Looks like we pushed Rachel Pereira of Shades of Blue Interiors out of her holiday decorating comfort zone with our Halloween and Harvest Style Challenge. We sent her a mystery box of Home Depot fall decorations to use on her patio. It was full of faux pumpkins, cute Halloween scarecrows, and other such fall decorating items.
Turns out Rachel is not so much of an “orange” person. So, this certainly was a challenge for her! You certainly would not guess that looking at the fabulous backyard harvest festival she put together, though. It’s orange and yellow and red, and it’s bursting with fun details. From her fall tablescape to the hay bales around the fire pit, you’re bound to see some fall decorating ideas you’d like to use in your own home.
My holiday decorating style is usually pretty neutral with mostly blues, grays, and an accent color depending on the season. I love to incorporate vintage and hand-made items, not only because it is more affordable, but also because it puts love and my personal touch into the spaces I live in. When the mystery items arrived as part of the Halloween and Harvest Style Challenge, I will admit I was dubious if I could pull it off. There were mostly colors that I don’t usually decorate with: oranges, rusty reds, browns, and greens with some metallic/glitter elements. However, once my four-year-old daughter saw the little scarecrows that were enclosed and started hugging and chatting with them, I knew what direction to go: A Fall Festival!
I decided to create several ‘stations’ that would accommodate our family, plus some friends, so we could spread out and all have something to do.
The stations I wanted were:
- A dining area
- A seating area
- A fire pit
- Some games
- A serving station
After doing some brainstorming, I came up with a color palette for my fall decorations that could incorporate traditional seasonal colors, while staying true to myself: teal, navy, aqua (gotta have my shades of blue ;)), rust, mustard and pops of burnt orange.
The Dining Area
Coming right out the back patio doors from our dining room, I created an outdoor dining area by building a sawhorse-leg table and placing mismatched vintage chairs around it. Plans for this will be on my blog soon.
The table was built from cedar-toned pressure-treated pine 2 x 4s and salvaged tongue and groove boards my friend gave me from an old deck that was torn down.
The tablescape was created using cute fall tabletop baskets that were sent to me as part of the Style Challenge on either end, combined with some aqua-tinted bottles I had stuffed with faux branches.
To customize the baskets, I took out the fake metallic gourds and sparkly sunflowers and added fresh local apples and real sunflowers.
The dishes and serving ware are vintage, and I just added a pretty rust-colored linen napkin with a gold wire DIY napkin holder.
The Seating Area
For the seating area under the pergola, I dreamed of a cozy, intimate space that could still be open to everything else going on during our fall festival.
So, the first thing I did was build a coffee table, since we already had some outdoor furniture. I used basically the same design as the trestle end table I made earlier this year, only I made it shorter, wider, and sturdy enough to hold 160 pounds of concrete (the table top). The design plans for this table will be up on my blog soon.
The other thing we did for the pergola was add sheer white curtains all the way around. The installation was a very simple DIY and added a bit of elegance and privacy to this seating area.
The couch and chairs we already had and I just added some seasonal pillows and an indoor/outdoor rug. The deep seat cushions with pillow back on the couch were purchased at The Home Depot from their Hampton Bay outdoor collection. To keep them neutral for this fall festival, I wrapped them in canvas drop cloth, which can easily be removed and washed when the party is over.
The cafe lights we already had, but instead of stringing them only along the perimeter, I had done previously, I hung them across the center beams both directions. This adds a lot of light to the entire space.
The Serving Station
For the serving station, I utilized the outdoor Murphy bar I built earlier this year, and filled the table with harvest sweets: apple pies, powdered doughnuts, caramel apples, and apple cider.
The shelves on the inside I stocked with disposable cups, napkins and plates and adorned them with some faux gourds that were sent to me as part of the Challenge.
Because a fall festival isn’t complete without games, I decided to add a couple that are classic and easy to make. I used a vintage wooden tub to bob for apples, made a large pumpkin bean-bag game, and made a head-in-the-hole picture board.
Alongside the games in the yard is the fire pit, which I circled with straw bales, flannel blankets, and a s’mores tray. While you can’t see them in pictures, in the trees above, I hung some solar powered LED bulbs that The Home Depot sent me. They don’t turn on until it gets dark, but it adds a fun element to the yard.
A neat aspect of the layout is how you can see every ‘station’ wherever you are on the patio or yard. This makes it ideal for a large gathering, as it gives everyone something to do, but still helps them feel connected.
I love how the fall decorations turned out and so does my family! It feels like we added two additional rooms to our home by just adding some DIY tables, shopping my home, and adding in touches of seasonal decor.