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Fall home decor tips

Fall home decorating is all about creating a welcoming environment for friends and family to gather and enjoy a meal together or a drink around the fireplace. The perfectly set table or a few candles around the house can invite good conversation and help make family memories. Hilmar interior designer Melissa Ahlem offers the following tips when deciding what to include in seasonal home decorating:

Less is more

When walking into a store and seeing the myriad of seasonal decorating items it's often easy to pull too many thing into your cart, said Ahlem. She recommends picking two or three colors as a decorating scheme and that will help when deciding what to purchase and what to put back on the shelf. Also, think about pulling out an accent color already present in a room's design, said Ahlem.
Less is more is especially important when it comes to bedroom and bathroom seasonal decorating, said Ahlem. A few autumn colored items can bring in the season, without going overboard.
Choose items that can be used through October, November and December, recommends Ahlem. Metallics are still on trend from last season and a silver or bronze pumpkin can add flare to a room throughout the fall and winter.

Center of attention

Fall entertaining often centers around food, with everyone gathering at the table. As the social focal point, your autumn table should be a unique reflection of your family's personality, said Ahlem.
Candles, pine cones, pumpkins and gourds are all good items to use when creating a fall centerpiece.
For one fall table, Ahlem used butcher paper with a food theme print she found at the Hilmar Cheese Visitors' Center as a unique table runner. She topped it with Thanksgiving-worthy China plates and wine glasses.
"Don't be a afraid to mix it up," said Ahlem.
The butcher paper brought a playful element to the table, said Ahlem, on which young dinner guests could use crayons and spilled wine was no disaster as the runner could be thrown away after the meal.

Play around with texture and dimensions

Items of varying height on a dinner table or sideboard table can draw the eye. Just remember to allow for dinner table conservation, said Ahlem.
"Texture is also really important," she said. "It can set the mood."
Using burlap as a table runner or a woven basket at the bottom of a fireplace can bring a room to life. Wreaths of leaves, flowers and burlap can add instant holiday cheer and can be found at big retailers like Michaels and more unique shops, such as Vintage Market on Main Street in Turlock.

Smells like home

"This time of year is great for candles," said Ahlem. "Candles make people want to cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate and read a book."
Don't be afraid to invest in a few good candles, recommends Ahlem. A pleasant scent can make guests instantly welcome.

Melissa Ahlem is the owner of MeliAnne Creations. She can be contacted at (209) 564-6197 or