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Southern Style by Rebecca Masters

A change in seasonal décor

    Reminders of the changing season are all around us. It is time to begin a decorating transition in our homes.  We can start at our entries, both front and back. Just as a garland of greenery can be draped around our doors at Christmas time, the same idea can be used with sticks, twigs, and grapevine for the fall season.  Live or silk greenery and leaves in fall colors of oranges, browns, and burgundies can be intertwined among your twig garland.  Strands of berries are an effective way to add color across your garland.
    Another way to add dimension to your entry is to add pumpkins or mums.  Make sure the mums are in attractive baskets or pots. If you are using pumpkins, vary the sizes and group in sets of three or use similar sizes and place one on each step leading up to your door.  Urns can be used to elevate pumpkins with other pumpkins placed at the base of the urn.
    Wreaths can also be placed on entry doors. Make sure your fall wreath is up to date and not tired looking.  One new idea is a square wreath of dried leaves and grasses instead of a round one.  Acorns, small pumpkins, and bird nests can be added using wire and hot glue.  
    When your entry is adorned, it is time to move to the foyer, mantle, and dining   areas.  Just a few pumpkins or squash placed on a foyer entry table will carry your fall decorating theme forward.  Glass cloches with squash and pumpkins underneath make a beautiful display. These can be made more prominent by elevating them on a glass cake stand.  Make sure your glass cloche and cake stand are clean and streak free.  Vinegar and newspaper can be used to clean the glass.
    Mantles or the top of a buffet are perfect places to display an autumn harvest.  Gather natural items, large and small, such as acorns, pinecones, leaves, twigs, and seed pods to place with fall fruits and vegetables. Candles of fall colors in glass hurricane globes placed on each end of your arrangement will anchor your display. Place your harvest items in a loose arrangement across your mantle or buffet varying the height when placing items.     
    When setting up displays and centerpieces on dining room tables, consider the size of your table.  A small table may need only a wide glass vase, bowl, or favorite container from your garden shed with a single type of fall fruit or vegetable.  Add chargers, napkins, and napkin rings in autumn colors and your table is complete. Plates may be set out in place of chargers or placemats. Using  napkin fabrics with texture and a woodsy look adds to the feeling of fall.  Keeping your table set in such a way throughout the season is an inviting look.
    Larger tables may look better with more massive displays.  You can again place a loose display of fall harvest items across the center of the table or even choose a botanical theme using garden items such as dried hydrangeas with twigs, pinecones and leaves that can be found in many southern yards this time of year.  Adding deer antlers to any fall arrangement gives another variation to the display. Another tablescape idea is to use three clear wide vases with only one particular kind of pumpkin or squash. This is a simpler look which may fit better with the current décor in some homes.
    When gathering items to create your fall displays, look for things that you already have on hand such as wooden bowls, dough risers, platters and garden containers.  Kitchen towels in fall colors, but without trendy appliqués can be monogrammed and used year after year with out looking dated. Mums in pretty baskets are always a classic fall touch. Seek out napkins, chargers and napkin rings with fall colors and textures.      Bright greens and burgundy colors look dramatic with colors of orange, rust, and brown.  A walk outside and an observing eye will turn up many no cost treasures.             Whether you choose live, dried, or silk items to use in your home for fall decorating, have fun being creative on any budget. You are now ready to meet your guests at the front door and share the beauty of fall and a wonderful and refreshing season. It’s a southern thing!
    Rebecca Masters is a teacher who enjoys gardening, entertaining, and interior design.  She can be reached at (912) 764-5413 or findesigns@frontiernet.net.

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