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Tomorrow is the first day of fall, which means it’s time to close summer’s doors and embrace the upcoming season. To celebrate, here’s one of my favorite seasonal veggies — beets. I’ll admit, I love beets mostly for their rich, luscious hue. (They taste nice too, though.) What’s your cool-weather produce pick?

Mood Board Monday: BeetsTop, L to R: Print, Cake, Entryway | Middle, L to R: Pattern, Fashion | Bottom, L to R: Sofa, Salad, DIY Blush

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

And the beet goes on:

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BRIANA: It seems like we’ve had our eye on agate for a long time, but it’s been even bigger in 2014. It’s been cropping up in kitchen counters and is prominently featured in Target’s Threshold Fall 2014 collection (seen here). So, what do you think of the agate trend? Do you think it rocks or does it leave you stone cold?

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Target Threshold Agate Coasters and Agate Trays (available Sept. 7 – Oct. 16)

MARIEL: Agate rocks! (Ahem.) Seriously, I’m digging this trend. I’m not sure I would go this far…

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Credit: Photography by Eurotech Cabinetry, Inc

but I’m coveting the agate accents on this starburst chandelier.

Do you like the agate decor trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Emporium Home Agate Burst Chandelier

MORE ARGUING OVER AGATE

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We are all aware of the power of Shutterfly.com, right? You know, they’re the one who helps millions of people store, enjoy and share billions of photos. They can turn the photographs you love into books, meaningful cards, imaginative gifts, home decor, personal websites, et cetera, et cetera.

Shutterfly

That epic shot from your safari in Africa — the moment you propose to your wife — or, your new baby’s first bath. Whether they’re snapshots or professional photos, from a day at the park or a once-in-a-lifetime event, Shutterfly.com can turn the photos of your life into amazing creations.

Shutterfly

And now to the best part of all, Shutterfly.com is offering Design Happens readers an exclusive offer. By leaving a comment below, you are entering for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Shutterfly.com. Pretty awesome, yes? Think of all the holiday gifts you can take care of with this gift card!

This giveaway’s question: What special photograph would you like to see displayed in a creative way?

Shutterfly

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on September 19, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 22, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $500.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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I don’t really care that the calendar says the official start date of fall is whenever the Pumpkin Spice Latte becomes “a thing.” I personally enjoy the flavor throughout all seasons — my post-run smoothie always implores the use of pumpkin. Nonetheless, I do enjoy this time of year when the rest of the world embraces my affinity for the obligatory orange squash.

However, this year #PSL momentum has suffered an early blow with the news that it contains zero actual pumpkin, and is stuffed full of chemicals and unnecessary additives. While some food scientists have objectively defended the drink’s absence of actual pumpkin, some of us are left searching for a more natural alternative to our favorite seasonal swig.

HGTVGardens answered our prayers with their very own Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. It is far more nutritious, uses fewer ingredients and contains actual pumpkin (WOO!). Plus, I would bet my yearly fall-flavored-grocery budget that this recipe is more affordable.

PSL

Makes 1 PERFECT #PSL:
1/2 to 1 cup milk (I use vanilla almond milk)
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 to 2 tablespoons of natural maple syrup or sugar (try brown sugar or black strap molasses if you’re really in the mood)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 to 2 shots of espresso or 1/2 cup of coffee (the stronger the better in my opinion)
whipped cream for added #nomnoms

Here is all you have to do:

Whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar in a saucepan set on low, stir until the mix is steaming. Remove the mix from heat, stir in the vanilla extract and spice and whisk until frothy. Next step, pour your new heaven-sauce mixture into a large mug, add the espresso, and enjoy. Guilt-free, chemical-free and “waiting-45-minutes-in-line-while-you’re-already-late-for-work”-free.

A latte isn’t enough for you? Click here to see every pumpkin idea, recipe, and tip our editors have to get your fix.

Have your own favorite latte recipe? Share it with us, or tell us your thoughts on the #PSL.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, L_Joe!

Can you guess which curtains belong in this sitting area?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a six pack of 60-watt Cree LED light bulbs. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on September 17, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 18, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $56.82. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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String art used to be straight out of the ’70s, but new, graphic versions are still going strong. (Did you see my girl Meg’s geometric string art bear?! So cute.) This version uses a rustic slice of wood (available at your local crafts store) to juxtapose the modern, metallic monogram. See how it’s done in just a few steps:

YouTube Preview Image

What do you think? I love the graphic impact of the finished piece, and it adds texture and dimension to a ho-hum gallery wall. See what I mean?

DIY Monogram String Art on Weekday Crafternoon

Want to make your own piece of custom string art? You can download the letter template here and get step-by-step instructions and materials here. As always, if you’ve missed any past episodes of HGTV Crafternoon you can find them all right here.

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Tassels

I’m the kind of person who can’t say “no” to adding another garland or tassel. A well-placed tassel is the perfect statement for any room or party. I also love taking a traditional element, like a tassel, and playing around with texture, color, and scale. For this DIY I wanted to create an over-sized tassel garland that would be the perfect addition to my baby girl’s nursery. The nursery has lots of pink and yellow elements, so I decided to dip-dye the tassels in pink and yellow food coloring, which created a lovely ombre effect — and I can’t refuse a good ombre!

Create Your Own Tassel Garland

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Craft supply stores are dangerous places for me. I’ll go in for one specific item and walk out with dozens of random treasures that caught my eye. (Hello, iron-on patches and calligraphy pens!) If you’re an impulse shopper like I am, you may have picked up a few plain cardboard or paper mache letters…aaaaand then wondered what exactly to do with them when you got them home. Well, fear not, because I found some easy ways to pretty them up in no time.

5 Lovely Ideas for Paper Mache Letters: Jute-Covered Monogram Wreath

Design: Chelsea McDonnough

PLAIN PAPER MACHE LETTER –> JUTE-COVERED MONOGRAM WREATH
The return of Pumpkin Spice-flavored everything signals that it’s time to switch up your seasonal decor. This jute-covered monogram is an unexpected but appealing alternative to all those fall wreaths covered in leaves and corn. Get the instructions here.

MORE PAPER MACHE AND CARDBOARD LETTER IDEAS

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Caramel is the ultimate fall delicacy in my world. I imagine walking through a harvest-inspired craft fair or autumnal festival with the scent of kettle corn wafting through the air as I sinfully nibble on a caramel apple (or better yet, a scalding hot hand pie).

Mood Board Monday: CaramelTop, L to R: Dust Jacket, Domaine, La Peche Fraiche | Middle, L to R: Tasty Kitchen, Camille Styles, Classy Girls Wear Pearls | Bottom, L to R: Honestly WTF, Finch & Fawn, HGTV.com

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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Not so much a fan of The Real Housewives franchise? For shame! No, I don’t hold it against you — well, I do, but not in any real way that matters.

Even if you don’t watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey, you have probably read in recent headlines that one of its stars, Teresa Giudice, is in a bit of a pickle. As she and her husband Joe work through their much-publicized “issues,” it looks like the couple has decided to part ways with their Towaco home.

FOR MORE VISIT COOL HOUSES DAILY>>

With six bedrooms, six bathrooms and over 10,000 square feet, the home has just been listed for $3.9 million. The house is full of custom moldings, imported marble floors and fixtures as well as architectural details in every room. “Tre” wasn’t playing around when she designed her castle (Do you all remember the episode when she was buying furniture? Classic Tre!).

Teresa Giudice

This familiar home (to fans, anyway) sits on over 3.5 acres.

Teresa Giudice

Grand two-story entrance with double Cinderella staircases

Teresa Giudice

The gourmet kitchen features a butler’s pantry and large working center island.

See More Photos

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Congratulations to this giveaway’s winner, Ariane! Come back October 17 for another great giveaway.

While others are busy lamenting the (unofficial) end of summer, I’ll admit I can’t wait for fall. Summer is great, sure, but fall has a lot going for it, too: perfect temperatures, brilliantly-hued leaves, hearty soups and stews and cozy fall decor updates.

Since evening light is dwindling and we’ll all be spending more time indoors, this is the perfect time to add style overhead with an updated light fixture. That’s why we partnered with Lights.com to give one lucky reader this industrial take on the classic Sputnik light fixture:

Sputnik Chandelier - Lights.com

This trendy twist on vintage lighting would look great atop a dining table or kitchen island, in an entryway or as the focal point of a master bedroom. Edison bulbs give this ceiling light a glowy ambiance, while the sleek black finish offers an industrial edge.

Vintage Lighting Ideas - Lights.com

To enter for a chance to win this amazing light fixture, leave a comment below. This giveaway’s question: How do you, ahem, brighten up your home for fall?

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 9:00 a.m. ET on September 12, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 15, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $240.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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You guessed correctly if you chose option A. Designer Kendall Wilkinson incorporated a comfy chair — with coral welting detail — for Mom to hold baby to sleep.

Coral and Purple Nursery

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Cindy F. is the winner of a box of epoxy products from JB Weld and a complete JAWS cleaning kit. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Cindy F.!

Can you guess which chair belongs in this nursery?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a box of epoxy products from JB Weld to help with any project around your home and a complete JAWS cleaning kit, which includes four of their best cleaners for all areas of the home. You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on September 10, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 11, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $50. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Casual summer weekends are a great time to break out vintage scarves to create a fun hairstyle with virtually no effort. But now that the days are getting cooler, here’s another scarf use to consider: year-round gift wrap.

Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric-wrapping technique to add reusable, eco-friendly style to everything from packaged gifts to vases to food. Techniques can get pretty intricate, but today I’m showing you some of the basics. Take a look:

YouTube Preview Image

You can find traditional furoshiki-style wraps online, but the thrift store is a great place to stock up on vintage scarves for those last-minute gifts. Bonus: Your friend can reuse the scarf to wrap another gift or spice up her wardrobe.

Small Furoshiki Wrap

What do you think? Would you ditch rolls of paper in favor of pretty fabric this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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Alix Adams

One of the many things that I lack proficiency in is keeping plants alive. Watercolor, making spaghetti and enduring to the end of Top Gun are not really my strongest skills either. But I must say, I am particularly terrible at trying to keep a plant healthy. This is true for all potted plants, except for succulents and cacti (which, I like to consider a cactus a succulent, but with a sassy attitude). Yep, succulents are one difficult ornamental plant to kill. You need only water them every-other-week. They like lots of sunlight in my windowsill. They don’t care if my house is a mess or if I forget to shave my legs. Succulents are just there to cheer you up and add some green to the scene.

The best part about a succulent is that they can grow in almost any container. At my local hardware store, I have had my eye on some sassy-looking glass light covers for some time now; so when succulents went on sale I scooped up a few plants and a few light covers to create an inventive (and inexpensive) succulent garden for my mantel. You really can’t believe how fun a round light cover looks filled to the brim with succulent-ness. Time to make one of your own, I think!

Let’s Get Started

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I always wanted a wagon as a kid, though I can’t quite remember why. Maybe I had visions of racing one down a hill or using it to haul my dolls all over the neighborhood? In any event, I think I must have known then what I know now: Kids’ wagons are fun and functional, all in one shiny package. Even if you’ve long outgrown the days of pulling your stuffed animals or little siblings around in a wagon, there are still plenty of uses for the classic toys. Take a look at these fresh ideas for kids’ wagons and embrace your inner child’s style.

5 Fresh Ideas for Kids' Wagons: Container Garden

Design: Nancy Ondra

Old Kids’ Wagon –> New Moveable Container Garden
If you’ve read this column before, you know lots of unusual items turn out to be fantastic container gardens, but I like this twist of using a wagon, because your plants become portable! Don’t like where you’ve placed them? They need more sun or more shade? Wheel them where you please.

MORE COOL WAYS TO USE KIDS’ WAGONS

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Color Vs. Color

As you know, every month the editorial team at HGTV.com gathers for a friendly, combative meeting to choose an HGTV-sanctioned “Color of the Month.” We each arrive ready with a hue to defend — and the person with the best Pinterest board that showcases the color, and best argument for choosing it — wins the votes. But now, our most-loved Colors of the Month are facing off — and it’s your chance to weigh in.

Browse the 12 photos (and their corresponding galleries) below and vote for your favorite shade by repinning its palette on Pinterest. We’ll count up the votes on Sept. 26th and announce then (here at D-Happ) which shade is taking home the title.

The Contenders Are

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As much as I have savored every second of the hot summer sun, I can’t help but get excited for the fast-approaching fall. With the recent onslaught of pumpkin everything — literally everything — and the early inklings of grocery store Halloween candy isles, I have already started my annual love-affair with fall and harvest decor.

Of course, a few sporadically placed porch gourds are never enough, but it is also super easy to go overboard. With fall decorating, the more-is-more approach will leave you with a gaudy stoop and a truck load of rotten pumpkins. Subtle, simple accents that evoke the harvest feel keep you out of kitschy territory. For those like me who already have their Halloween costumes picked out — I’ve gathered up a few interesting new decorating ideas that give your home some seasonal spice without the tacky aftertaste.

Sweater Candle
I have no idea why your candles would be cold, but dress them up in sweaters anyway. Use old sweater remnants to make candle cozies; they are perfect for adding that comfy-cozy feel we love during the season. Camilla Fabbri adds simple leaf accents to hers for a hint of nature.

Wheat
You don’t have to be gluten-free for this one, just gather a few uniform wheat stalks and bundle them with twine, yarn, or anything rustic. This neutral accent goes well on a mantel or any vignette to create a hearty, autumnal feel. Learn how with these simple step-by-step instructions.

Shiny Pumpkins
Forget those tired old orange pumpkins and forge your own from precious metals. Just kidding — find varying shapes and sizes of pumpkins and paint them in your choice of metallic hues — it is a great way to add some always-welcomed glam. Personally, I feel as though mixing gold, silver and copper makes for a more eclectic look. Copper will also add a tinge of orange to this idea. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

Leaf Centerpiece
Centerpieces that sit on the table are so last season. For fall, do something special and scrap the centerpiece for something slightly more vertical — a mobile. What better way to channel the whimsy of fall than autumn-hued leaves dancing above you during dinner? Learn how to make your own, with real or faux leaves, here.

Putka Wreath
Make a tiny pumpkin wreath! I bet your mind is exploding right now by the thought of gathering up 1,000,000 tiny pumpkins. They are actually Putka pods: natural seed pods that look like munchkin pumpkins. The best thing about this pumpkin-centered theme idea is that the dried pods will keep for many years, so you can just store it away until next year. See how to make yours here.

So don’t let me be the only one planning ahead; take some of these ideas and get your house in the mood for Apple Cider and Pumpkin Pie — I just made myself hungry — with some of these nifty, new fall ideas.

I’m sure you guys have some of your own harvest-holiday hacks. Please share them with us on our Pinterest page! Tell us what your decorating plans are for the season, or just dish on what you’re tired of seeing.

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Labor Day marks the unofficial start to fall, and that got our Color Team thinking about the cooler days ahead: Think plush faux fur throws, soft rugs and steamy mugs of tea. So when Briana pitched luxurious Earl Grey, we were dreaming of crisp fall mornings. And with oppressively humid weather still afoot here at HGTV’s Tennessee headquarters, we were hooked.

Similar to Pantone’s featured fall shade Cognac, Earl Grey is the design equivalent of a cozy blanket: A dose of this color lends warmth to everything from headboards to walls to bedding.

Neutral Bedroom With Leather Headboard

Design by BAMO,Inc.

A neutral with an edge, this purple-grey color plays well with fall hues like rich burgundy, soft orange, blush pink and deep lavender, making it the ideal base hue to tie together a chic fall wedding or flower arrangement:

Fall Party Favors, Designed By Manvi Drona-Hidalgo for HGTV

Fall Party Favors, Designed By Manvi Drona-Hidalgo for HGTV

This hue lends an air of luxury anywhere it is used, from the slightly iridescent curtains to the soft faux fur rug in front of this nursery’s crib.

Nursery Design by Charles Neal

Design by Charles Neal

So, what say you? Will you use Earl Grey in your fall decor? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past