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Keep things natural for this year’s fall decor

Not just the flower of the season, hydrangea seems to be the flower of the year. Making a dried hydrangea wreath is much easier (and cheaper) than you think.
Not just the flower of the season, hydrangea seems to be the flower of the year. Making a dried hydrangea wreath is much easier (and cheaper) than you think. TNS

Fall is here, bringing with it the charm of changing leaves, crisp, cool air and warm apple cider. Letting your home reflect the season is a great way to make guests feel more welcome, especially as the holiday season kicks off.

“It’s such a great time to get together,” explains KariAnne Wood, owner of the Thistlewood Farms decorating blog (www.thistlewoodfarms.com). “As the weather gets chillier, people start to move indoors and seek a certain coziness.”

But finding that balance between cozy and cheesy can be a challenge for some. (Think plastic pumpkins and candy corn-shaped garland.)

Wood has a simple tip: Keep it natural.

“You can’t go wrong with bringing the outdoors in, especially in such a beautiful season like the fall, and natural rustic decor is bigger this year than I’ve ever seen it,” she says, noting that her Pinterest board is covered with nature-infused elements.

While Wood is based in rural Kentucky, the embrace of all things natural isn’t limited to her region.

Jennifer Corredor, owner of the Miami-based design agency J Design Group (www.jdesigngroup.com), has many clients who request a bit of seasonal charm despite the summer-like temps in her area.

Like Wood, she brings the items outdoors in subtly, such as using branches and fall plants throughout the home.

“If you adorn them throughout the house, it really gives that feeling of fall,” she says, adding that adding candles in each room can offer a similar effect.

Even linens and accessory items can reflect organic elements through color and texture that mimics the outdoors. Think about the colors you’re seeing outside -- deep reds, rich browns and vibrant oranges -- and use those for your palette.

A plush high-end throw also does wonders for the fall factor, she says. “It’s a good way to incorporate the fall color. Get one that’s soft to the touch to give it a nice cozy feeling.”

Looking for some project ideas? Here are a few with links to Wood’s blog for a full tutorial.

Dried Hydrangea Wreath: Not just the flower of the season, hydrangea seems to be the flower of the year. Making a dried hydrangea wreath is much easier (and cheaper) than you think. If you have a hydrangea bush in your yard, you can snip them off, dry them and then stick them into a premade grapevine wreath. For a full tutorial, visit http://bit.ly/1EBm77A.

Fall Mantel Centerpiece with Branches and Kraft Paper Leaves: This is an ingenious -- and almost free -- project that could be fun for the whole family. You gather a bunch of branches and secure them with twine for your “tree” and attach Kraft paper leaves to them. (You can even create a whole scene as Wood has done.) For a full tutorial, visit http://bit.ly/1UrDYiV.

Burlap Runner: So easy it doesn’t require a tutorial, creating a burlap runner is a cinch. “Although it used to be a utilitarian fabric, burlap comes in so many patterns now, so you really have so much to choose from,” says Wood. Head to your local craft store where they sell spools of wide burlap fabric. Cut it to your desired length, and fringe the edges for a rustic look.

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