Fall Decorating: My Dreams vs. Reality

posted by Andrea | 09/4/2012

I know, it’s only September 4 — but the day I flip our calendar over to September is the day I start thinking about decorating our house for fall.


The only problem is…  I’ve decided not to do much (if any) fall decorating this year.

No, I’m not a scrooge; I’m just tired and busy and tired of being busy. And since our house isn’t exactly worthy of company right now (see picture below), I figured there’s no point in spending any amount of time or money decorating it.

Maybe I’m alone… but I have a feeling some of you can relate to this too!

If you’re feeling a little TOO busy this time of year to make the time for festive fall decorations, maybe you can join me and live vicariously through other people’s decorations this year 🙂

photo source 

In my dreams…

…our 120+ year old farmhouse is fully decked out with colorful pumpkins, corn husks, hay bails, apple crates, leaf garland, berry wreaths, and more.

…I can smell the fresh bread and baked goods wafting out of our brand new oven; our freezer and pantry are stuffed with our favorite fall foods.

…I make the time for fun fall crafts (once Nora is a bit older)

…there are no less than 14 candles burning with scents of pumpkin, vanilla, cranberry, harvest, etc. and none of them tip over, drip wax, or leave soot behind.

…I have bouquets of fresh Dahlias and Sunflowers in my kitchen, dining room, and living room. They never wilt, and I never have to change the water 🙂

…my yard is perfectly manicured with fall blooms sprouting up everywhere. The trees change color at exactly the right time, and the leaves fall into nice neat piles so we can quickly and easily pick them up.

this is a picture of our front porch from last Fall. 

In reality…

…our farmhouse is somewhat messy and chaotic from moving furniture and trying to keep the dust from our kitchen renovation out of the rest of our house. There’s a decent chance that my bin of fall decorations will stay hidden in the basement for another year, although I might have to unearth my beloved pumpkin butter dish 🙂

…we don’t even have an oven to enjoy the smell of fresh bread… and instead of filling our freezer, we’ve almost emptied it out in our attempts to avoid eating fast food every single day during our kitchen renovations.

…I don’t do crafts. However, I do hope that I’ll get more into crafts once our kids are the appropriate ages.

…I’d love to light a few fall candles, but Nora is fully mobile and it doesn’t matter where I try to hide them — she WILL get into them. I do have a bunch of battery operated flameless candles that I’ll be showcasing later this week. They actually smell fabulous, so that’s what I’m using this year!

…there are no flowers, and unless Dave decides to buy me some, there won’t be any flowers.

…our yard — we won’t even go there. Our poor underground sprinklers didn’t stand a chance against the massive drought and scorching sun the mid-west experienced this summer. Our only hope is that something grows back next year. Seriously, it’s not pretty!

No, my house and yard will definitely not reflect my intense love of Fall, at least not this year. I’m OK with that though — and actually, I’m looking forward to keeping things really simple this year.

I’ll hang a wreath on the front door.

I’ll “burn” my battery-powered candles.

I might put up a few of my favorite “disposable decorations” (then again, I might not.)

We’ll probably carve one pumpkin for Nora’s first fall.

And if my kitchen cabinets ever arrive, I’ll definitely bake some bread!

There are other more important things I want to make time for this fall… so the decorations will just have to wait until next year.

I’ll continue to drool over all those gorgeous magazine photos (even though I know some of them aren’t exactly realistic), and I’ll continue to pin fun ideas to my Fall Decor board on Pinterest… but that’s it.

This year, I’m choosing to keep things simple… maybe next year I’ll get crazy with my fun fall decorations!

What are your favorite ways to decorate and prepare for fall?


Filed under: LifeMisc.

Leave a comment


  1. Sue


    Well maybe just decorate the front porch.. ( I love your front porch by the way ) and since your kitchen is still torn up.. every tme you need a “hit” of fall feeling.. you can move out onto the porch with a cup of something warm and relax..

    sue in NJ


  2. Melanie


    You know…it’s okay…really, is decorating all that important….NO! Your family is what really matters! Enjoy Nora, she won’t be little long! I know from experience…i have 4 teenage daughters!


  3. Summer


    Dreams vs. Reality is really an ongoing phase, especially with children. Each new age brings new adventures! It you keep adding children, you eventually learn/accept that it’s never going to be that ‘something from your dreams’ before children… However, the wonder, joy, and pleasure of the children fill your heart more than your dreams or ideals of how you always thought it would/should be. Remember to enjoy the time with each phase. My favorite saying … “As a mother, the days are long and the years are short..” It must seem impossible right now to envision as a young mother, with a young child, but it goes so fast. I have skipped certain things over the years, as life is busy and the children are too important to care if I really sent out Christmas cards even one year. For me, as long as they are happy, healthy, and thriving, that’s enough to fill my heart. All that said… I would LOVE my home to smell and look like fall, my absolute favorite time of year in Michigan! Perhaps when the grandkids come one day! : )


  4. Nancy


    I live in Southeast Texas, it was 97 yesterday. They say a cool front is on its way and may drop the temps to 91 ! If I put pumpkins on the porch, they would COOK !! I am anxiously waiting for fall 🙂


  5. Victoria@Snailpacetransformations.com


    I will bake bread (some of it will be pumpkin bread). I will probably start baking stews and chili’s again (if it ever cools down in Indiana) I will buy some fall flowers for the two planters that line my front steps but that will be it. I am not much of a seasonal decorator much like you I find life too busy.


  6. Jen @ BigBinder


    I am not crafty either 🙂 One of my favorite things to do in the fall (I mean in addition to apple picking and stuff like that) is Blandford Nature Center’s Harvest Festival. It’s October 20 this year and they have pumpkin painting and a bunch of fall crafty stuff Nora might like!


  7. Liz C


    My preferred changes for fall:

    * A good going-over and organizing everything possible (donations to charity)

    * Really CLEAN windows (and drapes on the windows that use those)

    * Lightbulbs all through the house get finally filled in

    * Opening all the windows for loads of airing out before winter arrives

    * SOUP. (And a friend of mine has a recipe for banana bread in a crock pot… 🙂 )

    I’m not big on seasonal decor, but I do love to open up the house and let the outside IN. We end up with small collections of tiny gourds, rocks, or leaves on windowsills, and this year, my oldest will likely dip some fall leaves in paraffin wax and hang them in our vestibule. We might put up the Yule Mustache early (no room for a tree, so we put a swag of fake greenery on the mantel, and decorate that instead) and add some fall leaves in there.

    But clean windows and crisp fall sunshine are about all the official fall decor I really, really NEED to enjoy the season.


  8. monica


    Its alright Andrea, you just get to plan for next year! For me, it’s too early to think about fall decor. I’m into late summer decor!


  9. susie


    I bought a pumpkin and today I baked pumpkin muffins! They were so good!!! I add a tsp. of fresh cardamon from finland, wish we could get it here as fresh.
    Thats about all I do…


  10. Living So Abundantly


    Fall has easily become one of my favorite seasons. Just think that God has decorated for you this year. Enjoy the outdoors! 😉 On the first day of fall(or that weekend), we try to light up our fall candles as we decorate. This year I have decided to break out our absolute favorite fall/winter cookie recipe for ginger cookies. They are the best, and they also make the house smell amazing(along with the candles, of course!). We might have to make the making of the cookies a new fall tradition.

    I totally miss living in Michigan during the fall. We always went to the cider mill. While I enjoyed the apple orchard part and picking apples, let’s be real. It was the doughnuts that were my favorite. 😉

    My favorite part of fall is all the yummy foods and the weather. 🙂 Wishing you a fantastic fall–early!



  11. Elizabeth


    Bath and Body Shop has a new candle that smells like bread baking. Maybe if you put it up really high Nora won’t get to it. Really high behind a baby gate. 🙂


  12. Linda Bolt


    I am a new empty-nester, and I think this year, I will decorate more for fall than in the past. Everything has a season! I will focus on the fireplace mantel, and around the front door.

    I will try to make those 2 areas fall-like and inviting, and not have decorations all over the place.

    I decorate for fall, not Halloween, and it stays up until just after Thanksgiving, when I start the transition to Advent/Christmas decorating.

    I do think Fall is my favorite season for decorating!


  13. evelyn of Smallish


    I just go over to friends houses who decorate really well & enjoy their set-up. It works really well! 🙂


  14. Valerie


    With a 6month old, who also fights sleep, btw, :-). I can sooo relate to ideals versus reality! I love fall too! And hope to celebrate with little things like pumpkin muffins and long walks and new nail polish colors.


  15. Bonnie


    A fall wreath and battery powered candles are a great idea. I think simple is best. In the grand scheme of things, being a mom is more important than decorations. Both my children have disabilities. They are a sweet blessing and they change your priorities.


  16. Jenny


    I also LOVE FALL!!! I got the same feeling when I changed my calender to September. I have 2 tubs of decorations I will be pulling out very soon as well as baking pumpkin bread and burning the fall candles. We just moved 12 hours away from all my friends and family and are a bit homesick so I plan to start decorating soon to boost our moods!


  17. Deb


    I love Fall, now that we are in Montana, it lasts about oh, 2 days, and there are mostly pine trees, so it is a lot different than the midwest when we lived in Maple Leaf City, USA, but we have a new house and have simplified greatly so I have one mum by the front door and one mum on the back deck and that is it for fall. I am just getting away from the clutter that has to be stored and guilts me into putting it up every year………….every party needs a pooper………


  18. Kelekona


    There are ways to cook bread in a rice-cooker or a crock pot.

    I don’t even decorate for christmas.


  19. Ivy Miller


    First are the candles, plug in air fresheners or scented wax melts. Then the center piece on the dinning room table. I LOVE halloween so there are pumpkins and scary things on the porch. I could go on and on and on… FALL is my favorite season!