Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Autumn Dining On The Southern Coast

Here is a reprint of an article that I had written awhile ago. I hope that you enjoy and perhaps take some inspiration. It's going to be 90 degrees here today once again!

The Fall Season here along the Southern Florida Coast is one of subtle nuances, barely perceived by a new resident, however those of us who have called this region home for years find delight in the change! With the promise of Fall in the air we look forward to throwing caution to the wind, flinging open the windows after months upon months of abysmal humidity and oppressive heat. Afternoon rumblings from the Everglades bringing daily torrential downpours start to cease, with the promise of yet another hurricane season's demise a clear light at the end of a tunnel. Lush landscaping has filled in from the rains of summer, annuals can once again be freshened and replanted, and a good Fall cleaning can be given to our porches and patios suffering the blight of mildew from a summer of daily rains. While we don't have the splendor of turning leaves or colorful harvests, with a little creative home staging and the use of vignettes incorporating bolder autumnal colors, textures and scents, we can bring welcome changes that will warm the spirit and appeal to all of the senses here on the Southern Coast.

In the Dining Room, textiles that bring warmth and a cozy feeling of comfort are a must have in any decor, and donning deeper toned dressings will help set the scene for building upon with your finishing touches Slipcovers run the gamut from fussy to fashionable, and can give furniture a whole new look with each of the seasons. With the start of a new school year, white slipcovers in the dining room are tucked away, replaced by autumn slipcovers with a warm and inviting mix of rich Ralph Lauren florals, faded green gingham and washed denim. Pretty and unpretentious, and just about as comfortable as they come! Ready to use slipcovers are often seen on the market these days and will provide a fresh change, while respecting your budget. On your dining room slips, tie or pin some raffia on the back with a grouping of silk autumnal leaves and a small assortment of beauty from the sea. Table transformation is achieved with rich toned cotton tablecloths from the 50s featuring fruits and mimicking natures bounty. Tablecloths can be layered cloth upon cloth or a colorful cloth laid on the diagonal over a white or single colored dressing.
If short on vintage tablecloths, new will serve the purpose or opt for something other than intended use~such as a bedsheet or an old faded quilt in seasonal palettes. With an abundance of sea shells readily available to not just a coastal decor, but in your local craft shop, adding sea shells to the mix is a favorite all year round. For the Fall months, an oversized clamshell holds a mix of such, along with silk maple leaves (or freshly fallen), beach~glass, or other small trinkets, bringing the soft tones of the out of doors inside.

Dont forget to add finishing touches throughout the dining room, bringing on the candles for ambience, and with the Fall season there are a great variety available in delicious and homey scents, such as pumpkin and vanilla cookie. Candles can be floated in water with a few drops of food coloring tinted like the sea, perhaps adding a few sea shells to the bottom of the dish or some sand saved from a vacation to the beach. Utilizing a sideboard, hutch or side table is a great place to display a variety of seasonal accessories. A rustic ancient drawer holds a simple birds nest leftover from summers avian visitors, a bit of lace, a few silk maple leaves, more sea shells~all under a glass cloche for an attractive theme. A simple bowl in tones of the sea can hold a variety of seasonal fruit or vegetables for a feeling of abundant harvest. Finally, keep in mind that whether your home is plush with decadent antiques or in the shabby cottage style, its the special attention to details and unique decorative accents that can bring a taste of Coastal Decor into your home.

Finally, keep in mind that whether your home is plush with decadent antiques or in the shabby cottage style, its the special attention to details and unique decorative accents that can bring a taste of Coastal Decor into your home.


  1. Good evening; Love the article on the Southern fall decorating. Love the all the beautiful photos.
    Have a great Wednesday.


  2. Wow, dear Janet...
    What a lovely read!
    And the photos of your dinning room were just as lovely!
    You should consider doing some more writeing for magazines... as you are so good at it!
    Debbie Moss

    Except today, though... its sunny. LOL

  3. Beautiful pictures! And very inspiring. I'm ready to cozy up the house for fall.
    The weather here is just now turning cooler (well, at least we're out of the 80's) and I can't wait to change up the decor.

    Kimberly :)

  4. What a lovely image of your christmas display. I enjoyed reading this and I have to say that your home reminds me of a cndy store. Yep, it's so sweet! Very pretty and feminine. I love the quilt on the dining table. Hope you sprayed it with something to make it stain resistant. Enjoy this fall day.