Ritual: Top Ten Ideas for Fall-ifying Your House
Sep 17, 2009
When the cold mornings hit and the leaves start dotting the driveway, I start thinking about cozying up the house. Here's my list of Ten Ways to Fall-ify Your House.
How do you get ready for fall in your home? Tell me in the comments and I'll enter you in the September gift certificate drawing! You could win $50 good toward any of my services, online or in-home.
Ten Ways to Fall-ify Your House
- Let the sun shine in. Remove screens and wash the windows. I love the clear view of the fall colors.
- Change accessories. Don't display everything at once. Keep them rotating. It makes you love your things more.
- Stockpile blankets and pillows. In the living room I like to have a serious stack of afghans and throws (including an ultrawarm Hudson Bay blanket!). The bed gets flannel sheets, a heavier blanket, and a darker duvet cover.
- Switch the curtains. Last spring I switched to simple white cotton duck tab-tops in my bedroom. For fall I'll get out the heavier chocolatey drapes. Woo-hoo, I even washed them last spring!
- Make it easy to go outside. I keep a basket near the back door that holds headlamps & flashlights, YakTrax, and handwarmer packets so I have no excuse for avoiding an after-dark walk. And of course, the hats and mittens move back into the closet. In Michigan we often start using them in October!
- Lay some rugs. Warm floors are a must.
- Start a collection of guest slippers. There's no carpeting in our house (makes it a breeze to keep clean) but guests arriving with inevitably sloppy shoes and boots shouldn't have to walk around with stocking feet. So I started buying slippers in different sizes at the springtime clearance sales. They live in a big basket by the front door and get used often.
- Light candles. I like the spicy candles from Pier One. They're long-lasting and not overwhelming.
- Bring the outside in. Last fall my mom made me a beautiful arrangement all from things she found walking around in the woods and fields: milkweed, dried grasses, red osier dogwood twigs, cattails, seedpods… lots of wonderful (free!) natural items to decorate with this time of year.
- Cook something cozy. My favorite fall-is-officially-here recipe is Butternut Squash Risotto. Here's the recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food, October 2004. —Diane
Butternut Squash Risotto
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I like pinot gris for this.)
- 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) organic chicken broth, mixed with 1/2 cup water
- Dash cayenne pepper, optional but recommended!
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
- In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
- In a medium heavy pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until edges soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add rice; stir to coat. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, 35 to 40 minutes total.
- Stir in cayenne, Parmesan, sage, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan and sage, if desired.
TAGS: fall autumn nesting cozy up your house decor seasonal recipe butternut squash risotto martha stewart win prize giveaway
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