Have you ever walked into a house that felt just… right? Not perfect or overly done, but just right? Artist, blogger and fabric designer Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs says those are usually the homes that are lovingly crafted and curated by their owners. Her advice? Follow your instincts and take cues from nature to bring the feeling of fall into your home.
Take cues from your own backyard
Need seasonal inspiration? Check in on the back porch. What looks different? What do you see? How do you feel? A simple way to honor the shift in seasons, says Bloomston, is to bring a bit of the outside in. Take a breath of the crisp fall air and gather up some dried leaves, a handful of petals or a branch and fill a pretty bowl with them.
Tip: Choose a low bowl like this HULTET Dish from Ikea (Ikea, $6) to display your backyard treasures.
Close your eyes
What colors remind you of fall? They might come from your backyard, a nearby hike or from your memory. Now open your eyes as you go about your day. What do you see? Bloomston finds inspiration in the pomegranate red from a late-summer/early-fall bounty, the earthy color of almost-purple squished grapes and wine, the amber color of honey and the faded greens of summer's end. Follow the colors in your mind and your own intuition as you pick textiles and objects for your home.
Tip: Once you find a fall color that speaks to you, drape a pillow or blanket like this Bocasa throw (Nilima Home, $65) over your sofa to add an autumnal hue.
Shop the farmer's market
“If you're lucky enough to live in a particularly 'squashy' place, run to the farmer’s market stand and grab some huge gourds,” says Bloomston. “Bring them back and put them everywhere! Plop a few different varieties in the center of your table, on your porch, the kitchen counter!” This is a very Martha thing to do, she adds. “Martha Stewart is an absolute expert at honoring the seasonal flow of life. In fact, I think large gourds can be more modern and sculptural than most of the sculptures we even have in our homes — and certainly cheaper!”
Tip: If gourds aren't easy to come by in your "neck" of the woods, shop Etsy for handcrafted gourd accessories like these Needle Felted Peas in a Gourd Pod (Etsy, $8 each).
Know your textures
What texture does fall evoke for you? Winter? Spring? This may be personal for you, but it may also be more universal. To Bloomston, fall means felt, men’s shirtings and pinstripe suiting, wools, flannels and warm, soft textures. Once you establish your favorite fall fabrics, grab a few pillows for the sofa or bed — or maybe a throw. If you have the time and talent, Bloomston suggests hand or machine sewing a very simple pillow for yourself. “This act of connecting to the handmade is a deeply grounding experience and can become a part of the seasonal design of your home.”
Tip: If pinstripes pique your interest, use an old men's suit to stitch up a pinstriped wool pillow cover like this one from Blissliving Home (Blissliving Home, $95).
Make a seasonal altar
Find a spot in the foyer or main living space — maybe a nice quiet corner or a side table in a hallway — and create a seasonal altar. “Many cultures in the world do this very naturally. Japanese culture is particularly good at it,” notes Bloomston. Lay down a seasonal textile, add a selection of vases or jars in a single color and then fill them and surround them with changing seasonal offerings such as branches from the trees in your yard. “Kids are innately good at finding stuff — so let them help you with this. They're always gathering and bringing and finding and collecting. My house is filled with rocks of all shapes and sizes — especially heart rocks.”
Tip: We love the idea of using a divided wooden box like this Cedar Bento Box (Cedarbrook, $29) to display nature's bounty on your seasonal altar (as spotted on the blog An Everyday Story).
“Let your home reflect you and your interests, passions and desires,” says Carrie Bloomston. “Don’t worry if it looks perfect or if it matches. Do what feels right to you. Have fun and play!”