In September I came upon this sight at Home Depot - what a shocking reminder that the seasons are a-changin’ (if you don’t get this reference, you must be young). Witnessing how retailers switch in the blink of an eye from barbeques to snow blowers, I thought this week’s blog should address the similar changeover in our mental philosophy from Summer to Fall. Specifically, what 4 things you must absolutely do when Fall undeniably signals the change of seasons, at least from the home decorating perspective.
1) Get over it: Fall comes every year, and that’s a good thing. While you might want to preserve Summer forever (see my “Making Summer Last Longer Via Your Décor” from August of this year for helpful tips to make that exquisite summer feeling last longer than the calendar suggests), Fall inevitably comes, and that’s comforting and invigorating. Just look at how gorgeous the new landscaping in our backyard looks this Fall. We redesigned the plantings this Summer to be more like a Japanese garden after our spring trip to Japan. Watching the colors of the Japanese Maples and Red Maples come into their full glorious color in recent weeks has been uplifting.
2) Prepare Your Home Now for Holiday Guests: Today is Halloween, and you say you are having a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hannukah get together? And your dining room doesn’t even have a table yet, your guest room is piled with your kids’ summer camp and school stuff from last school year, you need some kind of window treatments, and you need to have the painter fix last winter’s ice dam damage? Or perhaps your in-laws or college best friends are coming to celebrate with you in 4 weeks (oh my) or 8 weeks (better, but still panic city)? If that’s the case you might want to reread my blogpost from June titled “The Guest Room - 15 Tips for a Heavenly Stay”.
But let’s look on the bright side – this might also be a great opportunity for you to: (1) clearly define a project that you have been procrastinating on, (2) call me and (3) get it done before the holidays arrive. Now! In January, after everyone has gone home, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the professional design from your family’s enjoyment…think of it as a holiday gift that you gave to yourself. So, if this is the situation you’re in make time to call me today (978-440-7264) or contact me if you’re serious about making some pre-holiday improvements that require getting on the painter or carpenter’s or my schedule.
3) Plan Ahead in Your Lighting For Winter’s Darker Days: The change of seasons reminds us that it’s prudent and emotionally calming to think, plan, and act ahead. Just like the squirrel that’s scampering in your yard right now gathering acorns and storing up for the colder months. What does this have to do with interior home design? One area you should always review this time of year is lighting. We get so used to the bright summer days that we forget our dependence on artificial lighting for much of the year, and just how much lighting impacts your home’s interior ambiance. If you haven’t shopped for chandeliers and lighting in the past few years, the options (as well as bulb technology) have really changed. There are beautiful fixtures out there, including this new one at Arhaus, where the bulbs are cleverly concealed so that it would be pleasant to have it hang over a dining room table, in the center of a room, or over your bed.
If you haven’t been to a lighting showroom lately, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the new options. Browse at stores other than Home Depot too, although Home Depot is a perfectly acceptable place to take a look too.
In that vein I have a new resource for lighting and kitchen hardware, Needham Decorative Hardware, a terrific to-the-trade showroom in Needham, MA (see the photo below). I enjoyed shopping there with a client of mine this week and both their product selection and their staff designers are terrific. So, if you’re in need of new lighting, let’s check things out together. I bet you didn’t even know I did lighting, did you? Some of my favorite vendors are Currey and Co, Visual Comfort, Jonathan Adler, Hinckley, Circa and Uttermost. I often think of lighting as an opportunity for jewelry on your décor - functional AND pretty, you can’t beat that.
4) Get Outside and Enjoy the outdoors: Enjoy the change of seasons because what’s happening out there this Fall is pretty spectacular. Every day this week while walking or driving in my hometown, I’ve marveled at just how gorgeous it is. The woods nearby our home change daily and it is so invigorating to take walks in this spectacular landscape. Comparing this exuberance of Nature’s daily changes in our surroundings with the world of interior design, I find they are very similar. When you come home and your new window treatments that you planned for a few weeks or months are actually up, it’s a nice feeling and a push forward. I have been doing lots of projects this Fall with folks who just wanted to finally do it, and I can see the happiness on their faces at the “reveal.”
Until next time, enjoy yourselves this Halloween! What a great day, when everyone can be a kid and dress up and embrace the wonder of stepping out of the everyday. After that, enjoy your change of seasons, wherever you live, because it reminds us of the refreshing cycle of nature. And don’t forget to prepare your home for the upcoming holidays - you will be glad you did.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.