By Adam Strong
Possibly the only downside to living in the most perfect climate on earth is that we South Floridians don’t get to “experience” the change of seasons. (I might add that it’s a small price to pay, but then you’d think me an idiot for stating the obvious.) This is easily corrigible, since the arrival of autumn is a perfect time to snazzy-up your home in a way that evokes the colors, textures—even the smells of fall.
Open bookcases and shelves are perfect spots to place silk fall leaves, available at any local craft store. Strategically placed along the shelves—and pressed inside a picture frame—orange, gold, and yellow autumn-colored leaves will add some free-fall to your spaces.
Pumpkins and Pedestals
Pumpkins (yes, it’s that time of year again) placed on a shelf, on a hall pedestal, or as a table centerpiece will give a healthy hint of autumn to any zone in your place. Miniature pumpkins stacked near a fireplace, or place in a bowl, also invoke the memories or fall. THOSE Are Pumpkins?
White pumpkins—naturally white, not painted—are a novel (and striking!) way to add some jazz-and-snazz to your autumnal décor. They are also known as Ghost Pumpkins, Snowballs, Luminas, and Caspers—with the tiny ones (about the size of a baseball) called Baby Boos (that’s so sweet, I need an insulin shot now).
White pumpkins are a little more expensive than their orange relatives, but their “ghoulish” look makes for an interesting canvas to draw or paint Jack O’Lantern faces, and of course just displayed by themselves, uncarved. (When you carve them, you find that they have orange flesh beneath the white rind, which just adds to their ghostly appeal when you place a candle inside.)
For the Birds
Pheasant feathers and artificial owls, displayed with pinecones and gourds, add an organic, woodsy, and rustic touch, turning a fireplace mantel, countertop or hutch into fall vignette. Pomander? I Don’t Even Know Her.
A pomander (from the French pomme d’ambre, “apple of amber”) is a ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris (from whence comes the name), musk, or civet. First mentioned in 13th Century literature, the pomander was worn or carried in a vase, and used both as protection against infection (during times of plague) and as a natural deodorant. Pomanders were also used as an early form of aromatherapy.
In modern times, pomanders are made by studding an orange (or other fruit) with whole dried cloves, and then letting it ‘cure dry.’ The modern pomander can be used to perfumes and freshen the air, and to keeping dresser drawers with clothing and linens fresh, pleasant-smelling—and moth-free. Like Victorians and medieval royals, you can use the sweet-smelling scent of pomanders to mask odors and to fill your home with citrus freshness.
There are several different ways to make pomanders (all of them using sweet smelling cloves), but oranges work best, I think. You can find a complete “recipe” for homemade pomanders this week, at guymag.net. Fall into fall, baby!