Holidays · Interior Decorating

Neutral Fall Decor With “A Little Christmas”

When I thought about my fall decor this year, I decided to channel Auntie Mame. Because, if there was ever a fall that “we need a little Christmas right this very minute!” it’s the fall of 2020. Let’s face it, it has been a really tough spring and summer and unfortunately, fall feels like it’s going to be more of the same. Because of this depressing situation, I wanted to try to cheer up my droopy family a bit by adding a little holiday sparkle to my usual rather low key fall decor.

After giving way too much thought to the question of how to create more of a Christmas feeling fall, I finally decided the answer was not “more cowbell,” but more lights! My fall decor is typically quite neutral, as the colors in my home do not mix well with orange. I have a lot of black and cream, and when you add in orange, it just screams Halloween. So, because of this palette problem, I tend to use a lot of cream pumpkins in my fall decorating

I was lucky to find these two white pumpkin, gourd, and pinecone garlands early in the season. (These are no longer available, but you could achieve a similar look with this garland.) I strung the two garlands together and lit them with a 200-light string of fairy lights. The lighted garland really brings some warmth and light to the mantel, which is the focal point of our family room.

Over the summer, I  purchased quite a few different-sized cream lanterns for my daughter’s wedding. Since I already had these lanterns, I decided to use a few of them on my fall mantel.

This is a lantern arrangement I set up on the shelf behind the bride and groom at my daughter’s wedding.
The Cream lanterns contain battery-operated candles and are arranged on either side of the mantel. I placed mini pine cones in the bottom of the lanterns to coordinate with the garland and add some contrast to all the cream.
A couple of large faux pumpkins
sit casually on the hearth and emphasize that this is a fall mantel rather than a Christmas one.
In my zeal to create a holiday glow, I went a little crazy with all the candles. The good news is that they are all battery-operated and easily turned on and off by remote control.
My fall coffee table display includes candles in glass cylinders, a lighted mercury glass pumpkin, and a small bowl of baby boo pumpkins.
This pierced ceramic pumpkin lantern (purchased from Pier One several years ago) adds even more glow to an arrangement of decor items on one of two chests placed in front of the windows in our family room.
In a perverse twist, instead of candles, I placed faux baby boo pumpkins on the candelabra on the other chest of drawers in my family room. But never fear, this area will have a little glow because I did place a candle in the little moss-filled bowl as part of the arrangement. (Yikes! If you look out the window, you have a great view of the moldy cover on our grill.)
Ceramic pumpkins acting as bookends add an autumnal touch to this small side table.
And to round out the family room decor, I nestled this unusual glittery strawflower pumpkin (purchased from Pier One a year ago) on a wreath of grape leaves and tiny pumpkins. This is a great piece to place in the center of the console table behind my sofa, as it looks great from all sides.
If you can’t tell, I love symmetrical arrangements. The neutral fall decor grouping on my breakfast room buffet is a study in cream, black and green. The sconces provide light all day long, but the lanterns’ candles add more atmosphere when they automatically come on at dinnertime. (pumpkins)
My kitchen table echoes the pumpkin and candle arrangement on the buffet.
Finally, to complete the fall decoration in my open plan family room and kitchen, I used pairs of freeze-dried boxwood topiaries, faux stacked green and cream pumpkins, and of course, more candles on the kitchen bar top counter.
I purchased these bargain faux stacked pumpkins from Walmart this year. They had some not-so-great-looking leaves and berries in between the pumpkin tiers, but I easily removed them. And I think they actually look much more realistic and expensive now.

As the Auntie Mame song goes, this year we may have:

“. . . grown a little leaner (or fatter as the case may be)

Grown a little colder

Grown a little sadder

Grown a little older”        

but by adding some flickering candles and twinkling lights, we can infuse “a little Christmas” into our neutral fall decor and, hopefully, our family now! 

How to add holiday light and sparkle to neutral fall decor

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5 thoughts on “Neutral Fall Decor With “A Little Christmas”

  1. Such beautiful displays! I am hoping that curating a beautiful space like this will make being stuck at home all through the fall and winter seem “cozy” rather than stifling. You’ve given me some great ideas!

  2. Lisa,
    I love all the pumpkins. The different varieties grown now make decorating so fun! Thank you for the ideas and encouragement. I had found that I didnt want to decorate. I think I see a splash of pumpkins in my future now.

    1. Thanks, Deborah. It is hard to motivate to do much of anything these days, but I did find that the decorations had a cheering effect.

  3. Beautiful Decorations! The white is very restive vs. the loud orange of pumpkins, although at this time of year orange is cheery for me. (Not that I have decorated much).

    1. Thanks for commenting Jeanne. I agree that orange pumpkins very cheery and as I stated in my post, we can use all the cheer we can get at this time!

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