I have discovered a plethora of perks to our new stage of life in Kentucky. I am sure I will share many of these perks as time goes on, but for today I will discuss two that directly pertain to the autumn season.
First, the kids are grown and on their own, and we are retired from the grind of a set-in-stone schedule. This means I have a lot more time on my hands. Oddly, this translates to getting less done each day then when my schedule was overloaded, but I suspect that has more to do with aging, which I’d prefer not to talk about…… Any-who, I have successfully utilized my free time to decorate our lovely home on a seasonal basis. Christmas is the only holiday I ever bothered to decorate for and as my favorite, it is still the one I go crazy with. Autumn comes in second, the emphasis on harvest decor as I am not a big fan of Halloween.
Obviously, decorations cost money, which leads me to the second perk. For some reason, in this neck-of-the-woods, thrifty antique stores and peddler’s malls are all the rage. They compete with churches for being on nearly every street corner! Much to my husband’s mild chagrin — since he has to help with hauling the numerous big bins up from the basement storage room — inexpensive holiday decorations are abundant in such stores. I’ll talk about my Father Christmas obsession in another blog but suffice to say I now have a moratorium on buying any more of them!
Additionally, Bardstown has an annual Craft Fair every October and not surprisingly, autumn/Halloween and Christmas themed crafts are plentiful. As for decorating our house, I wait until a week or two before Halloween and keep the decoration up until after Thanksgiving, at which time they are packed away and switched for the Christmas adornments. Therefore I haven’t busted out the trinkets for this year. The following photos are from 2019 and 2020.
Our front porch spans the entire length of the house facade. Generally I keep the decor centered around the entryway, and it changes somewhat each year. For instance, the hibiscus seen flowering to the right sadly didn’t make it through the harsh winter, even though we pulled it inside as we have in years past. These items are a nice mix of things I have bought and ones I made. The “Welcome” crate was purchased at the Craft Fair, the rag doll and chair pillow at the peddler’s mall, and the scarecrows at the Dollar Store eight years ago! The broom and small chair were also bought at the peddler’s mall, but I added the decorations. The coleus bushes (annuals) had been growing all summer so were wonderfully huge, the only autumn addition the enormous apple barrels I found for $5 each. Wrapping the hibiscus pot with burlap was an idea from Pinterest, where I get most of my decorating tips. The burlap, autumn-colored ribbons, and fake leaves all came from the Dollar Store. I love a good bargain!
I won’t show all the areas inside the house, limiting to the main locations. This is the bakery rack in the foyer, which we keep relatively uncluttered (except for the at-hand dog leash) so it can display seasonal decor throughout the year. Again, what is here is a mix of Craft Fair and thrift store purchases.
Also in the foyer, to the left of the front door, is this awesome creation from the 2013 Craft Fair, the first we visited after our move to Kentucky. We love it so much that for two years we kept it there. Now I pack it away and since we have a huge potted plant in this corner, the item ends up in a different location each year depending upon my mood.
To the immediate left of the foyer is the dining room. First I must point out the stunning photo on the wall. The autumn scenery was taken at Bernheim Forest just 20 miles from us, and the photographer is my talented husband Steve! Visit his website for collections of incredible landscape photography: LuvTheLightPhotos
The adorable Pilgrim husband and wife are peddler mall acquisitions which I spruced up with some fresh paint and high-glass spray. The cornucopia horn I bought for a whooping $5 and then stuffed with assorted flowers, pine cones, and late-season squash (all fake, of course). I love it so much!
Lastly for this tour of the Lathan house, the china hutch has become the official pumpkin patch. An array of ceramic and fabric pumpkins are watched over by a scarecrow farmer. The turkey is outside the theme, I know, but I love how his legs drape over the corner so this has become his designated perch. I suppose he can be the Guard Turkey keeping predators out of the pumpkin patch!
I could continue on with photos since I have many other cute statues and fall flowers in vases scattered about the house. The areas above have settled into an established look, with slight variances each year. As for the living room, nook, and kitchen, the objects I’ve collected so far and whatever new finds I can’t bear to live without (LOL!) end up in different places. It takes a day or two of careful work to safely stow away the normal knick-knacks, clean the empty surfaces, and then perfectly place my harvest season decorations, but it is a task I excitedly anticipate each year.
Now I am curious what y’all do. Big decorator? Halloween vs. Harvest? Nothing at all? Let me know!