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.
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.
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.
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.