decorating for the seasons

i've always been a bit torn when it comes to the question of seasonal decor. i love holidays and think it's important to celebrate seasonal events, if nothing else as an excellent excuse to spend time with friends and have a glass of champs. that being said, i also have a strong minimalist tendency that typically does not lend itself easily to the usually garish seasonal decor. over the years, i think it's safe to say that i've tried it all: from overdecorating with straight off the shelf crap (forgive my french) to making all the decorations by hand (note to self: the manicure bills were not worth it) to abstaining all together and feeling rather guilty and left out about it all. 

one of my annual goals this year has been to find a way to decorate and celebrate the seasons while still remaining true to a strong design sensibility, ideally without investing tons of money (in manicures or otherwise) in the process. as a small space dweller, i also prefer items that i can happily throw away after the season is over without excessive guilt for the environment or my pocketbook, or things that are small and worth keeping for seasons to come. 

seeing as fall is by far one of my favorite seasons, i thought i'd share some of my decorating inspiration...i'll share some "in real life" versions of this as well to see how they turn out in reality. here's my plan for the season.

BUY:

  1. seasonal candles. i can't get enough of them, they are disposable/recyclable and there's no way i'm making them myself. done. i usually stick with forest-y scents or campfire candles to keep it far from the headache zone and more in a cozy/comforting arena. and an incredibly elegant matchstrike for lighting all those candles. i also love how light flickers through these pretty candle holders.
  2. specialty teas, along with a few fall-inspired tea towels. i say this with caution, as i'd really prefer to not see a turkey or a gigantic pumpkin on your tea towels. there are more subtle ways to still say "it's fall!". think colors and patterns more than literal representations. while this should likely go without saying, i'm always shocked by the sheer quantity of these on the market. 
  3. an extra throw blanket...or two. this also comes with a caveat: i love blankets and have a growing collection that i don't exactly have room for, so we're now on a rotation basis. there's just something so lovely about having a beautiful blanket to cozy up under, especially if it's in an interesting pattern or fabric like this norwegian beauty.
  4. glass mugs, so you can watch the cream swirl around your after dinner coffee. 
  5. place card holders. maybe it's just me, but i think there is something so charmingly traditional about a place card on the table. add to this the amazing amount of beautiful, quirky cool vintage ones available on etsy, and well, a new obsession is born. i love this playful set for six.
  6. tree stump accents. like the campfire and forest candles, this probably harkens back to my desire to bring the outdoors in this time of year (rather than actually venture outdoors). i love this and this

MAKE:

  1. some sort of fun and/or cheeky banner. i like the vibe of these
  2. potpourri. preferably placed in a large champagne bucket with a little patina. this one would work nicely. 
  3. wreath. i love making wreaths. it's fun, it's artistic and it's an afternoon (rather than an all day) activity. plus there's endless varieties to suit almost any style and regardless of your skill (or lack thereof) it will certainly be better than anything purchased from the store. 
  4. mulled wine. no explanation needed. i'm planning to try this recipe in the coming weeks...you know, once the temperature dips below 80s degree in southern california. 
  5. glitter pumpkin. i'm sure almost everyone but me has done this. it's just taken me a while to come back around to this type of crafty-ness after the great glitter pinecone fiasco of 2013. we can discuss this over glass of said mulled wine.