Although it’s officially still summer, the slightly shorter days, cooler evening temperatures and fading landscapes announce the impending arrival of the autumn season. With the hills dusted in yellow, cornstalks drying and sunflowers appearing along the roadsides, nature presents gold tones everywhere this time of year.

Just as summer decorating can be influenced with the bright, primary colors of fun, sun and sea, early autumn hues are depicted in the fading wildflowers and drying grasses. Take a minute to appreciate nature’s variations of subtle colors and textures. These tones of earth, dry grass and changing leaves inspire us to bring this gorgeous, calming palette into our homes, as well.

Your outdoor landscapes can be enhanced with pots of perennial flowers like golden mums and tall grasses. Introduce decorative garden art, like a rusty sculpture, yellow watering can or series of tall metal sunflowers. Hang a flag or garden plaque in earthy hues near your front step. Prop up a weathered old rake or fill a wheelbarrow with a variety of autumn plants for seasonal interest.

Also, bring the outside in: One easy way to introduce the changing season into any room is by adding candles in earth tones of yellows, rusts and browns. As the nights become cooler, use an abundance of candles throughout your home and enjoy the warmth and glow provided by flickering flames.

It’s time to take away items that are reminiscent of summer, such as striped linens, seashells, clear glass canisters and bright colors, and replace them with seasonal touches, such as earth tones, leaves and grasses, metals, and cream, terra cotta, gold and brown tones. Hay bales, mums, sunflowers, fall foliage, apricot-colored daisies and small pumpkins or gourds are examples of the kinds of natural accessories indigenous to this time of year.

Seasonal potpourri is another way to bring texture, color and fragrance to your home. Shafts of wheat, dried apples, cinnamon sticks, leaves, acorns and pine cones are perfect ingredients, and filling a favorite wooden or ceramic bowl is an easy way to add a touch of color to any tabletop or counter. Copper, woven or wood materials are natural elements, usually with an inherent golden tone that compliment other fall accents; think candlesticks, baskets and urns, for example.

Switch out your table linens for a quick seasonal update. If your dining tabletop is in less-than-perfect condition, cover it with a tablecloth to add softness, as well as appropriate colors. If you prefer the warmth of the natural wood, add a runner or placemats in earth tones, and top it all off with a large bowl of fresh apples.

Begin to minimize lightweight fabrics and bright colors until next spring. Warmer colors and heavier textures are becoming appropriate now, so consider changing out the rug in the entry, towels in the kitchen and bath, and pillows, throws and quilts on the couch or bed.

It’s time to ease away from the lightness and brightness of summer, and begin to incorporate the ease and earthiness that the fall season represents.

Linda Lawrence is the owner of HouseCalls for Redesign. Contact her at, 728-2732 or visit


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