Fantastic Fall Decor

Fall is in the air!  These simple ideas will help you create fantastic fall decor for your home.

Ah, Autumn!  The crisp air, blue skies, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot…  In decorating your home for the fall season, now is the time to think warmth, soft light, gorgeous, rich colors and bringing the beauty of the outdoors in.  As the season approaches, a few simple steps can lead to a beautiful and welcoming fall decor in your home.

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Pinterest

1.  De-clutter

Before bringing in those gorgeous pumpkins or gourds or hanging up that fall wreath, take a moment to remove all the stuff that has accumulated over the summer.  Retire the summery decor, flip flops, and beach towels to storage and find places for the new daily-use items that come back in to the house.  If you have kids, consider easily accessible storage for backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, and shoes that will keep your house from becoming a mess every afternoon.  If you have a mudroom, you already have a great storage spot that may only need some functional fix-ups to make it more useful. mudroom storage

Houzz

If you don’t have a mudroom, do you have a garage, foyer, or closet that could be used more effectively?

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2.  Layers of Warmth

Bring in autumn hues and a cozy feeling by adding layers — table runners, place mats, throw rugs, accent blankets and pillows will all give your home a fresh, autumn feel without too much fuss.  As you select items to add, keep a color scheme in mind that works with the items already in your home.  Consider bringing in warm wood accents, or, if you’re shopping for new furniture, purchase neutral pieces that allow you flexibility in seasonal decorating.

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House Beautiful

3.  Dress Up Your Entryway

Turn a critical eye on your home’s exterior.  How’s your curb appeal?  Repainting your front door can provide a new look for little effort or money, and many of fall’s beautiful colors such as cranberry, navy, chocolate brown, or charcoal will look good year-round.

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As on the inside, spend some time de-cluttering your yard and entryway.  Pull out the summer plantings, rake and weed beds, and add baskets or planters of mums, grasses, seed pods, or ornamental cabbages.

fall window box

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4.  Bring the Outdoors In

Creating fall decor can be as simple as taking advantage of all that Mother Nature has already provided.  Pumpkins, leaves, gourds, seed pods, dried grasses, and fall flowers are all fantastic ideas for table scapes and decor touches throughout the home.

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Pinterest

If you’re creatively inclined, consider painting pumpkins metallic shades for a totally different look.

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Pinterest

5.  Let There Be Light!

As the days grow shorter, create a cozy feel by bringing light into your home.  Start with your windows — if necessary, remount your curtains to let in plenty of light when they are fully opened.  Mounting your window hangings higher and wider than your window will also make your window appear larger.  Bring in candles in neutral and autumn shades and add them throughout your decor.

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Hollow out fruits or vegetables such as apples or gourds to hold votives or tea lights.  Or get crafty and grab some pumpkin carving tools that are readily available this time of year and add some leaf detail carving to a mini pumpkin for a sophisticated jack-o-lantern that’s not limited to just Halloween.

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Pinterest

How do you plan to spice up your fall decor this year?

For all-season decorating help, contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors.

Kids Rooms to Grow On

Decorating a timeless kids room can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the desire, time or budget to redecorate every few years as they grow and change.  With careful planning and a few guidelines, you can create a room that will grow with your child.

When it comes to kids rooms, it can be very easy to get sucked into a theme — princesses or cars or Dora the Explorer — but these are exactly the things that will end up changing as your child grows.  Your little girl who dresses up as a princess or your little boy who spends hours driving his cars and trucks around every day will, sooner than you realize, be on to very different things.  When that happens, you’re stuck with a room that needs updating.  Acknowledge that your child’s tastes will change, plan for it, and when you decorate his/her room you can create something that will be suitable and pleasing for every age!

Sophisticated Color Scheme

Choose a color scheme that doesn’t scream “kids room!” by selecting two or three shades and including neutrals.

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Rather than “nursery” colors on the walls or toddler-themed wallpaper, view your walls as a blank canvas on which you can add and change any number of accessories that will truly change the feel of the room.  This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid color — far from it!  Most colors, even bright ones, can feel appropriate for kids of all ages if they are incorporated correctly with the furnishings of the room.

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BHG

Buy Quality

As you ponder the furnishings in a child’s room, look for timeless, quality pieces.  That race car bed may be the be-all-and-end-all  to your three-year-old right now, but how do you feel about having to replace it in a year or two at best?  Many cribs now convert into twin or full-size beds once you no longer need the crib functionality.  If you’re spending the money on a crib anyway, make a good investment in something that will stay with you.

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When you’re buying a changing table, consider it’s usefulness long-term. Instead of a changing table, purchase a dresser with a changing table topper that removes once you no longer need it.  Great light fixtures, rugs, and window furnishings can also last years without feeling dated if properly chosen.

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Decoist

Change-up the Accents

The way you accent and play with the “blank slate” you create as the basis for your child’s room has everything to do with how young or old it feels.  Bedding, wall decorations, rugs, and lighting choices will have a significant impact on the feel of the room.  Pair a neutral wall with bright orange, red, or blue accents, and you’ll have a knock-out boys room in no time.

Do the same with pinks or purples, and you can have a room that’s as girly as your little princess wants it to be.

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Display Carefully and Provide Storage

Any parent knows how quickly a kids room can get filled with clutter — those Legos all over the floor or the Barbie dolls on every surface can take over!  Storage is a key element of a child’s room, by necessity, so plan ahead by providing plenty of accessible, functional, yet stylish storage that fits the room.

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BHG

If built-ins aren’t workable for your space or budget, consider using several wall mounted bookshelves with classic wicker baskets or an upholstered bedroom bench with enclosed storage.

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Decoist

Consider the layers of your child’s room and recognize that the toys, bedding and display items are only the top layer of all the elements that make up the room.  These will be the easiest to change as time goes on but will also provide a lot of character to the room if chosen wisely.

Patterns and Prints

Stripes, chevron, animal prints, geometrics,  florals — all these patterns, done in the right way can be completely timeless.

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When you choose a pattern, think down the road.  Will this still be appropriate when she’s a teenager?  Will this work when he’s 10 years old?  If the answer is no, keep looking for something that will!  It’s the accessories that will end up making the room feel younger or older and will save you the time, money, and effort of redoing the room over and over.

Is your child outgrowing his or her room?  What are your favorite elements of these timeless kids rooms?

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors can help you achieve your timeless kids room design!

Update Your Outdoors: 5 Tips for Decorating Outdoor Spaces

Creating an outdoor space that is pleasant and stunning is as simple as following a few key rules of decorating.  Transform yours from lifeless to lively with these tips for decorating outdoor spaces.

Even though summer is drawing to a close, there is still plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor living space, and it’s not too late (or too early!) to consider making your porch, patio, deck, or yard all that it can be!  As you plan, remember to take into account all of your space; not having solid walls and a ceiling means that you can get really creative in using the space you do have.

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1.  Look Up

Although your outdoor living space has the benefit of natural lighting, other forms of lighting are essential to a beautiful design.  If you have a ceiling or roof of some kind over your outdoor living space, then it may be very easy to add a lovely, antique lantern or a chandelier, depending on your taste.

chandelierBetter Homes and Gardens

If hard-wiring a light fixture isn’t possible, consider using candles, battery operated lights, Christmas lights, or solar lights.  The space below makes use of  a chandelier and strings of lights.

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If you don’t have a ceiling to work with, create one by adding a large outdoor umbrella or beautiful canopy tent.

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canopyBetter Homes and Gardens

2.  Look Down

Your outdoor “floor” may be wood, stone, concrete, grass or any combination, and while you will definitely want to consider what look  you can achieve by adding or changing those materials, a rug is an easy and relatively inexpensive design element that packs a lot of punch.  Choose one that enhances and coordinates with your color scheme and the surroundings.

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Better Homes and Gardens

3.  Plants

Notice in the picture above that the bright citron and lime greens in the plants are reflected in the green accent pillows.  In an outdoor space, plants are a vital part of the decor, so select your plants carefully, and choose ones that will complement the fabrics and decorations you choose (and vice versa!).  Also consider selecting plants that will be hardy through the winter or putting your pots on casters for easy relocation.

plantsBetter Homes and Gardens

4.  Color Scheme

Before adding items to your outdoor living space, select a color scheme and stick to it!  Fabrics are a great way to enhance your color scheme and provide interest in your outdoor living space.  There are many outdoor fabrics available, and you shouldn’t be afraid to throw in some bold colors or to mix patterns.  Notice in the picture below that the wall space has been used for plantings that pick up some of the colors in the fabrics.  Furniture, rugs, lighting fixtures, and plants should all be considered as elements in your color scheme.

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5.  Furniture

When choosing furniture for your outdoor living space, make a list of the ways in which you plan to use it — will you be dining there frequently, reading by yourself, entertaining guests, hanging out poolside?

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Test out the furniture before you buy it.  If it’s comfortable, you and your guests will be more likely to use it.  Think about both the style of the pieces you choose (do they go with your color scheme and decor style?) and the quality.  Purchase quality pieces that will last well, stand up to weather, require little maintenance, and, if possible, be able to be stored during the winter to prolong the life of the furniture.  Check out these tips by Better Homes and Gardens.

For more information:  10 Easy Outdoor Decorating Ideas, 24 Patio Perk-Ups

For help in creating your dynamite design, contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer of All About Interiors.

Festive Labor Day Decorations

Are you planning a Labor Day gathering but need some ideas for decorations to make it extra special?  These ideas for a festive decor will take your party to the next level!

 

Labor Day typically signals the end of summer, so take this opportunity to celebrate everything that’s special about summer.  This means taking advantage of warmer weather and outdoor spaces for entertaining with bright, cheerful colors, an easy-to-prepare menu (so you can enjoy the party too!), and fun and festive touches.

patriotic decorSource

The Decor

When most people think of Labor Day decorations, they think patriotic, but you don’t have to stick to the stars and stripes to have a stunning decor for the holiday.  Consider using beautiful, fresh flowers to create the color palette.  Delicious, abundant fruits of the summer such as strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon are all perfect for the theme as well.

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This table scape uses gorgeous white hydrangeas in simple glass containers wrapped in rope and red and white table runners placed horizontally across the table to double as place mats.

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How cute are these?  Mason jars with red and blue bandannas serve as decor, napkin, utensil holder, and drinking glass!

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You can also choose to buck the patriotic trend and go a different direction.  Tradition states that one shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day, so how about an all white party…

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or Labor Day Lobster?

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The Menu

Of course, what’s a party without food and drink?  Choose food that’s delicious, simple, and enhances your decorations when possible.  Serve this patriotic “cake” made of strawberries, angel food cake and blueberries with fresh whipped cream for dipping.

patriotic fruit cakePinterest

And the drinks?  Well, these speak for themselves!

cocktailsReal Simple

Whatever Labor Day decorations or theme you choose, make all the elements work for you and your decor.  You and your guests will have a blast!  Cheers!

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer with All About Interiors is available to help with all your decorating needs.

Update Your Outdoors: Swoon-Worthy Porch Swings

Is your porch or deck boring and uninviting?  Check out these tips for selecting a stylish porch swing that will create instant comfort and decor in your outside space!

When the cooler evenings of late summer and early fall arrive, there’s nothing better than watching the sunset from a comfortable porch swing.   A beautiful porch invites us to bring our lives outdoors, invites our friends and loved ones in, and encourages us to step away from our hectic lives for a moment and just be.

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A well-designed home creates a space where we are truly comfortable, and that space isn’t limited to the insides of our homes.  Creating an inviting and stylish exterior design requires just as much thought as an interior design, and furniture is a large part of that.  This week, we will focus on how to choose the right porch swing for your exterior.

CONSIDER YOUR SPACE

Whether you have a large covered front porch, a deck, or no porch at all, there is a swing that will suit your needs, but you must first consider location and space.  In choosing a location for your swing, make sure that you have sufficient space.  A gliding swing requires no overhead support and much less space than a traditional hanging porch swing, so it can be used in almost any space with minimal effort.

Magnolia Glider Bench

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If you have a porch with beams sturdy enough to support the weight of a hanging swing, you’ll also need to have sufficient space for the swing to move freely.  Plan at least 4 feet of swinging room  and 6 inches of space on each side.  Standard swing sizes are 4, 6, and 8 feet, but you’ll need approximately 2 feet per person with extra room for larger adults or wiggly kids.  17 inches off the floor is a good starting point for hanging height.

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CHOOSE YOUR SWING TYPE

  The traditional porch swing is a wooden hanging swing, but there are many other choices available:  gliding, a hanging swing/stand set, a single or double, hammock, unusually shaped swings, or even a porch bed!

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Pinterest

round swingmyscandinavianhome

SELECT THE RIGHT MATERIAL

Whether your swing will be exposed to the elements or not will greatly influence what type of material your swing should be made from.  Teak and cedar are good choices for a swing that will be exposed to weather, as they naturally resist rot and decay and weather well.  Other woods such as oak, maple, or pine, metal, wicker, and repurposed headboards, chairs, doors and even wooden pallets can be used to create beautiful porch swings.

For assistance in designing your swoon-worthy porch space, feel free to post comments or ask questions!  CT Interior Designer Melanie Langford of All About Interiors is glad to help!

For further information:  This Old House