorite bench. I coveted this Currey and Company faux bois bench for years and when I had a few hedges die along my driveway, there was the perfect space to place it! We lightly cover it with lights during the holidays but for now, it is home to a big pumpkin!
I bought my first pumpkins at Sprouts and they had some nice varieties! Then I went to Central Market and couldn’t believe the options. So many interesting shapes and varieties and they have bags of small pumpkins that are great for decorating projects.
I have a topiary near my front door and I usually add a few gourds at the base and perhaps some fall leaves. A few more pumpkins placed near container gardens and a fall wreath and I feel we are welcoming fall in style!
If Halloween is your thing, jack-o-lanterns and other themed items can take center stage and then can be replaced with gourds, pumpkins and leaves to take you into fall. I decorate more for Halloween inside, usually putting out bowls of candy and a few decorative items — even if we don’t expect trick or treaters. I find it fun to have little holiday reminders around the house. I’m also one of those people who likes candy corn. I think it’s really cute looking and a few handfuls just remind me of the season. One of my clients used to put out a huge bowl of candy corn mixed with salted peanuts. That was quite delicious and a bit more adult option for those who like to indulge.
Jon and I love Halloween parties and usually dress up and go to several a year, if possible. I doubt we’ll be going to many parties this year though. One fun thing to do is to display photographs of you in your former costumes. I swap out a few family photographs with costumed versions of us in October each year. It’s always good for a chuckle or two and brings back fun memories.
We did a recent Instagram story with some of our fall favorites. If you missed them, please be sure to follow us at Pamela Hope Designs! Shameless plug – we try to include a lot of design inspiration, tips and trends and just plain pretty and fun stuff on our IG account so please join us!
As shown above, here is what we featured last week on Instagram:
- Live Autumn Pumpkin Wreath by Pottery Barn
- Grains Wreath by Williams Sonoma
- Celine Throw by Sferra – in paprika! This is a favorite of mine. It is so comfy and it comes in a lot of good colors. It’s a great price for a luxury item too! This would also make the perfect gift for nearly anyone.
Mentioning the throw reminds me to suggest you consider swapping out your pillows and throws to warmer and richer colors and textures. I have bright turquoise and orange sofa pillows for spring and summer, but in fall I like to bring out darker pillows and heavier throws for the cooler nights that I know we are all waiting for!
I do this in other areas of the house as well. For example, you could add pumpkin-colored throw pillows or a wheat-colored throw to a bench in your mudroom or perhaps a side chair in the hallway.
Other fall favorites include festivals and outdoor activities. Many of the festivals and events have been cancelled or postponed, but lots of them are having some sort of virtual or reduced capacity programs. With more pleasant weather coming soon – fingers crossed – look for new outings for you and your family over the next few months.
My mother visited last week and I treated her to a visit to the St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary. My mother adores wolves. I think much of it comes from us having lived in states like Colorado and Utah and her interest in Native Americans and the American West. When a friend told me about the sanctuary, I immediately called and booked a tour. It’s about 1-1.5-hour drive to the town of Navasota on twisty roads through farms and wooded areas. They have great plans for Halloween and even have camping. I highly recommend this as a great, short trip and a unique getaway. Here are some photos of Mom and me and a rare Arctic Wolf!
One of my favorite childhood memories was going to my grandmother’s home in Oakton, Virginia on fall afternoons when she and my mother had been making applesauce. I’d open the front door and the whole house had the most delicious perfume. My mother makes great applesauce, but she is picky and will only make it with Macintosh apples. Since they aren’t available yet, we decided to make apple butter when she visited last week. I don’t hear people speak of apple butter that often here in Texas but we regularly enjoyed it when I was young and we lived on the East Coast. My husband, who grew up in Seattle, said it was popular there too. That makes sense when you remember how many orchards they have in Washington state!
So, if you want to perfume your house and enjoy something fall-flavored and very delicious, give apple butter a try. It’s really easy to make. Try this recipe on my Pinterest account.
Lastly, some people don’t think it’s fall until they have their pumpkin spice lattes. I am a coffee purist. I like hot coffee and hot milk. No flavor, no sweetness. However, I do enjoy fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves. I found this recipe last year and loved it. So fun to make and to eat! Here’s a tip: buy plain microwave popcorn and just pop a few bags rather than trying to pop the corn on your own.
What are some of your favorite recipes and activities to usher in autumn? Do you celebrate a childhood memory of fall that you now recreate in adulthood? Share your favorites in the Comments below and help others find new traditions.
Until next time, find your inspiration or call us and we’ll help you discover it!