The nights are getting cooler and the leaves will soon begin to change. Fall is here and with it comes sweater weather, baking, colourful leaves, warm soups and harvest stews. I can almost feel the seasons changing when I step outside and that’s my cue to make some seasonal changes indoors too.
Inspiration is Right Outside Your Door
Take a walk outdoors with the kids to find things to bring inside. This is such a fun family activity. Small branches can be brought inside and bundled together, tied up with pretty ribbon in autumnal colours and placed around your home.
Short, thin twigs can be glued onto clear glass jars to create seasonal votives. Pinecones can be collected and placed in large glass bowls or onto plates and platters. Children can glue pinecones to a paper plate to create a decorative wreath. Add a little English Ivy to your displays. They are not only beautiful, but they are also a natural air purifier.
Bring your hydrangea inside and let them dry naturally. The beautiful fall hues will add warmth to your home.
Take a Trip to the Farmer’s Market
Stop by your local farmers market and pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables to decorate your home. The rich colours and textures of apples, pears, clementines, squash, gourdes and pumpkins really stand our when clustered together in your kitchen or family room.
Throughout the month, swap out fruit with fresher varieties and use your ripened pieces in your fall baking. Nothing says fall like an apple pie or cobbler fresh out of the oven.
Simmer Some Stovetop Potpourri for Natural Warmth
Bring the scents of fall indoors with a simmering stovetop potpourri. Add any combination of your favourite fall fruits and spices to a large pot of boiling water. Reduce the water to a simmer. This will not only make your home smell like fall, but the steam from the pot will add moisture back into the dry air caused by the heat.
- Apple slices
- Orange slices
- Whole nuts with shells
- Cinnamon sticks
- Whole cloves
- Star of anise
- Essential oils
Create a Cozy Corner
Create a cozy corner in your home that invites your family to relax and unwind. Add inviting blankets and scatter some soft cushions in fall colours. Set out puzzles, games and some great fall reads. Here are my suggestions.
- Apple Farmer Annie – Monica Wellington
- Time to Sleep – Denise Fleming
- Halloween Day – Anne Rockwell
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf – Lois Ehlert
- Giving Thanks – Jonathan London
- Leaf Jumpers – Carole Gerber
- Applesauce Season – Eden Ross
- Pumpkin Circle – Shmuel Thaler
- The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
- The Best Kind of People – Zoe Whittall
- Commonwealth – Ann Patchette
- Wenjack – Joseph Boyden
- The Wonder – Emma Donoghue
- Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Two by Two – Nicholas Sparks
- Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult
Pumpkin Spice is Always Nice
Stock up on fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, mulling spice, thyme and vanilla. Fill your pantry with new, fresh ingredients so you are ready on a whim to whip up your favourite fall recipes.
Make and Entrance
From Thanksgiving guests to trick-or-treaters, your front door is a busy place in the fall. Carry your fall decorating right out the door by adding a few potted mums to add an instant pop of autumn colour. Welcome your guests with a cheerful fall doormat and pile on the pumpkins. Don’t be shy to experiment with containers. An old wagon makes a perfect display for hay bales, flowers and gourds.
Freshen up for Fall
Fall cleaning is not as common a phrase as “spring cleaning,” but preparing your nest for the long winter is just as wonderful as cleaning out the cobwebs after a cold season spent indoors.
- Clean your blinds with 50-50 vinegar and water mixture and an old sock.
- Use a razor to remove paint and lint from clothing. Bring out your favourite cozy sweater. It will get you excited for cool weather.
- Freshen your dresser drawers with a sachet of fall spices.
- Remove tough carpet stains using an iron and a damp washcloth.
- Scrub your cutting boards with half of a lemon and some kosher salt. Rinse off with warm water and dish soap.
- Get your cookie sheets ready for holiday baking. Scrub with a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda and enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Rub the paste all over your sheets in small circles. Let sit for 2-3 hours and rinse.
- Freshen your mattress by first vacuuming the surface. Follow by sprinkling with baking soda. Let the soda sit for 2 hours before vacuuming off.
- Clean your microwave by filling a bowl with equal parts water and vinegar. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. This will steam clean the microwave from the inside allowing you to simply wipe the walls clean.
- Wash plastic toys in the dishwasher using the short cycle.
- Rub a half bagel over a dusty painting to remove particles from the surface.
A special thanks to Flowers by Maggie, who inspired me with her expertise in bringing “the outside in.