I always have the best intentions for sharing glimpses of our renovated home in each season. How hard could it be to snap a few pics to share and note any changes or progress? But it IS hard. And not just because the internet is full of judgmental voices ready to criticize and shrink you. (Actually the internet is not full of those types – their voices are simply the loudest.) It has more to do with the level of quality expected in the design publishing world and the appetite for change, trends, gimmicks, and the next big hashie. While the colors outside have been changing, the calm interiors don’t dramatically shift except for some extra stuff around the holidays. Let’s peek and chat rather randomly in Hello Lovely Autumn Home 2023.
Hello Lovely Autumn Home 2023
I have learned how quickly autumn turns to winter round these parts, so it’s important to get outside into the beauty. This maple in the front yard is such a gorgeous reminder of the fleeting nature of everything.
In summer, everything in the backyard is lush green, and it all begins to warm in September.
By October, it’s all changing daily, and you can almost stand outside and watch maple leaves turn from rosy red to gold.
Colors are Warming in Interior Design
I have seen plenty of evidence from a variety of sources suggesting that the American public’s attraction to cool colors and bright whites has cooled.
That is, there seems to be a shift back to warm colors and moody interiors.
I can see the shift happening across my social media channels. Suddenly, the photos I shared of my French country kitchen (circa 2007 in the first home we ever built), are being repinned on Pinterest.
Almost daily, someone is messaging to ask what paint colors we used in that home. (It was Benjamin Moore White Sand…a warm beige everyone is currently warming up to.)
And of course it makes sense that the trend is resurfacing since I painted those interiors 16 years ago. How can that be!?!
I’m having a hard time wrapping my aging brain around the fact that when someone says ‘oh that was 20 years ago,’ they are talking about 2003. I mean, I remember when 20 years ago signaled something in ancient history.
For example, if you were a child in the 1970s like me, then you remember how the nostalgia of music, movies, and culture of the 1950s was cool. Your parents told you stories about the fifties that reinforced the warm fuzzies. Think: “Happy Days,” dressing up in poodle skirts for ’50s day at school, and “sock hop” themed dances at summer camp.
So you’re telling me the increment between the 50s and 70s of my childhood is the same one as 2003 and today?
You’ll have to weigh in and tell me if I’m losing my mind. Because for me (and I know that a LOT has happened since the dawn of the 21st century), the years since 2000 are all kind of bunched up, and I have to think hard about the difference between Y2K and whatever we call the 2010s.
Special Guests Take Over Hello Lovely’s Autumn Home
Oh, and the pups. They belong to my parents who were here visiting with them for nearly a month. What a treat for them to enjoy the wonderfully mild weather and expanses of green grass.
Since my parents are popular and have many friends in the Midwest, they traveled to different events on the weekends, and I cared for the dogs when they were away.
Both girlies are getting up there in age…they are in the twilight of their lives with assorted arthritic, hearing loss, and joint issues. They tire quickly and wanted to spend every moment outdoors which meant that I was outside too.
What a gift to be drawn into the beauty of October. To have no choice but to leave my desk and daily work to breathe autumn air and notice what these loving creatures were noticing…
Here’s a shot of the back of the house which I don’t typically photograph. You can see our hydrangea hedge which stretches the width of the driveway and offers privacy from the road.
You can see the side yard and garden bed in this photo:
The trees border a nature preserve with trails that we can access directly from our yard. It’s a perk we don’t take for granted.
Fall Weather & Health Woes
While the turning of summer to fall is thrilling, my health also turns as temperatures cool. And I’m always surprised! I convince myself by mid-summer when I feel great that this will be the year I won’t have to battle autoimmune-related conditions.
But seasons change. Barometric pressures do too. Extreme temperature shifts cause my body to react as if it is being traumatized. No wonder I’m ever seeking more calm for my figurative and literal interiors!
If you have chronic illness, you may understand these cycles of wellness and unwellness. While no amount of positive thinking and anti-anxiety strategies seem to cure underlying pathology, they do ease the management of symptoms.
So this fall, I have experienced some tough moments with Raynaud’s and ocular migraines, but I always have good days too.
I’m blessed to have work which can be done from home, and it’s the sort of work that can feel like refuge at times. Creating content and noticing beauty keep me from overthinking, overfeeling, and oversensing the discomfort from my conditions.
On a positive note, I am at a healthier weight which means I can begin to exercise more instead of conserving all my energy since my caloric intake (and fat intake) is low.
I’m hopeful that more exercise will mean a bit more energy and better quality sleep. Those things sound pretty dang good right now as we approach the holidays.
Are you all ready to decorate for them? I’m hoping that the next time I share photos of our rooms, they will be magically decked with Christmas touches.
Last year, I added red accents, but it never really felt right to me. So I’m planning to keep it all more restrained with white and green. But who knows? I’m an intuitive type who goes with the flow when it comes to holiday trappings.
And it’s different decorating for the holidays when there aren’t children around.
I always kept it simple, but my motivation was making it feel magical for THEM, not really for myself.
Floorplan & Why We Renovated This Area
So even after many years with an empty nest, I’m still learning. I’m not sure you can tell from my photos how this floorplan is set up. Maybe I’ll sketch it and share it later. What you’re seeing below is one side of the stairs, opposite of the dining room/music room side. On the other side of the arched window is a small living room.
Here’s the living room (and I showed you the new throw from Cozy Earth on the sofa in this story.)
The 2-story entry gets plenty of light thanks to a big arched window above the front doors.
And I love how the light changes throughout the day in here. For example, it didn’t feel strange at all to light the candles in the afternoon. The thing about traditional architecture and old school non-open floor plans is you get interesting play with light and shadows.
The antique window we built into this wall is simply there to enjoy and be its own little moment on the expanse of wall. We built the walls for more function and furnishing ease, and I also wanted to break the symmetry. I designed a doorway on one side and a window on the other. It’s more informal this way, and since the dramatic staircase feels hotel-ish, the assymetry feels far less commercial.
Not sure you can tell (below) that there’s a step down…as if the details weren’t fussy enough, this home was built with not one, but two sunken, step-down spaces. The bonus? The ceiling heights in those rooms are higher than the 9′ ceilings in other rooms.
Understated, Underbaked, & Effortless Slow Living
No fussy fall decorations cluttering up the counters. I need things to be easy to clean, light, and bright. What works for me is a simple plant on the kitchen table and two white oval oven-to-table trays on wood bases that serve as the foundation for seasonal trappings.
I may add a little greenery to the lantern pendants, but I feel like it’s hard to know where to stop when it comes to holiday decorating. Subtle touches are easier for me to live with personally.
But I love admiring a space where someone has gone all out to attend to every detail in a boldly festive way.
Oh, and here’s something that isn’t “done” but that I’m auditioning in a spare bedroom. I found this midcentury faux fireplace on FB – a string of blinking white Christmas lights behind the handmade log insert suggest a gentle flickering flame. I don’t like the mirror I have on the mantel, so this whole vignette will evolve, but it’s a start for adding fall and winter cozy to this space.
Hope you are savoring the season and enjoying colorful changes in your world…thank you so much for peeking inside mine.
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