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BRIANA: It’s fall and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing to many outfitting their home for the holiday: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, [EXPLETIVE]! (I shant include a direct link here due to the column’s use of strong language, but if you don’t get this reference, I suggest you coughcough search for it on McSweeney’s coughcough).

So, decorative gourds: Festive fall must-have or tacky tradition?

cornucopia filled with decorative gourds

LIZ: Well…this is happening in my entryway:

pumpkins and an owl

So…yeah. As high-brow as I might try to be, there’s just something about buying a bunch of pumpkins and gourds that feels so…seasonal. See, there’s even a bird in my house! All my (alleged) principles evaporate when fall happens. I still skip the shellac and cornucopias, though.

MARIANNE: Yeah, I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a decorative gourd. This year I stuck to projects that would work for Halloween or Thanksgiving, so I could maximize the squash potential.

GRANT: Okay, your boy isn’t crafty. But even I can recognize the crazy cuteness of gourd vases and candy corn gourds.

gourd vases

LILI: Fine, I will say it! Gourds – everything about them, from their name to their looks – make me titter. No matter how beautifully they are arranged or decorated…

gnarly gourds

…all I can see is misshapen hunks of vegetable (fruit?) that should have just been thrown away. Go ahead, throw your gnarly squashes at me now.

[time passes]

Addendum: Just try and tell me this thing doesn’t give you nightmares!

mutant squash
: It’s Gourd-zilla! Send in the reinforcements:

kid gourds

I bet if you stuck a face on that sucker, it would suddenly turn cute. Okay, ugly-cute. But still. Exhibit B*:

liz's gourd

*This may or may not have happened in my kitchen.  But let’s be honest, it did.

BRIANA: WOW, Lili. My fiancé and I watched The Thing on Halloween and that blob definitely looks like a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform from a 1980s sci-fi/horror classic.

Speaking of which, even though decorative gourds are supposed to be timeless/traditional/pilgrim-y, they still seem very ’80s to me. Maybe because my mom actually had a wicker cornucopia and used to shellac her own gourds to put inside it back then. Yes, the Mowrey house was all mallard duck phones and shiny squash in the ’80s. Thankfully, mom seems more about autumn foliage these days, and leaves the pumpkins to her rockin’ pies.

LIZ:  They are totally ’80s! Yet my love apparently knows no bounds.

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: I think they look contagiously diseased and lady-witch-nose-wart-ish. But I kinda like the color of gourds, plus their shapes are graphic.

We’ve harvested some opinions about harvest decor, now tell us what YOU think:

Oh, My Gourd! Decorating With Fall’s Bumpy Bounty
How to Make a Cute Coastal Centerpiece With a Pumpkin


11 Responses

  1. CplusE says:

    I like the idea of decorating with gourds but somehow never seem to implement it, maybe because I would prefer to do more than just dump some gourds in a bowl, but am not crafty enough to come up with clever ideas. I like the look of these golden gourds on a cake stand:


    Of course that would mean I would have to spray paint the gourds, which would require some crafting talent. Oh well.

    This next idea, while not quite so elegant, is rather clever, and only requires some careful arrangement on top of fall candy dumped in a bowl:


    I could do this!

    Now here's something you don't see every day:


    Hmmm, I wonder if I could get one of the neighborhood cats to lie still long enough… then again, maybe not. I guess I'd better stick with gourds dumped in a bowl!

  2. RSS says:

    Lili, your Addendum gourd is pretty creepy looking, I agree!

  3. NEM says:

    The gourd vases and candy corn gourds are adorable and I love them.

  4. [...] Decorative Gourd Season…or Is It?! HGTV Design Happens Fri, November 9, 2012 9:30 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  5. TMY says:

    Not a fan of the gourd.

  6. Janice says:

    No to gourds.

  7. Sheila says:

    The candy corn ones are the cutest to me.

  8. [...] better, don’t you think? Also on display: Further evidence of my inability to resist decorative gourds. I just can’t help [...]

  9. Nie do koñca siê ze wszystkim zgadzam ale ogolnie to pozytyw Wspaniale czasem tutaj zajrzec:)

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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