That Ain’t No Pumpkin

How do hungry dogs influence your decorating? Well, it’s a long story…isn’t it always?

Yesterday, we ran out of dog food. With both the dogs eating adult food, we’re going through a lot of it. Anyways, my friend was headed to Costco, and I was going to tag along. I figured a half cup in the morning would tide them over until lunch. Then I got a text pushing the Costco run off until Friday when the new coupon book goes into effect. That meant a quick trip to the grocery store was in order.

Now how does this all relate to decorating? Don’t worry; I’m getting to that part. You see, the other day I was looking at the mantel and decided it needed an infusion of fall color and style. While I love all the funky bowls and vases and unusual items–no one else has a Mike Wazowski-inspired cheerleader figurine–that the girls have made in ceramics, I thought it was time for a change. So I grabbed a few things out of the cupboards, picked some flowers, did some rearranging, and took a look.

I just needed a little something-something to go in the big spot next to the candlestick. A large white pumpkin would look really cool. I’d seen a bunch of harvest decor at TJ Maxx; maybe I’d head over there and browse a little. I was definitely looking for a metal or ceramic pumpkin to round out the mantel.

I know it’s still making no sense when it comes to dog food. Well, we’re finally getting to that part of the story. I ran into the store and was greeted by a pile of strange, green gourds that could solve all my problems. OK, so it’s not a pumpkin, but I grabbed a couple green ones and an orange warty one instead and headed home with my loot to do a little rearranging.

Gourds Collage

They were just looking weird. Note to self: next time you buy gourds at the grocery store, make sure they can stand upright. The tall one just kept wanting to roll off onto the floor. I was sure I’d wake up in the middle of the night to a loud thud-splat. Maybe one of those thrift store flower pots would come in handy.


While it definitely added some height and kept the gourd from leaping to its destruction, the whole vignette wasn’t doing it for me. Why not add a few more thing?

A lot going on

I liked the punch of bright orange from the candle and the way the stripe of the flower pot matched the gourds, but it all seemed a bit too cluttered. Coco Chanel is quoted as saying, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” I decided to do a little editing. and here’s what we ended up with.


I love the repetition of the burgundy in the flowers, candle pots, and pumpkin. Hits of orange and green bounce back and forth on the mantel and the hearth.

Sometimes a pair of gourds is a great plenty.


Notice how the curve of the wrought iron matches the angle of the stem, and the bottom half of the gourd and the base of the pot mimic each other perfectly–I’ll pretend that was all planned. Diamonds are embossed in each of the candles; it all just seems to work together.

I’m so happy with how the plant below is finally looking lush and green.

Pumpkins and Leave Rootings

Sweet Miss came home a few years ago with random leaves “rooting” in some dirt and stuck them on the coffee table, and now they’ve grown into something that actually looks pretty. My old plush pumpkin marries well with the pair from the dollar store that I covered in yarn, and a felt leaf doily from Fred Meyer softens the tile. I didn’t have the heart to put away all of Baby Girl’s ceramics. The tiny truck and the green vase holding the flowers remind me of her hard work and fit with the color scheme.

How are you adding fall charm to your home? Any great grocery store finds?

Just for fun, let’s take a look at last year’s fall mantel compared to this year.

Last Year and This Year Collage

Almost everything is still the same except for the bronze vase and the curlicue candle holders. What a huge in your face difference the paint job has made. When the dahlias die off, I’m going to look for that taller vase and break down and buy some flowers or maybe cut some branches with vibrant fall leaves. Or who knows, maybe I’ll go buy that pumpkin. There are so many beautiful options.


4 thoughts on “That Ain’t No Pumpkin

  1. Isn’t it wonderful when “it” finally all comes together? Yup, it did and it looks great. We bought a Mum with dark flowers at Walmart when we first arrived in Branson, and it is looking so lovely on the deck overlooking the Ozark Mountains. Another vendor also bought one to put in her booth, but it was looking droopy with out direct sun and probably no water, and no one had ‘dead headed’ the old blossoms. The MR’s Dad took it on as a project, and it is now looking fantastic again. It even had a camillion perched on it looking very green today. The leaves are turning orange, yellow and red everywhere, and it is super humid with clear and then huge clouds swoop in and dump rain for 2 minutes before they float away white and fluffy again. Perfect Ozark Fall!

  2. Pingback: Touches of Fall | bigwhitehouseonthehill

  3. Pingback: October: Remodeling, Gardening, Sewing, Decorating & Organizing | bigwhitehouseonthehill

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