Lighter & Brighter
Most teens think of Friday night as “date night.” Not Anne Nash of Pedal Home Interiors in Dayton, Oregon, who preferred to stay home and decorate when she was young, using garage-sale finds her savvy single mother taught her to repurpose and reuse.
“I’d start by cleaning my bedroom, then I’d talk my brother into switching rooms, and before you knew it,” Anne says, “I’d be shoving beds down the hallway so I could create something fresh and new.”
In 2008, Anne and her husband, Jobe, bought a five-bedroom custom home for their growing family of three girls and two dogs. The Tuscan-style home featured dark cherry wood, including Brazilian cherry flooring and cherry woodwork, built-ins and kitchen cabinets. The latter were set against “very busy granite countertops that resembled animal prints,” Anne notes.
A lifelong Oregonian turned interior decorator transforms a dark Tuscan-style home into a cozy oasis sparkling with light, uplifting decor.
“At first, I had to match my style to the dark woods and even darker ‘latte’ walls,” she recalls. “As I found pieces, things would change. I am constantly flopping areas—the formal dining room is now our front room, and the wall color has changed three times.”
After having the cherry wood kitchen cabinets painted with Sherwin-williams’ Alabaster and all the woodwork and built-ins painted with the same white color, Anne’s decor transitioned into the more casual, lighter look that she loves today.
Next, she replaced the Brazilian cherry flooring in the living room and kitchen with Naturally Aged Aspen Hills 7"-wide engineered hardwood, which continues into the formerly carpeted family room.
To tie the whole lighter, brighter look together, Anne changed out the busy granite island in the kitchen with Misterio Pentalquartz and had the perimeter countertops finished with honed black granite for contrast.
An inveterate painter, she tackled the island painting herself, using Annie
Sloan’s Graphite Chalk Paint for the base and finishing it with Dark Chalk Paint Wax to give it that rich, old-wood look.
Decorating for fall is a cinch now thanks to the lighter backdrop. Trips to the farmers markets reap bushels of pumpkins in all different colors, sizes and shapes—great for adding texture and dimension to her seasonal look.
“When we moved in,” Anne recalls, “the family room fireplace and builtins were just one big wall of heavy, dark wood. After painting the shelving white, we added Cultured Stone to the cherry wood fireplace to break it up and add some texture. When I’m ready to decorate, I strip the shelves, decide which anchor pieces to use, then tuck in some pumpkins, seasonal signage, and galvanized pieces.”
Above the mantel, salvaged wood items—a painted bracket and future wood sign adorned with a greenery-filled basket—shout fall, especially when grounded by a beribboned Blue Lakota pumpkin propped on a pair of old books.
Outdoors, cornstalks add texture and height to the porch, while an old bench pops with a few coats of black spray paint. “Thanks to having a covered porch,” Anne says, “I was able to cozy up the bench with a pillow and colorful plaid blanket I found at Goodwill—the blanket section is always my go-to section when I arrive.”
During her stay-at-home-mom years, Anne taught her girls how to stretch a decorating dollar the same way her mother had taught her. These days, the family celebrates autumn with an apple cider–themed party held on the home’s covered back porch. Buckets of plants, fresh-picked apples and a glass beverage dispenser touting a chalkboard label are all ready for loads of fall fun!
Decorating for fall is a cinch now thanks to the LIGHTER BACKDROP.
Trips to the farmers markets reap bushels of PUMPKINS in all different COLORS, SIZES and SHAPES.
LEFT: Welcome guests with a colorful display of stacked pumpkins in an array of colors, column-hugging cornstalks, and galvanized buckets filled with fresh mums. During other seasons, you can repurpose the buckets as soft-drink coolers or totes for light gardening work.
LEFT: Add a little farmhouse charm to your fall vignettes with a plank-style print featuring an iconic barnyard character.
LEFT: Bring color and contrast to a white end table by filling a rustic tote with pumpkins in different sizes and shades and embellishing with greenery.
ABOVE: Cubbies provide great display opportunities, but finding a unique post-office piece like this one on Craigslist is cause for celebration! To give the boxes some height, Anne installed four slim wooden feet from Lowe’s that she aged with stain. The old barn door hanging in the room beyond was treated to a pressure washing, new brackets and some aging techniques using paint, wax and “other stuff.”
LEFT:Adorn your entry with eye-catching budget items like this market basket found at Goodwill filled with faux sunflower stems for a dash of color.
ABOVE: The family room fireplace and built-in shelves were originally one big wall of heavy dark wood. The Nashes painted the shelving and added stone to the fireplace to lighten it up.
RIGHT: Lift up your fall displays with a handy wooden riser. Here, a pale pumpkin mingles with a rugged candlestick, antlers, an open book and eucalyptus leaves.
RIGHT:Have a stash of artificial pumpkins and fruit to reuse each year to help fill out your fresh autumn decorations.
ABOVE: “When I spotted this bench, it was brown and gross, nails sticking out, left in someone’s yard,” Anne says, “so I threw it in the car and then covered it with white wall paint and sanded it back to look old.” A plaid throw and pillow give it a splash of fall style, and a garage-sale basket offers storage below.
ABOVE: Add a touch of warmth to your kitchen with geometric wood pendants housing antique bulb hardware. Make a fixed Roman shade–type valance using two drapery panels and a glue gun to keep the panels in place. Hang with a tension rod. Anne turned a rarely used kitchen desk into a coffee bar with beverage cooler.
ABOVE: Anne created her own farm table by marrying legs she bought online with a custom top built by a friend to her specifications. She distressed and aged the new wood top with three different Annie Sloan paint colors: French Linen, Old White and Coco, followed by clear and dark wax. Metallic chairs from Overstock.com add contrast. To create a floor-to-ceiling blackboard like Anne’s, paint a section of wall with chalkboard paint and trim the area with new molding painted white.
ABOVE: Break up a neutral palette with pops of color. In this bedroom, two blue nightstands, an array of blue pillows and a bold blue plaid throw lend a more vibrant look. A touch of paint magic toned down a barn door’s original shiny finish. “I started slapping white paint on it to bring out the wood grain and added a bit of dark wax after the paint dried,” Anne explains. Brackets provided the finishing touch.
ABOVE: Love to entertain? Hold an outdoor party centered around apples, cider and—of course—a few pumpkins. Black-and-white plaid cushions, a cozy throw and farmyardstyle pillows will keep guests comfortable. Fall plantings in galvanized tubs offer extra life to the setting. Prop up your apple cider dispenser on another galvanized item, such as a scalloped cake stand. Give a potted fall flower a style boost by wrapping the base in burlap and sliding it into a wire basket. When all your decorations and refreshments are ready, simply add friends and enjoy!