After record setting temperatures this summer most of us are ready for fall and cooler weather.

As this season approaches, it’s time to put away our sun dresses, picnic supplies and summer décor.  For me this is a fun processes.  Over the years I’ve made a game of the changing from season to season.  I start by setting aside a Saturday in September.  I snap photos of all the existing displays, such as this one behind my sofa.

The photos are a great way to reference ideas that I like and things that I would like to change next season.

Next I retrieve my summer storage containers from the attic.  I have plastic tugs that are labeled with the contents so it is easy for me get everything back into the correct box so it can be stored away until next spring.  I stick printouts the photos I’ve taken into the storage boxes so they are easy to access next season.  What is left is a clean slate.  I dust all the surfaces, touch up any paint chips and do any structural repairs that are necessary.  Then I let myself enjoy the clean surfaces for a few days as I plan how I would like to decorate for the next season.

I think there is a lot to be said about clearing the decks in both our houses and our lives.  It gives us time to reflect and appreciate what we have and time to plan for the next chapter in our life.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  It’s a season that is filled with family, parties and great friends.  It is also the time we celebrate Halloween.  This is my favorite holiday.  My birthday is November 1 and ever since I was a little girl, I’ve considered Halloween as the kick-off to my birthday party.  I’m not alone in enjoying this holiday.  In fact next to Christmas it is the most decorated holiday of the year.

As soon as the summer sea shells and white linens are stored away I start decorating for Halloween and the other fall holidays.  I confine my Halloween decorations to the outside and the fireplace mantel unless of course I am hosting a Halloween/Birthday party.  Then there’s no stopping the craziness.

Pumpkins are the best decorating tools you have!  They come in all sizes and colors and they are relativity inexpensive.  And when you’re done with them you can just toss them out or into the compost pile.  No storage necessary. I’ll teach you how to make two of my favorite fall displays:

Halloween Display

  1. Start with a black garden urn or planter.
  2. Place a wreath of berries or grapevine on the top edge of the wreath.
  3. Decorate the face of your pumpkin using a black Sharpie marker or paint.  Be creative and give your pumpkin some real personality.  Position the pumpkin on top of the wreath.
  4. Place a witches’ hat on top of your pumpkin.  Secure it with T-pins or small nails if necessary.

Harvest Season display

Turn this pumpkin into a great harvest display with these simple changes.

  1. Replace the wreath with artificial or natural fall leaves.
  2. Rotate the pumpkin to the blank side.
  3. Select artificial or natural gourds, small pumpkins and fall flowers to decorate the top of the pumpkin.  Secure these to the top using T-pins or small nails.
  4. Place pumpkins and larger gourds around the base of the planter.