It’s hard to believe that Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay hasn’t done much fall decorating up until now. You certainly wouldn’t know that looking at the distinctive fall decorating ideas she shows off in her living room all dressed up for the season.
Joni is one of the style bloggers of note we invited to participate in our Halloween and Harvest Style Challenge. As with others of our Style Challenges, we sent mystery boxes of Home Depot fall decorations, and challenged the bloggers to come up with fresh ideas and DIY projects for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorating.
We have seen Joni’s elegant, airy style on display in the spectacularly charming children’s play house she created for her little girls, and the backyard pergola she styled with a casual, natural vibe. You’ll see her love of natural elements and bright, clean spaces in play here with the way she styled her bookshelves and fireplace mantel for autumn. And, as always, she offers us some very clever and simple DIY decorating elements, too!
I’m really excited to be participating in this fall’s Style Challenge. I have never really done much for autumn decor, but I’m finding that with little people in the house, it becomes extra fun to decorate for the season and make it special. When it comes to fall, however, I’m not really super into the creepy Halloween stuff (love the dressing up!) and warm colors aren’t really my favorite in the house. Starting with this fall decor inspiration board, I tried to create a bright, simple tribute to this cozy season.
Great Built-in Bookshelves
I was also really excited to tackle a project I’ve had on my list for quite awhile now: create some built-in bookshelves to the left of the mantel. We don’t have a ton of extra storage space in our little bungalow, and the book storage is currently at a premium. This was the perfect excuse to make it happen, and I’m so happy we did!
What you need for the built-ins
12 – 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 in. select pine boards (front/back trim and front strips)
10 – inexpensive brackets
White paint for wall and shelves
Put them together
It was actually not as complicated as it would seem. With the help of my dad, we used five 1 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft. select pine boards and added a strip of 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 in. select pine to the back and the front of each one, with two gaps in the front for the front strips. I used these inexpensive brackets , spray painted gold (and hung upside down because the shelves are less than 12 inches deep) to support the ends.
To start, I painted the whole wall and the shelves a bright white, then we hung the brackets, and then the shelves. There is one screw per shelf on the back strips to add a little extra security.
The gold brackets look really great, and add just the right bit of detail to the shelves.
Those sweet little sugar pumpkins (which you can find at The Home Depot!) add the perfect bit of fall mixed in with the books, and I’m pretty crazy about the adorable mercury glass owls, which make great bookends.
The photo above the mantel was taken by the awesome Sara Harper of my girls dressed like Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit, which I thought was a fitting image for the season. You can do something really similar by following this DIY poster wall hanging tutorial (except I used ¾ in. square dowels here, instead of furring strips). Such an easy way to create a large scale piece of custom art.
That garland is made from wooden beads (which you can find at most craft stores), some decorative pumpkins and gourds, and brass fittings (which you can find in the plumbing section of Home Depot). I painted the mini-pumpkins matte black with chalkboard paint, drilled small holes in them, and strung it all together with sisal twine.
Also, as a side note, if you are looking for a house plant that is easy to take care of, go for a snake plant. I can safely say this as I have had this one for about six months now, and it’s still thriving.
I don’t have much of a green thumb (or rather, I just don’t have time for a green thumb right now with littles running about!) but this one manages to stay happy with very little attention.
One of my favorite little details is this wall hanging, which was inspired by these wall hangings. It seemed like an easy way to highlight some nature finds from the season. I just used the sisal twine and wooden beads to hang the items. I’ll be honest and say my original plan was to go treasure hunting with my little girl Vivi, but the timing just didn’t work out for this shoot– I’m planning to do another with her, though. Such a fun way to display backyard treasures!
I also have to say I’m pretty smitten with that white pumpkin (did you know they have white pumpkins and heirloom pumpkins at most Home Depot stores, too?). I wish I had gotten more before taking these photos, but I’ll likely be heading back to get several to place on our stoop. They are just so lovely and sculptural!
I’m so happy with the way the new shelves turned out! The extra storage will come in so handy, and the fresh, white coat of paint makes everything feel new. Hope you are inspired!
See more of Joni’s autumn mantel decor, including some subsequent additions and tweaks on Joni’s blog.
Joni Lay offers decor ideas and inspiration, along with posts about raising her babies on her blog Lay Baby Lay. It’s packed with style boards, photos and even some of her own prints for sale.
Visit The Home Depot’s online Holiday Decorations Department for everything you need to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.