Our lingering summer weather can blur the edge of the autumn season, but itâ€™s important to acknowledge the transition, otherwise how can you appreciate it?
I asked five wonderful local designers to share their best ideas for embracing autumn as we slide ever so gently into it. For more beautiful design inspiration, check out their online portfolios.
â€˘ â€śI prepare my home for autumn by adding pillows with warm colors like pumpernickel and taupe gray. Youâ€™ll need three for each sofa plus a big chunky throw to add texture and create a cozy vibe thatâ€™s perfect for chillier days.â€ť
â€˘ â€śFor the dining room arrangement, I select a concrete planter and fill it with fall florals and succulents to emphasize warmth and texture. It makes a huge difference.â€ť
Ann Lowengart Interiors, a full-service, luxury interior design company in Marin County, annlowengart.com
â€˘ â€śChange out accessories. Choose warmer colors with more texture for pillows and throws. Change out area rugs. Think nubby, fringe and anything that can help you bring in texture.â€ť
â€˘ â€śConsider your artwork. Rent original artÂ â€” warm landscapes or abstractsÂ â€” for a month or more from MOMAâ€™s rental art gallery in Fort Mason.â€ť
â€˘ â€śPay attention to the smells in your home. Should you light essential oil infused candles with a scent that speaks to you of the season? Plan your kitchen with new cookie cutters in anticipation of a wonderful afternoon of the aromas of baking?â€ť
â€˘ â€śBring the outdoors inside. Winter houseplants can add more texture, and bring in as much light as possible to help shake the darker days to come.â€ť
â€˘ â€śRearrange your seating plan to allow for room for a tree, and take advantage of a wood stove or fireplace. Create a game table space for puzzles, cards and other indoor activities.â€ť
â€˘ â€śBe aware of air flow. Though it may be a bit chilly, be sure fresh air circulates to avoid the stale, stagnant odor of inadequate ventilation. Thatâ€™s where cozy, nubby throws can come in to play.â€ť
Stacey Lapuk Interiors, and Indigo Interiors, Inc., Novato. Specializing in design for people building, remodeling or moving into â€śforeverâ€ť homes. staceylapukinteriors.com
â€˘ â€śBring in fresh flowers and foliage that represent the season. Deep rich red flowers, changing leaves, branches with moss and other natural elements can remind us that the outdoors is always there for us.â€ť
â€˘ â€śCandles are a great way to warm up a room and add a cozy feeling and scent. I especially like candles that smell more savory than sweet. With herbs and blends as an inspiration, try your favorite local home shops likes Makers Market in Mill Valley (makersmarket.us) that usually stock the best natural candles.â€ť
â€˘ â€śFood is always seasonal for me and after signing up for farmfreshtoyou.com, a new CCOF-certified produce delivery service, I received large heads of lettuce, zucchini, kale and delicious apples. It inspired me to make a great salad with sliced apples, pecans, organic roasted chicken and a fresh salad dressing.â€ť
â€˘ â€śBe inspired by what is natural, local and made with attention to quality.â€ť
Kimberly Rider Interiors, San Rafael and the Northwestern states specializing in sustainable living, kimberlyrider.com
â€˘ â€śTurn those clichĂ© autumn decorating ideas upside down and present them in an inspired and original way that is unexpected and chic.â€ť
â€˘ â€śSay no to leaf garlands and consider a feather garland instead. Drape it on your fireplace surround or on the inside of your front windows, or wrap them around a wreath of magnolia leaves to complement their beautiful copper undersides.â€ť
â€˘ â€śEnsure your hearth is fire ready with a basket or bin stocked with firewood. Consider birch wood with ends dipped in black, white, gold or silver paint to make something ordinary a little more extraordinary, because nothing feels more autumnal than a cozy fire curled up in your favorite chair with a sumptuous blanket and a good read.â€ť
â€˘ â€śGo all out at the pumpkin patch. Load up your wheelbarrow with an assortment of cream, green, orange and multicolored pumpkins and gourds thenÂ arrange them as if they were â€śwaterfallingâ€ť down your front steps.â€ť
Lucille Buell Interior Design, Mill Valley, lucillebuell.com
â€˘ â€śAdd pops of fall colors such as yellow-gold, orange or rich berry to your existing decor. Often throw pillows and cozy blankets are an easy, low-commitment way to add a layer of seasonal color to a room.â€ť
â€˘ â€śUse candles throughout the home for a sense of warmth and comfort and think beyond the dining table. Place them on sideboards, windowsills or fireplace mantels. Fill the firebox of a non-functioning fireplace with cream-colored large pillar candles to light on dark or chilly evenings.â€ť
â€˘ â€śBring in seasonal elements from nature. Try a row of mini pumpkins on a fireplace mantelÂ â€” I happen to love the white onesÂ â€” and a bouquet of colorful autumn maple leaves in place of the usual flowers on the dining table.â€ť
HSH Interiors, San Francisco, hsh-interiors.com
â€˘ Pick up pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, lemons, mixed bouquets, lavender sachets, lavender wands and kids crafts from children living with juvenile diabetes, and their parents, from 10Â a.m. toÂ noon Saturday at a JDRF fundraiser, â€śFarm Stand for the Cure,â€ť outside Prabh Indian Kitchen at 24 Sunnyside Ave. in Mill Valley. Questions? Call 415- 847-0622
â€˘ Ready to try bonsai? Sloat Garden Center pros will guide you through basic planting and care techniques so you can make-and-take your own bonsai in a â€śBonsai 101â€ť workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday at 2000 Novato Blvd. in Novato. The all-inclusive fee is $20 for members or $20; registration irequired. Call 415-897-2169 or go to sloatgardens.com.
â€˘ Learn how to plan a plant palette to suit your fall menus and get better plant production while you practice planting seeds and seedlings with Sierra Vasquez in the Marin Art & Garden Centerâ€™s edible garden from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Ross. Admission $25. Call 415-455-5260 or go to magc.org.
â€˘ Enjoy Slavic music and folk dancing, sample Russian tea and relax in a lavish garden of fragrant roses in an autumn celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 at the Russian River Rose Co. at 1685 Magnolia Drive in Healdsburg. Donations appreciated. Call 707-433-7455 or go to russian-river-rose.com.
PJ Bremier writes on home, garden, design and entertaining topics every Saturday and also on her blog atÂ DesignSwirl.co. She may be contacted at P.O. Box 412, Kentfield 94914, or atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.Â