Pillows that take your House from Summer to Fall

Hands down, the EASIEST way to bring a season into your living space is through textiles – most specifically, throw pillows.  You don’t have to make a ton of big changes to make your home feel like summer, or Christmas, or in this case fall, and they are the easiest, and cheapest way to do so on a budget.
Obviously, there are certain fabrics and pillows that easily run into the hundreds, but there are so many affordable options.  Some of my favorite sources… Etsy, Target, and Homegoods.
A few of my favorites out there right now??
I love a good floral print – combine a large scale floral with the colors we associate with fall and bam, we’re in business.  I ALMOST bought the top pillow here from Target, but could only find one.  Sad day friends.  It’s so luscious in person, and a sweet deal too!
I also love the look of the branches and leaves, and the more understated print of the lumbar pillow here.  It could really be used in any season, but the rust red and mustard yellow say “fall” to me.

In a different color, any of these pillows could be perfect for other seasons, but something about the texture (especially in the Kilm pillow) along with the colors, these would be perfect for the season.  In colder months, I especially like thicker fabrics.

They just say, it’s cold outside, so come snuggle on the couch. 

Am I right, or am I RIGHT??

Again, it’s all in the colors that make up the ikat print, but I’m loving the soft melon colors with lots of white.  These are kind of perfect for those that live in more temperate climates, so your house doesn’t feel bizarre on those random warm days.

Mixed with neutral pillows, these are lovely and warm for fall, but mixed with fun blues, you could re-use them again in summer!

Any good ones you’ve seen recently?  I missed the boat for the blue and white pillows I have yet to make – I have a few months to stitch those up, and we can use them after the holidays are over, but for now, I’m on the hunt for some good autumnal pillows!

Fall Decor: The Magnolia Leaf

Hey Guys… happy Fall!  Can anyone else believe that it’s the last day of September???  Seriously, where does the time go?

Our home still has some of it’s summer decor up, but with fall in full swing, and the days getting noticeably shorter, my goal for this week is to get some fall decor going at home.  It seems that everyone goes straight for pumpkins when decorating for fall, but I want to go for a less obvious approach.  
There will of course still be pumpkins and gourds in the mix as well, but for this fall, I’m really liking the magnolia leaf.  
It’s extremely classic, and I love that the leaves look as lovely bright and green as they do once they brown out.  I also really like that the magnolia leaf – whether in the form of garland, nosegay, or wreath will take you all the way through Thanksgiving… even into the holiday season!
Look how pretty this garland below is – very autumnal without needing in your face bright orange leaves.

As a side note… I also really like the dark brown jug. It also feels very autumnal without being juvenile.

This garland is also a favorite – the mix of brown magnolia leaves with the green is so pretty, and while to me this looks like fall, it’s clearly something that can take you into the holiday season too.  Imagine that lit up at night.  So pretty. 
These nosegays clustered around lit lanterns is a very grand way to light up the stairs leading to your house… even along the driveway.  Or take this look inside, and cluster a few lanterns of varying sizes on a mantle, flanking a long dining table, or as a centerpiece on an outside table.
I am fairly sure that I’ve posted this idea last year, but I still love the look of magnolia leaves as placecards.  So simple, although my handwriting would look nothing like that.
And finally, one of my favorites…  the gilded magnolia leaf wreath.  I want to try and tackle a similar project this weekend.  Now that our front door is looking all fresh and pretty, I’m thinking of retiring our moss wreath until the springtime, and attempting a similar gold wreath.  
That would look so pretty against it, don’t you think??

Foolproof Fall Flower Arrangement

Do you like the alliteration of this blog post??
Me too… but what I like even more was how simple (and inexpensive) it was to pull together this flower arrangement.
I went to the supermarket and picked up three small bundles of flowers:
One bundle of berries, one bundle of mums, and one bundle of astroemerias… not sure what those look like??  It’s these:
I spent less than $10 and I think that the arrangement turned out really pretty – WAY better than any of the pre-made bouquets in the store.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think I kind of have a knack for flower arranging… one of the things I’ve learned is that keeping the flowers in the same color family REALLY helps you keep it pretty and elegant.
In this case, I stuck with deep reds, maroons, and raspberry shades.  I absolutely LOVE how the astroemerias have green in them that fades into a deep red… it really brings a lot more dimension into the arrangement.
In general I think that sticking to a single color family works so well, because when you pick different flowers in different colors, there are a lot of different textures going on, so it confuses the eye and can easily look messy..  Having different flowers in the same color family is less “confusing” to the eye, so it ends up looking planned, while still being “interesting”.  
In this case, it’s autumnal reds. My old faithful is white, but blue’s and purples (with hydrangeas and iris) would be really pretty, and orange hues would also be amazing – and especially seasonal right now for Thanksgiving (with roses, tulips, branches, leaves, berries…. the list is pretty broad).
One of my other secrets to more professional looking floral arrangements is to cut the stems short.
It takes .2 seconds to plop your supermarket flowers in a vase with their long stems… and it shows.  It ends up looking cheap, but taking the extra two minutes to cut them down and arrange them in a shorter, wider vase, and it ends up looking like something you picked up from a florist.

Finally, I like to stick with flowers that all look fairly different from one another – if you have too many ruffly flowers, you can’t tell that they are different (which there’s nothing wrong with that) but by picking berries in this arrangement, its more unique, and dresses up these otherwise really cheap looking flowers (I mean mums??  Just ask my mom how much she likes mums on their own)

I’m thinking of wrapping the vase in burlap for Thanksgiving week, since it’s really the last few days our home will be decorated for fall.  After that, it’s going to be a Holiday bonanza around here!!

Happy Thursday 🙂

Simple and Subtle Fall Decor

As you know, I’m a big fan of making small changes to our space for the seasons.  I love the idea that you can keep the core of the room the same, but that by making a few tweaks, you can completely change the feel of the space.
I also hate the gimmicky fall and “Halloween” decor you see in the stores, so I’ve put together a little list of seven easy changes you can make to take your space from summer to fall, while avoiding the dangling skeletons, and ghost flags.
1. Display the seasons’ harvest:
The grocery store is the best place to find super affordable decor in the form of food and produce.  Grab a bag of walnuts in their shell, 8-10 pears, and some cool little pumpkins and gourds for an easy fall mantle or dining room table centerpiece.  I also love the look of a big bowl of apples, and the Cinderella pumpkins and white pumpkins are always a little different.
2. Work in muted colors:
Summer is about bright colors, but as the days get shorter, I like to stick with a more muted palette with lots of white, creme, and earth tones that pick up the colors of the harvest (and candlelight) well. A feather wreath and a bundle of wheat also never hurt anyone 🙂
3. Bring the Outdoors In:
Mother Nature knows what’s up, so why not clip a few branches from a tree in the yard, and bring some natural fall colors indoors?  Not only are they so much cheaper than a bouquet of flowers, but they last longer, and bring more impact to a space.
4. Do a little Faux Fur:
The nights are a bit more chilly now, and there is nothing cozier than a little faux fur to snuggle up with.  Not only that, but the fur just says “cold weather is here” when it’s folded up at the end of the sofa.
5. Replace vases of Flowers with branchy twigs:
Once the leaves have all fallen from the trees outside, bare branches are cool to incorporate into fall decor.  I love how they are displayed in varying jugs and vases below…
6. Let there be (candle) light:
Grouping candles together is a super inexpensive way to make your home feel cozy at night (or at 5:00pm when it’s already dark out).  Not only would this make for great ambient lighting while you watched a movie, but it would be a cool tablescape for Thanksgiving dinner. To replicate the below photo just grab a planter from the Home Depot, some faux berry branches, a few gourds and mini pumpkins, and a lot of white candles.
7. Swap out Pillows and Blankets:
Bring in a little fall color through accessories – a burnt orange throw pillow and blanket turn this space from summer to fall in a snap.  Everything else is seasonally neutral, but the punch of orange says “fall” without being completely in your face.

Did I miss any good ones that you love?  What are your favorite little fall decor updates??  I also love a good fall wreath on the front door!

Happy Tuesday!

A Fall Mantle

Seasons are changing, and between weddings, work, and enjoying the absolutely glorious weather we’ve been getting (how has it been perfect weather – 80 degrees and sunny for weeks?!) I’ve neglected my poor little blog.

Luckily, I’ve got a thoughtful, creative mama (I must get it from her) who sent me some autumn inspiration, and some lovely pictures of her fall mantle…

In her own words…
My favorite season is Autumn, not fall, Autumn. Just saying the word, autumn, has such a sense of solidity. I’m also a Virgo…go figure!

At any rate here is my mantle, decorated with items collected over a lifetime of sixty + years. 

There’s the pewter topped mug my mother in law brought back for her son (my hubby) when she visited Germany. 

And the antique Haviland Limoges plates-I’ve always been particularly fond of the one with the radishes. 

And the pumpkins and gourds…collected from visits over the years from visits to “Half A Moon Bay” as my Baby Boo used to call it.

Not the most original holiday decor, but special. Each item has a story I remember when I set it in place.

Xoxoxo to all….Becky’s Mom

Not original?!

It’s called traditional, and as everyone who knows me knows, I am a sucker for tradition.  In fact I hate change, so if the mantle at my parents dramatically changed… let’s just say, it would not be good. I love seeing the seasonal pieces brought out, and remembering the stories behind them.

Thanks mom for sending these over!

Fall Wreath

We are having a bit of a heat spell right now – the weather has been around 85 in the city, which is rare! We’ve been loving every second of it, but even with the warmth, the light has somehow changed, and we’re starting to feel the first few hints of fall.  The leaves on the tree’s have a twinge of yellow to them, and the days are definitely shorter!

With the first inklings of fall, I decided to revamp our doorway decor – not that I’m going nuts with pumpkins in the house (too soon) but just something a bit autumnal.

I had a pine-cone wreath from last year that was very… brown.  Lots of twigs, acorns, and pine-cones… and it looked so depressing hung up, so I always took it down pretty quickly.
Well, I bought some berries and autumn leaf sprigs at Michael’s (literally $5 for everything with my coupon) and busted out the glue gun.  This is the finished result…

There is still plenty of green in the leaves to keep it feeling fresh, and the color from the berries makes these pine-cones the opposite of dreary.  Lively?  Inspired? Awake (at the least!)…

A gold ribbon (mainly to hold it to the door) finishes it off…

I’m super stoked about how this turned out!  Last Christmas, I’d bought a live boxwood wreath from Trader Joe’s, and it dried beautifully, so that’s been hanging on our door for the last year.  The new fall wreath brings some new life to this space, and if you ask me looks awesome with the brass door knob, key hole, and numbers.

Not that I’m biased or anything, but I think it also looks fetching alongside the new gold leafed frames…

Ok, enough talk of leaves changing, and temperatures dropping… Indian Summer is here baby, and I’m heading outside to soak up the heat!


Faux Fur Fantasies

Whlep… our glorious “Indian Summer” has come to a screeching halt today.  We’d had blazing temperatures in our little city by the bay for the last few days.  Kris and I even got a little evening ritual down where we’d walk down to get some frozen yogurt after dinner – sans hoodies, jackets, or any sort of outerwear.  Yep, that means I was strolling around San Francisco in a sleeveless dress and sandals last night at 9pm.  And I was still hot.

Anyway, the fog just rolled in this afternoon around 4pm, and so I think it’s safe to say that our heat wave is over.  Sad.  On the flip side, I’ve been thinking about cozy fall nights, and I keep coming back to the idea of fur.  Actually… faux fur.  Scared yet?

Don’t be… I think there are some fabulous options, and done in the right way, it can look really pretty – cozy, inviting, and not at all “Jersey Shore”

Here are a few shots I’m using for inspiration:

See!!  Amazing right?!  Obviously, a real fur throw would cost me my next year’s salary (and then some), and since I’m not into animal cruelty, I’d want to go faux all the way.  Next step??  Finding some viable options that are not only in the budget, but that don’t look like fake fur.

I saw that West Elm had a few priced at $119.  Not bad, and they look good enough to burrow in permanently…

World Market had a few last week when I swung in over lunch, but as good as they look in this picture, they felt rough to the touch… it’s a shame, because they are a FABULOUS deal at just $60.

What are your thoughts on faux fur in the house?  Big mistake, or amazing decision?*All homes a feature of Houzz

The Shops at Target

Is anyone else as excited as I am for the new shops at Target?!  They have partnered with four AWESOME local shops in a major way… New York’s Odin and Kirna Zabete, Boston’s Patch NYC, and San Francisco’s The Curiosity Shoppe.  My favorites are Patch and the Curiosity Shoppe, mainly becuase they have the cutest, funkiest little accessories for the home.

Patch NYC’s collection is full of pieces with a woodsy vibe (think fuzzy wool blankets, and woodland creature figurines), and for extremely affordable prices, you can prepare for hibernation with new lamps, pillows, dishes, and throw blankets.

I think the owl lamp and owl bookends are endlessly charming – I also love the woodpecker lamp!  As darling as these would be paired up in a sophisticated child’s bedroom, I also think they’d be really cool in an office, hallway, or entryway.

Their woodsy pillow collection is pretty awesome too.  I actually think the stag pillow would be great for the holidays since this little guy looks quite a bit like a certain red nosed reindeer (without the red nose)
And for any fox lovers out there (aka my sister’s friend Rebecca), they have an array of fox themed goods from lamps to candle holders, to sweet little dishes
The Curiosity Shoppe has a lot of great things for entertaining, from fun straws, and drink mixers, to photo booth props, cheese platters, and gift wrap!  They had really cute dishes, cake stands, and even journals!  Looking through the collection, it dawned on me that this is the perfect one-stop-shop for a funky bride on a budget.  Am I right or am I right?! (Tip: I’m right)

How cute are these props for a photo booth, and these old timey straws??  They remind me of mini barber poles!  Isn’t there something about fake mustaches that are so fun?!

I LOVE the USA cutting board – quirky and cute!  It would also work really well as a cheese platter – what would be REALLY adorable is if you featured different cheeses from different regions like a Humboldt Fog Bleu near San Francisco, or a Wisconsin Cheddar up near the great lakes…

They also are featuring some super cute gift boxes and tags – for anyone (like me) who struggles when trying to wrap a present, these boxes are so pretty, you won’t want to cover them up!!  I especially love the yellow one with the wood grain print on the top…


**As a side note, this is NOT an advertisement for Target, or any of these individual vendors.  I just happen to be obsessed with how awesome they are  🙂

Fall Decor Updates

Last night I hit up World Market after work, to pick up a few things to update our home for fall.  Target is a bit of a trek from San Francisco – there is a new one that opened downtown but it is so crowded, I need a Xanax before I take that on!

Anyway, my problem with World Market is limiting my purchases because things can get out of hand quickly in there!

My favorite things??  This awesome little white pumpkin dish – right now it’s empty, but I plan on getting some candy corn in there ASAP.  I happen to love me some candy corn, and eat it by the handfuls every Halloween.

I also love the new pumpkin spice potpuri I got (don’t you love the autumnal colors) and my little owl candle!  He is the cutest little thing… I couldn’t resist!

I also hit up Trader Joes on the way home, and got some fresh flowers and fresh produce.  I think both are very harvest-y… right??  

Kris came home and was VERY excited for the artichokes (one of his favorite things), and seeing those sunflowers this morning before work just made me smile.  The house smells like pumpkin pie, and I’m heading home for a little candy corn feast tonight. It’s the little things that make me really happy sometimes…

Fall is Here!!

Photo via Pottery Barn (where else?)
I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden this morning, something in me switched, and it’s fall.  Going by technicality, it’s still summer until September 22, but to me, it’s fall now so I am bound and determined to go home tonight, and get out some of my “fall” decor to replace some of the more summery things.
What will I be switching out??
1. The Wreath on the Front Door
Right now, we have a really pretty summer wreath out, but I am itching to take it down and replace it with something autumnal.  What I will hang up in its place is still a mystery to me, but I think a quick trip to Target, may fix that.
I can think of nothing worse than some fake leaves glue gunned onto a circular frame, so I am using these pictures as inspiration.  I am looking for berries, twisted brambles and maybe a few dried flowers.
2. Candles
I love having candles in the house – they look so pretty at night – and make the room all cozy with the lights off.  I normally keep cream colored candles around, but for fall and winter, I have some fabulous candles wrapped in birch bark.  They are obviously more decorative than they are funcional – I really try to keep the burning of them to a minimum since I have had a hard time finding more of them.  I originally got them from World Market, but I know Pottery Barn carried some for a while.  Aren’t they pretty?
3. Apples and Pumpkins and Gourds… oh my!
Fall is synonymous with the harvest, drinking apple cider, carving pumpkins for Halloween, and roasting squash for dinner. The market always has really pretty colored gourds and pumpkins at this time of year, and I love rounding them up in a big basket or bowl for decor.  Don’t you just love the wierd shapes and bumps of the gourds?  Kind of reminds me of a witch’s face
I am LOVING this arrangement with the white pumpkin – it’s less “loud” and in your face than some of the other arrangements I’ve seen…  Hopefully Whole Foods has a variety today…
As we get further into fall, there will of course be additions to the fall decor, but these are a few of the easy ones, that I can’t wait to get to after work!!