Thursday, September 14, 2017

Colorful Fall Home Tour

This. Is. My. Favorite season, and I look forward to it all year. I think it's all the yummy gorgeousness we can enjoy here in the North Carolina mountains, and there is something seasonally amazing for all the senses -- from roadside farmers markets and BBQ stands, to hay bales and corn shocks in the fields. Not to mention walls of saturated mountain color underneath Carolina blue skies. It's all good, and I always want to stop and take it all in as slowly as possible.

Today, I'm so excited to invite you into my mountain home for a fall tour. Marty, from A Stroll Thru Life, has put together this tour that has been going on all week. Be sure to click on each of the links at the bottom of this post so you don't miss any amazing inspiration. 

First, though, I always like to give a little background for anyone who is new here so, hopefully, things all make sense. If you are a faithful reader, skip on ahead:-)

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My Puerto Rican husband and I, along with our children, live here in the mountains of North Carolina on property that has been in my family for five generations. It started as a pheasant farm, then my great grandfather came up from Hypoluxo, Fla., and bought the property, complete with gorgeous victorian farmhouse and several other buildings, to be his summer home. 

My grandmother visited on a break from her boarding school, met and fell in love with my Virginia-bred grandfather, and the rest is history.  My grandparents tore down the old house in 1960 to build a new mid-century modern house, which my parents live in now, but my resourceful grandfather bundled and stored all the wood -- from windows, stair treads and doors to wormy chestnut trim, all of which we have been slowly incorporating into our house. I like to think he did it just for me:-)

My style -- well, it's a mix of bohemian, global, vintage and eclectic. I like to use things I find on the property, at antique shops, thrift stores, my mother's attic, and just about anywhere that I can find the real deal and not a cheap copy. I care about the environment, and by using things I have, can make or are old, I hope to inspire others to do the same. I'm not a "big box decor store" designer and love things that are authentic and natural. I will use anything I find outside -- except poison oak. And kudzu. But I digress.

Enough about that -- come on in for a tour friends!

Our house is small, and every room has to have many functions. We'll start at the entry, which also works as a music space.

This antique Harden settle was in the original house, but my grandmother sold it when she downsized. Thanks to a thoughtful neighbor, this settle came back home for my birthday, and I could not be happier to have it. It accompanies (smile) an 1880 inherited pump organ.

Regular readers will notice that I traded my signature hot pink for red. Well, it just seemed like pink was everywhere, and y'all know I cannot continue on the same path with everyone else. Plus, I really wanted to get out the Yahyali rugs I bought in Turkey, and fall seemed like the perfect season to do so. 

This is a gorgeous Turkish wool rug I bought at Yellow Star Carpets in Adana, and I love, love, love it. It's gorgeous and vibrant, and when I think about the people who labored to make this piece of art,  I'm glad to have supported them in this small way by buying "local" right from the dealer who is actually from Yahyali.

For fall, I clipped some maple leaves that had started to turn and placed them in an old vinegar jar my grandfather had here.
Nature. The best decor ever. 

The record player is from my childhood in the 1970s, and I bought the hand painted plates in Turkey. 

On the piano, I added some sour wood branches to the maple leaves, and they will last weeks in water. 

I layered a wool native-patterned runner over a burlap runner to add a little texture, pattern and color. I'm a big fan of geometric patterns and love how these patterns from the Caucasus region are so similar to and work so well alongside the Native American patterns I also favor.  

This space also works to house the occasional stray guitar:-)

On to the living room, which is also grounded by another gorgeous Turkish yahyali rug. 

The rugs were obviously the starting point for color, and although I could have gone several directions, I ended up staying with white, red and green for fall. 

Kilim pillows are paired with chenille pillows -- because as pretty as kilim pillows are, they are scratchy. Seriously scratchy.

I added more maple leaves to the table behind the couch and brought back the Chinese ancestor prints I inherited. I love the pop of red and feel like they really tie things together. 

This particular rug is only 7' x 11' so I layered it on a jute rug. I don't like a rug that's too small, as in front feet need to be sitting on it, so this is a great way to make a smaller rug work.

On the other side, more kilim and chenille pillows, fur and candles make a welcoming space for the season. 

Again, I layered a rug, this time a wool Baluch on the diagonal for interest and to bring this little seating area together. 

On to the dining room, which I have warmed up with more red, green and white. 

On the table, I layered a runner with an old chestnut board and simply added pumpkins, apples, gourds, acorn squash and candles for a fall centerpiece. 

Vintage Brown Drip makes a wonderful fall place setting with the addition of a multi-colored striped napkin, Mikasa Italian Countryside flatware and made-in-America (love) Anchor Hocking water glasses. 

While there is a bench on the front side of the table, I have black Eames-style chairs on this side. I actually have six of these so I can use them when we have dinner guests. I would never make anyone sit on that bench, but the children like it.

My mother let me borrow the antique channel back chairs, and I think they are perfect at each end of the table. This fabulous overdyed rug is from Unique Rug Store. 

On the buffet, I used an Afghan woven runner along with more inherited antique brass.

The kitchen is next, and again, I used lots of red, green and white along with Brown Drip pottery and Blue Willow.

This is a Kazak Afghan wool runner, and the bold colors really pull together this room that otherwise has lots of boring wood and cold, metal appliances. 

The pilon was a purchase in my husband's native Puerto Rico, and the colors work perfectly here. 

I still love my open shelving and am so happy we took out the cabinet. Just being able to change things out here keeps me happy.

I combined the Brown Drip with Blue Willow, some I bought in Japan, Italian espresso cups, a Cherokee bread board, Cherokee baskets and a couple pieces of Bolivian pottery. 


In an open space, everything needs to work together, so I try to at least have each space compliment the other. Here you can see how this area is open to the music room/entry.

This island is really where the action happens here. We use it all the time for meals, homework, or just hanging out, and this one spot really is the heart of our home. 

I prefer to use natural elements in my decor, so these pears and honey crisp apples make a perfect and super easy centerpiece. Plus, they all get eaten. The acorn squash will also be made into a yummy fall dish later.

If you're new, you can check out the French makeover I gave my girls' room with its many diy projects.

And my son's room just got a Star Wars makeover after nine, yes nine, years. 

On to the master bedroom where I also switched out the pink for red and just warmed things up for the coming season with color, a mix of textiles and candles.

I keep down comforters on every bed in the house, and no one gets cold in the winter here -- despite my keeping the thermostat on 67°. They really are a necessity, in my opinion, and make a big difference when the weather gets colder. 

The embroidered pillow cases are vintage, and I love the little touch of floral with all the geometric patterns I have in here. 

I had another rug here then decided to use the one I got recently from Vintage Pillow Store. This one is an antique, and I like how the bold, bright pattern plays with the curtains. 

Let's talk about the curtains. My mom gave me these pinch pleated drapes from our 1970s' dining room. I loved these curtains, that she made, and was so happy to try them on my white walls -- as opposed to the wood paneled walls I grew up with. 

I love the bright pop of color, and they make me smile when I walk into this room. 

I have wanted to repaint my grandmother's trunk black, but never seem to get around to it. I do like that it contrasts everything else, though, so who knows what I will do. 

More leaves...

I changed a few things out on the mantel but kept the Moroccan mirror, from World Market *years* ago, the Navajo pottery and my Cherokee corn bead necklace. 

Corn bead necklaces are made from the seeds of the corn bead plant, also called "Job's tears." 
The gray color represents the sorrow of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears in 1838, where a third of the Cherokees forced by the U. S. government to march in winter, died along the way to a reservation in Oklahoma. According to legend, where tears fell on the ground, a corn stalk-like plant sprouted producing seeds in the shape of tears.  It's a reminder of my mother's heritage and ancestry here in western North Carolina.

I like to create different levels and different shapes for interest

A candlestick from the old house with a vintage candle from my childhood are more things that make me smile, but the photo of my great grandmother when she was May Queen at Trinity College, (Duke) is a treasure that warms my heart.

And really, that is what fall is about for me -- a connection to the past that is lived to the fullest in the present. 

I want my home to be a warm, comfortable and safe refuge for my family away from every bad thing in the world -- just like my parents made my childhood home. 

To do that doesn't take money or things.

It only takes using what you have and adding a whole lot of love and creativity:-)

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of our home and hope you will check out my other fall posts and follow me on instagram and facebook.

Thanks to Marty for such a fabulous tour! Be sure to click on the other links for more fall inspiration. Next, though, please go on over to Haneen's Haven and prepare to be seriously inspired to get out of your comfort zone. You know I love that:-) 

A Stroll Thru Life
Inspiration for Moms
Clean & Scentsible
Life On Virginia Street
Decor To Adore

Life Love Larson
Remodelando La Casa
Thrifty and Chic
Seeking Lavender Lane
Decorating Delirium
Our Southern Home

The Chronicles of Home
Erin Spain
Nesting With Grace
21 Rosemary Lane
Our Fifth House

Z Design At Home
Simple Stylings
Life & Home @ 2102
11 Magnolia Lane
Rain On A Tin Roof
Hymns & Verses

Haneen's Haven
Tidbits & Twine
House By Hoff
Common Ground
Refresh Restyle
Duke Manor Farms

I'll be joining:
Metamorphosis Monday
Inspire Me Tuesday
Wow us Wednesdays
Feathered Nest Friday
Foodie Friday and Everything Else


  1. Julia@Cuckoo4DesignSeptember 15, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    Beautiful unique tour again Anita. I always enjoy it so much.

    1. Thank you so much Julia:-)

  • I all looks amazing, Anita. I love all of the colors and bringing in the fall leaves and pumpkins adds the perfect touch for the season. I keep looking at the red arched mirror in the bedroom - it's stunning! Happy weekend, from this Eastern North Carolina gal!

    1. Thank you!! I love that mirror, and bought it at World Market about 13 years ago when they had this collection of Moroccan pieces. I also bought a shelf I need to get back out:-)

  • Anita, I enjoyed your beautiful, warm and cozy house. I love that your grandfather took the time to bundle up the pieces of the old house (that alone tells you much he loved it) and saved it for his future heirs. I am especially drawn to all your Native American pictures you have displayed throughout your home. I have always been drawn to them since I was a child. I love their culture and ashamed how they were treated but that's another long story. Thanks for sharing your house and all your unique things. I enjoyed the tour of your home very much.

    1. Thanks so much Connie!! My late uncle in Montana painted all those paintings. He lived near the Crow Reservation and had paintings at the Little Big Horn Museum. My mother has Cherokee heritage and growing up here near the reservation we always heard the stories of the Trail of Tears but the significance didn't really sink in until I was older. I think that's why I have such a connection to this land and why I'm a collector of native art:-)

  • Anita, I just wish I could package up your beautiful and inspiring decor and bring it all home. Your blog is one of my favorites as I am not enamored of the colorless decor so many people are doing these days. Give me lots of color and texture and I am a happy woman!

    1. Thank you thank you so much for that!! I really, really want to offer people something unique and I'm so happy you like it:-)

  • I absolutely love when you do home tours because it makes me want to curl up in your's just so homey! I love the pops of red that you've chosen & all the greenery you've brought in! The different textures and colors all just make me wish it was more fall-like here in Alabama!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I'm hoping the little bit of cool weather stays around here:-)

  • Shirley@Housepitality DesignsSeptember 17, 2017 at 3:24 AM

    Anita I so love the changes to the shades of red. I think Fall is my favorite season in the Far Above Rubies household. You have the greatest collection of gorgeous rugs. I have always loved the fact that you live in your family home and never knew that it was originally a pheasant farm. You live in one of my very favorite part of NC. If "we" make another another adventure trip to your area we will be sure to let you know!! Happy Fall Anita!

    1. Goodness, you *better* let me know if you come this way!! Thanks so much Shirley:-) I do love rugs!!


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