Tag Archives: Autumn

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

How to Create a Sophisticated Autumn Tablescape

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How to Create a Sophisticated Autumn Tablescape

The autumn season inspires calm appreciation for natural textures alongside earthy tones. Here are a few ideas on how to elegantly spruce up your tablescape for the season, using décor pieces that are easily available:

Natural Elements

Autumn lays bare the beauty of nature. It strips the outdoors of the colors of summer, which allows nature to wind down and prepare to renew itself. Everything takes a calm tone, a mood that is best translated into design through the usage of natural elements such as dried wood and autumn leaves. So instead of your usual fabric placemat, consider using weaved burlap mats placed atop a solid colored tablecloth. You may also consider using elegantly weaved wooden baskets to hold your serving dishes during family-style dinner parties. This simple switch allows you to bring the woodiness of the outdoors into your home, rooting the design in the heart of nature.

Earthy Colors

The end of summer heralds the return of earthy colors. Do away with neon and pastel shades for your table’s color palette and stick to warm, earthy colors instead. Muted red, orange, yellow, beige, and brown heighten the autumn ambiance on your table. A great way to bring color to the space is through the tablecloth or the place settings. A red plate placed atop an off-white tablecloth is a simple and sophisticated way to play with color combinations.

Contrasting Textures

Autumn is all about woody, earthy textures against the softness of the air. Bring this into your table design by layering various textures together. A burlap mat resting atop a soft, cotton tablecloth presents a great play of textures. Autumn leaves gathered in a bowl and topped with fresh seasonal berries is another elegant contrast that brings a unique visual and aromatic element to the table.

Autumn Inspired Centerpieces

The simplest way to beautify the tablescape for autumn is through a season-inspired centerpiece. Instead of the usual flower-laden centerpiece, consider using the autumn pumpkin as the base of your centerpiece. Place an orange pumpkin on a textured plate, and decorate it with dried twigs and leaves. Finish it off with a scattering of fresh autumn flowers. This is an elegant yet simple way to welcome the season into your home.

Give these tips a try and turn your cozy, autumn dinner parties with your family and friends into truly memorable events.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Elegant Front Porch Autumn Decorating

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The warm colors of autumn are a beautiful muse for creating your own seasonal home decor. The perfect place to start, your front porch is a versatile setting for a fall-inspired design. Transform your front porch into a welcoming and elegant haven for you and your guests with these ideas:

Wreaths and garlands

Bring a touch of autumn into your porch design with a wreath and garland on the door. While a fall-inspired wreath already exudes the spirit of the season, complementing it with a garland creates a more dramatic visual impact. A grapevine wreath and matching garland is perfect for any home design. Floral wreaths and garlands, as well as those made of fall leaves, are also great options. Beautify porch pillars with vine garlands or corn stalks twined together.

If you opt to do without a garland, loosely bundle together some twigs interspersed with dried leaves and flowers, and position it on top of the door frame. Or, maximize the space on your door mantel by lining it with some small preserved gourds or a series of rattan balls.

Flowers and topiaries

Flowers in orange, yellow, or purple tones add rich color to your front porch. Display a hanging basket or two with mums, asters, goldenrod, or sweet potato vines near the entryway. Alternatively, plant these flowers in a pair of black or white urns on pedestals and position them beside the door for hints of fall color.

Topiaries are also a classy way to cheer up your porch. Decorate topiaries with pine cones or orange balls tied with bronze ribbons for a personalized look. Mount dried twigs or long stalks of dried grasses in a wooden bucket with a ribbon tie for a more creative alternative.

Pumpkin displays

Pumpkins are popular elements of fall decorations. Using urns as a base, create a pumpkin topiary by piling three pumpkins of different colors on top of each other. Tie a ribbon on the topmost pumpkin and let it cascade to the floor.

On a corner of the porch or stairs, position a wooden crate or bucket on its side and place pumpkins of different sizes and colors in and around it, so it looks as if the pumpkins had tumbled down the stairs in a rustic yet charming display of abundance. If available, add one or two bales of hay to the scene for an extra pastoral touch.

Interesting centerpieces

A wicker basket with an array of small pumpkins is a simple yet elegant centerpiece for your outdoor table. Repaint old lanterns and fill them with small pumpkins for a unique showpiece. Add pine cones to these for more texture.

Berry branches or bundles of wheat grass in tall crystal vases also bring an autumn feel to your al fresco dining table. An orange potted flower ball also makes for a conversation starter that constantly lures you outdoors. Reuse vintage items, like an old watering can or a small metal bucket, as trendy vases and fill them with bundles of dried leaves and flowers.

Implemented with additional details like leaf-printed cushion covers and accessories, these ideas will help you establish a sophisticated home exterior this fall.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Bringing Fall Colors Inside: Eight Tried and True Strategies

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The coming of Fall signals an explosion of yellow, red, orange and brown colors in different hues! As Nature slowly transitions from Summer to Autumn, we find ourselves drawn to the cozy indoors.

Seasonal produce adds a warm touch

Make the most out of this season by decorating your home in traditional Fall colors:

  1. Use natural light: Since days are shorter in the Fall, you’ll have to make full use of the available natural light! Bring the soft Autumn sun into your home by fully raising your blinds or opening your curtains. You can replace any dark and heavy drapes with pale yellow curtains. Also, try adding more mirrors to reflect the sunlight back into your living room, bedroom or bathroom.
  2. Paint the walls: Make your home feel warmer by painting the walls in Fall-inspired colors. Take your cues from Nature and use colors found in maple, oak, hickory, ash, sycamore or birch trees. To make it more fun (albeit messy), get your family to help paint during the weekend!
  3. Display Fall foliage indoors: Let the beauty of Nature into your home by displaying Fall foliage indoors. Go outside and have fun choosing different leaves and branches to use for display! These will look absolutely gorgeous sitting in a wooden basket or sprinkled along a runner on the dining room table.
  4. Hang herb wreaths above the mantelpiece: Since Autumn is the harvest season, try hanging herb wreaths above the mantelpiece. Choose wreaths in yellow, red, orange and brown for a Fall-inspired look. Just like scented candles, they’ll even make your room smell good!
  5. Fill baskets and bowls with pine cones: Use pine cones as decorative pieces by filling baskets and bowls with them. Adding just the right touch, they’re versatile and abundant in season!
  6. Use seasonal produce: Choose from a wide selection of produce that is easily available in the Fall like apples, pears, grapes, figs, pomegranates and pumpkins. You can use them for displays or as decorative accents (plus you can eat them when they’re ripe!).
  7. Place centerpieces on the table: Keep in line with the Fall theme by using your garlands as centerpieces for the table. Make sure that nothing goes to waste by incorporating pine cones or other decorations left over from other holiday projects!
  8. Add throw pillows and matching rugs: Cover throw pillows in different Autumnal colors, ranging from chocolate brown, rich burgundy and pumpkin orange (they even sound delicious!). You can complement these throw pillows by getting matching rugs made from natural fibers like jute, organic cotton or hemp.

Happy decorating from Balsam Hill!

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Making an Undecorated Tree Part of Your Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Décor

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Savvy homeowners are getting the most bang for their buck by using their artificial trees even before Christmas. This autumn, an undecorated artificial tree is the perfect centerpiece you can use to jazz up your Halloween or Thanksgiving celebrations! Below are some my favorite decorating ideas to help you get started for the holidays.

Fall – General decor

Seamlessly incorporate your artificial tree with your general Autumn décor. You can do this by hanging natural accents like berries, figs and pinecones on your artificial tree. You can also use other autumn-inspired ornaments such as dried fruits (like sliced oranges and apples), cinnamon sticks bundled together, and clove-studded oranges. These look good AND smell good!


Kick off this year’s Halloween theme by decorating your artificial tree, be it a simple green tree or a colorful tree in orange or black. Hang some miniature candy-filled Halloween pumpkin baskets and artificial cobwebs. You can also make your own Halloween decorations from clear or solid orange and bronze Christmas ornaments (fill these up with white shredded tissue paper to create a ghost or fill it with orange shredded paper to create a pumpkin). Use a black witch’s hat as a tree topper and place a cauldron filled with yummy candy right in front of your tree. To top off your Halloween-Theme look, surround the tree (decorated or undecorated) with a variety of painted and carved pumpkins.


Want to add a new twist to your Thanksgiving décor? Use a combination of traditional autumnal colors (like orange and brown) and festive colors (like gold and bronze) to liven up your home. Take inspiration from our very own Sausalito Pine by spray-painting your natural accents (eucalyptus leaves and pinecones) with a gold or bronze color. Hang gold bows and small brown balls on your artificial tree and display a variety of gourds and cornucopias around it. You can also embellish your pears and apples with gold or silver glitter, hang dry leaves and surround your artificial tree with ears of Indian corn.

Effortlessly bring the feeling of autumn straight into your home with these fun and affordable ideas. There’s no need to break the bank at all! After you’ve hung and displayed a few of these decorations, you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. Happy holiday decorating!