Fall decorating! What a happy little word isn’t it? But for the longest time I was asked if I was right to celebrate “fall” because India – or most of it- don’t experience it. Now, let me tell you I will be absolutely right to celebrate this change of season even in India. However, I do think, that in our mind we have associated “fall” with orange leaves and basalt, winding roads and red roofed cottages and still lakes and halloween and pumpkin for far too long. And barring that last bit, we have none here in India and hence the whole idea of fall decorating or celebrating fall comes across as rather too pretentious.
But if we allow ourselves to erase this indelible fall visual in our head and look into the nuances of this beautiful season around us, I believe you will find reasons to celebrate it in your own way! As for pumpkins, the best ones are often the September to December harvest. Also, you could not pass a “chalkumro” to our kitchen if it wasn’t October. Fat, round, juicy chalkumros or ashgourd would flood our kitchens during October-November and mom would make so many things out of them! “Kucho chingri diye chalkumro” or ashgourd with shrimps was my favourite.
Then ofcourse, you have dry leaves, nolen gur and lots of Shiuli! Shiuli under the tree = October & Durga Puja. And why wouldn’t we take cue from their brilliant orange stems! Why won’t we embrace the olives of the ashgourds and the deep rusts of the nolen gur.
And then once you have noted the colours, compare it with a new-england colour palete. See how many colours are in common. You’ll be very surprised to see the result! So next time you see fall decorating in India, do think that we have Ritu Hemanta! And it’s been a harbinger of the festive season we so enjoy. And it’s not just the color. It’s also very much the feeling.
Of crisp mornings, winter veggies, road trips, forest walks and blue skies- it’s time to bottle it all up!
And now, to 13 easy, sensory fall decorating ideas to adapt to in your home.
Switch up simple planters with fabric plaid planter
The easiest way to get in some fall colors in your home is through accents and we love this planter-basket by TheGruham! Plus the very touch of soft plaid screams fall winter!
Dhaner Chhora or dried rice strands and wheat sheaths in Barni
Around September, mom would take out all the woven dhaner chhora or woven dried paddy with some rice in in still and hang it on the walls. I used to love seeing & touching them. Apparently its good omen to have them around during the festive season and signifies abundance. Take cue from that and add lots of dried wheat and rice paddy in vases or even better- Barnis. I dare someone to call it non-traditional
The Shukno-Pata Edit or An decor edit inspired by the color and feeling of walking on dry leaves
Bring in the colors of dried leaves and branches through fabric and soft furnishing. Love that rust knitted cushion for its color and also for the textural addition it brings in the space. Hug it and you’ll feel just as hyggeligt as you would feel walking on a bed of dry leaves.
Get that Picnic feels in your kitchen
Remember the time when mom and dad would take you out on picnics? Then spread a bedsheet – mostly checkered and from bombay dyeing- and eat bread and eggs and coffee? croissants are a thing of instagram. They didn’t exist before where I lived. But picnic did and September to March would be picnic season! Bottle that feeling with a nostalgic checkered anything in your kitchen
Get the outside in with a dried a twig or two
No need to pay the floral shops for dried leaves and arrangements anymore, all you need is a walk in the park! Get the outside in with a few foraged and dried branch or two and stick it in a vase! Simple and gorgeous
Get the knits, weaves and tassels out
Fall – winter means cozy & cozy means textures! Get out those kanthas and knitted shawls and woven deliciousness in your home or make them while watching Netflix! A little bit of woven and wool brings in oodles of cozy to a space. You can also add lots of interest with just a ball of yarn on display!
Shades of the autumn sun, nolen gur and genda phool
Rusts, burnt oranges, vibrant oranges and browns are all your friend when you are thinking fall decor. Thankfully for us, fall decorating must include festive decorating and warm shades look beautiful propped with flowers during the festive season. But as opposed to traditional velvet and sequins, I prefer to keep it mute and in cotton!
Add little fall vignettes to your tables – Chalkumro will also do
Celebrate fall colors and vegetables with little vignettes! Love these fabric pumpkins to bits! If you want to dig deep and get real, an olive ashgourd can be easily made with clay. See our pumpkin and pear tutorial here- ashgourd will be slightly on the taller side.
Pampas grass, kaash phool or just plain jhaadu!
I know, I know. You’d be rolling your eyes and say what? Jhaadu? And I’ll say yes! We are lucky to have sustainable, organic grass and reed brooms in Indian households which if arranged as a dry grass in a vase looks bloody brilliant .
Fall Scents: Marigold, Coffee, Cinnamon and toasted coconut!
I know coconut is very summer but not for us. The smell of toasted coconut to us Indians is outright festive that often wafts in homes from October to November. And there is nothing more amazing than the smell of freshly toasted coconut waiting to become mithai, laddoo and pithe and patishapta. So if anyone could bottle that scent for me, I’ll take it. But baring that, spices like cinnamon and vanilla or coffee do great as scents in candles or potpourri in fall. Oh, add marigold to it. So heady, so beautiful.
Write it out- posters, chalkboards or tapestry!
You want fall feels? Just write it out! A big chalkboard, woven fonts, tapestry, cross-stitch- as you please! I love this chalkboard storage we have and I often write something seasonal in here!
Festive & Fall double dose with brass
Get aged and antique brass for fall and it will double up as a festive addition! From candle stands to dhoop-whatever-they-call-it, from little plates to napkin holders, aged brass look gorgeous. And you can use it with both modern and traditional decor.
Switch to Amber glass as opposed to clear glass
And doing so will not only help you get a dash of sutumn-y color but also make those sunset parties look gorgeous. Colored glass and sunlight is a poetry in itself.
And I do believe in rightful conscience that all the above ideas are not only a delight to the senses but also very, very easy to achieve. I have also jotted down ideas I have done myself so there is absolutely no sliver of doubt while attempting fall decorating!
Oh, and before I disappear from this space, tell me, do you have a good tip for fall decorating? Or do you not decorate for fall? If not, what do you decorate for and what do you do?
Would love to hear back!