By Karen Parr-Moody
With the autumnal equinox just one week away, it's time to turn one's visual sensibilities inward, retooling our interiors into comfortable cocoons for the chilly days ahead. Taking a nontraditional approach to home design, as is the GasLamp way, we more closely examine all things fall.
The brass stag in the photo, right, may not the absolute most beautiful stag on planet earth, but it's certainly the loveliest one I’ve seen of late ($135; Booth B-225). This brass stag could look down pompously on all the other fall décor, the candles and the potpourri, because, quite frankly, he is simply that grand. What a sophisticated take on a rustic, woodland creature: It's delicate rather than heavy, and detailed rather than dull. The highly tactile result is a wavy coat of fur, dramatic antlers, and a puffed up chest worthy of a French aristocrat. Handmade brass was the norm until about 1825, when the first cast brass objects began to appear. The rest is history, as demand continued to grow. The elegance a detailed piece of brass brings to a room can burnish a whole mantel, even if it is just a dash of fall décor.
Want a sweeter, more cartoon-like version of a woodland creature? Then go for this doe (photo, left; $16; Booth B-319). Made of smooth ceramic with a shiny glaze, she has a darling spotted fawn at her side, and of course, Tammy Faye-style eyelashes. This doe and fawn would be a campy '50s or '60s addition to a room done up in cluttered traditionalism, fitting in alongside the patchwork quilts and painted furniture.
Entering Jason Parker Counce's booth might inspire one to make Oscar Wilde-ean proclamations about beauty and truth. For those who lack imagination, or have scant time for it, Counce's booth is ideal: His knack for styling (he does this professionally) allows a shopper to easily see what they might do at home. A small pumpkin here, a bigger one there, a few fabulous owls, and pretty soon it all adds up to real décor.
In the photo, right, are some of the pumpkins Counce personally stitches together using velvet and real pumpkin stems, along with a pumpkin pincushion surrounded by moss and mushrooms (pumpkins range from $12 to $32; pincushion $15; all at Booth B-309). "This season, luscious velvet pumpkins with real stems are so chic!" Counce says. "And they come in an array of unusual colors, including pumpkin orange, butternut squash, winter white, chartreuse green, and even cinnamon brown."
Counce brings a knowing sophistication and a hint of whimsy to his interiors without ever making his followers look either too folksy or too traditional. It's a fabulously comfy tone, very Tennessee, very Southern. In the photo, left, he puts together a winter white vignette for fall with this figural pitcher and more pumpkins (pitcher, $24; tiny pumpkin, $12; Booth B-309).
"A white owl pitcher will work out great as a flower pitcher for your mums and would be great for spiced apple cider also," says Counce, who thinks the winter white pumpkin on a small marble pedestal would fit a room all year round.
For a dinner party with an eclectic mélange of serving pieces, one can gussy up a table with the array of dishes in the photo, right. What a bohemian, highly accessorized look these would make for appetizers (clockwise from top right: four leaf dishes, $16; three white dishes with gold accents, $22; Andrea Sadek green dish, $10; leaf bowl, $12; all at Booth B-2010).
Those who don't love the fall season seem to voice the minority view. So why not carve out a few shelves for some earthy fall items? Putting up a smattering of items here and there gives a home that cozy, vaguely English sensibility, sprinkled with some fall flair.