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September 27, 2018

Before Buying More Fall Decor, Read This – Simple Fall Mantle

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Hi! I wanted to stop in here today and share some of the fall décor I’ve put up in the house so far but mainly, I want talk about my thought process behind decorating for this time of year. This is the first year I’ve really been able to decorate my own home (last year I only put out a few things because we were moving and the year before that I was a bachelorette living in Kentucky with Tupperware bins for a TV stand) and share that process which means I haven’t been on here for long enough or shared enough for you all to automatically understand my thought process behind our home and my décor choices. I’m going to try to start rolling out much more content related to decor especially with Christmas (WHAT?!) around the corner but first I wanted to make some things clear!

I think I’m a bit different from most bloggers/Instragammers whatever you want to call them because while I think it would be really beautiful to have one theme across the whole house and buy all of this new décor to fit within that theme, I don’t want to do that. Buying new décor every year to fit a vision (which is usually driven by trends) would be really expensive and more importantly, it would accumulate so much stuff that has to go back up in the attic or down in the basement for the remaining 9 months out of the year. I’m really not interested in that and I don’t think it’s necessary. In fact, it gives me a bit of anxiety to think about. That’s just ME (and Stephen) and explains how I approached decorating our home. If that’s what makes YOU happy though, I say do what makes you happy! BUT! I do want to encourage all of you to make the most of the items you already own. Instead of immediately buying something new, try to look at things you own differently and ask yourself, “How can I make this work to fit my vision?” AND/OR “How can I adjust my vision to make what I already own work?”

Over the past couple of years I’ve accumulated some fall staples, which is mainly a variety of pumpkins in different sizes, shapes, and materials. I read somewhere recently to avoid buying items specifically for fall that have fall prints all over them because it limits you only to that season. I couldn’t agree more BUT I also believe it’s a balancing act. There is so much cute stuff out there and just like with our diet, I believe moderation is key. Total restriction isn’t realistic in my opinion. I don’t want to set a number but I think getting a couple of items I love every year for the season is reasonable. In the case that I do see a fall item I love, here are a few questions I ask myself before I decide whether or not to buy it-

  1. Do I LOVE this? If not, don’t even move onto the next question.
  2. Is this something I could use for multiple seasons?
  3. Is this something I could use in multiple areas of the house?
  4. Will it work with items I already own?
  5. Will I want to include this in my décor next year or do I like it because it’s trendy?
  6. Could I easily transform it if I am going for a different “theme” next year (that typically means painting it)?

Let’s imagine a trendy dark purple velvet pumpkin, for example. I’m sure it’s something I would spot in the store and think, “Wow! That’s really cute.” I might even love it. But is it something I could use for multiple seasons? No. Is it something I could use in multiple areas of the house? Yes. Will it work with items I already own? Not easily. Will I want to include this in my décor next year? I don’t know for certain how I’ll feel in a year from now but chances are likely that since it’s not a “classic” piece and couldn’t be used in multiple different themes, I wouldn’t use it. Could I easily transform it if I am going for a different “theme” next year? Velvet is not very easy to paint and could look funky aka no. Considering the answers to those questions… I’d leave it behind for someone else to buy and receive joy from!

I want to stress this again – only buy things you love. If you don’t love the item, don’t even ask yourself the next questions and just move on! This goes for everything, not just decor.


Decorating for this season has seriously taught me the beauty of a decor capsule. It’s something I’ve mentioned on Instagram but it essentially follows the same idea as a capsule wardrobe but with decor instead (don’t worry, I will do a post eventually!). When we moved to South Carolina I didn’t really have a ton of basic decor pieces. I pretty much only had a box of Christmas stuff and a box of fall stuff (pumpkins). Because of that, I’ve been focusing on building my capsule slowly versus spending that money on fall specific items. Once I had a pretty solid capsule created, I was able to move things around the house easily and supplement it with fall items I already owned or real pumpkins/mums which I think are a must every year.

By the way… No one says you HAVE to buy faux pumpkins in order to be “the spirit”! I also love decorating using natural elements and real produce such as pine cones, greenery from outside, wood logs, twigs, mums, pumpkins, apples, and pears. The world is your oyster. 😉 Lastly, if you have a ton of random fall things but don’t know how to make it all work together, PAINT IS YOUR FRIEND! Remember: either make the items work for you or tweak your vision to work with your items! You would never guess that the faux pumpkins on the mantle were all different colors originally, would you? You might be saying yes… My paint job was only okay… but hey! We like it and that’s all that matters.

Mantle details:
  • Garland: Target (part of the decor capsule)
  • Pumpkins: previously owned and painted
  • Bead garland: Hobby Lobby
Built-in details:
  • Pumpkin: previously owned and painted
  • Books: I took them off our bookshelf
  • Flowers: previously owned
  • Basket: I took that out of our pantry (decor capsule)
  • Wire basket: it usually holds the potatoes in the pantry (originally purchased from a thrift store)
  • Pumpkins: Hobby Lobby wreath making section, just pull out the sticks

The only items on the mantle that we did not previously own were the bead garland and pumpkins in the wire basket which makes the total cost to decorate this space around $10-12.

I hope this really helps. If you have any questions or need any help just let me know!


with joy
jordan jean

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  1. […] mentioned this over on my Instagram quite a bit and on this post but I’m really inspired this season to use what we already own and make the most of it. We […]

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