Dec­o­rate with Crafts

The Coun­try Sam­pler stylists rake up piles of har­vest-hued ac­cents to warm up gath­er­ing ar­eas just in time for sea­sonal en­ter­tain­ing.

Country Sampler - - Contents -

The Coun­try Sam­pler stylists put to­gether warm and invit­ing fall gath­er­ing spa­ces.

About the time leaves reach their peak color and a chill creeps into the air,

we tend to set about mak­ing our homes cozy and invit­ing in an­tic­i­pa­tion of cooler weather and fam­ily gath­er­ings. Fort Re­cov­ery, Ohio, home­owner Laura Wen­ning is no ex­cep­tion. “I just love decorating for fall,” she says. “The col­ors are just so warm and vi­brant.”

Coun­try Sam­pler stylists René Haines and Carolynn Geesaman worked with Laura to fur­ther en­hance the au­tumn am­bi­ence in some of the gath­er­ing ar­eas in the trilevel home she shares with her hus­band, Ben, and their four chil­dren.

Luck­ily, Laura, who owns a lo­cal shop and decorating busi­ness, had a lot of great coun­try ba­sics in place. One of the fam­ily’s most-used spa­ces is a snug nook that’s ad­ja­cent to the open-con­cept kitchen/din­ing area. “It’s our fa­vorite lit­tle cor­ner in the house,” Laura says. “The kids love to sit in the chair while I’m in the kitchen cook­ing.”

In that space, as well as in the low­er­level fam­ily room, Laura in­stalled re­fur­bished barn beams as wall shelves, which she uses to show­case a ro­tat­ing se­lec­tion of sea­sonal fare. “Since I don’t have a fire­place, I think of them as my ‘man­tels,’ ” she notes.

Though Laura al­ways makes a point to dec­o­rate even the smallest ar­eas in her home, of­ten with items from her shop, René and Carolynn brought her a fresh view­point, she says. Read on to dis­cover their 18 great ideas for wel­com­ing fall!


1. Worth its weight. Call at­ten­tion to smaller decor, such as a mini hand­painted sea­sonal sign, by el­e­vat­ing it atop a scale-style clock. “Scales are re­ally pop­u­lar right now,” René ob­serves. “You can put so many things on top of them and they work well in ev­ery room, from a kitchen to a bath.”

2. In the clear. En­case a sin­gu­larly stun­ning leaf in an in­ex­pen­sive clear acrylic pic­ture frame. If you can’t find a leaf you like, make your own from scrap­book pa­per. Cut out a bunch of solid and pat­terned leaves to scat­ter amid other items on dis­play.

3. Bold and boun­ti­ful. Cel­e­brate har­vest­time with a cor­nu­copia of fresh and faux flow­ers, greens and acorn picks, bal­anced by a pair of di­men­sional wood pumpkins. Ar­range the group­ing on an easy-to-move piece of sal­vaged crate.


4. Pal­let pin­ups. Paint craft pal­lets with a weath­ered gray fin­ish and af­fix bronze painted clips to the cen­ter top, where they can hold in­ter­change­able prints.

5. Ball of fire. Gen­tly push faux leaves into a foam ball with a pencil and then glue them in place to make a top­i­ary that blazes with fall color. Use a rib­bontrimmed twig as the “trunk,” in­sert­ing the twig into a pail filled with a block of moss­cov­ered flo­ral foam.

6. Black ties. Bring depth to the setting with touches of black, such as checked chair pads, nap­kin rings fash­ioned from satin rib­bon and a Scot­tie dog planter brim­ming with sea­sonal blooms.

7. Stand­out can­dles. Get cre­ative when it comes to con­tain­ing can­dles. On the ta­ble, a ma­son jar packed with nuts fea­tures leaves and berries glued around the rim and a pil­lar can­dle perched atop the lid. On the side­board, a nut-filled vase topped with a vo­tive can­dle sits within a pail trimmed with a ring of faux hops.

8. Fringe ben­e­fits. Re­pur­pose a cream-col­ored blan­ket as a ta­ble cover, al­low­ing the pat­terned run­ner to pop.

9. Sea­sonal sen­ti­ments. Set a re­flec­tive tone in the din­ing area with one or more signs art­fully em­bla­zoned with words or phrases that call to mind fes­tive fam­ily get-to­geth­ers and feel­ings of grat­i­tude.


10. Branch­ing out. Sit­u­ate a light-up tree in the cor­ner of a room to cast the space in a fa­vor­able light. Trim it for fall with beau­ti­fully bur­nished metal leaves. The leaves’ var­ie­gated fin­ish re­flects the worn ap­pear­ance of a trio of dec­o­ra­tive wood suit­cases that pro­vide sub­stance to the scene and help fill in the space be­neath the bench. Cast-iron crows co­or­di­nate with the metal leaves and en­hance the har­vest theme.

11. Soft touch. Em­ploy tex­tiles to balance hard goods and of­fer a layer of tex­ture. Here, a quilted wall hang­ing adds a bit of back­ground color and acts as a screen of sorts when draped over an open rail­ing. Other el­e­ments, such as a doily, a win­dow­pane-plaid throw and an richly striped rug help keep things cozy.

12. Leafy looks. Take a cue from the fo­liage in a print de­pict­ing a fa­vorite fall pas­time and scat­ter faux leaves or glue a few to a wo­ven car­ryall in the ad­ja­cent dis­play. Place an elec­tric can­dle with a leaf-adorned sleeve in­side a weath­ered wood lantern amid a col­or­ful blend of berry picks and fra­grant pot­pourri.

13. Pump­kin spice. Punch up the pal­ette in any room with iconic or­ange pumpkins, from a pair of rus­tic wood cre­ations to a fresh or faux fruit cut to serve as a ves­sel for an au­tum­nal ar­range­ment. If you’re us­ing fresh flow­ers, in­sert a block of flo­ral foam in­side the pump­kin and use pieces of wood skew­ers to hold the “lid” in place.


14. Makeshift man­tel. Fash­ion your own fo­cal point by us­ing a beam or other large piece as a sub­stan­tial shelf that can sup­port ev­ery­day ac­cents, such as lanterns and green­ery, as well as spots of sea­sonal color.

15. Bright book­ends. Give dec­o­ra­tive wood pumpkins a func­tion be­yond mere dis­play by work­ing their an­gles to sup­port small books.

16. Per­fectly per­sonal. Cre­ate a state­ment piece by mak­ing a mono­grammed pump­kin and plac­ing it on a pedestal as­sem­bled from a can­dle­stick and a round bread­board topped with gar­land and a small grapevine wreath. To dec­o­rate the pump­kin, Carolynn wrapped it in lace fab­ric and sprayed it with white paint. Af­ter re­mov­ing the fab­ric, a lacy or­ange pat­tern was re­vealed. A de­coupaged let­ter or de­cal pro­vides per­son­al­iza­tion.

17. Lad­der to suc­cess. Fill a nar­row space with a painted blan­ket lad­der that co­or­di­nates with other ac­cents in the room and use it to show­case a pe­tite grapevine wreath out­fit­ted with a timer can­dle.

18. Small com­forts. Make a snug space even more ap­peal­ing by bring­ing in a sea­sonal pil­low cover and a clas­sic braided rug that echoes the up­hol­stery col­ors. Top off an ot­toman with a rus­tic tray per­fect for hold­ing a snack. “The lit­tle touches make it a wel­com­ing space that just in­vites you to sit down and re­lax,” Carolynn ob­serves.


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