This year’s theme for Autumn decor was foraging – in case you needed it, here is the Oxford Dictionary definition : /?f?r?d?/ verb, gerund or present participle: foraging (of a person or animal) search widely for food or provisions.” OK so that was more complicated than I expected! Basically it means going out in nature, in your own backyard, and finding elements that you need in your home for the season. There’s something sort of primal about it, am I right?
In case you haven’t noticed, I am obsessed with where we live. How it changes from season to season and the magic and freshness that each transition brings. We are entering our forth year here in the Northamptonshire countryside and I can tell you that no season is ever the same, it’s magical.
I’ve always dreamed of seasonally decorating my home to bring different elements and inspiration to the spaces, and this season I finally felt ready to take the plunge as the first phase of our home remodel is complete. I decided to focus on the main living areas of our home which include the kitchen and rec table, the living room, the study, the downstairs cloakroom and our master bedroom and bathroom. Each area was to be filled with decorations inspired by the season and the land surrounding our home. I used a mix of elements I had collected on dog walks or grown in my garden as well as dried and preserved displays created by The Country Flower Company.
As always, I tend to go big with this kind of thing but the wonderful thing about it is you can add as much or as little as you would like to suit your home and create the perfect foraged home decor for you.
The foundations are super important and setting the tone of your decor display is done with the right pots and vases. I love to use antique vases and aged terracotta pots throughout my home anyway so always have different shapes and sizes laying around. You can pick so many great old pickle pots from antique stores like The Old Flight House and Station Mill and aged terracotta pots are easily found via Amazon and Sarah Raven. However its always good to have a very oversized urns as well and for those I like to shop Kiln Living and HomeBarn.
On my walks right now I make sure I have a generous-sized bag to store my loot and a strong pair of garden scissors from Niwaki. First and foremost it’s important to forage responsibly and sustainably, not over foraging from one place/area and always ensuring you aren’t foraging on private land. For more info on foraging responsibly see the Woodland Trust website here.
Conkers are everywhere right now and Porter and I love nothing more than taking a 5 minute pit stop to collect some to scatter around the tables and side boards.
There are lots of dried or drying foliage at the moment which give bouquets a lot of texture. In my experience, the spikier the better (gives a real English garden thistle touch). I saw a wonderful display at Daylesford recently using Blackberry stems and berries are abundant at this time of year. What I would say is, please ensure the berries are safe to bring inside and they are probably best used on surfaces which are white clean as they may drop and stain. Tree stems are my absolute favourite and for these I would personally say for longevity it is best to use preserved as they last so long and are so much better for the environment than faux. I then use fallen leaves to scatter on surfaces to give it a more dishevelled look, I never like things to be too perfect so fallen leaves and asymmetrical shapes are key for keeping things from looking too perfect and contrived, a little lived in luxe goes a long way.
I feel like the transitional season home fragrances are often the most nostalgic. Spring and autumn are the first signs of new beginnings and for me it’s important to get them just right. I love to use more natural fragrances around my home so a pumpkin spiced candle is a little too sweet for my liking. Instead I opt for brands like The White Company and their seasonal candles, Daylesford for the rustic seasonless candles as well as brands like Plum & Ashby, Jo Malone, Aerin and Diptique that encapsulate nostalgic fragrances perfectly.
I don’t know about you but my table linen drawer is positively bursting with different colours for different occasions. I’m always secretly a bit smug when I’m able to pull our the perfect linen collection to suit the occasion! Whenever I see something I love, I make sure I buy it- whether that’s from Amazon or in a back street antique shop. Whilst I keep tones muted, I don’t shy away from colour and for this season we went for the perfect shade of rust to contrast from our usual moss green (which is a great all rounder if you ask me). Old striped French linen is another timeless option that transitions perfectly between the seasons. I prefer runners for autumn table scapes as our wooden table provides the perfect tonal back drop but in spring and summer patterned tablecloths are such fun.
Carving pumpkins with children is a magical and nostalgic experience which I’m sure one day I will learn to love and enjoy. For now the fun I experience from pumpkins is growing them myself and decorating my home with them in all their irregular, nobbly and curious glory. I used all different colours and sizes from my own pumpkin patch and a local farm to create effortless displays around the house. I also used an old copper jam pan filled with an assorted variety in the middle of my tablescape whilst a wide selection adorns our downstairs hall way table alongside coffee table books and an urn full of autumnal foliage.
If you are planning on decorating yourself then there are lots of places to find preserved and dried stems and foliage online or source them from a local florist (which given the current climate we absolutely should be doing, it may cost a little more though so if you can’t, that’s absolutely fine). I got all mine from a local florist The Country Flower company but you can try Amazon and websites such as Driedflowersdecor.co.uk for stems.
I purchased myself a flower arranging kit from Amazon which consisted of chicken wire, wire cutters and protective gloves which made arranging my own arrangements really easy and stress free. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to arrange flowers without chickenwire, wow it’s very frustrating!
Whenever I see a wreath on someone’s door, I smile to myself because I just know the joy that person’s home must bring them from that one simple act. I like to think of them as a lovely little taster of what to expect inside. They always say so much about the person who lives there so I take great pride in dreaming up my wreaths and hanging them on my door every season.
hi Lydia , I am in love with your dining table! can I ask where it’s from?