Pumpkins and mums – the expected and ordinary fall fare that can be used in an unexpected and extraordinary way.   As you come inside Connecticut Country House, I’ve created a fall vibe using pumpkins and mums in a palette of creamy whites. I’ve created an environment inside that has a feel for the season in an understated, yet elegant sort of way.

The dining room is the first thing in your sightline when you step inside.  So instead of flowers for a centerpiece, I created a table scape of pumpkins and gourds that works with or without place settings. I started with a foundation of four 6-7 inch pumpkins and placed them spread out in a single line going down the center of the table. Every time I went grocery shopping I found more pumpkins and gourds in a variety of shapes and smaller sizes, and kept building the collection.  I placed simple juice glasses filled with creamy white votives in amongst the pumpkins.  At night, when they are lit, they create a magical glow that shows off the beautiful pumpkin forms. And I’ve kept the clustered table scape low, so when we’re dining it doesn’t obstruct anyone’s space or view.

I found that creamy white mums worked beautifully with the table scape.  By keeping it to one type of white mum – but in two sizes – they enhance, and don’t overpower or detract.  Since the table scape is so sculptural, I felt that the containers for the mums needed to be simple, yet important as well.  So, for the bay window, I centered an old 3 foot long basket with a galvanized tin lining, and stuffed it with three smaller scaled potted mums.  Bunching the three together created more substantial volume.  I dragged in an over scaled antique crock that once held cutting boards in my kitchen, and placed in it a humungous mum (same exact mum as in the window- but this one is about 3 feet in diameter).  Positioning it right by the doorway and next to my creamy white crewel covered wing chairs, gives it even more of a presence.

Keeping these simple parts as close as possible in color, and playing more with the volume and scale, helps to create something quite impactful from not that much.  I love that it all quietly says “fall”, and keeps me in that seasonal frame of mind. And when the the mums fade, I’ll plant them outside, and let the table scape stay and quietly say “Thanksgiving”.

“If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents.” – Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Keep it simple, and have a great day!

Love, Nora

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