Woodsy Warm-Ups

Country Sampler - - Creative Conversions -

Nat­u­ral inspiration for au­tumn decor lies right out­side the front win­dow of Carol An­der­son’s beautiful Clin­ton, Mis­souri, home. With 80 acres of woodland and a lake that re­flects the glo­ri­ous fall col­ors, the prop­erty pro­vides her with both ideas and ma­te­ri­als. Carol shares tips that work even for those who don’t live amid na­ture’s bounty.

Nat­u­ral Name Plates.

Turn up the vol­ume on sim­ple white dishes by tuck­ing in fall-hued cloth nap­kins, and top each place setting with a “place card” made from real or faux leaves or small pumpkins or gourds with names writ­ten on them in acrylic paint.

Cre­ative Carv­ings.

Move be­yond the ba­sic jack-o’-lantern and carve pumpkins in all kinds of in­ter­est­ing ways, in­clud­ing the ab­stract, geo­met­ric “etched” style fea­tured on the pumpkins that grace Carol’s din­ing room ta­ble. Show­case three dif­fer­ently carved pumpkins, along with other var­i­ous gourds and berries, in an over­size rec­tan­gu­lar tray for a show-stop­ping cen­ter­piece. Pumpkins can also serve as Mother Na­ture’s flower vase. Hol­low out a pump­kin, in­sert a con­tainer to hold water and tuck in plenty of fall­hued flow­ers.

Pump­kin Pal­ette.

Ac­cent clas­sic or­ange pumpkins with some in up­dated hues. These days, the fall fruits come in other col­ors, too—in­clud­ing green, yel­low, red, white, blue, and even tan and pink. Striped and bumpy va­ri­eties are available as well, mak­ing it easy to put to­gether a dis­tinc­tive dis­play.

Lively Vines.

Twine vines and garlands of flow­ers and berries around bed­posts, and along man­tels, shelves and table­tops. They add layers of color and tex­ture and can fill in the spa­ces be­tween larger items. This beautiful din­ing room was sur­pris­ingly bud­get friendly. “The whole din­ing set cost $40 and two cans of spray paint,” Carol ex­plains. “We built the ta­ble from old beams from a 100-year-old bridge they took down, and I got the chairs for $5 each.” Over­head, twig-style chan­de­liers carry out the rus­tic theme.

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