Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to create a Fall vignette

If you follow any home and decor blog, you know how effortless they make styling every inch of their home look.  I have long admired how they can mix and match items to make it look like it all belongs somehow.  When I remodeled the downstairs (reveal pics are coming soon, I promise), I realized that basically my decor before were all pictures and/or candles.  Heck, for the first 4 years we lived here, we didn't even have any art on the walls.  We had two large photography pieces from a Hawaiian artist, one on the wall behind the Mr's seat at the dining table and one over the fireplace.  It looked fine for a while but not very grown up but the rest of the walls, totally stark and white.  

Then in 2003 when we did our first big remodel, we purchased a lot of Hawaiian watercolor prints, many which still hang today as we're still in transition.  When I finally finished the current remodel, I was basically a week out from starting to decorate for Fall and realized any Fall decor I had (not much) was far out of date for what I wanted to represent my new, sassy updated look.  I decided to pick up a few pieces that I knew I would have for a long time and try my hand at some Fall vignettes.

I must apologize for the heinous lighting in these pics.  One side of the fireplace is drowning in light and the other side dwells in a cave.  A light balance in that area has .003% chance of success.

So without further adieu, here's my stab at...

That mantel has been with us from the beginning.  I would love to update it at some point but it gets the job done.  I made the "Happy Fall" banner with burlap, fabric paint and twine and hung it with some Command Strips so no holes would be necessary in the walls.  I tied dried leaves and acorns to the end for a little pop of color.  I bought the window at an antique store and was was in much more dingy shape when I got it.  I did a white wash of pure white chalk paint over it to fill in some of the cracks and places with wonky paint peel.  I utilized one molly screw that was already hanging and the Mr measured and installed another one that would allow me to hang it to the left since I knew I wanted something with height to counter balance it.

I initially bought three pumpkins from a local store that sell Hot Skwash velvet pumpkins.  I loved them so much I went back to buy two more.  I'm not gonna lie, they're pricey but they're the best looking ones I've seen anywhere including scouring the internet so I had to get them.  I'll have them forever as long as I store them properly.  I started out with them on the left side since they were low and would tuck under the window nicely.

I had my heart set on a birch bark vase look.  Good luck trying to find that stuff.  I must've looked all night online for it and the few places I found it either took a ridiculous amount of time to deliver or were more than I wanted to spend with shipping.  I remember the local upcycle shop where I bought the pumpkins had some so after comparing prices and seeing they were on point price wise, I bought two tubes of them.  One was long and skinny and the other was about twice as wide and would be perfect for the long glass cylinder vase I had at home.  I filled the glass with a bag of white rice I was never going to use so it would be weighted and I could tuck the filler inside and it would stay in place.

I slid the wider birch bark over the vase.  The arrow points to a nice, big molly screw that is highly visible.  That'll get taken care of in a minute.

I got some dark multi-colored eucalyptus and some colorful dried leaves to tuck inside the birch bark.

Then it was time to move on to the middle of the mantel.  I picked up this super cute little tureen at Midland Antiques in Indianapolis over the summer in cream and brown.  I knew it would look perfect with some flowers or acorns peeking out of it.  I got acorns at Crate and Barrel because for the price they gave me the most for the most reasonable price.  I stuffed some gold tissue paper in the tureen so I wouldn't have to waste all of my acorns.

I laid down a strip of burlap ribbon to give a little warmth then placed acorns on top of the tissue paper to make it appear that they were overflowing with the lil nuts.

It was starting to come together but needed something else.

I took some of the leftover eucalyptus and tied it together in the middle and called it done.

But as you live with things for a few days, you have the prerogative to change your mind a little and add things here and there until you get just the right look.  I added two vintage books under two of the pumpkins and tied a rust colored bow on the eucalyptus to add a little interest.

I moved the other pumpkin down in front of the vase, picked up some dark burgundy dried leaves I saw at the grocery store floral department to add to the birch vase and then called it done.   It has stayed that way ever since!

I knew it was perfect when the Mr came home and gasped and told me every day for a week how proud I must be of that.  That meant he was proud too.

Then it was time to move on to the armoire.    I'm so pleased with the way the Fall colors look with the gray and white.

On the top shelf is the second tube of birch bark that is long and narrow.  I used more of the eucalyptus and dried leaves in there to tie the room together.  I had a vintage Log Cabin syrup tin that I decided looked kind of fun with it.

There are those two extra pumpkins I bought.  I knew they'd look cute on the vintage scale I had.  I paired them with a Fall print and a French biscuit tin I picked up in wine country when we were on vacation in May.  (Dang, we came home four months ago today.  No fair!)

On the bottom shelf is the sewing box I spruced up from an antique store with some Fall colored old books, a ceramic glazed pumpkin with some leaves and acorns underneath in a cloche from World Market.  On the other side are more old books with another mini tureen o' acorns.  I picked that baby up for $1.  Someone probably would've chucked it otherwise but I get to use it to decorate...woo hoo!

So there you have it.  My process on how to create a Fall vignette.  I hope the pictures of it coming together were somewhat helpful.  I know for me when I see scenes like that already together, it is a little beyond me as to how they got from A to B but I hope this helped someone else out there who might have things on hand but not sure how to arrange them.

Tips to keep in mind:

Varying heights and textures are key as it adds interest.

Grab some old books the next time you're at a garage sale.  Often they're only a few bucks a piece and can be used to display their pretty book spines and/or covers.

A trendy piece or two is great but stick with classic pieces that'll never go out of style so you can mix and match as trends come and go.

Create a style that feels warm and inviting.  It will not only welcome guests during this fun season but it'll make you smile every time you see it.  I know I do.

Linked up with: French Country Cottage, Blesser House, The Shabby Nest, Whipperberry, The Answer is Chocolate,, TMTOMH, Tatertots and Jello, Between Naps on the Porch, Mabey She Made It, Memories by the Mile,  The Crafty Blog Stalker, Home Stories A to Z, Sand and Sisal, Simply Designing, Confessions of a Serial DIYer

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  1. You did an amazing job! I still marvel at how great it looks. It looks like something out of a magazine and I have to remind myself that, wow, this is my house!? Great job and I am glad you shared so that others can benefit.

    1. Thanks hon! I'm glad you like it. I have to pinch myself sometimes too because we've never been this fancy pants!

  2. Wow - that looks great! The only fall decor we get around here is if one of us tracks in dead leaves from outside.

    1. Thank God I just sat my tea down before I read that, I would've choked! SOOOO funny! Grab some wax paper and press the dead leaves...voila! HA!

  3. Love, love, love this! Autumn is my favorite time of year and I feel more at peace than any other time of year. I'm a nerd, so I enjoying playing my Yanni CD's while working around the house with some WW candles doing that sound like a crackling fire. And can I just say that my favorite decoration was the Log Cabin Syrup tin!!! That is so stinking cute and exactly something I would buy!

    1. My favorite time too! I love that it's like nature brought indoors instead of little knick knacky kind of things from the 90's. Ain't nothing wrong with Yanni sistah, I love me some Enya, smooth jazz, old school jazz, ambient music in addition to mainstream stuff. But nothing like good soft music and a fire! The tin was a cute find!


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