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October 1999 Issue
Seasonal Style
by Jenny Wojcik
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We live in a time when we look to Aromatherapy, Feng Shui, or divine intervention to soothe the ills that the simple act of living life brings. We want to know stuff and know it quickly. We want to make a connection with our natural selves and our higher selves - as long as we can do it in a weekend. We want to do it and be done with it. And often, we ingest so much information so quickly that we fail to absorb anything truly useful. Here’s something you need to know that we recognize; we’re all busy and we’re approaching the busiest time of the year. It’s almost the holidays (already) and we’re not ready. We still haven’t painted that room or cleared out the summer clothes from the closet! And now someone wants me to DECORATE for the season? Come on.

First let me tell you that we’re all in the same boat, really. Sure there are a few who have completed their Christmas gift shopping and have already baked and frozen 4 dozen cookies, but they’re in the vast minority. There are always a few who seem to get it all done so quickly and without effort, but believe me, procrastination can be fun. Well, ok maybe not fun, but it keeps things interesting.

It’s my contention that God is indeed in the details and that little things mean a lot, especially in our need-to-get-it-done-and-move-on-to-the-next- thing mode. Now, what if we did (simple) small things each season to update our décor? Our moods change with the seasons. We change what we wear with the seasons. Honestly. We may always wear black to slim our size, but we would never wear sandals in the snow.

Ever wonder why our moods change with the seasons? The weather changes, our clothes change, the photographs on our calendars change. Many of us put snow tires and chains on our cars for the winter. We tend to cook more soups and warmer foods in the winter and consume salads and lighter foods in the spring and summer. So why not accessorize a little differently and take charge of our moods as the seasons change?

All of our senses are working all the time. Scents (Aromatherapy), visual stimuli (furniture placement and energy flow ala Feng Shui), sounds (clocks ticking, music playing) the touch and feel of texture (fabrics and patterns) like the colors we choose to surround ourselves with, set moods. The mood might be invigorating, calming, or just comfortable, but we are influenced by color.

While it isn’t necessary to change your entire color scheme, you can enhance your rooms by adding colors appropriate to the season or the mood you want to create. There are some who go so far as to slip-cover their furniture in crisp linen white for summer, and if you are so inclined go for it, but if not, try adding some of the colors below and see what a different feel a color gives your surroundings. Remember too that these lists are neither all-inclusive nor exclusive. It’s intended as a guide to get you started in a seasonal direction.

  • Spring Palette - Pastels - Light/Airy
    Pale yellow, lilac, mint green, pink, and sky blue

  • Summer Palette - Brights - Vibrant/Warm
    White, vivid red, fuscia, blue, purple, bold yellow, forest green

  • Autumn Palette - Earth tones - Natural
    Brown, gold, burgundy, eggplant, olive green, gray, rust

  • Winter Palette - Jewel tones - Rich/Elegant
    Winter white, silver, black, jade green, ruby red, and gold

Accessories that are inexpensively changed from season to season include plants, flower arrangements, decorative pillows, throws for a chair or couch, heavier drapes for autumn and winter -- lighter ones for spring and summer. Change your linens, your tablecloths, placemats, or napkins. Perhaps a bedspread suits you in spring and summer, but a down comforter is the ideal thing for abating the first chill of fall or the cold that winter invariably brings. Update the wreath on your door by removing out of season colors/flowers and adding in-season ones!

What you change and how often you make that change is up to you and your own sense of taste and style. And even if you’re one of those people who put it one way and leave it that way, change something and see how you like it. (If you hate it, you can always put it back, right?)

For those of you who think I’m unrealistic for even recommending such a thing, you too can use these lists. Since colors work together to depict a mood, an attitude and a frame of mind, concentrate your color palette on the earthy tones if you want an autumn feeling all year long, If summer is your year-round passion, stick to brights.

It’s fall now and winter’s coming. If you’re a summer person, look for the brights still available in nature and add them to your décor. Look around the yard for berries and leaves of gold, green, and brown. A little hot glue, a basket, and some sticks -- you’ve got a fall centerpiece or a door garland.

Holidays are (the best) part of winter. So even if you refuse to change accessories any other time of year, you are probably inclined to add a little sparkle for the holiday season. If so, look to the jewel-tones to spruce up your spruce, caress your cedar, or pick up your pine! If you have a wreath, add a new ribbon and some fresh evergreens. If you don’t have one, make or buy one and hang it on your mantel or your door. (It's sure to improve your mood.)

Maintain your sense of style no matter what. This isn’t hard, really. And besides, doing little things now will give you time to procrastinate about baking those cookies, buying those gifts and the other zillion things that are surely creeping to the top of your list. Speaking of lists, I should go make one. Or maybe I’ll do that ... tomorrow.

DÉCOR DATA (NEWS YOU CAN USE)

    October is the month when North Americans celebrate All Hallows Eve (Halloween). Try this for a crafty outdoor decoration. Stuff a man’s shirt and slacks with newspaper (or any stuffing material that’s handy) finishing at the cuffs with raffia or hay. Prop "him" in a chair outside your door. Create his head from a pumpkin which is held up from behind the chair with a broom handle. (By coring a small hole in the top and bottom of the pumpkin and sliding the broom handle through it, the "head" will be stable.) Paint his face any way you’d like, add a large hat and you’ll have a perfect greeter for your goblins. "He" can hold the basket of treats, or simply be standing guard over a frothy cauldron of dry ice!



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