fall living room

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Holiday, Living Room, My House53 Comments

You’re all amazing.  I just need to say that.  All of your comments in reply to my “things have changed” post were like a huge hug to me.  I know that sounds cheesy, but they really were.  What’s interesting is that after I posted that, it was such a relief to me and it pushed me through that “stuck” feeling I’ve been struggling through the past few weeks.  I took the pressure off of myself and creativity bloomed.

Lesson learned.

Well, for today, anyway!  I’m sure I’ll have to learn it again and again.

So, with the creative spurt, I decided to do a little fall sprucing in the living room.  Fall decorating for me is just putting a few natural elements out, mixed in with things that are out every day.  I used to be someone who had four or five bins of decorations, but I realized it just wasn’t “me”.

Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate people who artfully deck out a space in loads of holiday garb, but one day I realized I wasn’t one of them and I was okay with that.


So, I just pick up a few mini white pumpkins and “sprinkled” them around the room.  I like to tuck them into blue & white handleless cups, wreathed in a little nest of moss.  You may have noticed this is a go-to for me.  Tuck a candle, a pine cone, an apple, a little pumpkin, into a pretty cup with some moss and call it done.  I go to it again and again, because it’s so simple and pretty.


So, I added a few pumpkins to the primitive hutch and it’s just enough.  Orange pumpkins would be nice here, too, but I prefer the white.  I actually wish someone would come out with mini cinderella pumpkins in the soft orange or the blue and green heirloom varieties.  I would get behind that!





On the industrial cart coffee table, I added a single pumpkin to a tray, some ironstone platters, a little succulent and a cast iron bird.




On the marble-topped dresser by the door, I added another pumpkin and a bowl of mini pears I picked up at a local farmer’s market.




And I added a pumpkin to the dental cabinet in the “foyer”, which is really just a corner of the living room.


This one has the most impressive stem I’ve ever seen on one of these little guys!


And, of course, Sebastian is proving to be a bit of a ham when the camera comes out.  He acts very nonchalant about it, but he seems to sidle his way in the shots and gives me little sideways glances to see if I notice him.


A little note about that ficus tree in the corner.  I bought it, thinking it was about the same size as the previous ficus tree I had in that corner, but this one is about a foot taller and flirts with the ceiling!  I’m not going to stress about it too much, because it’ll probably be dead by the time I’m decorating for Christmas, when it’ll be replaced with a mini evergreen.

I’m doing really well with some houseplants, but I haven’t quite figured out these finicky ficus trees…

fall living room

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53 Comments on “fall living room”

  1. I like your fall touches very much and oh those pears look enticing. Isn’t Sebastian funny. I always say my dogs make me laugh every day. What a wonderful trait. Glad to hear you feel less stressed.

  2. Still waiting to read and see the story about the new sectional. hint hint…….love your home no matter how you decorate.

  3. Everything looks wonderful whatever you do!
    As far as the ficus goes I have learned over my many years select a spot and leave it. When I would move them they would loose their leaves and sometimes died. Very finicky but beautiful tree. Good luck.

    1. I find that iFicus binnendijkii ‘Alii is a much sturdier and more resilient variety.That’s the one that has very long, skinny leaves. Nothing here seems to kill it 🙂

  4. I love the serenity in your home. It inspires me to edit my house to only those things i love, that bring me joy. The white pumpkins provide the fall spirit without adding visual noise. Gorgeous.

  5. I’ll tell you what i do(did) for my ficus. I bought it in the 80s. It is now a good-sized item. I kept it in front of a window (just like yours is) without direct sun shining in on it. I watered it when it was bone dry because I usually forget to water my plants, which all thrive, by the way. I got tired of it so I gave it to my daughter and she does the same thing. So for being 30+ years old, it’s doing great. You do know they drop leaves, just like other trees and that doesn’t mean it’s dying. Good luck.

  6. Love your touches of fall! I have a question about your painted pieces-the light colored ones, are they all the same paint color? I would love to paint some of my wooden pieces, but I guess I’m OCD about them matching. Thank you for sharing your lovely decor!

    1. I just wrote a post about that, if you look a couple of posts back. The answer in this case is no, though. All of the pieces are painted in different colors. The hutch is a custom mix of Trophy & French Enamel, the jelly cupboard is Linen, the sofa from is Grain Sack with a gray wax over it and the marble-topped dresser is a mix of Grain Sack and Ironstone.

  7. I just love your home – it’s good to see things again, and with the beautiful fall touches. Regarding the soft orange/green/bluish heirloom pumpkins and wanting them in “mini”… our grocery store just came out with small “squash” in these colors (about the size of small acorn squash). They are a bit pointy on the bottom but look like pumpkins on the top. So if you’re going to be putting them in cups or setting them into moss, it might be just what you’re looking for! I passed them up because of the pointy bottoms, but now that I’m reminded of how you use your minis, I’m going to go back and get some. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. Just remember, a ficus is a tree that loses it leaves in the fall, just like oaks or maples, etc., outdoors.
    Vacuum up the leaves, keep it watered and in spring it will leaf out again.

    Love the pumpkins and pears and moss.

  9. Most ficus trees will lose their leaves when you bring them inside. Doesn’t mean they are dead. They are just acclimating to their new environment. So if you can bear with them through the “dead” stage look, new leaves will come back.

  10. I have been silently following you for several months now and you are an inspiration! I just wanted to note that the ficus will adjust to whatever the light level is where it is placed and does not like to be moved. Every time you move it, it will have to readjust to the different light level and will drop leaves. Also, beware that it will also release a sticky residue which can be hard to clean so take care what you place under it.

  11. Lovely inspiration – now I feel great about the long piece of bark I found on the ground. It has a curve to it where I placed a pine cone.

  12. You can’t move a ficus! Once you’ve found a good spot for it, you have to leave it there for life.

  13. If you move them around they will drop leaves. Best to find a good spot and keep it there. if you are going to move it for your Christmas tree, you might want to find a new place and keep it there permanently.

    Pat Smedley

  14. Love your blog. Remember “if you take care of yourself you are taking care of everyone else”!
    My husband has reminded me of that many times. It’s so true!

  15. You definitely have a big <<>> from me!

    Your place looks great… Ready for fall without going overnoard… I like it… Hey, you should think about designing some product lines and putting out a book… Wait, you’re already doing that.

    I just want you to know that your previous post inspired me to get a mum plant and put it in a basket, on the dining table… Now I just need to find some interesting pumpkins or gourds.

    Remember, your blog posts might usually be full of all kinds of photos and text. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up and, on days,l when time is at a premium, just post a paragraph or post a pic and a caption. Try interspersing your usual (wonderful) posts with ones of different formats and lengths. See what the response is. See how you feel. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox now?.

  16. Do you have another room with the same light exposure? You could move it there over Christmas. But clearly it loves that spot and if you place it on the floor it will get taller. I had one forever, probably 30 years. They look good with Christmas lights too!

  17. Just love all you do. I’m kinda stuck myself. Our walls are mustard (which I love and don’t plan to change). I have decided to paint one of our cabinets (newer) navy. I have a lot of red so I think I will like it. Getting rid of several antiques; just changing things out. Then, I’m painting the bathroom navy as it has white bead board. Well, we shall see if like it after it is done. Of course, want this done before Christmas decorations go up. Guess I better get busy!!

  18. I’ve killed so many fig trees I think they quiver when I walk by! If you discover the secret to keeping them happy, please share, I really do love how they look as an indoor tree.

  19. Regarding ficus trees, don’t move them yo a different spot if they are doing well. Only water them once a week and the tree should do well. I have a tree that my dad started from three leaves over 20 years ago and it’s still doing well.

  20. OMG, I have that same transfer ware pitcher in about the same condition, but I can’t part with it. It was one of my mom’s finds, and in 1962, I did an oil painting with a bowl of strawberries and that was supposed to be a creamer, I have no idea where that went. But, I know what you mean about being stuck…so I’m stuck here on the tail end of a remodel, and stuff is just not right yet, so I’m not posting.

    Thanks for the lovely incentive…simple is always better around the things you love. Sandi

  21. I love simple, i really don’t like all that orange, i purged most of my stuff last year and i am so glad. I love your home and all you do.

  22. Expect your ficus to shed some leaves once in awhile. Don’t overwater it. Don’t change the pot unless it’s a pot that’s only about an inch larger than the one it’s in. If it’s too tall, you can trim it back. If it’s getting to much light just move it to the other side of the room. I had one for over 20 years, moved it from Colorado to Missouri and it lived until I just got tired of it and passed it to my daughter.

  23. Ficus go crazy in south Florida. Our neighbors had a shed that had been engulfed by a ficus. For the most part, think…south Florida…sunny, warm-hot and humid or moist. Falling leaves are common on ficus trees…no Autumn in S Fl. So new leaves are ever growing. If yours decides to survive…it can be trimmed and will grow fuller. Enjoy!

  24. Marian,
    Your white Boo Boo pumpkins are just the right amount of Fall for me, too. They give a seasonal look without causing the entire room to be rearranged. Beautifully done!


  25. Marian, you give my heart wings! To know that I can truly part with all of those “bins” of decorations is just…. so… freeing! I am with you….. It is just not “me” either. It is time I make peace with that and love the simplicity that is truly me…..THANK YOU! P.S. Your decorations look FABULOUS! It truly is the little things!

  26. Silly girl, Marion…just use a shorter table under your ficus!
    LOVE that YOU found that adorable long-handled pumpkin.

  27. Sorry this is a bit off topic,but I could not get my email to go thru.
    You had posted once about a source for furniture casters,if you are willing to share your source that would be awesome!

    Thank you
    Have a joyous evening

  28. I buy cheap $1 plastic pumpkins at Walmart and paint them in Annie Sloan chalk paints like old white, French linen, etc.Thay way I don’t have to buy them every year.

  29. I like the way you have placed those cute little white pumpkins about your room. I have a black and white theme for fall so I have papiermached various size plastic pumpkins with book pages, dictionary pages, music sheets, etc. Painting plastic pumpkins with chalk paint that color coordinate with room decor would be fun too.

  30. What is that GLORIOUS trailing plant on top of the dental cabinet??? Is it Baby Tears???
    It’s amazing!! Must be very happy in your house!!

    1. No, it’s not baby tears, but I don’t remember what it is! I bought it last spring and it was pretty small at the time, but it has really loved it in my living room. It just keeps growing and growing and isn’t fussy at all!

  31. I always enjoy seeing what you do for decor in your beautifully simple house. I am really liking what seems like an innovation this year and that is the use of the little white pumpkins for Fall decorating. I have some little orange faux pumpkins I intend to paint white, but haven’t yet, so my Fall decor is not very far along. I really prefer real pumpkins though, and love the way you have scattered them about in your house. The teacup with moss is a nice idea, too.

    I am happy that you are getting to do some designing and writing and can’t wait to learn more about these new endeavors. It’s good to accomplish new endeavors, I think. It keeps us from getting stale doing the same thing over and over. So just relax and take advantage of the new opportunities. You are so faithful to your readers, posting nearly every day. I think you could maybe cut back a little and we wouldn’t abandon you! Or like the other reader said, just post a nice photo and short comment. We’d all still be loyal, I’m quite sure.

    Thanks for all you share of your work and your life, Marian. It sure does make my life a little more interesting.

  32. I love the “touches of fall” rather then a full on display. I just ‘inherited’ someones rather large and root bound ficus tree. I am going to root prune it and put it in my dining room. I expect it will shed quite a bit after that but recover nicely. Has anyone ever done this to a ficus tree before?

  33. I purchased a silvery greenish blue pumpkin at Stop and Shop for $5.99. I placed it on a square westmoreland milk glass pedestal cake plate I bought for steal at a barn sale.
    I just love all of your ideas in this post. Once my kids out grew trick or treating I stopped using the typical fall decor.

  34. love the white pumpkins — so simple, yet elegant. And if you ever decide to part with the “for sale” sign, please let me know. Love it!

  35. Don’t fret about the ficus. They will drop leaves whenever they are moved. Just water once a week, they don’t like wet feet, and keep in bright light, but not direct sun. I’ve always loved your home, but now? With the addition of the lovely one himself? No home should be without a dog. They bring their own brand of life to any room they are in. Love Sebastian, he’s glorious!

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