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Now This is Living With Marcie Culpepper

Sep 27

Now This is Living With Marcie Culpepper: Celebrating Autumn Inside the Home Contributed by Marcie Culpepper

Celebrating Autumn Inside the Home

Contributed by Marcie Culpepper


The first nip in the air and the realization that the sun has a different slant as it breaks through the morning fog brings with it a nostalgic tinge of anticipation for the many colors of the season, the crackle of fire in the fireplace, cinnamon and clove scents, pumpkin bread sweetened with whipped cream, and the security of a furry blanket laid out for the season on the sofa.

To capture this array of feelings within our homes and to give our families and our guests the joy of sharing the “season of color” takes only a few touches that anyone can achieve.

Here are several fixes to bring fall inside the home:

• Break off those early stems of colorful foliage and pop in that tall vase or metal container and place in the foyer or on the hearth.

• A dozen cinnamon sticks 12-inches long in a footed tall glass or vase is a quick and easy way to add both the visual and aroma of spices associated with fall.

•A wooden bowl full of berries or cranberries for the coffee table can stand alone, or add a 4-inch or 5-inch pillar in the center of the bowl.

•Set out a copper container filled with scented pinecones. Add an autumn glow by using LED micro lights in copper and amber tones.

•Add a pedestal bowl of red, green, and golden crab apples.

•Lanterns are always a nostalgic must for the fall season. They may be used singularly, or a grouping of multiple sizes can be effective for a table or a mantel. Fill a lantern with autumn leaves, berries, pinecones, or pomegranates.

•Replace the spring forsythia with long pomegranate stems with foliage.

•Keep a pan of water with cinnamon and cloves on the stovetop and simmer the warm, fall aroma for family, friends, and simply for self-enjoyment.

•For a more informal approach, consider using burlap. Burlap is cost effective and works well to create a “homespun” autumn. Uses include as tablecloths, candle bands, pillow ties, as ribbons for chairs or bar stools, and as placemats.


Another table setting that is casual would be to use a black and white plaid or black and white buffalo check as the tablecloth. Set the table with white dinnerware on top of the black and white base. (Black placemats can give a layered approach.) Fold a black napkin in a rectangular fashion that is 6 inches wide and 18 inches long and extend from the center of the white plate and continue off the side of the table. Place a miniature white pumpkin or gourd on top of the napkin.

An additional option is to slit the stem of the pumpkin enough to tuck a name tag or a holiday greeting at each place setting. As a centerpiece in the black and white setting, use solid white or white and green pumpkins stacked and tucked with white and green berries placed on a black base or tray.


A unique centerpiece for a dinner table, a side table, or even a coffee table could be a tall top hat. Tack a couple of fall leaves on top, have two or three falling down the side, and arrange several around the base and brim of the hat. Placing small gourds inside a glass dome is an effective display to create the season’s folly on tables or mantels. Meanwhile, the use of owls or crows with a branch void of leaves can make a clever centerpiece for the dining table or side buffet.


Finally, a slightly different twist for fall is to dress your table in a royal purple cloth. White dinnerware is quite dramatic against the purple backdrop. Traditional orange pumpkins and clusters of orange and yellow gourds are especially effective when combined with purple.


Whatever you choose to use this season, be it black and white, burlap, purple, or burnt orange, your extra effort will give family and friends a warm, fuzzy feeling and a realization that you care. It creates excitement as a new season approaches and makes memories for all who visit your home in these beloved North Georgia Mountains. Marcie Culpepper is the owner of M-Design, an interior design firm based in Blairsville.

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