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Outdoors offers inspiration for decoration

Posted: October 7, 2012 - 12:06am
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Marilyn Grau uses items from nature in decorating her home for fall.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Marilyn Grau uses items from nature in decorating her home for fall.

The change in season brings a change in attire. One local decorator says it should also bring a change in a home’s décor.

“Leaves are turning and the night air is crisp. We all know it’s time to move our summer clothes to storage and pull out the corduroy jackets,” said Marilyn Grau, owner of Decorating on a Shoestring. “But are we equally savvy when it comes to dressing our homes for autumn?”

Homeowners should take a room-by-room inventory to check for out-of-season décor, Grau said.

“Is there a bouquet of silk daffodils or forsythia still sitting on a bedside table in the upstairs guest room? Follow this rule of thumb: display artificial flowers only when their live counterparts are in bloom,” she said. “Substitute fall flowers such as asters, chrysanthemums or goldenrod in place of spring or summer bouquets. Dried arrangements are fairly safe since we find dried plants outside throughout the year. Ivy and evergreens are also good to use in any season.”

As with all things flowery, slipcovers, afghans and pillows with out-of-season prints should also be changed out to reflect the current season. A good place to gather inspiration – and material for decorating – is outdoors.

“This is a great time to walk outdoors,” said Grau. “Take along a bag to gather pine cones, seed pods, acorns and sweetgum balls. Fill a clear glass cookie jar with your finds for a great fall arrangement. Food stores and roadside stands are also overflowing with the autumn harvest.”

Other tips Grau offers include threading napkins through the curly stems of colorful gourds or winter squash to form unique napkin rings, standing several stalks of sugar cane in a corner and/or hanging colorful Indian corn on the door or mantle.

“Fill your home with flameless candles, dressed for fall,” says Grau. “Wrap them in burlap, tied on with jute. Surround them with small sticks, secured with jute or raffia. Use glue to attach corn husks, pinecones or see pods to the candles. Wrap them with grapevine.”

For unique candle holders, cut candle-size holes in the tops of apples or miniature pumpkins and sit the candles in the holes.

Tables can also be decorated seasonally. Grau suggests using brown wrapping paper for tablecloths. Simply tear the paper into large, odd-shaped pieces, wad into small balls, soak in warm water, wring out and flatten to dry.

Decorating for the season is as easy as surveying your surroundings, Grau said. To be added to her monthly decorating email, The Shoestr, email her at MarilynSGrau@gmail.com.

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