Autumn, Design & Décor, Living with Style, Seasonal


Dressing the Library in Fall Color

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Fall is my favorite season, though it looks like it will be very late this year (the leaves are all still happily green). So to tide me over, I’ve gathered my treasured fall-colored velvet pumpkins and the final offerings from the cutting garden…to include a little twist on the traditional with orange’s complementary color, blue.

While the kitchen may be the heart of our home — as can be said by many — our library is where we head for our dinner for two and retreat at the end of the day. But there is another reason that always draws us to this warm, wood-paneled room.

It is the memory of two dear friends who, when learning that we were building a new home, offered some paneling from her family’s former home that had been in storage for 37 years. The handsome, no longer available, Honduran mahogany fit so perfectly in our new library that it seemed truly “meant to be.” While this library gives special meaning to recycling and repurposing, it is its provenance that we treasure.

The mantel, with its dentelle molding, is graciously wide and provides the surface for a series of vignettes based on my favorite velvet pumpkins…accented with the leather bound, gold tooled books that represent the purpose for this room.

Dahlias, in all their fall colors, are the centerpiece of the mantle.

A pair of pilaster-bordered bookcases are always decorated with some nod to the season.

Intense blue salvias add a kick to the Autumn tones of the pumpkins.

And a large dahlia nestles into the pumpkins on the coffee table.

Whenever I have a few blossoms left over, I take a moment to dress our (tongue-in-cheek) Greek god in the spirit of the decor. He’ll just have to do with oak leaves, rather than laurel…

Here’s to the fall season and the festivities that will be at hand, sooner than we think…

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

9 thoughts on “Dressing the Library in Fall Color

  1. Happy to share your blog with others. You have a beautiful and calming aesthetic. Your home and gardens are welcoming in any season.

  2. Very elegant, yet warm and cozy–beautiful! I miss our judge’s paneled room–will definitely have another when we build our retirement home.

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