Oct 18, 201208:05 AMDaily News
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A quest for fall decor
My apartment is adorned with a wooden shield from “The Legend of Zelda,” a pair of Batman posters and a statue of Captain America.
In a nutshell, trendy, stylish decorating isn’t my forté.
While I have no plans to change my style, I am interested in expanding my horizons (prompted mainly by my girlfriend’s subtle critiques).
Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. I love the colors and styles of the natural, harvest-themed decor, and I always enjoy Halloween and the building anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Earlier this month, I set out to learn about how to decorate for fall. I don’t intend on taking down my Joker poster, but I am interested in how I can add a few items around the abode to set the mood for the season.
I visited two local places and asked the experts to see what they recommend. I quickly learned that it is not nearly as hard as it looks.
My first trip was to Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses, 906 W. Grantham Road, Mechanicsburg, where I met with floral designer Nedra McKee.
McKee pointed out that wreaths, table pieces and small arrangements are essentially made the same way and look alike, but vary depending on the base.
The first thing I noticed was how many varieties of items there are. I loved the pheasant feather balls and birch balls, which were essentially Styrofoam wrapped in pheasant feathers or birch. These are simple additions to any decor.
Many decorations can last beyond Halloween and into December, including pumpkins and gourds. Some can even stay up through Christmas, depending on the colors, which should help people who don’t want to put stuff out for just a few weeks each year.
McKee showed me how simple it is to create a centerpiece:
1. Container: Fill your container with sahara dry foam and cover it with moss on top.
2. Eucalyptus in two colors: Take eucalyptus and cut the stems to make them the base of your creation and stick them into the sahara. Add some leaves.
3. Bittersweet: Apparently, bittersweet is more than just an adjective; it’s also a type of vine. The size and amount you use varies to whatever you like best.
4. Bearded wheat: Add this in clusters of three to five pieces.
5. Dried yarrow: The last step is adding dried yarrow to the mix at varying height.
And just like that, you have a centerpiece.
As with most decorations, you can make it as fancy or simple as you want, McKee said. “If you don’t know how to design what you want, but you can picture it and know what it should be, see a designer,” McKee said.
My decorating quest then took me to Stauffers of Kissel Hill, 301 Rohrerstown Road, Lancaster. There are various Stauffers stores in the area, but I was amazed at how big this one was.
Landscaping designer Sue Ream said Stauffers is trying to get all departments involved in autumn decorating including the greenhouse, garden center and gift shop. The gift shop had a wall of random items for fall including woodland garland and ceramic items. At Stauffers I saw more of the garden-type decorations and they look good inside or out.
Pumpkins and fancy squash all look slightly different and can go anywhere and ornament peppers—small pepper bushes with red, yellow, orange and purple peppers—are very bright and colorful additions to any design.
Another simple idea is mums, which although perennial, look better if you get new ones, Ream said. The cool thing about mums is they’re simple to change from casual to classy.
To “class up” mums, add some wheat sticking out of the center for a natural, harvest look. To make them more fun or casual, throw in a small autumn flag or something colorful.
The biggest thing I learned is there really is no wrong answer with fall. McKee said you can simply throw some feathers or wheat in a vase or container and you suddenly have a decoration. Also leaves can “turn an otherwise natural or regular decoration into an autumn piece.”
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web at Central Penn Parent. He is planning on putting up an autumn wreath in his apartment—next to the “Zelda” shield of course.