Cottage Journal

Autumn-Inspired Home Decor

See how this designer lets the beauty of fall inspire her Connecticut home decor

Since fall is a time when nature dazzles the senses, why not decorate your home with the beautiful bounty surrounding you? Whether it’s an eye-catching display of colorful leaves, harvest-time produce, or complementary accessories, you can easily bring the glories found outdoors right up to your doorstep and beyond. That’s what designer Gloria Parker does each year once autumn arrives. Because her 1830s cottage already exudes a bygone enchantment, she doesn’t have to add much—just enough to enhance her comfortable, well-appointed rooms for the occasion. “When I decorate for parties, I use natural things,” she confides, “whatever the season provides.”

Because of her love and overflow of books, Gloria’s dining room also functions as her library. When not being used for meals, her dining table serves as a great spot to display picture books and design manuals. Note also that no two chairs are the same. “I’ve never liked sets of anything,” Gloria explains.

Simple, everyday items like her collection of books, favorite pieces of pottery, and vintage family photos set in antique frames turn Gloria’s tabletop from ordinary into a pleasing ensemble when interspersed with fall produce and foliage. 

Rather than painting or staining kitchen cabinets all the same color, Gloria creates an unexpected touch of whimsy by using several colors. This mix of palettes gives the kitchen a lively, comfortable look that invites her visitors to make themselves at home.

These simple embellishments, along with her collections of dishes, glassware, and accessories, are sure to spark lively conversation among her guests. As always, her wonderful abode provides a congenial backdrop for such joyous seasonal gatherings. “Antique houses are a privilege and a responsibility,” Gloria concludes. And it’s apparent she handles both callings quite flawlessly!

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