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Fall Accessorizing, it’s Definitely Not Perfect!

I’ve had some time this week to catch up with some of my girlfriends. Sometimes this means it was a few minutes in the parking lot at preschool. Or a phone conversation. I definitely value their friendships and wish I had more time to spend with them (thankfully most of my girlfriends are mothers as well and recognize time is not something we have a lot of right now).

One of my good friends (who was also born a Cancer), and I were talking yesterday. It is really scary how similar our personalities are. She was naming off several traits that fit both of us to a tee. One of them was the ability to throw ourselves into something, not halfway but whole-heartedly!

I always thought this was a good trait (but certainly recognized how it can be all consuming sometimes). Then she stopped and said, “But there is one difference between you and I. When you see something new you want to learn, you throw yourself into it and revel in the challenge. Whereas, I am sometimes uncertain and afraid of failing.” I realize that we all have this fear of failure to a certain degree. Obviously some more than others.

 I have been skydiving once in my life. Was I scared? Yes!
But that emotion flew out the window, and then I loved it.
I will do it again someday, but not until my children are grown.

One of my challenges has been decorating. I wanted to share this with you because, decorating is not something that came naturally to me. In fact, I am somewhat tentative to even share some of these pictures with you. What I have learned has come from many designers and decorators (check out the list of “a few other sites you might like” on my sidebar) who have graciously shared their secrets and design tips with their readers through their blogs. One in particular has a motto that frees you from the “everything has to be perfect” mentality. The Nesting Place written by the Nester really forced me to forget perfection and “Just Do It!” (Sorry, Nike.) Her tagline says it all: “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I encourage you to hop (no, make that LEAP) over to her blog and download this FREE eBook on “It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to be Beautiful.”

I read the eBook from cover screen to cover screen. And I have thrown away those “perfect” shackles and made my house MY home. And I did it without spending a lot of money.

I have finally embraced Autumn and am willing to share with you my fall vignettes and decorations. I want you to know that I purchased very little this month (thanks to a very special woman over at the T-shirt Diaries. She challenged fellow bloggers to forgo spending anything on crafts, etc. this September.)  If I purchased it this year, I’ll share with you where and how much I spent. If it isn’t listed, I already had it in my stash. But, it is likely that I found it, transformed it from junk, or got some amazing deal on it.

Without further ado, here is my imperfect and inexpensive decorating for fall:

Wreath $12 from Home Goods purchased over summer.


 Bowl & fruit $15 from Craig’s List.


 Vase $2 from Goodwill, beauty berries & nandina berries from our yard.
$3 Goodwill distressed chalkboard frame details HERE.
$5 Pottery Barn inspired lantern from Habitat ReStore. Details HERE.
$2.49 Goodwill gourd painted HERE.
Books, bird, and birdhouse I already had.
Birdhouse is perched on $6 clearance candlestick from Target. 
$2.49 Goodwill Pear turned Ballard Designs knockoff HERE.
Apple from Craig’s List bowl above.
 Two more black candlesticks from Target (forgot price).
Both on clearance. I spray painted them black.


 Pinecones from our yard, orange/red dishtowel from the kitchen.
Basket fillers were free with 3 card Hallmark purchase.
Plant & pot clearance at Kroger $3.50
Books & cowbell passed down from our grandparents.
Pinecones & acorns from our yard.
Another dishtowel from the kitchen.
Urn from tag sale $3. It is heavy cast iron! 
Copper canisters were passed down to me when my grandfather passed away last year.


Splurge wreath! $19 at Michael’s last year.
Added maroon raffia ribbon this year.
 Simple 5 minute magnolia wreath, details HERE.


 Two pie pumpkins used as post finials. $2.50 each from Kroger.


 Grocery store pumpkins made into topiary and fringed rope (already had).


My boys love to get into the decorating act. 
They love to put their touch on our kitchen window each new holiday. 

I encourage you all to throw away that “perfect” mentality and try something new this month! It is okay if it doesn’t come out perfect. Love it if it is a reflection of who you are. If you hate it throw it away and use it as a learning experience, but don’t give up. Try it again!

Let’s not forget how we all learned to ride a bike or even walk. Were we afraid to try it? Probably. But, we tried it anyway. Did we give up when we fell the first time? No!

28 replies
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  1. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your decorations are beautiful! I can't wait to try a few of your projects. I tweeted this post so others could be inspired as well. 🙂

  2. Pam
    Pam says:

    If I was going for perfect I would never get anything decorated.

    I think I have that same wooden bowl minus the fruit. That looks very cute.

  3. Tardevil
    Tardevil says:

    So I'm wondering if you're a Triangle area blogger since I see a Duke Gardens post. I use to live in that area. Anyway, love the mantel, candlesticks, wooden bowl, etc. Wanted to tell you that when you're through w/ the gel window cling things, be sure to NOT put them on your furniture. My daughter did that w/ red hearts on her white dresser & we now have a permanent stain. Just fyi so the same thing doesn't happen in your house.

  4. Just this... Alice
    Just this... Alice says:

    Sometimes the simplist things are the most beautiful. Your mantle is outstanding and could rival any decorator's choice of decoration. There are times when just a little touch of something makes the difference in before and after,now it's wow factor. I see that in your fall decor photos. btw Loved your tute on the magnolia wreath.

  5. BillieBee (billiemick)
    BillieBee (billiemick) says:

    "Relax! Your Home Now" is my favorite. Wow! Don't we need to learn to do that.

    I'm posting a link on my Blog for this one.


  6. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal
    Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says:

    That Nester is a pretty smart chick. I have had to learn to let it go too. And you did a wonderful job. Your fall decor is beautiful!

  7. Stephanie
    Stephanie says:

    I love what you wrote on your chalkboard! Friends and family members will think I have gone off the deep end if I don't do it perfect or at least try…it seriously is part of my personality, but I do know when to let go. I am going to duplicate your pumpkin topiary, thanks for the inspiration. I have two urns at my front door with just dirt in them, they plants always die. This is just the thing to perk up my fall decorating.

  8. Green Willow Pond
    Green Willow Pond says:

    You have beautiful fall decorations. My house is topsy turvy from switching rooms and redecorating. It's hard to get into seasonal decorating when everything is a mess. Sigh…but I'm sure enjoying looking at everyone else's!

  9. Paige (Final Clothes-Out)
    Paige (Final Clothes-Out) says:

    Ditto on the not-so-perfect thing. I'm a graduate of the "good enough" decorating school. If it's good enough for me, and it makes me happy now, then it stays. It might not grace the pages of Elle Decor, but I don't care!

    Your fall spaces look so cute, by the way. Keep sharing your ideas!

  10. kathie
    kathie says:

    I, for one, am more than happy to throw away the 'perfect' mentality 🙂 It is always a relief to hear someone else say it, too, though 🙂 Thanks!


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