Wednesday October 1, 2014
It's that time of year again, when the leaves begin their brilliant show of reds, oranges, and yellows and pumpkins reign supreme.
While fall decorations tend to be more casual and rustic in style, pumpkins, scarecrows, and fruit wreaths can be used in more formal settings as well.
Both in formal and informal design it's all about balance. While both styles emphasize symmetry, there are differences that should be noted.
Formal Balance: Formal balance is when objects of equal visual weight (identical) are arranged equal distances from the central point of interest. Think of matching vases and flower arrangements flanking a painting on a mantelpiece.
Informal Balance: Informal balance is when objects of unequal visual weight are arranged so that they appear to be equal. Try to picture that same painting and mantelpiece with one large vase on the left, and a grouping of candlesticks (that take up the same visual space) on the right. The display will still appear balanced even though the items themselves are quite different.
Front Door Fall Decor: These pumpkin topiaries are a great example of formal fall décor. Identical and statuesque, they can be assembled using either real or fake pumpkins. Large plastic Grecian style urns can be found for under $20 and can easily be spray painted in a matte black for a high-end look. Tuck in and glue silk leaves or fall flowers on for texture and a pop of autumn color.
Scarecrow: While most people don't think of a scarecrow as a formal fall decoration, they can be used in a more formal setting. If you go back to the basics of formal design, that is. Their upright stance and equally outstretched arms actually follow the basic rules of symmetry. While it's not necessary to dress your scarecrow in a business suit (although that could be funny) try to find or outfit a scarecrow with clothes that aren't quite so tattered.
Wreaths: This sugared fruit wreath would be a perfect addition to your formal fall decorations. After all, autumn is the harvest season. This wreath was made using an inexpensive twig wreath and artificial fruit from a craft store. The wreath's warm and earthy colors have just a hint of sugary sparkle, making it a timeless beauty.
Fall Planting: Boxwood shrubs have been used in formal landscapes for hundreds of years and are featured in many historical gardens. Perfect for bordering a walkway or in containers on the patio, boxwoods are hardy and versatile. Establishing a new root system uses a lot of the plants energy. By planting new shrubs now, you allow the plant to focus on growing roots (instead of leaves or flowers) while the weather is neither scorching hot nor freezing cold. Come spring, your boxwood will be healthy and strong.
Outdoor Dining: With its milder weather, autumn is a great time of year to enjoy outdoor dining on the patio. Fall decorations that use harvest foods will look beautiful in any table scape. Create these centerpieces with tall clear vases filled with fall fruits, such as, apples, pears or pomegranates. Light up your night time table décor by inserting battery operated string lights, or fill with distilled water (to prevent bubbles) and top off with a votive candle. These easy fall decorations can be used year round simply by changing the fruit to suit the season.
Mackenzie-Childs Inspired Painted Pumpkin: (See main image at top of page) Deck out your patio or line a walkway with Mackenzie-Childs inspired pumpkins. The black and white check patterns are a signature of Mackenzie-Childs, a high-end furniture and pottery manufacturer. Start by painting the entire pumpkin white. When dry, use black paint to create checks and stripes. Top off the look off with a little metallic paint on the stem, or add a bow to complete the look.
These classic formal fall décor ideas can carry you right through to Thanksgiving. Some can even be used throughout the holidays by using festive ribbons and by incorporating reds and greens into the design.
These simple projects can be put together in just one day, so get the whole family involved and have fun!