Do changing seasons mean changing décor chez toi? It does at the Houseproud homestead, as you might imagine, even though the East Bay’s transition from summer into fall is very gradual. Mostly one notices the change in the light – the low angle of light and the shortening days. It’s such a beautiful time of year here: unlike summer, our fickle fog burns off every morning, and it’s pleasantly warm in the sun and cool in the shade. The blue of the sky just looks like fall – I don’t know why or how, but it does – and the air smells crisp and clean. I suppose that’s true everywhere, but most of our markers for autumn are so subtle that these small things stand out. Yes, our introduced trees have leaves that turn bright colors in memory of their homelands, but many of our native trees drop their exhausted, dun-colored leaves in late August, when the dampness of the rainy season is a distant memory and a forlorn future hope. Ah, but come October in Northern California, every living creature knows that the rains will come soon, and that rebirth and renewal are close.
In honor of this promise of change, I started slowly incorporating fall colors and textiles into our home around last month’s autumn equinox. Out came the warmest handknit throws and the fuzziest throw pillowcases. Now every chair in our tiny living room has a small blanket tucked across an arm, in preparation for the colder nights to come. And out came a little hand-blown glass pumpkin purchased in a tiny MT town years ago, as well as a pum’kin colored IKEA runner, which was washed, ironed, and put on an end table next to the sofa.
Out, too, came our few Halloween decorations, most of which were street treasures or were made by Sky, That Awesome Ojai Dude, when he was a little ‘un. There’s a tiny finger-puppet bat on display, too – a prezzie from my mum when I was a little ‘un. This small collection is perched on or around our cozy-covered TV, which becomes a shrine celebrating whatever season we’re in. It looks very festive for Christmas and the new year, lemme tell you…
Up went fall-themed bunting across the top of the living room hutch and picture window. The hutch’s bunting is sorta new – I’ve used the blackbirds-on-a-wire setup before to display fall photos, but this year I cut the pics to an aesthetically pleasing size and hung them double-sided. The window’s bunting is handmade of flannel triangles and felt leaves, strung on a chain of rough wool. If you’re interested, click here and go to the end of the post to read more about that bunting. And up went two autumnal wreaths, one made a few years back with burlap flowers and is now hanging in the living room, and another made with tissue paper flowers and that hangs on our apartment door. Click here to read about the burlap wreath, which I finished minutes before our Thanksgiving guests arrived a few years ago. Today’s intro pic shows both of the wreaths in situ as of now. If you’d like tips for making your own tissue flower wreath, tune in later this week for mini tutorial.
As the foregoing proves, year ‘round and seasonally, our décor is a mélange of old and new things; purchased things and handmade things; treasured gifts and treasured street-finds. For example, I made the burlap pillowcase upon which a found “hello, fall” button is pinned, as well as the knitted throw that’s tucked next to it. The squirrel pillow was a gift to the Mister: along with the neighborhood’s bird-killing cats, birdseed-thieving squirrels are his arch enemies. Not shown in this picture are the framed photos that the Mister has taken over the years, on display in various spots around the homestead. Every corner of our home is like this – full of memories and our own handiwork. Of course, this way of decorating is hardly unique. But what makes it uniquely ours – like what makes your home so distinctly yours – is its reflection of our life together and the intangible memories that are woven into the physical objects collected around us. More than these objects, it’s the memories that really count, a truth that I feel keenly this time of year. Autumn ‘tis the season to remember the past and those gone on before us, isn’t it?
And with that, I bid you adieu, my pets. I’m off to say hello to my favorite torture machine, the treadmill at my gym. I’m training to run on trails in the real world, donchya know. Wish me luck?
Very fondly and still sore from my run a few days ago, yr little munakins