My thinking of dressing for fall goes way beyond my love of chunky sweaters and nubby tweeds – it’s more about dressing up my home; inside and out. And just like my love of layering those sweaters and tweeds, I love to layer color and texture that best honors the architecture of this old house.
Today, it’s about dressing the two main entrances of the house – the two key spots and sight lines that are so important to me. It’s where the first impressions of my home take place, and gives you a hint of what’s waiting for you inside. I find that it’s always much more impactful, and easier, to pick a color theme and stick with it for your entire exterior projection. This fall, I’ve decided to go with the very happy and energizing color of orange, and changed up the parts for each entrance according to what worked best.
The sight line of the front entrance is very straightforward. The historic architecture of the front facade is symmetrical and understated, therefore the focus is naturally on the simple front door and the stone steps that lead to it. I decked them out symmetrically with pairs of really big potted orange mums (for volume and pop of vibrant color), chocolate brown millet – that looks like a cross between corn stalks and cat tails (for height and contrast of texture and depth of color), and an oversized basket stuffed full of potted multi-colored zinnia and the most gorgeous acid yellow/green and orange coleus plants (to anchor and pop with even more color). Then to loosen up the symmetry just a bit, I casually staggered and nestled in the larger scaled pumpkins down the stone steps to the grass landing. This way the decor acts as a unifier of the architecture and the landscaping. (And the white pumpkins in the transom are a peek at what’s going on inside – more on that later this week.)
The back door (which is more of our everyday entrance), is a little bit of a different story. This entrance is not original to the house and is asymmetrical. The sightline to this entrance is of big multi-paned picture windows, and it’s not until you walk towards the windows, that you come upon the entrance. So I decided to keep the windowed sightline sans decor, and really go for the gusto around the door . Here I widened the door’s sight line by incorporating the whole little facade it’s sitting in. By framing the little facade with a pair of bundled corn stalks and a hanging over scaled basket clustered with 3 smaller orange mums (for color and added dimension), it has visually opened up the entrance that is usually viewed in a much smaller and utilitarian way. The orange color scheme is reinforced (big time) with a flanking pair of over scaled terra cotta potted mums, and a pumpkin collection that varies in scale and form, that visually acts as a ground cover, and helps to lead you inside.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986)