I’m happy to say that I finally purchased some pumpkins, or should I say gourds, over the weekend! It’s a bit funny noticing those subtle differences between one home (USA) to another (Sweden) around the holidays. For one thing, Swedes are definitely a little bit more modest over here when it comes to decorating for the seasons. For another thing, they are not into tacky… not that I’m saying that my fellow Americans are tacky, we’re just a little bit more apt to put a huge blow up Santa Claus in our yard than they are… ;) For a third, they do not commercialize holidays the way we do back home (my other home, that is).
I’m used to seeing pumpkins of all shapes and sizes decorating doorways, cobwebs strung about the bushes, and cornstalks tied to mailboxes this time of year. I’m also used to apple picking and drinking fresh apple cider. Instead, I’m trading pumpkins for gourds, as I have yet to see any “real” pumpkins for sale, you know, the ones larger than your fist… And instead of apple picking, it’s mushroom picking! Chanterelles, to be exact. I’ve definitely seen more of those beautiful saffron yellow mushrooms than pumpkins this year.
I really love and appreciate how outdoorsy Swedish people are and can honestly say that although I miss some of the traditions from home, I enjoy taking on some new ones as well. When it comes to traditions, I say the more the merrier! It actually surprised me at first that for such an outdoorsy country there were no opportunities to go to an apple orchard to pick apples, or Christmas tree farms to cut down a Christmas tree, but then I realized that these are things Swedes do from their own backyards. If you have an apple tree in your yard as many do, you pick them, you eat them, and you make your own cider. I can’t say the same for Christmas trees yet, but I’ll let you know when the time comes. :)
So what does this mean for my home? When it comes to decorating for the holidays, I like to infuse my decor with colors from the season without going all explicitly Halloween crazy. I then add in natural elements that go along with the time of year. I do this for two reasons:
1. Decorating with a focus on colors and textures makes the decor more versatile and usable throughout the year, not just for Halloween.
2. Natural elements, such as pumpkins, acorns, twigs, etc., can be cheap, if not free, ways to decorate the home for the autumn season, in general.
Here are some products I really love that will brighten up the home and bring in that orange and black we all enjoy at Halloween. I’m a firm believer that black accents can compliment just about any room and that orange can add warmth and energy to a space. Did you know that orange increases oxygen to the brain and energizes you?
1. Chotu Orange Pillow | $80 at Shop Ten 25 | I really love a touch of gold in any room and think this orange and gold pillow would make such a nice throw pillow for the autumn.
2. Adar 24″ x 12″ Pillow with Feather-Down Insert | $44.95 at Crate and Barrel | This Moroccan style pillow has that touch of gold that I love and is earthy and rich with pattern.
3. Simple Stripe Floor Mat | West Elm | Black and white rugs might just be one of my favorite things. I think a small rug such as this one can add a lot to any space without being too over the top or overpowering. This rug is also great because the white is more of an off-white, making it casual and subdued.
4. Sunflower Photography Monochromatic, 8″ x 8″ | $30 at Walking to Jericho, Etsy | What a beautiful fall print for the home! I absolutely love the slight sepia tone of the black and white photography with the touch of orange. It is both timeless and bold.
5. Char-Bea By Ashley G Stripe Rug | $89 at Urban Outfitters | How cool is this rug? The color combination is not one that I would have come up with on my own, but I just love how warm and inviting it is.
6. Shanna Murray Salad Plates | West Elm | I can’t get enough of these adorable salad plates. They come with several different homey phrases, all which remind me of Thanksgiving dinner. Mmmmm!
7. Colorful Wooden Tray | $49 at Wisteria | This weathered wooden tray is a very versatile piece that can be used as an actual tray for food or as a decorative element to your dining table or home. Surround pillar candles with some pinecones (painted gold perhaps?) and you’ve got yourself an easy table centerpiece!
8. Hakkari Hurricane and Candleholder | $7.95 – $24.95 Crate and Barrel | I just love these black and gold candle holders for the fall. They will look amazing all lit up.