Simple Fall Decorating Ideas

Ahhhhh Fall! Cooler temperatures, changing leaves, pumpkins and mums on porches, firepit gatherings, s’mores, cozy sweaters, leather jackets and boots. All of these things make me extremely happy. I want our home to be a place that is warm and welcoming; however, Fall is also my busiest season, so I don’t have time for much fuss. I try to take what I already have and fill in with mums I purchase from our high school cheerleaders’ fundraising project and pumpkins from the little market down the street. I always lean towards minimal styling and non-traditional, greyed down colors. And, there always has to be shades of blue/green in my world…even for my pumpkins! Years and years ago, my hand tinting instructor told me “Always add a little blue to your image. It gives the eye a place to rest.” This is so true for me! Blues are peaceful.

Bright orange, black and purple for Halloween isn’t my jam, and red and green at Christmas is just a little too expected for me. Have you noticed the “other orange” pumpkins? They are a bit more subtle and go beautifully with the autumn colored mums that aren’t exactly yellow or orange, but have a hint of both. I plan to purchase a few rectangular lanterns like these, to add some flicker at night and a different shape to go with all of the round pumpkins.

Here are few vignette shots of my front porch and foyer table. Minimal. Nothing fussy, overdone, or even expensive. There’s nothing difficult about throwing mini white pumpkins in a unique bowl. If I had found where I put my pheasant feathers, I would have mixed those in with the pussy willow branches. Pheasant feathers are one of my favorite things to use in the fall because the colors and texture are amazing. My husband brought back real feathers from a hunt in North Dakota, but you can also purchase them online. I’ve included a link at the end of this post. Ostrich feathers and raw cotton branches are beautiful too!

I love to eat pumpkin spice and cinnamon flavors, but do not like for my house to smell like it, unless it’s the real bread or cake coming out of the oven. Sweet smelling candles give me a headache, so I go for more masculine and earthy scents in the fall like the Le Labo Santal candle shown here, cedarwood, tobacco and leather, etc. Locally, I purchase my candles at Two Old Hippies and White’s Mercantile, two of my favorite Nashville shops.

What about you? What do you do to keep your fall decor simple, yet interesting? What is your go-to color palette? Leave a comment here or on my Instagram! I want to hear from you! Happy Fall Y’all!

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Williams Family Fall Mini Session Birmingham AL by Heather Durham Photography

Simple Fall Decorating by Heather Durham Photography

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Organic TeakWood & Capiz Bowl | Pussy Willow Branches | Pheasant Feathers | My art was purchased from At Home in Birmingham, AL but try Art (similar) or Art (similar) | Glass Jar (similar) | Bird artwork on easel | Voyage et Cie Santal Candle | Danny Clinch photography book | Sinatra 100 photography book | Raw Cotton Branches | Porch Swing

 

The Levin Family

A few years ago I photographed the Levin family at their beautiful Lake Martin home. So, I was excited when they asked me to photograph them again as their sons, daughter in laws and granddaughters all gathered at their home in Birmingham for Thanksgiving. The Levins are such kind people with adorable kids/grandkids. Clearly they have a great deal to be thankful for!

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Jonathan Savage Interior Design Hermes Christmas Tree

It was a pleasure photographing Nashville top designer, Jonathan Savage’s personal home decorated for the holidays. His Christmas tree was appropriately dressed in shades of his branded Savage Interior Design orange with Hermes bags under the tree for extra holiday cheer. His pup Artie was even in the holiday spirit for our shoot. Cheers!HDP-SavageChristmas-1crop_-WEB.jpg

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Designer: Jonathan Savage Interior Design • 615.244.5674

 

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours

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Crestline Home Gets Festive for the Holidays [Published Birmingham Magazine, December 2017 Issue]

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PHOTOGRAPHY | Heather Durham
FLORAL DESIGN | Lisa Smith, Thorne & Thistle
DAHLIAS | Stone Hollow Farmstead
TABLE SETTINGS| Robin Wilhelm, Tea and Old Roses
CAKE ARTIST | Amanda Hinton, A Joy Cakes
CALLIGRAPHY | Melissa Gullatte, Gracefully Made Art
INTERIOR DESIGN: Lisa Flake, Caldwell Flake Interior Design
ARCHITECT: Eric Dale
BUILDER: Paul Davis, Ruff Reams Building Co.

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Heather’s Picks for Simple and Fresh Updates to your Holiday Decor | 2017

We all love to decorate our homes for the holidays in a way that reflects our personal style; and every year, it’s nice to fill in and add to what we already use with a few fresh, new finds. Over the years of my career as an art director and photographer, I’ve had to style many photo shoots, so it’s fun when I get the time and opportunity to style my own home.

I stick with an airy palette of white, gold, greys and shades of green when decorating for Christmas. I also love the juxtaposition of mixing metals and luxurious textures like velvet, fur, and wool with organic elements like cedarwood, magnolia leaves, succulents, seeded eucalyptus, pears, artichokes and herbs. Try using a chunky wool or fur throw as a tree skirt instead of the typical store bought ones. One year I used a few yards of velvet fabric as a tree skirt. And, you can never have too many pretty, flickering candles in woodsy scents. Don’t forget to load up on white tealights for mercury glass votives and tapers for timeless wooden candlesticks like these and these!

Each year I purchase a live tree, garland, wreath and paper white flowers, because I love the softness and smell of fresh greenery in the house. I prefer to support local nurseries, like Collier’s in Birmingham, but since there’s not one near where I live now in Franklin, I purchased some at Costco.) In addition to using garland on the stair banisters, lay it across your dining table as a runner with mercury glass votives and taper candles scattered throughout. Given that decorations only stay up for about 45 days, and I don’t do after Christmas sales to buy ahead for the next year, I try to find new looks that are affordable. It might be just to add Christmas spirit in another room of the house like a playroom or study. Here are my picks for simple “freshen ups” and “fill-ins” to holiday decor this season. Hope you find a bit of inspiration for your own home. Cheers!

XO,
Heather

Holiday Picks

1.Anthropologie Snow Capped Candles | 2.Live Paperwhites in Reclaimed Box | 3.Velvet & Linen Reindeer Pillow | 4.Ivory Fur Stockings | 4.Flocked Pine Christmas Tree | 6.Gold & White Geometric Mug Set| 7.Turkish Dish Towel | 8.Christmas Botanical Print | 9.Chunky Wool Throw (use as a Christmas skirt) | 10.Mercury Glass Taper Candlesticks | 11.Live Olive & Eucalyptus Wreath | 12.Haus Interiors Mountain House Blue Spruce & Cedarwood Candles

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Festive and Fresh Holiday Decorating Inspiration [Published Birmingham Magazine, December 2017]

Entertaining for the holidays? Find some beautiful, fresh, colorful inspiration and tips to decorate your home in the current issue of Birmingham Magazine, on newsstands now.

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Photography: Heather Durham | Floral Design: Thorne & Thistle | Vintage China and Flatware: Tea and Old Roses | Cake Artist: A. Joy Cakes & Co. | Paper & Calligraphy: Gracefully Made Art

Chris & Emily’s Historic Rucker Place Wedding, Birmingham AL

Chris & Emily wanted an intimate ceremony with only family present to exchange their nuptials. They kept it simple and meaningful and it was perfect. And the way they looked at each other all day was the sweetest. You’ll see…HDP-Schmidt-3_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-10_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-24_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-61-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-62-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-86_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-103-2_-WEB.jpgHDP-Schmidt-106_-WEB.jpg

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You can see Emily and Chris’s Birmingham Botanical Gardens Engagement Session here.

Photographer: Heather Durham | 2nd Shooter: Becca Bell | Floral Design: Laurie Freidman, LSL Event Design | Wedding Gown: Diane’s Formal Affair​ | Tux: J.Crew​ | Bridesmaid Dress: Adrianna Papell​​ | Catering: Savoie Catering​ | Cake Artist: Edgar’s Bakery​

 

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Birmingham Magazine Summer/Fall 2017 Issue [Published]

Loved working again with an amazing team of friends/talented creatives on a fashion cover story in the current Birmingham Magazine Weddings Summer/Fall 2017 issue. Brides…need some inspiration for your wedding style? Pick up a copy on new stands now for ideas for every occasion, and where to get the looks… from the Engagement Party to Bridesmaids Luncheon, Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding.

Here are some of my favorite images from our shoot in the studio…

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Photographer: Heather Durham | 1st Assistant: Andi Rice | Art Director: Laura Buchanan | Stylist: Mary Beth Wetzel | Hair & Make Up: Kerri Bunn of Boma Beautiful | Models: Anna Kathryn Fitch and Ellie Martin | Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon: Leslie Nunnelly, Cocoon Silk Ribbon | Floral Design: Lisa Thorne, Thorne & Thistle

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A little something new from the studio…

Photographers sometimes have to step out of our norm (and what people are used to seeing from us) and do something completely different to fuel our creative juices. This is one of those times for me. Such a fun day of shooting in the studio with Ashley! And a big thanks to Cameron Powell for pushing me to create something different and allowing me to use his space to do it.

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Model: Ashley Owens of AMAX Talent
Assistant & DigitTech: Collin Fatke