I used to hate the fall.
Not how most articles related to the season starts, I know! However, the first time I decided to embrace the outdoor décor options autumn presented that feeling began to change.
Despite my lingering distaste for autumn allergies and dropping temperatures, I’ve always loved the traditional colors of fall. The oranges, reds, yellows, and browns in their infinite variety were still something to look forward to.
While the traditional autumn colors started my addiction to fall décor, I’ve since learned to appreciate the less-traditional color options. In this article, we’re going to discuss lavender, and you’re going to love it!
The Star of the Show
It wouldn’t be fall without including the queen (in my opinion) of all fall flowers the chrysanthemum (mum). Truthfully, I couldn’t imagine approaching any outdoor fall decoration project without the mum in some color variation.
When I was a child, I don’t recall the massive variations of mums now available. The color options were white, lavender, or yellow only. Interestingly enough, the lavender was my least favorite. In retrospect (again), it was probably its use in combination with the traditional fall color palette that I didn’t care for. Now, however, my love for the purple and plum hues for fall are among my favorite.
My change of heart came when decorators began putting the focus on the lavender and removing the oranges and reds. Wow! What a difference those changes made. I went from skeptic to fan very quickly. Let’s now look at how to best dress our star in the purple palette.
Conscious about Colors
With lavender being our focal color, using whites and blacks, and greens and greys as our companion colors will easily allow the purple hues to shine through. If you have other colors in mind certainly try them out. Consider the exterior colors already in use outside your home. There are times when these colors simply will not work.
Finding Your Accompaniments
The popularity and growing availability of white pumpkins make them the perfect co-stars in our lavender chrysanthemum show. Additionally, pink pumpkins, both naturally grown or painted, have become showstoppers in their own right. So, consider them when making your choices and vary them in size and shapes. Seriously, can you really set an autumn scene without pumpkins or gourds in your décor? Mums and pumpkins my friends. Mums and pumpkins.
While our lavender mums are the primary visual draw, fellow flowering celebrities will only enrich the display.
Consider adding white chrysanthemums or other purplish, pink and white blooming plants to the mix. New York Daisy/Michaelmas Daisy in pink, purple, or white works nicely.
My personal preference is to let the chrysanthemums be the only blooming flower in our cast of plants. Their presence in the fall is so short why not let them have their moment in the spotlight.
Non-blooming Cast of Players
Our options for additional plants are primarily for accent and contrast purposes.
One of the most popular choices is the addition of ornamental cabbage and kale. Their incredibly dynamic leaves of pink and purplish hues were meant to play in our lavender autumn show. Since their color changes are the result of cold temperatures, they become more plentiful as the fall progresses.
One of my personal favorites is the addition of tall ornamental grasses, especially those of a reddish/purplish nature. Fountain grass is often my first pick. Flame grass and Pink Muhly grass with their wispy plums add a hint of flash and motion to our design. Some varieties remain quite beautiful even after a frost if they dry appropriately.
Other elements that also adds height to the mix are bare branches, twigs and dried plants/flowers. Plentiful and natural aspects of fall make these our easy, simple, and cheap options.
Play around with your arrangements until you get the look you want. Less is more. These are like a dash of salt to an otherwise fantastic dish. Go easy until you get the best flavor.
Consider Your Containers
Like background singers, containers are subtle and sometimes the unnoticed elements of the show until they are taken away. To make your autumn scene work, it will take a choir.
Beautiful wicker baskets are one of my personal favorites any time of year. Their naturally colored browns and tans work great. Painting baskets white or grey are also exceptional choices, and they are versatile enough to transition from season to season without change easily.
Stone or cement containers blend exceptionally well into the backdrop. Their weight adds stability that baskets often lack and their textures add additional interest.
With our primary ingredients covered, let’s consider other additions that might take our lavender fall décor to the next level.
When I think of the color focus of our project, I can’t help but draw inspiration from the country chic or rustic farmhouse styles. Many of the elements from these styles are simply screaming to be used here.
Antique or farmhouse pieces are perfect in any fall décor. The use of lanterns, farm relics, rockers or other weathered furniture, old blankets or natural textiles such as burlap would make fantastic additions.
Painted “welcome” signs or other seasonal messages have become quite prevalent for all seasons. I have a love/hate relationship with signage to be perfectly honest. They either work or they really, really don’t! The latter is what I usually find. Use your best judgment or ask for the brutally honest opinion of someone you trust. Obviously, use someone with great taste! We all have that one friend or family member completely lacking.
Once you’ve got the look you’re going for and are ready for the whole world to gasp in awe, let’s talk lighting.
I like subtle accent lighting, and our lavender fall composition might be the perfect place to add this attention-getter.
Before moving forward, let me make sure I stress “accent lighting.” I’m not talking about spotlights seen from orbit. Consider randomly, yet purposefully added solar or electric string lights or small lanterns or tea-lights. In the waning hours of the evenings, your décor will take on a whole new wondrous look. If done right, you’ll thank me. I promise!
What’s to Come
This will likely be one of many “Choosing a Different Fall Décor Palette” articles.
When making the chrysanthemum color decision, I simply couldn’t decide on one color. So I picked my current favorite intending to explore and research other palettes I’ve seen and loved for future writings. So look for the next fall color palette article and photos coming soon.
Think you have a great fall style? Share it with us. We would love to see it and possibly share with the world.
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by Steve Baker, VP of Marketing & Business Development