Yesterday, I became aware of a phenomenon that perplexed me. It started in the doctor’s office, when I heard Christmas carols being played on the radio. Then as I went to the local store I had difficulty finding orange candles. All I could find were decorations for the winter and Christmas. After Halloween, had we skipped the celebration of Thanksgiving and autumn? I know that Chanukah starts on Thanksgiving this year, but still….
So, I have decided to slow things down a bit and suggest some decorating ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving and autumn. This time of year is one of my favorites. Having just spent a long weekend in June Lake, I was truly able to experience the changing seasons. I was awed by the beauty of the quaking, golden-yellow aspen trees, which were in contrast to the gray, granite peaks of the Sierras. I was able to gather up pinecones that were as big as footballs, and I found myself stomping through piles of fallen leaves.
What is great about this season is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to decorate. It is easy to set the mood for Thanksgiving by selecting items found in nature and ones that remind us of the familiar smells and bounty of food we are about to eat.
Small branches are the perfect item to create quick, eye-catching displays. Layer items such as nuts, birdseed, pods, or small pumpkins or apples halfway up in a clear vase. Fill the vase with sprigs of mini wheat, twigs or branches with or without berries or leaves. You can tie a ribbon or raffia around the outside to complete the look. For a little variation, use a vessel that has more character, like a vintage bowl, small bucket, metal pitcher, or a hollowed-out gourd instead. Gather a variety of flowers, stems, fillers and twigs, and arrange at random. Even less time-consuming would be to gather a handful of twigs and tie them together with ribbon of raffia. Glue or tie in some colorful fall leaves. Place them upright like stacks of wheat.
Gather colorful leaves, sprigs of holly or other items that can be featured by mounting them inside a frame. I love wood frames that can either remain rustic or whitewashed. Any size or shape will do. You can hang the frames from twine or raffia to give it a rustic look. For a little pop of color, tie them with ribbons in the fall colors of orange, yellow, red and purple.
Wonderful mini displays
I have always been fascinated with things in jars or under glass. They are like a miniature world. Glass cake plates, terrariums and bell jars are perfect for these displays. Capture fall inside by placing moss on the bottom and adding a few small gourds, branches of leaves or berries and twigs. You are limited only by your imagination. Items can easily be switched out for the other holidays.
Not just for eating
Celebrate the bounty of Thanksgiving by creating a centerpiece of gorgeous vegetables. Get a stretchy rubber band and wrap it around a tall glass vase or a white pillar candle. Tuck in a row of green beans or asparagus under the rubber band. Cover the rubber band with either ribbon or raffia. You can either use it as a vase or as a decorative candle holder. You can also make an artichoke candle holder by cutting the top off, a little off the center, and a little from the bottom. Insert a glass holder with a candle in it. This is much safer than sticking a candle directly into the artichoke. You can set these on a platter or charger with a few sprigs of mums and branches with berries. Green and red cabbages are a nice variation.
Just placing colorful fruit in a bowl is an easy decoration. Pears, crabapples and apples come to mind. You can dress it up or down, depending on the vessel you use. For a little bling, adorn the fruit with adhesive decals in silver, bronze, and gold.
Hail, hail, bring on the kale
Add more color by using ornamental kale. What a great way to bring in purples, fuchsias and greens to the celebration. For a one-of-a-kind centerpiece, add some colorful gourds, fruits such as pears and apples, peppers, leaves, berries, brussel sprouts and radishes. Be inventive and have fun.
Savor and enjoy the season. Keep it simple and stress free.
Shoshanah Siegel provides color consulting as well as space planning, remodeling, upgrading and staging through her firm Your Color Diva. She can be contacted at (562) 427-0440 or at shoshanah.siegel @gmail.com. Samples of her work can be found at houzz.com .