Autumn in the Living Room
September 23, 2013
It rained on Saturday. You know that first rain of the fall season that fills the air with a scent you wish you could bottle? The one that’s created by the raindrops falling on summer’s residue. Coupled with the sound of cars driving through puddles, it made me want to open all the windows and doors just to breathe it all in. And then to curl up with a cozy throw, a cup of coffee, and a great book.
I’m trying out a new mirror on the mantel (source below), the famous white one has been there for so many years I needed a break but I still love it so it will return next summer. This season, the look in the living room is neutral and warm, a ‘menswear meets cabinet of curiosities’ approach that includes layers of texture and wood tones.
I was inspired by a fine piece of Harris Tweed wool I found at a thrift store a few weeks ago and thought how lovely and cozy the fabric would be stitched up into pillows by the “fireside” – an arrangement of birch branches and lit candles.
I’m one of those people who ruthlessly edits my home’s decor – often tipping to the side of simplicity – but this year I just couldn’t help displaying all the little tidbits and collected things that have been tucked away in cabinets and drawers for months and years for the sake of just because.
I brought back my wild oak branch, the one I had posed in here in 2011 – I’ve rotated it around the house, it’s sculptural and beautiful to me so I love that it just hangs out in the corner as a work of natural art.
I’m all about bringing nature indoors and mixing different woods tones with things collected on family nature walks. My son found the pine cones, my daughter the sycamore leaves. Among the millions that fall to the earth, these ones are special because they are a gift from their tiny hands.
Wild clippings from trees in the yard inspire me too – the taller the better.
I tend to reuse things I love, the pillows, the candlesticks, the same leaves from a faithful ornamental shrub.
I’ve always mixed fresh with faux, yes that’s right, go ahead and layer a few craft berry twigs with your leaf clippings, or your fake pumpkins with the real deal. It all works.
Even though I reuse the favorites, there is that little birthday present I bought for myself in NYC a few weeks ago at my favorite shop in the West Village – a vintage Heinrich vase with abstract gold leaf swirls and strokes – my newest treasure.
Sources for other accessories: on mantel, ivory inlay boxes from Marshalls (purchased last year) / yellow candlesticks from local shop / arch mirror from World Market / black & white bone inlay box from Joy & Revelry / Lenox club chairs purchased from Joss & Main / essex rug from Z Gallerie borrowed from master bedroom / Worlds Away gold leaf side table (purchased on sale at One Kings Lane) / gray console / twist basket holding birch logs / hammered golden bowl from Z Gallerie / wood bowl from HomeGoods / ceramic white pinecones from Joss & Main (purchased last year) / art: pear print from IKEA (three years or so ago), leaf print from flat flower designs / gold leaves shadowbox (DIY project) / silver ribbons Kitchler mirror from Wayfair / mirrored apothecary chest from Joss & Main / silk ikat pillows from West Elm (last year) / gold and cream faceted vase from Target (last year) / geometric cream & gold candlesticks from a shop in Montreal / vintage brass maple leaf bookend / vintage Heinrich white & gold vase.
I took a walk with my daughter yesterday evening as the sun was setting. We smelled the eucalyptus trees and the air, kicked the leaves, observed chickens running around in a neighbor’s front yard and kitty cat napping on a porch. We talked about the day and soaked it all in. I was reminded how wonderful it is to be alive, to move and breathe and feel and experience the changing of the seasons.
Autumn is so beautiful, isn’t it?