From brilliantly colored leaves to cool, crisp air, autumn is Mother Nature's time to shine. Bring some of the outdoor beauty inside your home this season with a few quick, simple changes.
Light a candle. With increasingly shorter days in fall, use candles indoors to light up your home. Votive candles on a tray surrounded by pebbles can create a warm and inviting appearance. Pillar candles in varying heights can be placed on trays around your home on places like the fireplace or coffee table. Want to do more than just light a match? Keep candles lit on or in front of reflective surfaces, such as a mirror, to create more light. Candle shades can also be used with jarred candles, giving the flame a softer glow.
Use your nose. Nothing says fall quite like the smell of hot apple pie or cinnamon. However, don't feel that you need to bust out your baking supplies. Instead, choose scented candles with cinnamon, apple or pumpkin aromas to keep your home filled with fall scents. Potpourri arranged in tall vases can also create a warm, seasonal smell for your home while doubling as an eye-catching display.
Mum's the word. Do you think that fall means the end of flowers for your yard? Think again. Hardy garden mums can bring much-needed pops of color to your front porch or patio well into fall while florist mums can liven up the indoors. Select mums with rich colors like purple or yellow for your home. Place them in interesting pots for an additional aesthetic component.
Give your furniture a fall makeover. Do you have bright furniture but want to make it more fall appropriate? Tone it down a bit by using pillows and throw rugs in autumnal hues. Use deep shades of red, brown, yellow or orange to add a quick, seasonal update to your furniture.
Deck the door. For a colorful and inviting decoration for your front door, create a wreath using dried leaves, pine cones and corn husks. If you'd rather celebrate football season, use ribbons in your favorite team's colors and attach them to a foam wreath with a hot glue gun. If you'd rather keep it simple, use a pretty ribbon to tie a small bouquet of dried flowers for your door.
Make a leaf garland. To make your own garland, use a needle to attach leaves to a long piece of twine or sturdy string. The garland can then be placed over a door frame, fireplace mantle, banister or woven through a porch railing. Use artificial leaves instead of dry leaves found outdoors, as the real leaves might crumble when pierced with a needle.
Bring the outside inside. Use branches, dried leaves and flowers for dramatic decorations inside your home. Pussy willows can be placed in tall vases and anchored with polished pebbles or acorns. Dried flowers can bring a splash of color to your door. Placing natural elements on bookshelves, mantles or coffee tables can give your home a touch of whimsy while decorating it appropriately for the season.
Decorate with pumpkins. Carved pumpkins are a classic fall decoration and one that can tap into your creativity. There's a quicker way to illuminate your pumpkin. First, remove your pumpkin's stem, then drill holes into the pumpkin. Next, place a lit candle inside the pumpkin and you have a well-lit pumpkin that will keep your front porch illuminated. For a knife-free way to decorate your pumpkin, use markers, paint, glitter or a hot glue to cover your pumpkin with buttons or ribbons.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I'm a Trader Joe's Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
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