Fall-ing

Today is the first day of my very favorite season. It is pouring rain outside (sideways) as I write this to you, but I don’t mind. I spent a good part of my childhood in rainy places, so I learned at a young age to not let less-than-sunny weather slow you down. This is also one of the reasons that I love, love, LOVE Fall! Some people love Spring or Summer, but Fall makes me feel more alive than any other season.

Image courtesy of educatall.com

Fall is also my busiest time for design work with clients and I love sharing my love of the season with my clients as they prepare for holidays and their own family events. I love designing rooms but I am most grateful for the trust that my clients honor me with as I help them get the most out of their homes. And Fall is the perfect time for wonderful things in your lifestyle and your home! Here are my favorite things about Fall:

Cooking & Baking

We have lots of Fall recipes that use seasonal ingredients, Autumn-type flavors (like cranberry, roasted meats and apples) and just cosy, good food with lots of savory spices. I love the feel of a warm kitchen and rich scents filling the house in the dusk of evening. Don’t you? I have several really good recipes planned to share on the blog with you this season, too. (You can see all of the recipes I’ve shared to date right here.)

"Skillet Apple Crisp" from America's Test Kitchen. Just click the picture to jump to the recipe!

Turning Leaves

I love the variety of colors that appear in the Fall. The deep reds, rich oranges, smokey greens, buttery yellows and dappled browns of Fall foliage can be like an all-day fireworks display. Mother Nature is such a show-off this time of year and we are lucky to live in a region where we really see a lot of changes with the arrival of the cooler weather. Speaking of which…

Last year's Fall view from my desk, where I write every blog post.

Cooler Weather Walks

Cooler weather beckons us back outside in the Fall to enjoy lots of walks and local festivals. We are visiting the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend, even though there is rain in the forecast. The cooler weather is also great time to get outside on your weekends an explore all the changes to your area. Long walks in fresh air wearing a warmer coat are all you need to feel like you’ve had a break from your work week. Why not see what’s happening the FREE National Parks near you? (You can read more about this idea in this post.)

Part of a path in Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC Image courtesy of the National Parks Service and your tax dollars

Special Days

The arrival of Fall marks the coming of several important anniversaries in our home. Mr. CARO and I met for the first time in Fall, we got married in the Fall and my birthday…er…”falls”… in the Fall. Taking some time out to plan little gifts, celebrations and surprises for each other is part of our happy Autumnal routine here. This has absolutely nothing to do with interior design, but I like to keep it real on this blog and that includes sharing how we really live in our own home. Real life is what we do here.

My birthday breakfast last year. All birthday meals come with candles in our home.

Cosy Bed Linens

I change out the bed linens in our home shortly after the arrival of Fall. I’m not just talking about adding blankets or changing to warmer sheets. I carefully designed our bedroom color palette to work with several shades of certain colors so we could move with the seasons. When we make this change, it really feels decadent, like we’ve had a whole room make-over to match the weather. I can do this for you, too, and you can learn how right here and right here.

Big, fluffy duvet? I'm in! Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

Sweaters

The softness of a really good sweater against your skin is one of the things I like to rediscover every year. We switch out our closet in early Fall and all the shorts and lighter tops/shirts get replaced with good sweaters. Even though I hate to stand around a fold clothes and pack them into their boxes for the other closet, getting out the good sweaters can feel a bit like Christmas morning. Especially if, like I sometimes do, you manage to forget what clothes you own from season to season. (Borderline pathetic, but very true.) “Oh, I LOVE this sweater!” is a common shriek of happiness for this ritual in our home.

Elegant, colorful, cosy. Image courtesy of Coldwater Creek

Tea & Hot Chocolate

This may seem like an obvious favorite thing. I don’t meet many people who don’t like chocolate. Have you ever experienced a rainy day where the light and the sound of the rain just makes you want to snuggle up with a cup of good tea or hot chocolate to watch a great movie or read something delicious? Fall offers a whole season of opportunities for this luxury. And speaking of reading something delicious…

This is my favorite kind of hot chocolate. You can adjust the chocolate quantity to be as strong or weak as you like it. Yum. Image courtesy of Amazon

Great Books

Just as summer welcomes the action-movie blockbusters, Fall brings all of the new books from my favorite authors. I am a huge mystery fan, especially if it is set somewhere less-known to me because I love to see how people live in different places. The quiet of Fall seems made for great escapes to the pages of a great book and I am already making a list of all that I want to read!

More sharing: My hands-down favorite author is Louise Penny, who writes a series of detective novels set in contemporary Quebec. Her beautiful settings are almost make me want to change my nationality!  Seriously, I cannot recommend her books highly enough…start with her first book, called “Still Life”, and you’ll be hooked, too.

Just out, this is #7 in my all-time favorite series of books, the Armand Gamache mysteries. Image courtesy of Louise Penny's lovely website

Holiday Planning

Lest we forget all of the fun holidays in this great season, I love the excuse to plan and make lots of lists. I’m a big list maker (try to act surprised), which has served me very well in two rather different careers. List making with a fun celebration at the end of it is a huge bonus! Costume supplies, candy treats, holiday baking, seasonal decor, gift-giving, meal planning, day trips with house guests, travel arrangements… So much list making is REQUIRED for these activities. Sign me up and I’ll be there smiling!

The more holidays, the merrier. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

It goes without saying that if I ever combine all of the things/activities listed above into one day, or even one weekend, which sometimes happens, I am on cloud nine. As in, my-face-hurts-from-smiling happy.

Are any of my favorite Fall things the same as yours? What do you love about Autumn that I don’t have on my list? Is anyone else craving hot chocolate right now?  What are you looking forward to this Fall? Leave a comment, please, and share!

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Posted on September 23, 2011, in Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. When I saw that hot chocolate, I wanted some….now!

    I love the changing colors, the cooler weather (don’t worry: you’re not the only one who is happily reunited with her favorite sweater). Fall is my favorite time of year, too. It’s not too hot. It’s not too cold. It’s just right.

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