Autumn Home Tour: Simple Decor + Vintage Details for a Cozy Autumn Vibe

It’s well into the fall season and I am just now getting around to giving this autumn home tour. Total slacker, I know.

Being in a small apartment, we kept our autumn decor pretty minimal this year.

This year I have so many new pieces to decorate for the seasons—the english plate rack, china cabinet, baker’s rack, our new canopy bed, the oak craft cabinet. Not all of these pieces were decorated for autumn, but I’m going all out for Christmas this year so stay tuned for a ridiculously festive holiday home tour next month.


Let’s start the tour off in the kitchen. Remember the English plate rack I built this summer? It’s been excellent for storage and I love the simple decor we put up there for fall—the coffee thermos is a recent antique store purchase and it’s going to style beautifully for every season.


When picking a color to paint my new canopy bed, I knew it had to be a shade that would work well for every season. I typically decorate my entire home—from the entry to the bedrooms and bathrooms—for each season. The sage green, autumnal golds and rusty oranges all pair so well together and make for one cozy snuggle spot.

Mercury glass pumpkins and gourds adorn my huge window sills. Sunlight pours in every morning and the mercury glass gives off the prettiest sparkle.

Living room

That little leaf bowl on my coffee table is one of my favorite vintage autumn decor items ever. I always place a seasonal wreath on that box spring feature light.

This autumn we welcomed a new plant into our home—this cute meyer lemon bush. Apparently it should flower and produce fruit this year. No blooms so far, but I’ve had it for about two months now and it’s still alive. So hooray for that.

I’ve shared my Halloween Old World Light covers with you before, but I also have Thanksgiving and Christmas versions. The Turkey is my absolute favorite!

I recently posted about phasing out some of my old decor, and these pillows are prime examples of items that will be leaving. I’ve been slowly building my vintage pillow collection but haven’t found many good autumnal patterns yet. I’ll get there.

McCoy vases are so versatile and look ridiculously pretty no matter where I put them. Every season I find a way to fill them with beautiful blooms that match my decor.

I can never resist taking photos of my cute pups when I’m photographing these home tours. I’ve gotta share the cutest part, right?

Dining area

I painted this antique china cabinet earlier this year and the mustard is obviously perfect for autumn. Not sure I’ll love it as much when it comes time to put Christmas up, but it looks daring with my pheasant soup dish up top for now.

I have a serious addiction to beaded table runners. This one is a favorite—gold beads, velvet fabric and maple leaves. It’s so pretty.

I bought this wall hook at an antique store in September for $15 ish and intended to hang it in my bathroom for towels. Then I realized it would be perfect in the dining room for our Christmas stockings, so that’s where it ended up. A bit odd to have Christmas stockings on your dining room wall, I know—but we’re limited on space so I’m just doing what I can with what I’ve got. I’m sure it will look lovely, so check back in a few weeks for my holiday home tour!

Another photo, another beaded table runner. Plus my pretty goodwill candlesticks (remember them from my apartment tour from a few years ago?) I searched forever to find the perfect pair and I still love them.

We’re still on the hunt for the perfect antique farm table. It’s been on our thrift list for months and we’ve found a few that were close to what we want but not perfect. So for now, this metal top 50’s table is sticking around.

Autumn wreath

Did you see my post about how I made that pretty autumn wreath from dried leaves, acorns, pinecones and walnut shells? It was a fun and simple project—the best kind.

That’s it for the autumn home tour, folks. For Christmas I am really planning to go ALL OUT this year. Our pretty holiday things have been packed away in storage for too long and it’s time we dig it all out!

We’re so excited to set up our miniature Christmas village this year for the first time (a new tradition in honor of Sam’s grandparents and some other lovely family members).

I’ve also never given a holiday home tour here on the blog, so I have tons of vintage Christmas decor that you’ve likely never seen! Can’t wait to share it all with you.

(We’ve actually already decked the halls here and the house looks so unbelievably gorgeous and magical! Head over to my IG for some sneak peaks!)

A sparkly + bedazzled vintage brooch lampshade

If gaudy, over-the-top and sparkly aren’t your style, you may not want to read (or look) further. If the repurposing of vintage jewelry would be deeply upsetting to you, please click away.

Otherwise, let’s take a look at the prettiest, sparkliest lampshade that I’ve ever seen!

The quest for dramatically embellished lampshades began when I spotted this amazing vintage pottery lamp at an antique store in Texas last January. I was antiquing with my sister and it took me two seconds to snap this cutie up. Then six months later I found a similar lamp on Etsy and ordered it for my husband’s bedside table. They’re a cute coordinating pair.

In my mind, I imaged the lamps paired with lovely faux flower adorned shades—something similar to this Anthropology shade that I’d been in love with for the better part of a decade:

Although I still loved that Anthro shade, it wasn’t exactly the right size or color combo for my room (and they also stopped selling it many years ago). What I really imagined was a lamp shade bedecked with handmade wool felt flowers and possibly some botanic-themed embroidery.

But then…

I pulled out my collection of vintage flower brooches last week for an Instagram post I was working on and the idea hit me—why not use the brooches for my lampshade?

I had already found the perfect shade for $1.00 at a local thrift shop and I figured it would be a fun experiment if nothing else. When I bought the shade, it was very dirty and had some stains, so I gave it a quick clean before painting on two layers of DecoArt’s Chalky Finish Acrylic Paint in “Primitive” (I watered the paint down and allowed it to dry overnight in between coats.

It took me a while to figure out how to attach the brooches to the lampshade. This is NOT a tutorial, but I did take some photos of the process just to serve as inspiration for anyone wanting to create something similar.

To begin, I used a piece of wool felt as a base, cutting it to fit one panel of the lampshade at a time. I wanted the shade to look as if it had been unevenly “dipped” into the sparkly brooches so I cut my felt accordingly—just a thin, imperfect border on the bottom of each panel.

Next, I gave each felt panel more texture by layering it with bits of floral lace and sequin-embroidered scrap pieces. It was lucky for me that I have lots of scraps and crafty things to work with. Being a hoarder does come in handy sometimes.

After the felt had a base layer of lace on top, I carefully arranged brooches and jewelry pieces until I was happy with how it looked. It was not a very technical process. I simply played around with the pieces until the color combinations and sparkle factor met my expectations. The last step was to hot glue each jewelry piece in place and then glue the entire panel to the lampshade.

I only had enough vintage jewelry for one lamp shade (I wasn’t willing to use most of the pins from my collection—some pieces were just too special to hot glue to a lampshade) so I’ll have to figure out something else for Sam’s side of the bed.

Well, there you have it: my over-the-top floral brooch embellished lampshade. What do you think, gaudy or gorgeous?!

Note: I did remove the pin and earring backings from most of the jewelry pieces with a pair of pliers before glueing them down. If this upsets you, just know that I mostly destroyed pins that were already broken or deformed. I also destroyed many pairs of vintage clip-on earrings. They look prettier on my lampshade and no one wears clip-ons anyways, so you’ll have to forgive me.

Decorating for autumn with vintage finds

Happy Fall, friends!

Okay, we’ve still got four days to go until it’s official, but I’ve been busy decorating my apartment all week and we had our first coolish weather day here in VA, so close enough, right?

As I was decorating this week, I snapped some quick photos of my favorite vintage and antique autumn decor items to share with you.

I know from experience that it can be so fun to head to a store like Homegoods or Michael’s and go crazy buying faux pumpkins and autumnal garlands. But, I want you know that there are other options out there for seasonal decor.

My style has been undergoing a major shift recently. I find myself weeding out all of those Homegoods decor items in favor of vintage finds or natural elements. I’m still keeping some modern things—like the collection of mercury glass pumpkins I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics years ago.

But mostly, I find myself wanting to use my limited space to display items that are really special and unique—handmade and vintage pieces, mostly. Pillows that say “Give Thanks” just aren’t doing it for me anymore (although I am still working on transitioning these out, tbh).

So, what fall decor am I loving? Let’s take a look at some of my favorite vintage autumnal things.

This amber glass cake stand was a recent $12 find from a thrift store here in VA. It’s perfect for displaying my scrumptious seasonal bakes!

Ceramic figures are something I’ve been collecting for years—found one or two at a time, usually for $1.00 or less each. These cuties are perfect for placing on small ledges and bookshelves, or for creating vignettes in lanterns. I also have a large collection of brass figurines—deer, birds, bunnies, etc.—that are perfect for fall.

This vibrant leaf dish is one of my all-time favorite thrifting finds. I don’t remember how much I paid—maybe $5.00?—but it was a Goodwill score from when we lived in the PNW. Right now, it sits on my coffee table and collects coasters and remotes, but it’s also beautiful as a candy dish or console bowl for keys, etc. Search “USA Pottery 809” or “USA Pottery Leaf Bowl” if you want to find one on Etsy or Ebay. I see similar pieces all the time when thrifting and they are so fun to hunt for!

I’m a little apprehensive to give away the secret of these gorgeous vintage light covers, but they are too pretty and cute not to share. My mom collected these Old World Halloween light covers in the 1980’s/1990’s, so I grew up with them being displayed for Halloween every year in our house. Old World also made Thanksgiving and Christmas light covers, which I collect as well. Sometimes, the prices for a set of these light covers on Ebay can be ridiculously high—especially for the Halloween ones! Hold out and look during the off-season—I usually spend about $20 to $30 for a set, not $100 or $200! They can be found at antique stores, but I don’t see them often.

My mom found this maple leaf pitcher set at a thrift store in Florida and gifted it to me. How pretty is it? I am sure it was less than $10 for the pitcher and four glasses because she usually gets ridiculously good deals.

Vintage planters and vases are another collection I have been building for a very long time. I mainly collect shades of green, but if I find a really special piece in a different color I will sometimes make an exception. Orange, yellow, purple, teal… all of these colors coordinate gorgeously with floral arrangements for the fall season.

Hello, Mr. Turkey. I decided to start collecting amber glass turkeys after seeing a beautiful table setting in an old Martha Stewart book (her turkeys were Jadeite, though). I’ve only found two so far, but both were from Goodwill and cost about $6.00 each, maybe less. Once I have enough turkeys, I plan to replicate Martha’s beautiful table setting for Thanksgiving. And yes, I also plan to collect the Jadeite turkeys, but they are proving very difficult to find (I think Mosser might still make them?)!

This cute, speckled chips and dip bowl is a Pfaltzgraff piece from the 1950’s. Another thrift store find, it was a whopping $3.99. You can find these easily online by searching “Pfaltzgraff Pear Bowl” and they come in all kinds of cute colors.

Lastly, here is one of my lovely, cozy vintage wool blankets—one that happens to be the perfect colors and pattern for fall. I’ve talked about these blankets many times now on the blog. They were thrift store finds from my vacation in New Zealand a few years ago. But, beautiful vintage wool blankets can also be found here in the US! I’ve found many at thrift stores over the years, usually for $5 to $10 each. Christmas and fall colors are pretty easy to find.

My plans for this weekend include mostly hanging out at home—cooking, baking and enjoying our freshly decorated, pumpkin-filled apartment. But maybe we’ll have time for a quick thrift trip too? I’m guessing we will.

My vintage rolling pin wall

If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you may have noticed the quirky, glorious masterpiece that is my rolling pin wall. This display has been in the works for over two years now, ever since I saw a very similar installation at
The Rowdy Kitchen Bar & Eatery in Christchurch, NZ (we had a really yummy lunch there, highly recommend if your ever in the area). I’ve been busy collecting vintage rolling pins ever since I returned from my trip and now, finally—they’re up on my wall!

It’s such a pleasure to walk into the kitchen every day and see this little reminder of my wonderful trip to New Zealand. I’ve loved vintage rolling pins (and all vintage kitchen gadgets) for the longest time, so it was lovely to have an excuse to start collecting them.

I am thinking of switching out some of the brightly colored pins for more green and plain wood handled ones. I feel like going overboard with green in the kitchen would be so charming. The reds, yellows and blues might be too much variety and color for me. We’ll see what happens.

If you’re curious how I hung them, I simply predrilled a small hole towards the top of each pin and then used a screw to attach a picture hanger. Most of my rolling pins had chips or flaws in the wood already, so don’t be angry with me for ‘ruining’ them.

While on our campervan road trip vacation around NZ, my husband and I also spotted baskets of vintage wool blankets at many little cafes and coffee shops, especially in the Canterbury region. We spent a few mornings popping into thrift shops during our trip and were able to collect a handful of authentic vintage wool blankets—all made in NZ! Then we paid $200 to ship half of them home, and squished the other half into our suitcases. We looked like total nutters, but it was so worth it. The basket of cozy, brightly colored plaid blankets in our living room serves as another reminder of our time with the Kiwis, and they’re also super warm to cuddle up under during cold winter days.

All of these little reminders of our trip do leave us aching to return to New Zealand for another camping adventure. In fact, we’re already planning and saving for it!

Vintage Floral Prints + Kitchen Reveal

Today feels like a bright and happy Friday inside despite the stormy weather outside. And I’m guessing it’s got something to do with the recent addition of pretty vintage artwork in my apartment.

My kitchen is *approximately* a thousand times more cheerful and warm (not to mention cluttered with green, vintagey goodness) than it was just a few days ago.

I’m quite in love with it now.

Well, I’m as in love with it as I can be considering all of the contempo vibes and stainless steel. I know I’m a bit weird for hating the modern look (stark white cabinets, dark grey countertops, stainless steel—barf!). I just want a kitchen that smacks of an 1880’s rural farmhouse (like a real, working victorian farmhouse guys, not that Pinterest/HGTV/faketiques crap)—is that too much to ask?

For a rental apartment in Roanoke, VA, it obviously is too much to ask, so I will stop complaining about it now and move on to more important subjects like my gorgeous VINTAGE FLORAL PRINTS!

I’ve finally finished framing and hanging these beauties after building up my collection over the last two years. The kitchen was already feeling a bit busy and full, so it’s hard to believe that hanging some artwork could make such a big impact—but these prints surly pack a punch!

I really can’t decide what’s my favorite—the vibrant florals, green frames, or the cluttered shelf of vintage pottery?! I love it ALL!

The tops of cabinets are a notoriously difficult and frustrating place to decorate—in fact, I’d prefer not to have upper cabinets at all. But somehow, in this apartment it seems to work—the wide open space above the cabinets make them a feature. I used a 1″x12″ pine board on top to function as a shelf and to build cohesion with the other wood elements in the kitchen (like my antique breakfast tray and English plate rack).

My vintage vase collection (mostly McCoy) stands out against the warm tones of the wood shelf and the bright white walls and cabinets. The mirrored shades of green between the pottery and prints create a layered look that adds enormous charm to the entire space. The prints also help to draw attention to the enormously high ceilings.

I delayed hanging these prints for a while because I was a bit worried it would be too busy—would it look too flea market-ish? But, the flea market look has really been growing on me lately, and I think I am learning to embrace the clutter. I am really, really thrilled with the way this project turned out. The kitchen isn’t such a modern monstrosity anymore, huh?

Now that the project is complete, I can admit: a bit of madness was involved in the hanging of these prints. They’re hung about 12 feet high on that wall, so it took some acrobatic work to get them up there by myself on a Wednesday afternoon. I worked crazily and used a truly scary telescoping ladder (ten out of ten, do not recommend) to get the prints hung so that I could surprise Sam before he got home (you know how deeply he cares about these things…)

I did also surprise him with a homemade-from-scratch banana cream pie that same day. It was pure torture for me to bake this pie because—having just embarked on another round of Whole30—I was unable to taste test the vanilla pudding as I whisked away at it for a solid 25 minutes straight. Luckily Sam does care deeply about pie, especially the banana cream variety.

Back to my vintage floral prints, how pretty do all those flowers look?!

(Also, did you see my rolling pin wall? Ohhh it’s SO GOOD!)

More kitchen goodness is to come, as I recently purchased a gorgeous wood antique piece that will be replacing that little purple side table—I can’t wait to show you!

New plants + vintage pots

Hello friends!

As I write this it’s snowing outside here in Portland. The weather has been so weird lately and although we’ve had flurries, hale, and freezing rain this week, there’s been no snow accumulation, which makes me very sad.

I mean, if it’s not gonna snow pretty, it might as well warm up outside, right?!

In the spirit of spring, I decided to bring home a new houseplant this week. I have managed to keep all my current houseplants alive for almost a year now, and I’ve had lots of growth, so I think I can handle some more green friends. I’ve even managed to propagate a handful of succulents— something I’ve tried many a times in the past without success— and my little babies are all thriving and doing well. In fact, I gifted a few to some gals from work last month because I just had too many! So that’s progress and my thumbs are looking slightly more grey-ish than black these days.

A vintage planter is used to propagate a jade plant and other succulents; the planter is filled with specialty succulent soil and eight baby succulents are growing and setting roots

My new plant is one I’ve been longing after for quite some time, and I know I’m not the only one, as it’s quite a popular little succulent. It’s a String of Pearls! I bought it at a local plant shop in NE Portland and found the beautiful terra cotta pot there as well.

A cascading String of Pearls succulent potted in a handmade terracotta pot and styled on top of vintage books on a side table in my living room.

Eventually I want to hang my new plant, but until I find (or make?) a cute hanger, he looks great on the sideboard in my living room and gets a good amount of sun from the large window.

While I’m showing off my new succulent, I thought I might as well introduce you to my other house plants. I’ve got a decent collection going these days, although they’re all succulents.

A collection of succulents, including  Burro's Tail, Jade, and Sticks of Fire plants, growing in vintage yellow ceramic pots; they're in a sunny corner by a window on a white metal plant stand.

I’m going to be transplanting my Burro’s Tail soon, because after reading a bunch of info online about Sedum Morganianum care, I’ve realized he’s getting way too much light in his current location (from my grow light) and is too pale. I think he’d be happier in the indirect sunlight coming through my living room windows. Hopefully that will help him take on the deeper, blue-green color that the Burro’s Tail is known for.

As for my “Sticks on Fire” plant, I’m at a loss for what to do! He’s alive and healthy, but ever since the cross-country trip in the back seat of my SUV, he just hasn’t been thriving like he did in the hot Florida sun last summer. I purchased this grow light specifically for this plant, thinking it would help him survive the terribly dark PNW winter. Even with 8 hours of “light” a day, he’s growing slowly and hasn’t recovered any of the red coloring that Firestick plants are meant to have.

A closeup of a Firesticks succulent plant in a vintage yellow pot; the plant is showing signs of new growth in several areas and is looking healthy and green.

He does have some new growth, which is a definite positive, but I really hope he comes fully back to life soon. I wonder if his pot is too small or if he doesn’t like the rock mulch I added? These are the questions I fret over as I try not to kill my most beloved plant.

I do wish I had a picture of him from last summer. He was so gigantic and beautiful.


A closeup of a vintage yellow ceramic yellow pot, most likely from the 1950's
How cute is his pot though?!

I should add a disclosure to this post: I am by no means a plant expert, and you shouldn’t take any advice from me on the care of plants, because I am in fact a house-plant-serial-killer at large. There, I warned you.

To end on a positive note, I do have some very cute and very empty vintage planters that need filling. I was thinking of hunting down some non-succulent type indoor plants that do well in low light, so that I can have a few green friends to brighten up other corners of my apartment. Please recommend any that you think would be happy in a north facing Oregon apartment— it’s a challenge, I know.

A collection of vintage yellow and green ceramic planters waiting to be filled with houseplants
Help me chose new indoor plants for these darling vintage pots!

I’m hoping to fill that large green planter next, as I’ve got the perfect spot picked out for him. You’ll have to wait to see where he ends up!

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