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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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BRIANA: Chunky knits and macramé have been fairly divisive around these parts, so I’m curious as to what you make of the tapestry and woven wall hanging trend. The look can be very artisanal and DIY, but you could even display a colorful rug as Brian Patrick Flynn did here. They add dimension and texture to a space, but do you think woven wall hangings are beautiful pieces of art? Or is this tapestry trend just too off the wall for you?

Do you like the tapestry and woven wall hanging trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN: It all comes down to the scale of the rug. If it’s teensy weensy, then the rug is wimpy and the effect is lost. If it’s medium or large scale, you’re good. Also, muddy colors tend to just look blah and drab on a wall. Try to stick with rugs that have deeply saturated colors.

LILI: All I see when I see a tapestry is its dust-collecting potential.

MORE TAPESTRY TALK

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We challenged you to spot the price difference between two gorgeous green campaign dressers. Did you guess correctly? You won our vote for “Best Eye for Design” if you answered Left: low, Right: high. One lucky winner will be chosen and notified by email.

As usual, Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List is packed with great items at every price range, but these two really grabbed our attention. The unmistakable campaign-style hardware on the MDF and poplar chest on the left makes it a cost-conscious choice. And eight layers of lacquer means the higher-priced piece at right has some serious shine.

green campaign chests with text

We want them both!

Get the buying info for these two items and lots more High/Low buys in the October issue of HGTV Magazine, on sale Tuesday. Tired of waiting for new-issue goodness? Subscribe here and follow us on Twitter here.

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It may feel like the middle of summer outside, but the HGTV Magazine editors are living like it’s already fall. Putting the October issue together meant filling the office with fluffy pillows, warm colors, and comfy chairs. See every cozy idea from the new issue when October hits stands this Tuesday, September 9. And you lucky subscribers? Just head to the mailbox.

As usual, we’re giving online readers an early look inside the pages. Take a look at what’s to come.

October 2014 cover

On newsstands Tuesday, Sept. 9

From the looks of this home, you’d never guess it was once the victim of a disastrous fire. The homeowners stuck together and rebuilt their family’s home room by room. Take a look inside the gorgeous new space.

dining nook

Last year we asked a few HGTV stars to leave their mark on no-carve pumpkins, but this time we’re downsizing. It’s all about the mini pumpkin for Halloween 2014! We’re sharing six fun ideas inside the issue, plus 2 bonus designs and helpful templates exclusively for online readers at hgtv.com/mini-pumpkins.

mini pumpkin with bat wings

That’s one batty little pumpkin

For more from the magazine, follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag.

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Campaign furniture was originally used for — you guessed it — campaigns. Military units appreciated it for its portability, as chairs and chests were made to be easily broken down and reassembled — perfect for a troop on the move. These days, the stylish brass corners and unique drawer pulls make campaign dressers sophisticated focal points of any room.

There may be history behind the style, but you don’t have to pay antique-level prices to sport this trend in your home. In HGTV Magazine’s newest High/Low Challenge, we ask if you can name the price difference between these two chests. One winner will receive a prize package that includes a copy of the October issue, an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, and an HGTV Magazine ice cream scoop. All you have to do is leave your answer in the comments below (i.e. Right: high, Left: low or vice versa). You must answer correctly for a chance to win. Come back tomorrow at 2 p.m. to see if you were right!

green lacquer campaign chests

We’d campaign for either of these gorgeous green pieces.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on September 5, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Maha!

Can you guess which lighting belongs in this closet?

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 Grill-Right Bluetooth® BBQ Thermometer from Oregon Scientific. 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 3, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 4, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $59.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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Like all good craft projects, this one started with a problem: It can be difficult to find phone cases that are both attractive and affordable. The solution: An inexpensive clear plastic phone case, a scanner and some flowers. Watch and see how it’s done:

Kind of amazing, isn’t it? Turning down the lights while scanning the flowers makes the colors more vibrant and creates a dramatic black background. We used a bouquet of grocery store flowers, but you could forage in the yard (or around the craft room) for your own mix of materials. Ferns, feathers, pompoms, yarn, sequins — the possibilities are endless. Just scan, cut and install inside your clear case, then switch to a new design when the mood strikes.

DIY Scanned Flower iPhone Cases -- HGTV Crafternoon on Design Happens

What materials would you use to create your own scanned phone case? Tell us in the comments below.

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Last week I featured some clever birdhouse projects and since I’m on a roll with the theme, I thought I’d keep it going with birdcages. Whether they’re modern or antique, wooden or metal, birdcages can be charming home accessories, even if you don’t have any feathered friends. Check out these birdcage decor ideas for inspired ways to revamp a roost.

5 Birdcage Decor Ideas: Wedding Centerpiece

Credit: Courtesy of BHLDN

MORE BEAUTIFUL BIRDCAGE DECOR IDEAS

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DIY Bulletin Board

Bulletin boards are one of my favorite solutions to clutter. I can’t be the only person who feels like their walls and fridges quickly fill up with fliers and precious finger paintings. That’s where my trusty friend the bulletin board comes in. But it is also no secret that a grocery store bulletin board, while functional, is not always the most beautiful thing to hang up on the wall. That is why I came up with an easy solution to make over a bulletin board for my son’s room. Now, with a framed bulletin board all his art projects can find a home and look stylish too! Framing a bulletin board is a decorating DIY lifesaver!

Let’s Get Started

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You may not be able to wear white after Labor Day — but there are no rules against your walls.

White is almost a magic wand for interior spaces; it has the power to completely transform even the most uninspiring rooms. It also has the ability to smooth out imperfections in walls or cover up that annoying steam pipe or rough patch. This surprisingly versatile color — yes, I said color — expands and unifies any space it acquires by forcing the eyes to focus on the area within a room instead of its boundaries. However, this modern design trend can be difficult to perfect. Monochrome interiors, especially white ones, can easily look unfinished. Here are some tips for those of you looking to whitewash your living spaces.

To avoid looking flat, focus on contrasting textures. By mixing varying textures, the eye still has plenty to take in even if the color scheme is nothing but white. This makes the room seem just as rich as if it was drenched in florescent tie dye.

Grass ClothImage via Lonny

Notice that the walls are almost stark white and the furniture is minimal, but the textural element of the grass cloth brings everything together and gives the entire room a warm, inviting feel.

Inhabit Wall PanelImage via Inhabit

Go for bold with a dramatic 3-D wall panel. This ultra modern look is surprisingly easy to accomplish. Sculptural wall tiles are available at a variety of interior stores and installation is a breeze.

More White Rooms to Love

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Remember our talk about fall wardrobes earlier this week? If you were wondering where all those new duds would go, look no further than the brand-new HGTV Urban Oasis 2014.

If you were to ask what my favorite room in any home is, the word “kitchen” would quickly slip from my lips — you know, because of the food. But I couldn’t help but dream of the abuse I could inflict on my credit card with the beautifully realized, and enormous, closet of the Urban Oasis residence.

Closet

Master Closet

Lindsay Pumpa, the genius behind such a drool-worthy space, calls the closet something to write home about. The custom accessory storage and handcrafted six light chandelier allow this space to make as much of a statement as the clothing it will store.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

I had to choose a second favorite: the master bathroom. It gives new meaning to the word “retreat.” The sleek, modern tub serves up beautiful city skyline views of Atlanta to whomever is soaking. The marble-tiled shower and floor meld seamlessly with the ultra-chic fixtures and vanity to mimic the tranquil luxury of a five-star spa.

Located in Buckhead, Atlanta’s mecca for all things shopping and dining, the home’s cozy-gone-chic vibe is definitely fitting.

I would be happy to live in the master closet and bathroom, but if your design-loving heart can take it — tour every inch of this urban palace. From the guest bathroom with its striking tile shower to the balcony with its sprawling views of Stone Mountain and Atlanta’s city center, every inch of this home drips with luxury.

Peruse our extensive photo galleries and let us know what your favorite space is in the home. Also, be sure to dish your feelings on the master bedroom’s purple walls — I love them!

And don’t forget — this home can be yours. Enter twice daily for a chance to win this Atlanta dream on HGTV.com and on FrontDoor.com.

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The unofficial end of summer is (sadly) here (sad face). It feels like we were just talking about ways to start up the grill for summer cookouts. As another season approaches, it seems only right we close out the most carefree time of year with a few refreshing concoctions. Whip up these cool and colorful drinks by Cooking Channel’s Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark as you soak up the long weekend.

Izze Cocktail Recipe

Photo + Recipe: IZZE Sparkling Juice

Vanilla Clementini

Throw it back to childhood snow cone days with this adult version that’s also a martini. (!!!)

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka
1/2 triple sec or orange liqueur
3 ounces IZZE Sparkling Clementine
2 cups finely-crushed or shaved ice
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

In a glass, combine vodka, triple sec and IZZE Sparkling Clementine and stir lightly. Pour over shaved ice and top with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Serve with a spoon (and be prepared to make seconds).

Yield: 1 serving

Izze Cocktail Recipe

Photo + Recipe: IZZE Sparkling Juice

Grapefruit Lavenderita

Put a spin on the Paloma with a dash of lavender.

Ingredients

2 ounces lavender-infused tequila
1/2 Campari
3/4 fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 ounces IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit

Instructions

Add first three ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice and stir. Pour IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit over and stir. Garnish with a fresh lavender blossom and tell someone that you got them flowers.

To infuse tequila, add one tablespoon of dried lavender flowers to 8 ounces of tequila and let sit for 1 hour. Strain and store tequila in a sealed jar or bottle.

Yield: 1 serving

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Steak Frites

Steak frites may be the perfect meal. Think about it; rich beefy goodness paired with salty crunchy potatoes and topped with a delectable sauce. What is there not to love about that? In my opinion, this combo is great any way it’s prepared, but this version is currently my favorite way to cook up the classic. I took advantage of a super sale on primo beef from my local butcher and picked up center cut filets rather than my beloved strip. The filets are pepper crusted on one side and drizzled with a savory red wine sauce to complement the cut. I upgraded from sticks to circles and fried up a crispy potato chip that easily swabs the plate picking up every last drop of precious sauce. The meal is completed by adding a quick green salad of peppery baby arugula and sliced green onions that are lightly dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt (no recipe needed, just make it to personal taste). This is really a dinner (or lunch) for two, so it’s okay to spend a little extra on your steak and be a little indulgent as you take on this culinary classic.

Get the Recipe

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and for good reason:  you can have completely unmatched pieces of art but make them work together with a common theme. Choosing a color, texture or pattern to be the inspiration for your wall lets you loosen the “rules.” The tough part about those galleries, though, is actually figuring out what works — and what doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve come up with our top tips for creating a gallery wall. Once you’re ready to test out your ideas, upload your pieces to Shutterfly’s Design-a-Wall virtual tool to see what they look like together before you poke a million holes in your wall.

Tip #1: Choose Any Wall

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be limited to a foyer or living room. Choose walls that are normally bare, such as a staircase wall. HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino hung knicknacks on a bold red wall for an instant upgrade.

Staircase Gallery Wall

Tip #2: Add Personal Touches

Create a custom look by arranging your favorite photographs or souvenirs from your travel experiences in shadow boxes . Bonus: This idea serves double duty as a storage solution.

Vintage Shadow Box Gallery Wall

Tip #3: Pick Unexpected Items

A gallery wall doesn’t just have to be framed pieces of art. This wall of hollowed out, cloth-covered books was hung with upholstery nails in each book’s four corners.

Book Gallery Wall

Tip #4: Placement, Placement, Placement

Once you’ve chosen all your pieces, it’s time to think of placement. This is especially important when you’re creating a gallery wall above furniture. Be sure not to hang pieces too low or high — a good rule of thumb is eight inches between the base of the frame and top of the furniture piece, according to Jen Bekman, founder of the popular online art shop, 20×200.

Gallery Wall

Tip #5: Be Fearless

A gallery wall is your opportunity to express your passions. So, have fun and don’t worry about going a little crazy. Mixing up your gallery wall with your personal treasures will make your house feel like home.

Electic Gallery Wall

What are some of your tips for creating the perfect gallery wall?

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Congratulations to this week’s winner, Victoria!

Can you guess which fire pit belongs in this outdoor room?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win two TIKI Brand king torches — perfect for your outdoor space.

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 August 27, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on August 28, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $39.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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I can’t lie — the only thing that gets me through going back to school (and the approaching chilly weather) is having an excuse to buy new clothes, because you know, “I’ll be going to class every day and I can’t wear the same things over and over,” or my personal favorite, “There are so many sales going on right now, it would be stupid not to buy a few things for school.” My excuses are limitless. Feel free to use them to justify your own shopping spree.

But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “invested” (another one of those words I like to use) in a new season wardrobe that doesn’t go along with the popular trends. Our interview with Brad Goreski showed us what to look forward to for spring, but now we need to see what trends and styles will be big this fall and winter.

So before you make that all-important pilgrimage to the mall, brush up on the season’s biggest fashion trends so you’re not left with a backseat full of outdated duds.

Sweater Weather

Photos L to R: Mango, Zara, Madewell, Style.com Prada, H&M

Last winter’s dramatic over-sized sweater trend has been scaled back and refined for 2014. Designers showcased quite a few variations of knitwear for fall and winter, ranging from flowing merino wool and cashmere, to barely-too-big fisherman’s sweaters. Sculptural silhouettes were also heavy on the runways, but t-shirts and pants also received a knitty-gritty makeover. Knit t-shirts will also prove useful next spring where merino and cashmere sweaters have an unlimited shelf life.

More Fashion Trends

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Can you believe it’s already time for kids to head back to school? I feel like summer just started! Whether your family is already in the swing of early mornings and after-school homework or you’re preparing for the first day, this cute, inexpensive teacher gift is worth a look. Check it out:

Stuff the mugs with anything you think your child’s teacher might like: think candy, art supplies or a coffee shop gift card.

Decorated Teacher's Mug Gifts

Even if you don’t have kids in school, these porcelain pens are really fun to use and a great way to dress up plain mugs and plates for gift items or your own kitchen. Tell us: Have you played around with porcelain pens?

Missed an episode of HGTV Crafternoon? Catch them all, and more from Marianne, right here.

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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