It’s been an unusually warm fall here in Northern California. And, by warm I mean hot.
How is it where you are?
Can you believe we’re halfway through October … and Halloween is right around the corner? I usually hold off buying pumpkins until the weather cools off a bit …. but at this rate that could be February … so off to the pumpkin patch I went. Actually, it was off to our local nursery.
Don’t you love the variety of pumpkins available now?! Not to date myself, but … when I was a growing up, we had a choice of one type of pumpkin. Bright orange. You bought your orange pumpkin at the grocery store or a local pumpkin ‘patch’ – a converted empty lot downtown. Everyone in the family picked a pumpkin and the decision was mostly about size and carvabiity.
Mini pumpkins were not yet a thing.
If you were lucky and lived within an hour of a rural area, your parents might take you on a weekend outing to a real pumpkin patch. Even then, your choice of pumpkins was pretty much the same. Orange. But it was more of a ‘authentic’ experience with corn mazes, farm animals and scarecrows.
Then, a few days before Halloween, it was carving time! This was pre-Martha Stewart and her fancy carving tools.
Carving procedure at my house went something like this …
Mom spread newspapers out on the kitchen floor and reluctantly handed us black markers. We drew faces on our pumpkins and then dad was summoned with his scalpel (kitchen knife). Once the lids were off, mom took the markers in exchange for slotted spoons whereby the process of removing the innards – so gross – began. Intermittent inspections took place until our pumpkins were declared sufficiently cleaned. Dad returned and carved the pumpkin faces.
Speaking of carving pumpkins …
I once had the great idea to host a pumpkin carving contest. My mom and her best friend arrived with an Agatha Christie book and a brown paper bag. The book cover was their pumpkin inspiration. I should have paid closer attention. All the contestants spread out around the house, my mom and her friend staked claim to the laundry room. The book’s cover displayed a jack-o-lantern that appeared to be blacked out on the inside. All I remember is the sound of a spray paint can being shaken followed by shrieking. Needless to say, they were disqualified did not win a prize.
Look! I found it at Abe Books … Google is amazing.
Okay, well that was a fun walk down memory lane …
let’s get to Snowberry’s fall porch décor.
In my Fall Home Tour post, I shared five tips for bringing seasonal décor into your home without driving yourself insane.
I feel like fall décor moves through four stages. My thoughts on The Four Stages of Fall Décor:
- Phase One (September, post-Labor Day) – a hint of fall color
- Phase Two (October) – here come the real pumpkins
- Phase Three (mid-October) – bring on the spook & gore
- Phase Four (November) – remove the scary stuff, add turkeys and gourds
Fall Décor Phase One
Phase One of my fall porch décor was very simple. I added a wreath to the front door, layered a buffalo check rug under the doormat, added a couple of colorful plants and filled a lantern with mini cloth pumpkins and pinecones. To our porch bench I added a plaid throw, a striped pillow and a cloth pumpkin.
Fall Décor Phase Two
A couple of weeks ago Phase Two kicked in and I stuck firmly to my less-is-more policy … here’s what I added:
Real pumpkins, and lots of them. Did I go overboard?
I could certainly have passed muster with less.
Faux fall leaves in the basket planter topped with a few small sugar pumpkins.
Yellow mums to replace the sunflower that died (not enough sun apparently).
A larger pumpkin alongside our driveway bench.
Isn’t this a great pumpkin (Charlie Brown)? The stem!!!
Truth be told I freaked out a bit after unloading all my pumpkins. Shopping for them is one thing, artfully arranging them is another.
I’ve confessed to being challenged in the home décor realm.
I love décor, I can envision what I’d want things to look like … but the execution gets tricky.
I decided not to overthink it and I did ok. Not great, not terrible … ok. I’m happy with it.
Fall Décor Phase Three
Moving on to Phase Three – spook and gore. We have no children at home, and it’s doubtful we’ll have trick or treaters. Thanks, Covid. Plus, it’s not really my thing so I’m looking ahead to Phase Four.
Fall Décor Phase Four
I’m enjoying the lull in the action until November 1st when Phase Four kicks in and Snowberry’s largest pumpkin morphs into a turkey.
Fall Decor + Adult Beverages
Did you read my posts about perfect fall cocktails?
They pair well with the Four Phases of Fall Decor.
My personal favorite, the Aperol Spritz, is ideal for Phase One and Two. Light and easy.
Because seasonal decorating can be exhausting, Phase Three and Four require something more substantial and the Bourbon Spritz fits the bill.
This week I added to Snowberry’s home décor library with a wonderful new book by Myquillyn Smith, aka The Nester, called Welcome Home. Myquillyn is all about ‘more style, less stuff.’ She’s speaking my language.
Have you seen the the new Netfix show by Studio McGee … Dream Home Makeover? Oh, my goodness! I tend to love any home décor show that doesn’t involve someone named Tarek or Christina (side eye). I was already a fan of Studio McGee. But, now … I don’t even know what to say … I’m only through episode two and completely enamored of Shea and Syd McGee. They’re the most adorable and talented couple. I can’t wait to binge the rest of the season.
Next week I’m excited to reveal Snowberry’s (nearly) finished back patio … dressed for fall. Here’s a sneak peek.
As always, I appreciate your visit and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until then, Cheers from Snowberry and happy fall decorating!
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Unless otherwise noted, all photos in the post are by Monica Vargas Photography.