Fall for Leaves: How to Decorate with Leaves

October 09, 2012

If you are able to walk out your front door and gather up red, gold and orange leaves, acorns or pine cones, I hope that you know how lucky you are. There is nothing more delightful than being able to decorate your home from nature. Near the beach, a vignette with sand and seashells, is charming. In the spring, as I said in a previous post, flowers gathered in a field, from the farmer’s market or brought home from a store make any room feel festive.

This is Fall.

The season of leaves.

Folks fly enormous distances to see the Fall Foliage in Vermont. The temptation to collect that some of that dramatic bounty is impossible to resist. The catch is, what to do with those leaves once you bring them inside? Well, I gathered some simple supplies and put together a few simple vignettes to show how easy it can be to bring Fall indoors.

My first trip was to the local farmer’s market where I found red apples, pomegranates and a very cool squash that had grown in a natural loop. I live in Southern California and we don’t have much in the way of Fall colors yet so I added some artificial maple leaves — please don’t tell anyone. I actually think they are gorgeous.

A dining room table centerpiece can be as simple as a vase of flowers centered in some scattered leaves, with apples and pomegranates on either end. What makes this interesting is the squash curled around the vase: a guaranteed conversation starter.

Fall table vignette with fruit, flowers and leaves. Photo © Catherine Holliss


If you happen to live near the mountains, there are some magnificent finds, like these Jeffrey pine cones from the San Jacinto mountains, that you can simply pick up and carry home. Be careful not to prick yourself on those sharp barbs. Set a trio of cones on eucalyptus leaves and let their natural sculptural form shine. For a little zip and sparkle, I spray-painted some of the leaves with silver metallic spray paint.

 Jeffrey pine cones on eucalyptus leaves. Photo © Catherine Holliss


I absolutely adore the glow of sunshine passing through colored leaves. A simple sprig of leaves set into a vase near a window and you bring that drama inside.

Photo © Catherine Holliss

A red bamboo lantern with a small tea light glowing inside accentuates a ring of red silk maple leaves. The maple leaves are especially appropriate if you happen to be Canadian. Today is Thanksgiving for our readersof the 49th Parallel – so for those Canadian readers out there, Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo © Catherine Holliss

Finally, I love the idea of a fireplace in Fall but that is just not practical, or even possible, for many of us. I was particularly struck by this option from Terra Flame Home: it definitely beats the video of a fireplace playing on your television.

Photo © Terra Flame Home

Who could not fall in love with the idea of a wall-mounted fire that, at 14” x 30” x 8” would fit into almost any space? This brushed steel frame is a sleek-and-chic way to add warmth and glamour to your bathroom, bedroom or living room. It feels like a piece of art, acts like a welcoming hearth.

Hope that you are staying cozy and enjoying this shift in seasons. Let me know how it goes with your own leaf installations.

Written by Catherine Holliss

Interior Design Blog Writer, www.Kouboo.com, LLC

Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  


Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 

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