Decorate with Crafts
After countless hours spent renovating and reinvigorating the interior of her 1950s-era Geneva, Indiana home, Rhonda Sharkey sure appreciates having a nice place to relax. "This house was pretty much gutted," she says of the project she tackled with fellow DIY-er Dawn Campbell. "We spent a whole year working on it before it was ready to live in."
Now that the hard work is done, Rhonda retreats to a screened porch that features the same brand of wonderful rustic country decor seen inside the home. From the authentic red barn board installed on the walls to the easy-care deck flooring, the porch's bones provide a perfect spot to continue showcasing the antiques and vintage finds that Rhonda loves to hunt for throughout the area. Favorite pieces include a green-painted table surrounded by traditional oak chairs, a white-and-turquoise hutch bursting with decorating real estate and a coffee table made from an old door with a plywood top upholstered in a vintage grain sack. "My mom would drag me to auctions when I was a kid, and I enjoyed the treasure hunting," Rhonda says of how her style came about. With autumn approaching, Rhonda sought seasonal decorating inspiration from Country Sampler stylists Debbie Plantery and Tammy Shupenia. "This house is just awesome," Debbie says. "You can tell how much care was put into it when it was rebuilt." To honor Rhonda's preference for rustic and handcrafted goods, Debbie and Tammy brought in loads of country fare and several DIY accessories. Read on for 18 ways to introduce the same feel to your rooms this fall.
1. Give a lift. "We're always encouraging people to boost up their accessories for visual interest, and this display is no different," Debbie says. "Overturn a wash bowl and put it under a cool lantern, or set a pantry box under a basket."
2. Be corny. Popcorn kernels are an inexpensive and easy filler that bring in great seasonal texture. At right, an adorable autumn mouse is nestled in a stenciled bushel basket; nearby, more kernels poured into a glass jar make for a simple accent.
3. Leaf it alone. To make your grouping pop and add an extra touch of seasonal flair, arrange burlap leaves underneath accessories. Here, rust- and sage-hued leaves help separate a set of fall-themed blocks from a wood stovetop cover relocated to the porch from the kitchen.
Never a Dull Moment
4. Get creative. From the cushion-topped coffee table that Rhonda made out of an old door to the buckets that Tammy stenciled with French phrases, DIY decor ensures that this seating area is packed with personality.
5. Cushion your fall. Echoing the feed sack on the coffee table, a potato sack reimagined as a pillow cover joins a bright hooked pillow on the wicker sofa. A cream-and-black rug further softens the porch's wood surroundings.
6. Clock in. Keep your eyes open for unique backdrops for your accessories, such as the wood cistern cover hung behind the clock. "I couldn't believe how well they fit together," Tammy says. "It was just meant to be!"
7. Hang out. Adorned with a simple bow and hung on a black peg rack, a yellow rake with a cut-down handle repeats the sunny hue found in nearby naturals and linens.
8. Say that again. Bring in a sign to amp up your room's autumnal charm.
9. Fill up on fun. Showcase different groupings in each of a cabinet's cubbies. Here, books, milk bottles and a bowl of gourds join candy corn-filled nesting boxes and other diverse fare.
10. Get it nailed down. Hammer nails into a cupboard and use them to hold a banner and a length of bittersweet vine.
11. Be grounded. Punctuate painted and lighter-hued wood furnishings with dark accents, such as Rhonda's "life is good" sign and the braided chair pads and place mats on the table.
12. Carve your own place. Carving isn't just for jack-o'-lanterns: Scoop a quarter-size hole out of a real or faux gourd and place a battery taper inside.
13. Color outside the lines. For a cheery scene, set a piece of salvaged green trim atop a cupboard, hang a yellow barn star on a ladder, or choose a table with a distinctive paint finish.
A Step Up
14. Give cart blanche. To bring a little more brightness to the entry area, Tammy wheeled up one of her favorite DIY redos: a vintage laundry cart painted white and adorned with a stenciled cloth. "The cloth is attached to the front with clothespins painted white, which ties in with the laundry theme nicely," she says.
15. See the sunny side. Further dressing up the cart are beautiful yellow-and-white quilts folded to show off their graphics, which helps highlight the cheery faux sunflower plant boosted on a stool in the corner.
16. Make it all white. Above the display, a white sign that pops against the weathered red siding continues the lightness, as do some white pumpkins, a footstool and mums in a stenciled bucket nearby.
17. Compare and contrast "White cream and yellow have their place, but it wouldn't be fall without some black accents," Tammy notes. Illuminated by the old-fashioned light fixture, a black painted sign above the sunflowers makes a nice counterpoint to the "Antiques" sign at left.
18. Be plaid to the bone. As a finishing touch of pattern, Tammy spread a plaid rug with a sunflower motif on the floor. Peeking out from the window, Labrador Retriever mix Tanner clearly can't wait to come enjoy some time on the porch.
For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.
Large steeple lantern, The Red Brick Cottage
Primitive autumn mouse, The Unique Black Sheep
Primitive Fall block set, Wood Ruffles & Lace Primitives
Stovetop cover, Geneva Country Store
NEVER A DULL MOMENT
Iron star wall clock, Lake Erie Gifts & Décor
Harvest Wreath hooked pillow, Williamsburg House, WI
Mocha/Frappuccino braided rug, Britches N' Bows Country Store
Rolling Hills Pumpkin Patch sign, Impressions on Market
Fall tobacco letter banner and crow pumpkin battery-operated timer taper, Glory Days Mercantile
Falll nesting boxes, Country Harvest Gifts
Amish barn star, acountrycupboard.com
Mocha/Frappuccino braided rug place mats and chair pads, Britches N' Bows Country Store
A STEP UP
Antiques tavern sign, Pine Cone Gift Shoppe
Pumpkins for Sale sign, Hare Hollow
Sunflower bordered rag rug, Allyson's Place
Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Photographed by Matthew Owen
Styled Debbie Plantery & Tammy Shupenia