Thursday, October 18, 2012

Marc Thee on the transition from summer to fall decor

Autumn brings with it a plethora of warm colors and while decorating according to the season is a great way to keep a home from feeling outdated, making the transition is no easy task.

Do I need a new theme for every season or should I just expand upon the décor I already have? What's the first step when making the transition from summer to fall décor? 

I never know -- which is why I'm always a season behind. 

Providing help to homeowners this season is interior designer and curator at Altogether Home, Marc Thee. Named by “Architectural Digest” as one of the top 100 designers in the world, Thee travels extensively around the globe to a variety of project sites. This not only allows him to share his expertise but to observe the way in which the choice people make with home décor is influenced by the weather and environment/region/state in which we live.

"Without a doubt the color of the sky is a main influence of your interior color palette," said Thee. "If you live in a gray climate, dial up the golden hues in your home for that warm, candlelit glow color, which will be uplifting to your décor as well as your mood.”
Homeowners in warmer climates such as Miami or California should decorate with breathable fabrics, whereas Michiganders should incorporate velvet or mohair, the kind of fabrics that you can snuggle up to when the weather turns cold.

As for making the transition from summer to fall, Thee said the most important step is to keep the additional décor easy to move in and easy to pull out. "It shouldn't be a big production. Add in a great cable knit throw and some hounds tooth, plaid or chevron pillows. Your color scheme can become a bit more saturated and a bit more dramatic during the cold, winter months."

Whatever the season, Thee said his trick for expressing the change is to bring nature indoors.

"In the fall, natural materials such as curly willow, bittersweet vines, birch branches, and driftwood feel just right in tall glass containers or terra cotta pots on the porch or fireplace mantel," Thee said. 

Here in Michigan fall is a time when families visit the apple orchards. "Rustic wooden bowls full of apples -- granny smiths are my favorite -- add enormous color impact without breaking the bank," Thee said. "Pile firewood into a large woven basket and tuck under an open console. (I love this look even when the home lacks a fireplace)." 

As for creating a theme -- Thee is a firm believer that you should design around a mood instead. "Be inspired by your surroundings," Thee said. For us it might be a lake or woodland area. "Use the colors of sand, water, natural grasses and sky. Use elements such as reclaimed driftwood that works in your interior at any time of the year. During the holidays, add in shimmering metallic accents for entertaining that will give your nautically inspired room new life."

If there was one item every home in Michigan should have for the fall it would be a throw blanket, said Thee. “Throw a flannel blanket down on the floor and surprise your family with a fall picnic indoors by the fireplace in the living room. Or if dining for two, repurpose a small table by moving it fireside for an intimate supper. Outside arrange four large rattan or wooden Adirondack chairs around an inexpensive fire pit for instant gratification,” Thee said. Then add soft pillows that you borrow from indoors and include throws for your guests to cuddle up under.

As for the biggest mistake homeowners make in decorating their homes for fall and winter it would be that they add in a lot of décor without removing anything, Thee said. “It ends up looking cluttered and crowded,” he said. “For each holiday or winter décor piece you add in, make sure you take one thing away in its place.”

Backyard composting class: I just want to remind everyone that the Macomb County Michigan State University Extension will be holding a basic backyard composting class from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the VerKuilen Building, 21885 Dunham Road in Clinton Township. No fee but preregistration is required. Call 586-469-6440. For more on the workshop visit the MSU Extension

To view Marc Thee’s Home Collection at Altogether Home visit Altogether Home
Send your comments or home and garden tips to Gina Joseph gina.joseph@macombdaily.com; @ginaljoseph

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