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Styling “How-To’s” & Tips

Festive Outdoor Decor to take you from Fall to Thanksgiving

Just a few easy changes make your home's decorations work from September thru November
Filed Under > Entertaining

The minute October, more like September, hits I’m ready to decorate my porch in all of the festive-goodness the season brings.  However, when I first bought my home four years ago, I found that I was spending a ton of money decorating for each season: fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. So over the years, I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to make my outdoor decor able to transition through the seasons with only minimal changes. And after a few rounds of trial and error, I think I’ve finally gotten it down well enough to share.

Before I dive into the details, I thought it important to share that this is not my home.  This is one of my Waiting On Martha Home Retail Manager’s gorgeous home. I think it’s important to state that because you may be looking at this and feel, “my porch is not near this large so this look just won’t work for my home.” Well trust me, my porch is tiny (like tiny-tiny), and this same formula works, I just use less of it.  So whether you have a giant farmhouse with a sprawling yard, a row home stoop, or even an apartment balcony you want to make feel more festive, this will work. I promise. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

When building the “bones” or base of the outside design I first start with the idea of fall. For me, fall means corn stalks, mums, and plenty of pumpkins. The great thing about starting here is it’s obviously the first season, but all of the fall decorations will also work for Thanksgiving.  If you have any pillars to work with, corn stalks are a great way to decorate those.  All you have to do is tie the stalks around the pillars using two ropes and then peel back the corn husks to reveal the corn.  Corn stalks are pretty inexpensive and will last from fall to Thanksgiving. Corn stalks also look great flanking each side of a garage, or any driveway gates or fences posts as well.  For this particular look, I used two bunches of stalks per pillar, so four total, with each bunch costing $10 each. If you know a local farmer, he or she may even give you a few bunches for free!

Next up, pumpkin stacks and mums.  Mums are the quintessential flower of fall. I love them because they come in a variety of colors and as long as you water them they can easily withstand the Georgia heat.  Typically I pick them up at Costco or Home Depot and then place them in my large apple barrel baskets which I get at Hobby Lobby. The apple barrel baskets will be a one-time investment that you’ll have for years to come. I personally love to mix up the sizes and colors of the mums to accentuate all of the colorful pumpkins.

Which brings me to my favorite part, pumpkin stacks.  Warning, this is the most expensive part of the look, but for me going to my pumpkin patch and supporting my local farmers is something I look forward to each and every year so I just bite the bullet and know that pumpkins are always going to cost me a bit of dough.  They’re costly mainly because I love the specialty pumpkins; the whites, greys, greens, and princess pink pumpkins which are harder to find.  These specialty pumpkins are also the easiest to stack because of their shape. I do make sure to work in the less expensive standard orange pumpkins, and also talk to the owner of the pumpkin patch about pumpkin rot which I suggest you do too  Because of the Georgia heat and also the bees, sometimes pumpkins rot before the season ends.  My guy makes me a promise that if that happens to any of my pumpkins I can just come by and pick out another at no cost.  That way I feel like my investment is worth it because I’m assured my decorations will last the entirety of the season.  Another option is to go faux. Faux will save you money year over year, and time. Plus faux pumpkin stacks like these have gotten very close to looking like the real deal.  Completely up to you.

To finalize our fall (which remember will also be our Thanksgiving) design I completed the look with a great wreath and doormat. I chose to go with a green pumpkin wreath rather than your traditional orange because I knew with the mums and pumpkins I’d have a lot of oranges already present. Totally your call though on color, just buy a good wreath. Wreaths can be a bit of an investment, but I believe they’re the one thing you should actually invest in. Out of everything you’ll see in this post I’ve had the wreath the longest, 4 years now.  And it’s still in perfect condition. I’ve purchased less expensive wreaths in the past and what I’ve found is they simply fall apart. So if you’re able to, listen to Miles Redd and “buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”  That and store it in a great wreath box like this

Lastly, adding a festive doormat is the perfect way to cap off any design. Because I typically find that all the fun, festive doormats, to be too small for the actual space I love layering the doormat on a larger rug such as this.  It adds depth to your design and allows you to switch out doormats easily. I’ve got a pumpkin doormat shown here, but just after our shoot, my new one came in that’s a bit more on the fun side.

I’ve scoured the internet and the closest I can get to mine (the one in the picture) is this one from Frontgate. Typically my store has these exact ones, but we sold out within the first week of putting them up. I promise next year I’ll buy more for y’all.  But there are some gorgeous harvest colored ones I’m loving like this one from Williams Sonoma that would look just as good.

And with that, we’ve completed the perfect outdoor design for fall and Thanksgiving. Now, without disrupting the overall scheme, it’s time to add a bit of Halloween into the mix.

To take my porch from fall to Halloween all I did was switch out the wreath and doormat, plus added a few crows and witches brooms.  

Because the crow wreaths were smaller, I decided to hang two vertically with fishing wire to really make a statement.  The doormat, witch-themed, to match my overall theme. Crows from Amazon I placed in the mums and on the pumpkin stacks. And lastly two crooked, old witch brooms from my shop. I mean how easy is that? Changes that took me less than 10 minutes to complete, with items I’m able to use for more than one season.

*Sorry the brooms are too tall to ship, but if you’re local stop in we’ve got plenty left*

Halloween Porch Ideas Halloween Porch Ideas

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way this look turns out each and every season and I know you’ll love it too and let it transition you from September thru November.  Happy fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving friends! Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors

How to Style a Coffee Table: Dissecting the Design

The simple formula to a well-styled and functional vignette
Filed Under > Get The Look

how to style a coffee table, waitingonmartha.com

I have this love affair with coffee tables.  Maybe it all started when I first saw MKR’s in her home; an oversized silver trunk with gorgeous coffee table books, candles, vintage calligraphy brushes and fresh flowers.  Ever since then, my appreciation for a well-styled coffee table has only doubled.  We’ve shared tips on how to style a coffee table here before, but we also believe it’s something that will never grow old…so here’s a short and sweet reminder with inspiration.

The pattern I find with the best coffee tables is that they all include a variety of depth, texture and height.  Stacked coffee table books and flowers are easy ways to add the height, while trays and accents infuse different textures and interest to the styled vignette.

I’m including five key pieces to consider when styling a coffee table.  What would you add to the list?  Do you style and re-style your coffee table often, like I do?!  Cheers, Kat

P.S. A few weeks ago we dissected the design for console tables, too.  Check it out here.  xo 

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE


  

Wainwright Coffee Table, White

One Kings Lane, $529

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The Surface
A great coffee table allows for room to showcase your personality and favorite objects, along with a coaster or two with your glass of vino!  

Don’t limit yourself to default coffee tables, however.  Think outside the box with vintage trunks, ottomans and poufs too.  

Hand Painted Leopard Tray, Waiting On Martha

Hand Painted Cream Leopard Tray

Waiting on Martha Home,$170

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Trays
Trays are quite possibly the most important thing you can have on your coffee table; they corral objects and separate the surface from small objects, creating much-needed depth.  

What’s great too: trays can be added to unconventional surfaces like ottomans and poufs to instantly create a coffee table look and feel. 

The Book of Chic

Amazon, $85

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Books
Coffee table books instantly add personality and interest; they make the space feel like a home, and of course entertainment for the lingering guest.  And the best part?  They’re easily edited and changed whenever it strikes your fancy. 

Stack your favorite books by color, by topic and/or size.  Get creative; don’t take the stacks too seriously and change them around until they’re just right. 

Gold Banana Palm Leaf Large Tray

Waiting on Martha, $58

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Accents
Accents are the fun part!  Incorporate items that reflect your travels and passions; the things that make you happy.  You can edit your collection often, keeping the space looking fresh and inviting all year long. 

Some of our favorite accents include anything and everything gold, trinket trays and dishes for matchboxes, candles, vintage calligraphy brushes, crystals and palo santo sticks

 

28" Cymbidium in Pot, Faux

One Kings Lane, $99

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Flowers
You can never go wrong with fresh flowers or greenery in a vignette! They serve as a vibrant focal point for the space, and offer added height and texture.

While fresh flowers on a weekly basis can get expensive, another great option is a small plant like a topiary, succulent or cactus that’s easy to care for (see our list of our eight favorite, easy indoor house plants).  Oh, and faux flowers are really quite impressive these days too! 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

How To Style A Console Table; Dissecting The Design

Breaking Down The Details of a Beautiful, Functional Console
Filed Under > Living

How To Style A Console Table, Waiting On Martha Blog

A styled console table, whether that’s in the entryway, hallway, or living room is one of our favorite times form meets function in every home.  So we thought we’d spend today breaking down just how to style a console table.

The console table pictured above, as well as the console table seen here, are some of our top-pinned images of all time!  In order to achieve a pin-worthy and truly functional space, it’s helpful to understand the different components of console table decor.     

When it comes to the actual “how” in how to style a console table, think outside the box. And let’s not forget what a console table can actually do for your home. The possibilities are truly endless; in fact MKR’s favorite version of a console table is actually used as a bar in her home and a coffee bar in the office.

Similar to the endless possibilities of what a console table can do for you is the decor that a console table can hold.  Trays, flowers, candles and art; the styling combinations bring beauty and organization together in one easy sweep.  

Balance is key.  Varied height with table lamps, accents and plants, along with bold accents and multiple dimensions all work in tandem to unify the design.  And while this space can be completely customized to show off your personality, it lends itself to frequent redesign with a simple edit of accents.

To go into a bit more detail, below we’ve broken down all of the design elements that make this space beautiful.  We’d love to know if you love a console table as much as we do and how are you using your console table?! Cheers, Kat

SHOP THE STORY  / CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE


  

Safavieh Ambler Clear Console Table

Overstock, $238.49

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The Surface
By starting with the surface, you’ll determine how big of statements you’ll use for the rest of the decor and accents.  Here, MKR has utilized the modern, clean design of a glass console table as the blank canvas to allow room for a show-stopping lamp, colorful art and statement stool to really shine. 

Other gorgeous options include ornate tables like this blue raffia, this natural grasscloth, and this bone-inlay console table.

One thing to consider: some console tables like this one have a lower, second shelf.  This will allow for more styling space, but will limit the use of stools and ottomans. 

Fashion-Walk by Ana Gaion

Minted, $178

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Art
Think of oversize wall art as the anchor of this space.  A bright, bold piece centers the vignette and gives it the dimension it deserves.  

Don’t want to invest in an original piece just yet?  Check out Minted and One Kings Lane for beautiful options for framed prints and printed canvases.  

Dixon Table Lamp

One Kings Lane, $599

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The Lamp
The next piece is a no-brainer; the lamp.  Not only will you want a lighting source on in this styled vignette, you will need the added height and interest it brings.  A table lamp instantly unifies the art and the styled items on the table.  MKR incorporated a stunning Mary McDonald statement lamp to great effect. 

More gorgeous options include this gold bamboo table lamp, this gilded beauty by AERIN, and this simplistic, and really reasonably priced, white table lamp

Perry Pillow-Top Ottoman, Beige

One Kings Lane, $795

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Stools & Ottomans
This part is what makes the space so pin-worthy!  Stools and ottomans are the perfect marriage of form and function, and they really take the vignette to the next level. 

Whether that’s a Moroccan leather pouf, a set of X benches, the White Hand Stool from Waiting on Martha as pictured above, or two chinoiserie garden stools, this detail always helps tie the space together.  Not to mention, it gives you a place to set your bag in the entryway! 

The Big Book of Chic

Amazon, $75

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The Book Stack
A stack of books instantly delivers the balance on the table that you’re aiming for; arrange 1-2 stacks with a variety in sizes—they don’t have to be perfect!  Have fun with your book selection, picking out titles and covers that show your personality and interests.  And MKR always reminds us to incorporate a pop of red in a vignette; here she used Art of the 20th Century to do the trick. 

Book stacks also act as the perfect pedestal for your favorite accents like a balloon dog, these geometric objects, a brass skull or this gold urchin

28" Cymbidium in Pot, Faux

One Kings Lane, $99

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Something Fresh
You can never go wrong with fresh blooms or greenery in a styled vignette.  Here, an orchid provides another point of interest and added height.  If you find yourself with a green thumb, having a live plant gives you the perfect excuse to enjoy this styled space throughout your week!  And if you can’t ever keep a plant alive, consider a beautiful faux option like this one

Gold Banana Palm Leaf Large Tray

Waiting on Martha Home, $58

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For the Trinkets
When you’re considering how to make this space as functional as it is beautiful, don’t forget a place to stash your car keys, especially if the console table is in the hallway or entryway. Decorative boxes and trinket dishes, like this one and this one, are the perfect additions to your book stacks and accents. 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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