The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 22, 2012

'Fall' into decorating

By Bridget Nash, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — It’s almost time for jeans, sweaters, boots and scarves, but fashion isn’t the only thing that gets a little boost this time of year.

Fall decorating around your home is a fun way to get into the spirit of cooler weather and the quickly approaching holidays.

“At the end of September, I normally buy hay bales and tons of pumpkins and tons of gourds,” said Kari Higgins of Swank Interior Designs.



Outdoor decorating

“With the recent drought, so many people have dried-up, brown lawns, but what I love about this time of year is it’s okay for everything to look dead,” said Higgins. “You can just throw some hay bales and pumpkins outside, and it completes the look of your lawn.”

Higgins said outdoor decorating for fall is fun and easy, and most decorations can, with small alterations, be used through Thanksgiving.

“The nice thing is there is a really long stretch of cooler weather, and things like pumpkins and gourds will stay good as long as you don’t cut them,” said Higgins.

As soon as fall hits, the harvest-themed decorations can be put out. Items such as gourds, corn stalks and hay bales are great staples, and a little personal flair can easily be added with colored ribbons or foliage.

When October rolls around, some of the pumpkins can be cut for jack-o’-lanterns, but a great way to preserve your pumpkins while still giving them a little style is painting them, said Higgins.

“I normally just use the acrylic paint,” said Higgins. “You might want to use some sort of clear finish or (spray-on clear coat) to preserve the designs.”

Painting faces on the pumpkins is fun for October, but other designs can be painted on them to make them a little more versatile. Designs such as stripes, patterns and plaids will allow the painted pumpkins to be used for the entire autumn season.

“If you use fall colors, they can carry over past Halloween,” said Higgins.

People may choose to decorate realistic artificial pumpkins, available at craft stores, but using artificial pumpkins for outdoor decorating may shorten the life of the decoration, Higgins said.



Indoor/Outdoor

Pumpkins and gourds can be used indoors and outdoors as decorative pieces.

Higgins said one fun way to use a pumpkin (real or Styrofoam) is to put holes all around the stem of the pumpkin and put artificial flowers in those holes. This creates the appearance of a pumpkin vase.



Indoor decorating

It’s easy to use hay bales and pumpkins for decorating the outside of your home for fall, but there also are some subtle things you can change inside your home to give it an autumn glow.

“Change out your throw pillows for the season,” said Higgins.

Adding fall-colored pillows and throws will automatically give your home a warm and cozy autumn look. Higgins also suggests fall-themed scents to add to the ambiance. Whether it’s scented candles, room freshening spray, wax burners or scented oils, there is a wide selection of fall scents available to compliment your home.

Fall-colored tablecloths will do wonders to accent any fall centerpieces on your table, Higgins said, and there are other fun autumn touches that can be added almost anywhere.

Items such as artificial fall leaves and berries can be used to decorate tables or mantles. Higgins said one of her favorite things to add to her fall table setting is fall napkin rings made simply from artificial leaves that have wire inside. The leaves can be wrapped around the napkin as a trendy, seasonal napkin ring.

Higgins said she also likes to wrap the leaves around other things such as candle holders.

“You can just wrap them around everything and it looks adorable,” said Higgins.

Simple glass containers can be placed around the house and made seasonal by putting in miniature pumpkins (real or artificial) and fall foliage such as leaves, berries or sunflowers.

When giving your home some decorative touches, Higgins said it’s important to not overlook the simple things. Anything you see that you like can be used as a decorative piece.

“For example, a witch’s hat with a black feather boa around it on the table. That’s really cute for Halloween,” said Higgins.



Do it yourself

Fall decorations look great in your home, but it is also fun to make and arrange those decorations.

Linda Anderson, co-manager of Hobby Lobby in Enid, said the store’s fall items already are selling very quickly.

Grapevine wreaths, swags and other decorations are popular, because people can decorate them and add their own touches, said Anderson.

“Fall ribbon has been going really fast,” said Anderson.

Ceramic table pieces such as pumpkins and Thanksgiving figures have been a popular item for people to create centerpieces and other decorations.

“Scarecrows are popular,” said Anderson. “And our ready-made arrangements have gone really well.”



Ready-made arrangements

One of the best things about fall is its decorations can be used over the duration of several months.

“We try to do something that can carry over from Halloween all the way to before Christmas,” said Matt Whittenburg of Enid Floral.

“Gourds, berries, leaves, twigs,” said Whittenburg. “It’s kind of fun and funky.”

Items that have become popular are the cone-shaped or vertical decorative pieces, Whittenburg said. They can be used just about anywhere in the home.

Some other arrangements that now are popular are square arrangements that resemble picture frames or flower arrangements in hollowed-out pumpkins. Baskets also are popular for displaying fall arrangements, Whittenburg said.

Fall colors are a sure way to get into the season, and Whittenburg said he has a lot of fun with fall color options.

“The rusts, the golds, the coppers,” said Whittenburg. “(We can add) cobalt blue or purple. Kind of transition from summer to fall.”

Whittenburg said he also spends time revamping people’s old arrangements.

“If someone wants to bring in an old arrangement and have it refluffed, we can do that,” he said.

Invited to a party in the fall? Another popular idea is to send a fall-themed arrangement to the party host’s home prior to the party.