How I Decorate for Fall

How I decorate for Fall
Let the Nesting begin! Autumnal decor is beginning to evolve in the cottage.

Decorate for Fall – My Favorite Season

I typically decorate for a season, not a holiday. So I decorate for Fall as a whole. The Fall Season is not about just Halloween in Suzanne’s Cottage. It is about harvests of pumpkins and gourds, colorful foliage, brisk mornings, shorter days, and longer cozy evenings.

This photo is a recent shot of one corner of my living room. I tried to get a decent picture with nothing more than natural light. No easy feat with bright light streaming through the window, especially using an old iPhone.

If I had to choose three key elements for my decor, I’d opt for texture, color and shapes. All these work synergistically to create the mood of the room.


This room features a wide variety of textures, beginning with the focal point of the room, the fireplace. The cracked old oak mantle caps the stone face of the hearth. Some textures are rough, some are smooth.

If you sit and look around the room you will see stone, various woods, textiles of cotton, wool and fleece. There are old shed antlers, baskets of various materials. Braided rugs and carpets cover the floor. These textures convey a sense of warmth.


Autumn colors are easy to define. If you need a clue, step outside, or look out the window. Summer brilliance is fading into a palette of golds, browns, and orange. Bright greens are now subdued to darker hues. Think earth tones.  As the sun is lower in the sky, day light is softer. Night lights create a warm glow across the colors and textures.


Shapes are also quite varied. Artifacts include decoys, books, game boards, crockery jugs, lamps, and the baskets and antlers I mentioned earlier.


Groupings can be used for decorations as well as furnishings. For decorations, consider grouping like items in a vignette. A table top may display old toys or games. A wall display may be a cluster of framed items, such as photos, or maps, or documents.

Grouping of furniture is key to creating a cozy environment, whether it is savoring solitude, curled up on a love seat with a lap blanket and a good novel, or engaging in warm conversation with friends. I have a chair in each corner of the room, each with it’s own table and lamp. Sitting in any chair in the room provides a totally different perspective of the room. It’s interesting and it’s fun.


The joy of decorating is the opportunity to create a unique space that conveys things about you and your style. Personally, my goal is create a style of a rustic cottage, that encourages people to relax and enjoy lakeside living. In this featured room, all four seats face the center of the room. This creates the atmosphere for conversation. As mentioned above, every seat in the room provides a vastly different view of decorating vignettes.

I also make sure there are plenty of blankets and pillows for snuggling up with a book or a cat. I’d love to know about your favorite fall decorating. Drop a comment below.

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Autumn 2016 = New Shop Space

Dat One at Artful Home
Day One – I just opened new shop space in Artful Home in Acton, Massachusetts.


My favorite season is Autumn. And I’m not talking about some generic autumn. No, I’m talking about Autumn in New England! After a long hot summer, we’re enjoying cool nights and brisk mornings. Autumn seems to be a catalyst for stimulating our nesting instinct. For me, Autumn also means New Shop Space!

I love creating cozy living room vignettes in my shops, and my new space in Acton, Massachusetts is no exception. Today was moving day – I loaded up a couple carloads of treasures and moved them to my corner at Artful Home.

I’m on the list for a couple shops in New Hampshire, closer to home. This Acton location is the closest shop I’ve ever had. Typically my New Hampshire shops have been over an hour away, making shop upkeep a half-day project at best. The Acton shop is only twenty minutes away from home.

Future Plans

Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing a few more items to dress up the walls. This will help pull the space together and it will maximize the use of the space by “going vertical”.

At this time, I have space in two shops. My goal is to have a presence in three shops, with diverse audiences, all within 30 minutes of home. I expect I will achieve this by the end of the year.

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A New Day at Suzanne’s Cottage

My first day of retirement included Charles serving me breakfast, homemade Strawberry Jam from a friend, and a bouquet of flowers from my colleagues at Drumlin Farm.
A New Day: My first day of retirement included Charles serving me breakfast, homemade Strawberry Jam from a friend, and a bouquet of flowers from my colleagues at Drumlin Farm.

So what do you plan to do with yourself? How will you occupy yourself? Are you planing to travel? Are you moving to Florida?

Over the past month I have heard all these questions, and more. A month ago I told my colleagues I was leaving the Farm. My husband and I planned our retirements for the end of June.

Today is a big day. It is my first day of retirement. No more 9-5 job.

I received a nice send-off from my friends at the Farm yesterday. I enjoyed many people there, but it is time for something new.

Perhaps it is better stated, it is time for a new approach to something else.

A New Day Means Re-inventing Suzanne’s Cottage

Over the past five years I have split my time between my farm job and my “Junk Business”. During that time I have had varying degrees of success, but nothing lasts forever. I’ve tried consignment, group shops, Co-ops, yard sales and flea markets.

Shops come and go. Owners come and go. Business climates come and go. I have never been able to stay in one location for more than a year, and then it’s time to look around. I’m constantly scouting new locations. I am constantly forced to re-think things and “re-invent” myself.

The upside of this is that I have made many friends and I have established a remarkable network of dealers, vendors, and shop owners. The downside is that one cannot grow complacent, and change is always in play.

Solo or Not

People often tell me I should open my own shop. That holds no appeal to me whatsoever. I enjoy the freedom to scour the countryside, looking at shops, meeting people, searching for treasures to repurpose for home or for sale.

This business is a creative and social outlet for me. I have no desire to be captive in a store on a beautiful summer day (that is why I no longer work at the farm). I also do not want to be a slave to office hours for 4 to 7 days a week. I don’t want to worry about rent, electric bills, payroll, schedules, heating and air conditioning, snow plowing and shoveling, advertising, etc. You get the idea.

Of all the business models I’ve experimented with, I tend to like the Co-op best. But how does one choose? What do I look for in a new shop? Well that is what I write about in the next post, because this was just too lengthy for one article.

So next week I will hit on the following points:

  1. Owner
  2. Location
  3. Vendor Churn
  4. Customer Traffic
  5. Days Open for Business
  6. Web and Social Media Presence
  7. Price Points & Customer Demographics
  8. Similar Design Aesthetics

I’m excited about the next installment. It’s 95% complete, and once the minor tweaking is done, it will be published.

Until then, please feel free to comment and share.

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