Bring the outside in with these easy diy autumn decor ideas

Vases with twigs

Vases with twigs - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nature makes various transitions throughout October and November; it’s a visually pleasing time. It may not offer the freshness of a green summer, says Andrew Bullock, but the variety of autumn brings with it plenty of scope for interior design, using elements from the outdoors

Collect conkers and arrange on a vintage metal plate

Collect conkers and arrange on a vintage metal plate - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Autumn happens in stages

Unlike winter (which can feel like an interminable state of bare trees, frosty windows and foggy mornings) autumn is about change and colour. At Christmas, we decorate our home with strands of ivy, sprigs of conifer, boughs of holly - and we display a whole tree in our living rooms! It’s just what we do - and it gives the home that special sense of seasonal pageantry.

There are just as many opportunities to do this over the months leading up to Christmas too. October is all about pumpkins and bright yellows and oranges. The trick is to ease the mellow season into the home subtly.

Go green

Terrariums are a great way to keep a bit of greenery in the house well into the colder months

Terrariums are a great way to keep a bit of greenery in the house well into the colder months - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


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Many plants will still be displaying greenery at this time of year so bring in some of this fresh palette and display sprigs of green in vases. It is autumn though – so while you’re at it, snip off some of the branches that are starting to turn yellow and orange and dot them in with the greenery as well. Gather some sprigs of berries (from outside or a florist) and place them in the arrangement. This will retain a fresh look around the home, while celebrating the turn of the season.

Into the woods

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It’s a rustic time of year, and nothing quite gives a natural aesthetic to a home like wood. Twigs make for a structural centrepiece in a vase – perhaps in a corner where you can be generous with height. Willow is particularly striking. For an added touch entwine some fairy lights around the twigs. Select orange or white lights for that extra autumnal glow.

Twigs can look effective scattered on surfaces too. Not everywhere, just in intriguing spots around the living room or dining room. A few pretty twigs strewn across a mantelpiece, or a bundle of sticks tied with string in the middle of a dinner table can both look very chic. Logs should be used in and around the fireplace.

Still life with vase, book and apple

Still life with vase, book and apple - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nature contained

Bark makes a fab filler for glass hurricanes or bowls. Acorns, conkers, moss, seeds and even certain types of nuts can work brilliantly too. Pine cones are a particular favourite at this time of year, and horse chestnuts can look great in a display, as well as sycamore spinners. Add a fashionable metallic look with some judicious spray paint – avoid getting too Christmassy too early by combining sprayed elements with natural.

Mini pumpkins look great in a variety of clear containers (but keep them mini – larger gourds should be saved for later in the season). Copper and tin canisters also make for great display tools, should you prefer to mix up the glass.

Splashes of colour

Sunflowers are a gorgeous, bright early autumn bloom

Sunflowers are a gorgeous, bright early autumn bloom - Credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

Terrariums are another summer-to-autumn feature that can boast a last splash of green from the warmer months enclosed in a glass casement. Ferns, moss, trailing plants and rooting plants look great in this kind of surround.

If you prefer cut flowers, simply choose the best of the season from the florist or, if you’re lucky, your back garden. Sunflowers, speckled roses and calla lilies in reds, oranges, purples and duller greens will all look very autumnal. Finish these off with sprays of wheat sheaf, dry grass, yarrow or caspia. Also popular at this time of year are flowering kale and cabbage, which come in an array of colours but are particularly eye-catching in pinks and whites.

Harvest festival

If you’ve worked hard all summer cultivating your fruit trees and vegetables, put them on display around the house in between picking and eating them. Bowlfuls of blackberries, pots of apples and harvested ears of corn all make intriguing decoration ideas.

You can even up-root carrots and display them in vases. Because these need to remain fresh, this idea works best when looking for temporary feature ideas if you’re hosting a dinner party or a gathering.

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