“Put it down, Leigh.” That’s what I tell myself every time I’m near the grocery store checkout and start flipping through the latest version of Paula and/or Martha’s “Home for the Holiday” magazine edition. I give myself a pep talk every time: “Don’t buy it, don’t buy, don’t buy it.” Depending on how long I’m in line, Paula usually wins. Her cakes are fabulous.
One of my favs: Pumpkin-Carrot-Pineapple Cake with Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting
Thanks to a love affair with Pinterest (and Christmas), I immediately forget about all of the holiday décor I have in storage. Just a few weeks ago (in October mind you), I was convinced that this year’s Christmas tree needs to be turquoise and pink instead of last year’s classic red and green.
Wait. Pause. Back up. We’ll get to December, but what about November? Autumn? Thanksgiving? Let’s please not forget Thanksgiving! Let’s talk autumn décor for now. I promise to come back to winter next month.
So I just found a beautiful table runner with guess what? Turquoise, toile, turkeys. Say that 3 time fast. Remember my past blog posts and what I’ve shared about embracing what you love, as long as you apply the five principles? Don’t judge my turquoise turkeys. All five principles are there, with the exception of one, and sometimes I break my own rules. Don’t tell my boss.
For some reason, I think of Thanksgiving entertaining and go straight to the centerpiece challenge. I found this photo recently and it, along with my toile turkeys, totally inspired me to be bolder this year.
Source: Danielle Poff Photography
As someone who lives for décor and making the world a more beautiful place, I’m a big advocate of surrounding yourself with things (and more notably, people) that create personal happiness. With all of the different channels infusing our lives with the refrain of, “buy me, buy me, buy me,” sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, and even more importantly where to stop…unless you have an endless budget, of course. Let me help with one word – Harmony.
Remember the principle of harmony? It’s simple…adding and blending natural elements to your décor. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to experiment with this principle. Add fresh flowers and the element of fragrance to your Thanksgiving gathering, and it’s sure to design and weave a melodic mood into your home.
This Ashton Woods Fiddler's Creek dining room in Naples, FL has plenty of space to incorporate holiday décor with harmony!
Add Fresh Flowers
Note my inspirations above. I love the amber, gold and plum tones. The added pop of turquoise makes my heart skip, but choose whatever colors make you smile. Buy them freshly cut (farmers markets and even grocery stores are the perfect place to find them) and toss them in a vase. Don’t sweat formal arranging. Fresh flowers + water + vase = Beauty. It’s really that simple. Spare yourself the DIY pumpkin painting or vase project…just look around your home for a mason jar or an old pitcher (maybe that one you got as a wedding gift but never use, or if you’re lucky you have a vintage Grandma pitcher).
A few ideas for your floral inspiration…
Lavender: This is my absolute favorite as it provides gorgeous color and amazing fragrance. It also dries beautifully so it’s a longer-lasting option. I could go on and on here because I love the uniqueness of lavender. If you want to add a cool flair to your Thanksgiving holiday, bake a salted lavender pie or share take-home lavender-infused sugar with your guests, which is amazing in tea or coffee during the cold season.
Source: Budget Brides Guide
Roses: Red roses are the quintessential classic that never disappoints.
Source: Simple Girl At Home
These blood orange roses are stunning too. I also love this blog as she provides some super easy insight into simplifying arrangements.
Source: Duke Manor Farm
Sunflowers: Did I say lavender was my favorite? Lavender might need to share the #1 spot with sunflowers. But because you can’t eat sunflowers they slide to #2. To me, sunflowers just shout happiness. They are also incredibly hearty and long-lasting too. One of our talented Atlanta designers added this beauty to our Studio recently…just for fun, because she’s awesome like that.
As seen in The Studio by Ashton Woods in Atlanta, GA.
Add Natural Fragrance
If you have a plug-in…pause for second…go get it and toss it away – forever. Harmony lives in natural fragrance, not chemicals. That said, I have three kids, three dogs and a cat. I totally sympathize with the need for pleasant fragrance, but there’s a good way and not so good way to get it. The method below is my absolute favorite!
Scent is certainly subjective, but I have been infusing my home with this special recipe for years, and my whole family loves it. But just be careful, if you invite friends over, they won’t want to leave without this easy recipe! Save yourself some time and print out a few extra copies now.
Set a medium pot on simmer and add the following:
- 3 cups apple cider
- I tablespoon of vanilla
- Fresh cranberries
- sliced oranges
- sliced lemon
- whole cloves
- cinnamon sticks
- fresh rosemary
I love this so much, it’s hard not to make it all year. And I just might! To switch it up for winter, add a few winterberries and pine sprigs.
Enjoy the Harmony of the season!