Photo courtesy of Mariani Landscape.

It’s time to say goodbye to summer, but you can get into the spirit of fall by decorating your home with some seasonal panache. Try a DIY approach and collect fallen leaves, brilliantly colored and textured pumpkins and gourds, and even long tree branches to bring the warmth of the season indoors. Visit a garden or landscaping center for ideas or to purchase ready-made items. Below, some of the best in the biz offer timely suggestions for fall readiness, design and décor.

Pumpkins and Gourds

Many folks have carved pumpkins and a display of colorful gourds on their front stoop. To give this tradition a fresh look, etch a design or paint the pumpkin instead. Gina Iliopoulos, garden specialist at Mariani Landscape, recommends creating interesting arrangements – a tower or an overflowing container – and using some pumpkins as vases or candleholders by carving out the inside and flattening the base.

autumn-decor-Mariani-Landscape

Photo courtesy of Mariani Landscape.

Bring Fall Colors Inside

Bringing fall colors – oranges, yellows and deep reds – into your living room or on your kitchen table is an excellent way to spice up the home. Drape a russet-colored blanket over the couch arm, change out your pillow covers to match, and add sophistication to your table with a textured runner.

“Choose bronzes for flower arrangements, gilded yellows for accents and a mixture of dried flowers for a captivating exhibition,” says Iliopoulos.

John Hoerst, buyer and merchandiser at Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center, says that for this season it’s all about natural elements – botanicals, millet and birch branches. And, to this end, Chalet is offering more rustic bowls and trays and containers made from reclaimed wood. Pair a white pumpkin, Hoerst says, with gold and metallic pieces for an elegant look.

Star Lights, thin-wire LED lights available in seasonal orange, are expected to fly off the shelves this fall. “Weave them into a wreath, wrap them around a pumpkin or place them in a glass pumpkin-shaped bowl,” says Hoerst. Also, check out Chalet’s duck feathers and antlers to bring some rustic touches to your home.

Wreaths and Baskets 

Iliopoulos says that wreaths with a substantial design can be positioned at the front entryway and then smaller coordinating wreaths can be repeated throughout the home to pull the look together.

“Try a half basket on the front door filled with colorful flowers and branches,” says Iliopoulos. Then carry that same idea inside with decorations flanking interior doorways or brightening up the base of a staircase.

autumn-decor-Chalet-Landscape-Nursery-and-Garden-Center

Photo courtesy of Chalet.

Repair and Prepare

This season might be the perfect time to update your wall color with a fresh coat of paint and repair minor cracks and scuffs. Steve Hester from Hester Painting & Decorating suggests using a natural, earth-tone palette on walls to create the ideal backdrop for autumn decorations. And, don’t forget the exterior of the home. Fall cleanup is an important task to keep your home looking its best – power wash the deck and siding to remove mildew, mold and spider webs.

“This work will prepare your home for the upcoming long, harsh Chicagoland winter – now that is a scary thought,” says Hester.

autumn-decor-Hester-Painting-and-Decorating

Photo courtesy of Hester Painting & Decorating.

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