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In September, we gave Color of the Month status to the bright, beautiful persimmon. It seemed to perfectly epitomize the point between summer and fall and, oh, the delicious accessorizing possibilities! That choice took two meetings and lots of wrangling. Though by the end, it was obvious what the color should be.

For October, the choice was much easier. It was a color our team loved for September, which met all our rules except being available in stores. (Remember, our criteria for picking colors are: (a) it has to be seasonal (b) up-and-coming (c) and easy to find.)

October’s Hue, Unveiled

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I will gladly say goodbye to unbearable heat and humidity for the soon-to-arrive crisp fall weather I’ve been impatiently awaiting. And this change of season ushers in hues of chocolate brown, pumpkin orange, burgundy red and golden yellow that we embrace year after year. Let’s welcome our new friend and bring in that warm fall glow that may inspire a seasonal change to your decor.

Pretty Handy Girl


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It’s September, and in the Northern hemisphere that means the return of crisp mornings, football games and school supplies. It also means our staff is poring over magazines, blogs and websites, and talking with color and shopping experts about this season’s hottest colors.

So what’s the Color of the Month for September?

design-happens-restoration-hardware-beddingIs it the runway-fave camel, translated into bedding, like this from Restoration Hardware?

design-happens-erinn-valencich-gray-bedroomOr this season’s new neutral, gray? (Design by Erinn Valencich)

design-happens-horchow-tufted-sofaOr do you prefer a more traditional autumn color like wine, as illustrated by Horchow’s beautiful, tufted sofa?

Maybe it’s an unexpected hue like peacock, blush or olive?

We’ve got an idea, but before we lock it in, we want to hear from you.

Need a jump start? How about 10 fall color schemes?

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Move over, chocolate. Fall 2010 brings with it a new neutral: gray.

Pantone calls Oyster Gray the “classic neutral that grounds the (fall) palette.” CB2 weighs in with graphite furniture and accessories, while Horchow glams it up with platinum. For a crisp look, pair this season’s darling with yellow or white. For romance, marry it with blush pink. Check out these spaces showcasing fall’s hottest color trend.


From COLOURlovers


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Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Not much time left before guests arrive. I have a few ideas for simple centerpieces that are big on style but can be put together using elements gathered on a walk through the woods or from your own backyard.


Okay, in all truth, these hedge apples (a.k.a osage oranges) didn’t come from my backyard. A neighbor has a well-established tree that dropped fruit the size of softballs onto the sidewalk. I just slowed down on my walk and scooped em up. Placed in an antique brass urn, they add a bright chartreuse pop to my dining room.


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The weather here in the Southeast was beautiful this past weekend. So nice, in fact, that I decided to head outdoors and tackle some end-of-summer yard work. We had plenty of rain this year so my garden had a great growing season and many plants were way overdue for a good trim.

I started with my butterfly bushes which had become ginormous — beautiful, lush, fragrant and huge. The vibrant purple, fuschia and pink blooms are simply too pretty to put at the side of the road for pickup, so as I trimmed the limbs I put the blossoms into a ready container of water. I learned the hard way that butterfly bush blooms are a finicky lot; cut blooms need to go straight into water or they wilt and don’t recover.

blog-kitchen-double-arrangementMy kitchen received a bright pop of color courtesy of the trimmed butterfly bushes and a few fern fronds.  


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That’s right! The royal color in Pantone’s shade of Purple Heart is popping up everywhere this season. It’s decadent and refined, but most importantly it adds an air of creativity to any space. Whether you want a touch of purple or a full-on look, we’ve put together a fun list of purple products with our new styleboards. Click on the picture to get the details on each product.


Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite finds for each color from Pantone’s Fall Color Trend report. Be on the look out for American Beauty (a lush red), Honey Yellow, Warm Olive and even Creme Brulee.

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What’s the best thing about fall? The leaves! What’s the worst? The leaves. Gardening editor Marie Hofer suggests asking yourself some questions when deciding when – and even if – to rake. First, do you care about your grass? “I wouldn’t suggest not raking if the grass is completely covered for a long time and you want to keep it healthy and vigorous. Leaves block light,” she says. “If you want a woodland setting beneath the trees and you don’t care whether you have grass, obviously don’t rake.” Second, what kind of trees do you have in your yard? “Some leaves such as silver maple and locust curl up and break down rapidly and you don’t have to worry about those as much. Other leaves like oak are more leathery and will stay around for a while.” Deciding whether to rake in phases or one time once all the leaves have fallen is up to you, but in general, removing the leaves from a lawn you wish to keep green is wise fall yard maintenance. Turn your hard work into rich fertilizer by reusing those leaves to help feed future plants by composting.

I actually enjoy raking. Some friends would say that’s because I’m a brand new homeowner, and I’ve had less than a year to experience the (potentially) back-breaking job of removing those once glorious leaves from the yard. But, alas, they do not know how much fun I had helping with outdoor fall chores as a child. Mostly I remember jumping in leaf piles. What a treat that was! My sister and I often had yard duties, but it didn’t seem like work because my parents made it fun. The responsibility of raking a large, tree-filled yard was more manageable because the whole family pitched in. The substantial job became an exciting outdoor event rather than a chore.

I must have channeled some of those childhood memories on Halloween this year. I arrived home from work just before dusk, eager to light the jack-o-lanterns and dish up the candy. My husband was working late, so it was up to me to prepare for our first trick-or-treaters as a married couple. As I pulled into the driveway I noticed the blanket of gold, orange, red and brown leaves covering the front yard. “How beautiful,” I thought. I was energized. Surely I had a few minutes before the little goblins began arriving.

In a flash I was raking, breathing the crisp air – thankful for the two majestic maples in the front yard. I raked the leaves toward the curb in one long line and, after a few minutes, looked down the row of leaves and noticed a few slight curves. It resembled a snake. As I worked, I accentuated the curves, making some sections fatter than others. This hungry snake needed a head, so I quickly gathered materials from the yard. Before I knew it, the leaf serpent had come to life. There were a lot more leaves in the yard than I first thought, so I raked up three more piles by the front door. Those became leaf monsters with their own facial expressions created by sticks, rocks and a few late- blooming marigolds. The whole process was therapeutic. I was even inspired to pull up the dead plants I had grieved over and integrated them as well – making my spontaneous yard sculpture more lifelike, which to my delight, amused trick-or-treaters young and old.
I’m looking forward to when I’ll need to rake the last leaves that cling to the trees in our yard, leaving behind green grass and barren trees – beautiful in their own right.

For more tips on maintaining your yard every season of the year, check out’s Gardening section.

Do you have any tips for tackling seasonal yard chores, for getting the entire family involved?
What are your favorite fall memories?

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