Fall Decorating Ideas: Hues of the Harvest

Softer colors and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are in fashion this fall.
Fall Front Porch Tabelaux

Fall Front Porch Tabelaux

A mix of heirloom pumpkins and mums are a great way to welcome fall—and guests!—to your home.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Maggie Yelton

Image courtesy of Maggie Yelton

A mix of heirloom pumpkins and mums are a great way to welcome fall—and guests!—to your home.

Like a parent who won't choose their favorite child, most lifestyle experts say they love every season equally. But James Farmer will be the first to say that fall is his favorite time of the year. 

"I get excited about the temperature, flavors and colors," says the author, gardener, floral and interior designer. "This year the traditional colors of the season—gold, deep purple and rust—are being juxtaposed with smoky pink, amethyst, gray and silver in decor and on tabletops. It's not spring colors for fall, but softer colors mixed with the traditional." 

Here are a few more trends our favorite Farmer is seeing now that autumn is approaching: 

Step It Up 

"The classic orange pumpkin is such a symbol of the season, but gorgeous green, white and yellow pumpkins add depth to any doorstep display," Farmer says. Globes are great, but gourds of all different shapes and sizes—flat, fat, slender or squat—keep the eye engaged. "I'm using white pumpkins for an October wedding," he says. "They're soft and elegant but still speak to the season."

Branch Out 

While you're at it, try something new with other fall fruits in and outside the kitchen. "Fall is all about roasting and getting that smoky flavor into the produce, but I'm seeing white sweet potatoes and other nontraditional colors of squash in the oven and used as decor." Search out heirloom varieties that come in gorgeous colors like cream with green stripes and faded blue-gray. 

James Farmer/fall 2

James Farmer/fall 2

Snapdragons and pomegranates are in the mix in this festive fall arrangement created by James Farmer.

Photo by: Image courtesy of James Farmer

Image courtesy of James Farmer

Snapdragons and pomegranates are in the mix in this festive fall arrangement created by James Farmer.

Sage Advice 

"I'm a huge fan of old-fashioned asters, daisies and chrysanthemums that trail and fall. They look great in the garden and make beautiful cut flowers as well," Farmer says. "But I always say: For a fabulous fall, plant in the spring. And for a fabulous spring, plant in the fall. Poppies and snapdragons will get a great spring reaction." Before we know it, it'll be holiday time, so Farmer suggests planting cool-season herbs like different sages, parsley and chervil in anticipation of holiday plates.

Mix and Match 

Fall is fleeting: One minute you're sweating and the next you're digging sweaters out of the back of the closet. Farmer says this fall's tabletop trends reflect the feeling that you're somewhere between summer and the holidays with a mix of old and new. "I'm seeing antique silver mixed with thrift shop finds," he says. "It's truly inviting everything to the table as far as textures, themes and value."

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