Readying Your Home for Fall Involves More Than Meets the Eye
When it comes to transitioning your home décor from summer to autumn, the experts suggest deploying your major senses: sight, smell and touch. The changes needn’t involve major renovation or extravagant expense, just a mélange of additions that set the mood for a season of cozy nesting and homey entertaining.
The easiest way to start, according to Carolyn Piccirelli, owner of the Honeychurch Home décor store in Salisbury, Conn., is with scent, as in candles that release a delicate aroma of allspice or cinnamon. “It brings you back to fall on a basic level,” she noted.
Then comes color, and Piccirelli’s favorite fall hues range from pumpkin to ochre, to russets and earthy greens. She takes a visitor on a tour of some textiles, glassware and decorative items that give off a decidedly autumnal vibe: table linens, candle holders with tapered candles in muted, fall colors; luxurious alpaca throws and hand-woven wool and cotton throw pillows; decorative cement mushrooms and acorns made in Belgium that would look right at home on an end table or shelf.
“It’s the biggest trend right now in home décor,” said Piccirelli of 2021’s acorn-and-mushroom love affair. “I think it will last through the year. I like to create a little story with different textures and layers.” A shelf nearby revealed brilliant glassware reminiscent of autumn. “The colors are super fun and unusual,” noted Piccirelli, who suggested the small bowls could double as candle holders. “It sets a mood.”
Lighting is another way to bring warmth into your home as daylight dwindles and the air turns crisp. “That’s when I start thinking about nesting,” she noted. Hurricane lamps, pillar candles or floating candles “make the room feel cozy.”
PILLOWS, WOOL THROWS ADD COZY TOUCH
Ditto for luxurious throws and decorative pillows perfect for placement on a bed, bench or sofa, or perhaps when switching out a three-season room or porch, said Piccirelli. And if you’re not a fan of the color orange, fear not. Items in muted shades of green, from dark to moss, compliment fall’s palette. “I love green for the fall, and you can mix it with everything,” she explained.
Piccirelli said she likes to focus on her front door, dining table and mantel. “I always do the doorstep first, with fall flowers in pots, and pumpkins.” Natural materials like wheat bundles, grape vines, branches or mini pumpkins are a nice addition to a fall mantel or as a centerpiece for the dining room table.
The acorn motif also showed up at Carolann Fuss’ Millerton, N.Y., home accessories store, Charlotte Taylor, on placemats featuring a design of green-hued oak leaves. “It’s simple to change things around by adding some pillows and wool throws,” she said, pointing to a plush, wool blanket from Scotland and a throw pillow with the playful message, “Peace. Love. S’mores.”
Fuss said in response to demand from many of her customers who enjoy walks among the fall foliage, the store also offers several items with take-out comfort, like a fully stocked picnic basket and a wool and wax picnic blanket all rolled up and ready for outdoor occupancy.
Unprecedented delays in orders for new chairs and sofas nationwide, in part due to a shortage of foam as a result of a pandemic slowdown, has resulted in a severe backlog to vendors nationally, according to Todd Page, owner of Millerton Redux on Main Street, next door to Charlotte Taylor.
“If you need upholstered furniture, there is nothing available to buy,” explained Page, whose shop, which opened in June 2021, features mid-century antiques, decorative accessories and gifts from Italy, India and Morocco. With a five-month lead time on orders, customers looking to add a few new pieces to their home in time for the fall and winter holidays may be out of luck, he said.
One option, said Page, is to consider re-upholstering your existing furniture, whether it be a sofa, bench, armchair or dining room seating, a service which Millerton Redux offers. Page pointed to several binders containing samples from the upscale Thibaut line of fine fabrics, including linens and brushed cotton.
“We can re-do something in six to seven weeks,” he explained, as he fingered an English linen sample, “Cornwall Red and Blue,” which he recommended as one pattern of several which would be quite at home with the upcoming holidays.