By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bored with the gourd? Decorate in a new way with pumpkins or other fall offerings

All you have to do to find the best fall decor is open your front door and step outside. Such is the advice of Gainesville decorator Elizabeth Thompson of House Dressing Interiors, LLC.

“Go to the local pumpkin patch,” she said. “Pick some dried branches. Pick some fresh apples.” Using the great outdoors for inspiration makes for the best fall decorating, she said.

Here are some suggestions for bringing fall to life at your home:

* Pick up smaller pumpkins to “spruce up your dining table,” Thompson said.

Place the pumpkins on top of a burlap table runner, “which is inexpensive and can be used during many seasons.”

* Not in the mood for the time or the mess associated with carving pumpkins? Take a break this year, and etch instead.

You can etch your initials in smaller pumpkins.

For a more drastic, yet low-key look, take a larger pumpkin, etch your house number, pile up a combination of traditional and heirloom pumpkins on your front steps, and place the larger, etched pumpkin on the top of the pile.

* Over pumpkins? Try branches.

Thompson recommends collecting dried branches to either arrange in a vase or decorative bottle to sit in your kitchen or on a chest in your entryway.

* No vases on hands, then reach for a good gourd.

First, gather an assortment of your favorite fall foliage, whether it’s leaves, flowers or herbs. Then, clean your pumpkin with a bleach wipe, cut a hole in the top and scoop out the sides. Use aluminum foil or a plastic bag to line the pumpkin, and then scoop in some potting soil. The only thing left to do is plant your foliage.

* Head to the orchard and pick yourself a nice crop of apples, which come in a variety of colors for your home decorating needs.

Thompson recommends using the apples to fill a bowl for your counter, your dining room table or on a stack of books on the coffee table.

* Consider corn.

A great option for this fall favorite is to construct an Indian corn garland. Start with a piece of rope. Wrap it with broom corn, corn tassels or other dried grasses. You can either place the corn along the rope single file or gathered in bundles of three. Use wire to secure the corn in place. You can hang the garland across a door or on your mantel.

* Don’t just stick with traditional colors.

Thompson said you shouldn’t force the colors orange and red if they don’t match your existing decor.

“White pumpkins are a fresh approach to fall decorating, and mixed with greenery, these work great,” she said.

* Regardless of your pumpkin’s color, you have options.

For example, gold metallic paint adds oomph to ordinary pumpkins. Buy round sticker labels, and place them on the pumpkin. Trace the shape with a pencil, and then paint inside the traced circles with gold paint. If you’re not a fan of circles, use other label shapes for variety.

* Plain pumpkins are great, but if you’re looking to add more edge, then consider using upholstery tacks.

Mix up the sizes and shapes of the tacks to create different patterns on the pumpkins.

* Last but not least, Thompson said, don’t forget to bring the smell of the outdoors in.

“Pick up a pumpkin spice candle to fill your home with the smell of fall,” she said.