Fall is almost a magical time for me. I love fall for all the rich tones of gold, mahogany, teal and burgundy. I will never tire of the textures of gourds and pumpkins. I am delighted by patterns of leaves in a symphony of dark oranges, terra costs, and rusts. But as much as all that makes my heart happy, something called to me to create a bright and airy fall living room this year.
I think part of the motivation was that I wanted to incorporate some of my white pitchers that I have been collecting. I am very drawn to the beautiful contrast between white and the full spectrum of fall’s rich, deep colors.
For the dining room I pulled out two pitchers and filled them with some fall branches. I find these ‘cake’ (or cupcake?) plates at Michael’s – usually in the springtime. I love the different heights and different plate sizes. They are a huge help to create varying heights when you are looking for a bright and airy feeling.
I added a white gourd and a ceramic pumpkin, and a couple of pears for contrast.
Changing out the pillow covers on the couch is always my first step when I am updating the living room for a new season. I brought out the fall pillow covers that I have sewn over the past few years.
I also added the light green / gold plaid fabric pillow covers this year. I have such a thing for plaids, and I thought this pattern harmonized nicely with the pumpkin prints. That small pumpkin fabric is a tablecloth I cut up, and the larger “gourd’ pillow covers are from dish towels I found at Williams Sonoma. They look a little bit like botanical prints to me – and I do love botanical prints!
The coffee table was a bit of a challenge for me. This year in particular, I have been on a personal quest to create stylings and vignettes that are simple and have that effortless look. Do you know how MUCH effort it takes to create ‘effortless’ ?!? I’ll tell you…it takes effort!
I started with my thrift shop basket (how anyone could let this tray get away just baffles me!).
I added a garage sale vase, a candleholder, and then got stuck. I knew I wanted a bowl or a tray of gourds or pumpkins. I tried 3 or 4 different bowls, containers, small baskets…. Nothing seemed to fit. Plus, at this time, I only had my faux harvest fruit in varying shades of orange, green, yellow or burgundy. I wanted to keep the color palette much tighter in shades of brown, cream and more gold than orange.
I made a run to the grocery store, and happily discovered these white pumpkins. But in addition, they were carrying packets of fall leaves and wheat sheaf. I bought two of those, and walked out of the store feeling victorious.
Well, the pumpkins are perfect. The wheat sheaf is exactly what I wanted for the vase. But the leaves?… not so much. They were very wrinkled and compressed, and trying to open them up just created a big leafy mess. So once again, I was off on the hunt. Michael’s came through with a branch of fall leaves. I like how the top leaves are more golden, and the bottom leaves are a little more of a bright fall color. When I mixed them in with wheat, everything came together.
For the mantel over the fireplace, I started with my default anchor piece, the window frame, and added a wreath from JoAnn’s. I like how it’s not completely filled out, and that it has a sense of openness to it. (Note – not an affiliate link!) It seems to really add to the bright and airy fall living room feeling.
So as not to overwhelm the wreath and keep a little balance, I kept the sides of the mantel pretty open and simple. Another white pitcher with a some wheat and a candle holder on the right. And on the left, a Pier 1 lantern with filled with fall fruit, and and another candleholder.
In the window nook of our dining area is a table that I dress up for the seasons.
This basket belonged to my mother; she would use it to bring cuttings in from her garden. I got a little curious, so I did some research, and found out that it is a “garden basket” or sometimes called a “flower basket”. As you can see, it has aged beautifully and is very sturdy and well made.
I simply filled it with a variety of fall gourds and pumpkins, along with some bittersweet.
Right around the time I decided that I had all the taken all the photos I needed for this post, I turned around and caught the sunlight playing in the leaves on the coffee table.
I am sure you can guess what happened next, but I will tell you anyway. I went a little crazy.
As much as I wanted to bombard you with all 24 (or was it 40?) of the photos I took, I realized I needed to practice a little self-restraint. 4 photos is still probably too much – but I really couldn’t help myself!!
These ‘fall fireworks’ on my coffee table are a good way to end this post! I hope you have enjoyed this bright and airy fall living room. A cozy fall feel can be created by simply mixing in some branches of fall leaves and patterns, some pumpkins, faux and real, and a little bit of creativity!
As always, I am a huge advocate of using basic elements you already have in your home: runners, pitchers, candleholders, cake plates, lanterns, baskets. The pillow covers are very fall, but I have built up this inventory over the years. Alternatively, you could use solid color pillows in fall or neutral tones, and mix them in with the cute pumpkin and fall pillow covers I see everywhere on Amazon, JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby!
I hope some of what I am showing stirs some creativity or inspiration for you and your fall decorating. To help boost that creativity, here is a post about creating fall vignettes, and here is a post about using alternative colors for fall.
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