Autumn Accents

By Kate Riley September 26, 2011

Well hello, and happy happy fall y’all.  Let’s kick of the mantel par-tay hosted by Layla with a few changes in the living room.  You’ll see the addition of a floor to ceiling oak tree branch, a new burnt orange throw, and a few decorative new accents too. 

autumn living room cg


Call me trendy, but yes there are owls on my mantel this season. 

gold owls on mantel cg

Double trendy points for the golden hue.  I spotted that cool moss covered nine foot tall branch at a local shop specializing in second hand midcentury decor – it was covered with woodland ornaments and I just loved the shape of it.  I asked the owner if he’d give or sell it to me and he said he’d let me have it for free as long as I agreed to buy something in the shop.  Deal!  I choose the 1970’s golden owls ($20 for the pair) – a fun seasonal score. 

The tall amber bottle I found at another local second hand shop, and the lantern is from World Market.  On the other side of the mantel are some birch inspired vessels, found at a local shop here in my town. 

plush velvet pumkins cg

They can be and hold anything you imagine – right now one is a stand for a plush pumpkin and the other a vase for the changing leaves of viburnum from the backyard.

On a nearby skirted table is this playful little vignette. The urn is from a thrift store and is filled with plush pumpkins from Love Feast Table

fall vignette cg


On a quest for something new and different, at the last second I pulled a switcheroo above the mantel and added a new mirror. Don’t worry, lovers of my white gloss mirror, it shall return next spring, I promise! 

For the next few months, I thought I’d bring in something new with a little shimmer.  I’m always looking to mix it up and since I had a store credit at Pier One I brought home their Champagne Mirror to try out for the holidays.

Truth be told, I’m not 100% sold on it. 

square mirror over mantel cg


It’s pretty, it’s glitzy, I love the champagne finish and chunkiness of the frame, but the shape is a rectangle and I’m just not convinced it’s “the one”.

square champagne mirror from side cg

What say you?  Is it a bold beauty or a blah substitute for the white mirror? I’m torn.

autumn mantel white mirror with branch

Pillow covers found at Festive Home Décor on Etsy.   

Here are a few more accents around the living room, including simple branches in a big bottle, some pine cones on my vintage brass scales, and pumpkin décor in the form of both pumpkin tree branches and a ceramic favorite from my fall stash. 

autumn vignette cg


Hung above the antique sideboard is my decade old oak leaf wreath and a few more seasonal accents too. 

autumn sideboard cg


Inspired by this vignette, I added these amber bottles found at a thrift store, added the white adhesive letters. and filled them with local dried grasses.  

autumn on bottles cg


Today I’m linking up to Layla’s Fall Mantel Party – join us there!

fall link party badge 2

If you’d like a peek at my outdoor fireplace and mantel, Rhoda styled it with some red mums and other fall accents, it’s lookin’ festive and fantastic!  Be sure check it out here.

Cheers to fall y’all! 




  1. Beautiful! I like the old mirror best though, that shape is so wonderful, the square one is a bit boring in comparison. But I do like the added glitz though.
    Those pillows are pretty too, love the cheerful colors.

  2. You have probably shared before, but please tell me where your white mirror is from, I LOVE IT!

  3. I love the pretty vignettes with the plush pumpkins and the amber bottles!

    The mirror is gorgeous and I would really picture it vertically if you had the space.


    Art by Karena

  4. Love the fall decor! You ARE so trendy right now with those owls. :)

    As for the mirror: I like the original white one better (more visually interesting), but the shimmering rectangle is very pretty, too. Maybe it would work somewhere else in your house? Don’t give up on it yet!

    • Oh you all are so clever! Turn the champagne mirror vertically and lean it? I’ll try that, might do the trick!!
      Thanks everyone!

  5. I agree on the mirror — like the colour of the Pier 1 champagne one but not the shape. At least in comparison to the white FABULOUS mirror. I’d also love to know where that’s from.

  6. I actually like the champagne mirror for fall! It gives depth and warmth to the hearth in anticipation for cooler weather. Keep it up! And when spring pokes her head around the corner put the fab white one back up and you’ll appreciate it even more… I can see the Champagne at Christmas and especially New Years!! Gotta love the owls….xo

  7. After going back and forth a few times and comparing your mirrors I actually prefer the new one.
    The frame is a nice size but not overwhelming as the lighter color adds less visual weight. It ties in well with your draperies and with your gold picture frames. Yes, I like it much better! The white frame is fun but this one has more presence.

  8. I like the new look! Sometimes it’s fun to change things up…the new mirror will be a nice addition until you feel like changing it up again. How cool that the shop owner gave you the tree! And I LOVE the amber bottles–those are really cool! Great job!

  9. I prefer the champagne frame as well. I think it brings warmth to your room. The white one is modern and unique, but a little bulky for me. I think its trying to compete with the mantle.

    btw – where did you get your pumpkins on the branches – so cute!

  10. I like the champagne mirror for its subtlety of color, but there’s something about the rectangle hung over the rectangular fireplace that’s throwing me off. I love the shape of the old mirror. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’ll ruminate and get back to you :)

  11. GORGE, as usual!!!
    I was hoping to find some white birch branches for our fireplace too, but no such luck!
    And don’t even get me started on those amber bottles….AAAAHHHH…SO PRETTY!!!!! :-D

  12. Everything is so beautiful, as always. I love your amber-bottle lettered vases inspired by Choose to Thrive. I’ve been on the lookout for my own bottles after seeing her project.

  13. Beautiful mantel! The amber “autumn” vases are so cute! I have a hard time finding multiples of anything at my local Goodwill, so that was a lucky find. I am on Team White Gloss Mirror, I love the shape of it and how it really creates a focal point, it breaks away from all of the other straight lines around the room.

  14. I like the gold of the mirror but think it would be better with some more architectural interest in the frame of it, the flat surface isn’t making the area punch like it could. Love the decor though, the branch idea was awesome!

  15. Thanks for the fall inspiration! I’m working on my fall decor today while my little one is at pre-school for a few hours. I needed this boost of creativity. Thanks! Also, I like the new mirror but did you notice that it is almost the same exact size and color as the fireplace surround below it? So it kind of blends in and is a little blah in that location. Although with some high contrasting holiday accents, it might work. But I do love that white mirror so much that the bar is set high for any other mirror! :)

  16. I have to say… while I love the new mirror, and its colour and shape, I agree with the previous comment about the size of the rectangle and it hanging over the rectangle fireplace. It seems almost a continuation of the fireplace… but I still love the mirror itself!

    And I felt a thrill go over me when I saw that amber lantern. It is SO beautiful…

  17. Very cute! I love the shimmer of the champagne mirror, but I have to agree with you…I’m not 100% in love with the shape! I think I’d prefer something oval instead.

  18. I love the mantel, but I have to say I like the white mirror WAY better. The new mirror is pretty, but it just looks too squared off against the mantel. I think you need a different shape to add visual interest above the mantel. Maybe if it was round, or oval, or just something besides a rectangle….

  19. I too, love the champagne mirror but doesn’t break up the linear/rectangular pattern that’s created by the fireplace box, mantle, and new mirror. The white one is a fabulous focal point.

  20. i think the new mirror is a perfect color for fall, but it doesn’t look quite right. Did you try leaning it on the mantle vertically? I think that is a great look and it would create some height to balance the tall branch.

  21. Your mantle is lovely…. simple and earthy. I like the white mirror better, because of the shape. The champagne mirror, while a good color, is too linear and not as interesting to the eye. Is there enough room to stand it vertically? Then there wouldn’t be so many long, horizontal lines. Regardless, it’s a lovely mantle.

  22. beautiful!!!!! thou…I like the white mirror better. The new one is pretty…I just love that white one!

  23. I’m totally jealous of those pillows! That fabric would match my living room rug and dark couches PERFECTLY. I’ve already contacted the Etsy seller, but the fabric is out of print. Boo.

  24. i like both mirrors honestly… i think for christmas with some garland or something around that mirror it will look stunning. maybe it’s just that the shape is more simple and your mantel is simple so it’s making it less interesting than the white mirror with the lovely shape. i’d say keep the mirror since it will be so lovely for christmas, but maybe just add a little more interest to the mantel in other ways… maybe a fall wreath on the mirror? i really do love your fall decor though!

  25. I like the old mirror better personally. The new one is more like something you put in your bedroom vertically or at the end of a hallway. I think you should have something other than pumpkins too. Your home would look amazing with some squash and such scattered in there. Beautiful home you have!

  26. I like the finish of the champagne mirror, but I agree..the shape is kind of blah. I adore those little amber bottles with the grasses in them, though!

  27. Gorgeous as usual Kate. The glossy white mirror is my fave. Love the shape of the white one.

  28. I really like your white mirror, but agree, it’s better to save until spring comes. The color of the new mirror fits better with the season–through Christmas–and compliments the color of the owls, amber bottles, some of the pumpkins, and even the rug. And, not to be simply a “yes-man,” I would edit a bit more of your accesories–like the small white pumpkin. Over the years, one of the most important things I’ve learned as a designer is editing–not to just use something because I have it on hand. Simplicity can be striking. Thanks for listening and thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.

  29. I like the old mirror – why don’t you try to get some fallish scrap book paper or the like from the craft store and cut pieces to fit into the inset portion – you could have a miter to match each miter in the mirror’s wooden frame. Then just use removeable double stick tape. Then you’d have your white mirror with a seasonal inlay.

  30. Hi Kate, The white mirror is my fav. The new one is nice but just doesn’t have the zip and grabbing power the new one has. The white mirror draws my eye into the room, with the new one my eye wanders. If my “eye” could talk it would say “Kate where am I supposed to go”? I was absolutely wowed the other day with your bottle cutting project and the 2 amber bottles together. Loved the little pumpkin stems from your grocery store. I looked at several places in Anchorage where I live. Not surprisingly they could not be found. Also, I picked up an issue of the just released BHG Christmas issue. WOW!!! Your article is wonderful. The entire issue is one of the best I’ve seen. Congrats. Thanks for all your hard work sharing on your blog. Sincerely, Vicki

  31. I just found your blog and I love it!! Love the mantel!! Such a great display!! I am a newbie and your newest follower. I hope you will follow back! Many blessings to you!!

  32. I LOVE those little owls! They remind me of the owl from the original Clash of the Titans :)

  33. The shape of the white mirror is my favorite. The horizontal rectangle mirror just doesn’t do it for me. Perhaps leaning it vertically would help as someone suggested above. I also have a huge bird/owl crush going on right now. So, I love the owls!

  34. Gorgeous fall decor! I have to ask…did you spray paint that little “bronzey” vase on your round table? I need to update a vase at home & love that exact color.

  35. Cuteness all over! :D

    I thought the scale with the pine cones was really neat. I also like the white mirror better. The champagne one really did look just ‘blah’ :( Hope you figure it out! Great post.

  36. oh my gosh, scales! something new to look for at thrift stores…and i’m gonna chalk it up to being a libra. it doesn’t have to have anything to do with law, right?!?

    as always, i love everything!

  37. I’m guessing you’ve tried turning the mirror the other way??? That’s what’s bugging me, too much of the horizontal shapes. I’m loving the branch, it’s lovely.

  38. I’ve been checking out a TON of Fall Mantle displays and I have to say that I like yours the best. I almost skipped over your post because I just haven’t been into what I’ve been seeing. I think what I like about yours is that it isn’t cluttered and has a lot of interesting textures and colors without being too gaudy. I love your white mirror, but I think that the champagne is nice for the Fall theme. I see your point about the rectangle, but if it’s only for this season I think it works.

  39. I am all for the new mirror! Then you can send me the old one – it is JUST what I’m looking for!!!!! Actually, I’m glad to read I’m not the only mirror obessed person out here. I’m trying to find one to bounce around some light in my dark family room. I agree with Sarah, to much horizontal. I saw a mantel recently that had a leaning vertical mirror, a bit off center. It played a little with my personal sense of symetry, but I’m pretty sure you could pull it off.

  40. Last year we used a similar branch to make a haunted tree for Halloween. My little girl helped me make ghosts by draping cheese cloth over small foam balls. Then we added thin black ribbon loops to hang them from on top and wiggly eyes, well because kids love those crazy things (I thought black sequins would look nicer, but oh well). Our limb wasnt as nice and mossy as yours so we draped some onto the tree. This year we are going to do one with lights for the front porch.

  41. Hm, yeah I like the white mirror better. Although turning the champagne one vertically might help?

    Looks great!

  42. I love the champagne mirror and I love the fabric on your pillows? Funny to come to your site today and see it because I JUST ordered it yesterday! I noticed the fabric on a chair in Pier 1 and fell in love with it!

    Beautiful room as always!

  43. ok I wasn’t asking a question. That was supposed to be an exclamation point after I said “I love the fabric on your pillows.”

    Sorry about that :-)

  44. Keep the mirror! It is gorgeous. I might have to get me one!!! Loving the big tree branch too. What is on it? It looks fuzzy or something. And who won the plush pumpkins!!!!

  45. Kate, I think both mirrors look beautiful! I think your taste is exquisite and I always love whatever changes you make. The champagne mirror is lovely to carry through Fall and the holidays. A nice touch of glitz and glam! Inquiring minds would like to know where you found your burnt orange throw? Is that Pier One? Fun pillows!

  46. Your room looks gorgeous Kate! And I’m agreeing with some others, the mirror might look better turned vertically. Although, I do like the look of it for the holidays. It’ll look great with you mantel done up for Christmas. Let us know what you choose to do with the mirror. = )

  47. hey kate, this may be a silly question, but what do you do with all the stuff you switch out of your decor spots? like all the stuff that used to be on your mantel. or the other mirror. do you store it? sell it? i know it is your job, so you might have more options…
    thanks! …and where are those pillows from? i love the print :)

    ps. i like the champagne mirror for the fall…in my opinion it adds to the woodsy effect. :)

  48. As always, I love your taste! The champagne mirror is a refreshing, seasonal change of color and sparkle, but I agree the curvy shape of the white one gives a nice balance to all the rectangular lines on that wall (fireplace, wainscoting, window). Is there room to turn the champagne mirror vertical, to break the long horizontal lines? Of course you don’t want to dwarf the seating area or window… hmmm… What about hanging a wreath on the mirror? Whatever you decide, it looks gorgeous! (Your house always seems like the perfect place for holiday parties!)

  49. P.S. I echo Rachel’s question — where/how do you store your seasonal decor? Maybe you could give us a behind-the-scenes tour someday with tips for storing/organizing!

  50. 100% the white mirror. But being a lover of fall, I have to say the plush pumpkins are fantastically fun!! The moss covered branch seems to bring the change of seasons inside.

  51. Those owls!! I love that they’re vintage, but I kind of really really REALLY wish they were mass-market, because I WANT THEM!!

  52. I love your decor touch. It’s not overdone for the changing season but just enough to warm up the space as the days begin to cool. I “like” the mirror but don’t love the shape. If it were oval, I’d love it. The owls are fantastic. I picked up a little trio set of owls at a garage sale ($3 for the set) and have yet to decide what colour to paint (currently they’re teal). Your vintage, repurposed items and second hand finds are truly inspiring and I love how you’ve created such a warm and inviting space in your home with your treasures. Let us know what you do with the mirror.

  53. I went to the Festive Home Decor on Etsy to find those beautiful pillow covers, but to no avail! :0( Do you know the name of the fabric? I love them! Thanks.

  54. I like the new mirror, but not for above the fireplace…..I think that the shape of the white mirror is far more interesting and does more for the space as a whole than the champagne colored one.
    Love the owls!

  55. Oh….why not paint the white mirror champagne, and then you have the fall color and change that you were trying to achieve. :-)

  56. To all that inquired – the fabric is Richloom Invigorate and the color is “Confetti.” I ordered mine from Mary Jo’s online. That was the only place that I could find it.

  57. great ideas as always, Kate!

    I think the new mirror may need some swirls in the frame, or scallops of gold – something to break up all of the straight lines. I agree with those who suggested trying it vertical, although I think that would mean sitting it on the mantle. Horizontally it mimics your fireplace surround too much.

    I love those plush pumpkins!!

  58. I MUST find scales like those. LOVE them!! Thanks for the great fall accent ideas! Now if you could please tell me what the —- to do with my hot pink sofa that I JUST HAD TO HAVE 8 years ago. Fall doesn’t go very well in my living room. PLEASE HELP!

  59. I love those pillows! Something about red, teal, and yellow! It brings so much color to neutral walls and furniture. I am finding that I am learning to embrace color better…I have grey and blue walls with white furniture…and those colors you used are so inspiring for fall. I tend to not like too much orange as it looks funny with my existing decor…but I really love how you tied in those other colors to make it work so well!

  60. Your room looks amazing as always!!! I really like the champagne mirror, it goes great with the seasons changing. The white definately has the spring and summer appeal. I love how you manage to change out your looks as the seasons change, great job!! Since you’re not sold yet, try hanging different as others suggested, either way, it looks good and I would keep it :) You are so inspiring!

  61. Kate. It all looks so lovely. But what I want to know is where did you find the pillows on your sofa? I have that fabric in a different colour way and I want it in the colour way of your pillows – would look fabulous in my daughters room!

  62. I like the new mirror-it mimics the shape and color of your fireplace stone/marble and blends well. If you wanted more contrast/pop, you could hang a wreath on the new mirror or layer/lean something vertical up against it.

  63. Hi Kate, everything looks absolutely wonderful. I am torn as well in regards to your mirror. I love shimmer but I feel the rectangle mirror really dominates the space above the mantle and doesn’t let any of your other items shine. I like the idea of changing out your mirror, the white one is gorgeous but it does have a spring/summer feel; maybe you can try hanging the mirror vertical (if there is enough wall space) or maybe there is a smaller scaled one around your house that you can swap it with. Either direction you decide to go will look great. You have a knack for pulling everything together and making it look polished.

  64. I absolutely LOVE the pillow covers. I was sad to see that when I went to the Etsy store, they are no longer available. Definitely sad! Also, I love the little owls! Super cute! Everything looks awesome!

  65. Wonderful room and I love the natural elements your brought indoors. I’m all for using branches, leaves, etc. I think I prefer the new mirror with the Fall theme. Beautiful design, as always!

  66. I like the white mirror better. I think the square shape of the champagne is too similar to the fireplace. The white mirror adds more interest and goes with all seasons in my opinion.

  67. What a beautiful job you’ve done with your homr! I love the vintage/modern thing with the champagne mirror. Love the white one too, but I like the masculine feel of the rectangle. It may, however, be a little small for the space. I have the perfect place for it. –Sam

  68. OMG those owls! Trendy or not, they are AWESOME. I love their eyes. The fact that they are gold is awesome, too. A little trendy a little classic. I LOVE those.

  69. I absolutely LOVE those pillows!! I looked on the Etsy website and they don’t have the exact same ones on there. Do you know of anywhere else that has them?? Thanks.

  70. I adore what you have done!! The room looks so cozy and perfect!
    btw I have the same pillows! They are just great and look good for any season!


  71. Kate…I love everything you do. Keep the new Pier1 mirror – turn it and set it on the mantel leaning back against the wall (or hang it) I think it is beautimus.

  72. I love it! But the little objets on mantle no longer work. It needs something flat and long (horizontal) on the mantle or two tall somethings on each end. I also LOVE the white mirror. Maybe get the new one as a leaning floor mirror instead and use it somewhere else… Or I love the idea of painting the white mirror… Have fun and Happy Fall!

  73. So I’m covering the white. Where can I find it??? If it needs a new home, mine is available!

  74. Re: the Mirror. It’s really pretty, and I always love shimmer, but with the diverse display on the mantle, the white one adds punch and a sense of connectedness with the surroundings. HOWever to decorate for christmas – keep the mirror, then get more truly gold items. A pile of gold ornaments sitting on a bed of greens (I’ve piled ornaments together with that black double stick tape) or put them in a huge glass hurricane lamp or column. Lots of green and gold accents and some white candles. It would be smashing to look at. The truer the color gold, the better.

  75. I have tree branch envy in a BIG way!! I have to have one with moss on it!! LOVE it, esp. on your latest Christmas post with the little red Cardinals.

  76. I have a question about the tree branch…do you know if it’s treated or something to keep it from rotting? I tried to bring in a branch (weeelll, it was more like a whole tree, a small one, but still) b/c I wanted to use it in a similar way and 3 or 4 of my male family members shot me down, saying that it would rot or that it might have bugs, etc. I could get some manzanita instead, but wanted the barky look. Thanks!

    • Hi Erin, that is the Casbah mirror from Lamps Plus, spray painted gloss white!

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