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Shopping, Holidays - Fall, Best ofLauren Braud2 Comments

I have a serious confession to make...I don't think I like Halloween. I know. Even I'm confused, because I love fall. I mean, LOVE. Like want to marry it love. Theres just something about black and orange and skeletons and the fact that I don't really like candy and that finding a Halloween costume is inevitably anxiety filled and I'm always left feeling inadequate next to the person in the full dinosaur suit who takes it way more seriously than me. And don't even get me started on food that looks like body parts. Nope. My ideal version of Halloween? My couch, a double feature of Hocus Pocus and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, and a bottle of Merlot. None of that Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. I'm a wimp. I don't do scary and that movie scares the pants off me. (I even thought I wanted to listen to that one song - This is Halloween - and I got like 27 seconds in and had to turn it off *shiver*).

In that (not at all spooky) spirit, lets take a look at some of my favorite modern Autumn decor. I totally respect (and even maybe envy a little) the person who crafts a spider web the size of their house and a giant spider the size of a buick to go with it. I love seeing people go all out because what are the holidays without spirit? As for me and my delicate nerves though, I prefer my decor a little more subtle. If I put a skeleton climbing up my drain pipe - the only person who will end up terrified is me every time I catch a glimpse of it out the window and I can't live like that! And if the decor lasts from Halloween through Thanksgiving it's even better - decorating twice? Ain't nobody got time for that. As a bonus, at the end I'm sharing my fall bucket list, how many will you check off?

Successful Autumn decor is all about natural and cozy elements: pumpkins, apples, and gourds, cable knit blankets, fall leaves, antlers and fur, layers of textiles, warm browns and tans mixed with some dusty greens.


1. Fluffy, Cuddly Pillows - The fastest way to change up a look of a room is with throw pillows. The couch, the bed, side chairs. All the pillows. These three are from Target, West Elm, and Zazzle. I do love me some buffalo check in the fall, and that cable knit pillow could definitely carry you through the winter holidays too!

2. Plaid Tray - Target is seriously killing it with the plaid this fall. I want so much of what they have, including their entire collaboration with Adam Lippes. This tray could hold all the fixins for Hot Toddys on your bar cart or it could corral some fun decor on your coffee table - or even host a cozy breakfast in bed. I love trays. 

3. Gold Antlers - Another decor piece that could carry you through Christmas. I love the gold on these from the Manor, but natural antlers work too. I found an unmounted pair at a resale shop - keep an eye out and you can find them from time to time. I love that antlers add a natural element while still being sculptural and abstract at the same time.

4. Plaid Mug - Target again. These mugs are great for some of those chilly mornings on the porch or hot cocoa around the fireplace or backyard bonfire. The tall shape is ideal for wrapping your cold little hands around and the glint of gold made them an immediate favorite for me. (I personally need more coffee mugs like I need a hole in the head, but if you're in the market...)

5. Velvet Pumpkins - I've been obsessed with these little babies since I saw them on The Manor's instagram account some time in September. They come in all sorts of gorgeous colors and are pumpkins that would actually last (who hasn't found a collapsed and decaying mini-pumpkin at the bottom of their Halloween decor box? Never again.) I think I need one in ever size and color! How fantastic are those real stems? 

And if you just HAVE TO have a little more scary in your decor I think I could tolerate some of these:

Clockwise from Top Left: Paper bats - I know Martha Stewart makes some that I got at Hobby Lobby - just stick and go!, Floating witches hats - Target has some witch hats in their $1 sections RIGHT. NOW, this gold skull from Manor might be as scary as I can handle (and it's a BANK so you can start saving for Christmas!), and these skeleton flamingos are silly and amazing - party stores carry them or try your hand at making your own!

Clockwise from Top Left: Paper bats - I know Martha Stewart makes some that I got at Hobby Lobby - just stick and go!, Floating witches hats - Target has some witch hats in their $1 sections RIGHT. NOW, this gold skull from Manor might be as scary as I can handle (and it's a BANK so you can start saving for Christmas!), and these skeleton flamingos are silly and amazing - party stores carry them or try your hand at making your own!

So, are you more of an Autumn decor person or do you like to make your house a living nightmare...or do you fall somewhere in between? Hopefully this guide gets you decorated in time to still do all the best fall activities. As I promised heres my bucket list...which ones are you going to try?


Shopping, Best ofLauren BraudComment

On any given day I could be found working at my parents kitchen table, my brother's girlfriend's apartment, or any number of coffee shops around town. This is due in (large) part to still not having internet at Wrightwood - in order to get cable run to the house to even set up wi-fi we have to go through a whole process. Another reason is that I don't have a space to work there. The dining table is covered in construction documents, random bits of hardware, and dust. Now that the guest room is all sanded and painted and anxiously awaiting furniture, I can turn my attention to an office space all my own. All my dreams of perfectly placed witty coffee mugs and fresh flowers will finally come true. One of the first things that I'm thinking about for my office is a work surface - and I have my heart set on a white desk. I also learned from my last foray into desk buying that buying one without storage is a mistake. I own far too many pens and paintbrushes and paper goods and cute office supplies to have them all out on my desk. In my office specifically I need multiple work surfaces since I need space to layout drawings or samples, so I can see IKEA in my future. Their Linnmon tops are amazing, durable, and oh-so-cleanable (because somehow my work surfaces almost always end up looking like four sugar crazed 6 year olds had craftime at my desk). I would definitely place it on top of some serious storage but they have some cute leg options too. But because of my general messiness, I would really like my main desk to look grown up - to make it look at least a little bit like I'm a functioning adult. If you would like to pretend you've got adulthood on lock too, I've rounded up some of my favorite white desks from around the interwebs just for you!

ONE KINGS LANE - campaign desk | I've had this guy saved on my pinterest boards forever. Gold and white? Come on. Tons of storage, and pretty to boot. This desk would make a pretty awesome entry table or console in the future too when it had run it's course as a desk. Honestly I can think of like 20 places I could put this table right now.

IKEA - alex desk | Clean & simple. And the only non-x-base in this selection. This desk looks good and at $169 is totally affordable. It has those two big drawers (yay! storage!) but what you can't tell from this picture is that there is a little fold up flap on the backside for cord management that is genius. Honestly I didn't even know about that when I picked it, but I just found out and this desk may have just become my front-runner. *insert heart-eye emoji here*

TARGET - x-base desk | This is my #1 boo. Thanks Target for giving me more reasons to just throw money at you. I mean Target gets it. I love the integrated look of the drawer on the front and the proportions are just right. I even like how there is a base on the legs which I think would really help the desk stand out on the colorful vintage kilim rug of my dreams. At about $327 this is a pricier option that IKEA but it has a glass top and the legs are metal - so it's probably a more durable option too.

IKEA - skarsta desk | I lied. There are two non-x-base AND this one doesn't have storage. However this is a sitting/standing desk! I have done a lot of reading about the benefits of not sitting all day and I like the ease with which this desk could transform - this desk could save your life y'all. I had to include it. It's not the prettiest, and yet it's the prettiest convertible desk I've seen. For drafting and drawing - or just stretching your legs a little this is a pretty cool option. It comes in two size options now - including one that is 63" x 32" which is impressive!

WORLD MARKET - josphine desk | Another great budget option. I love World Market, don't you? I'll be honest, I don't love the proportions as much as some of the others and the legs being inset instead of on the edges of the desk is a little bit of a weird choice. I think I would have to see this one in person before really making a decision but for $199 this is an affordable choice. It also comes in kelly green - and studies have shown that the color green promotes creativity!

WAYFAIR - watkins desk | This desk is visually lighter than the others. I think this would look great as a stand alone or if you had to have a desk in room where other functions take place (like in your bedroom - which I don't advocate and I know from experience is sometimes unavoidable) and you just want the desk to go-away. I like the two drawers - deeper drawers allow for hiding of more things - important for sanity and in multi-functional rooms. Bye bye stapler and post its. (and what is this?? I found it for even less at Joss & Main... reason 9289345 to shop around y'all)

CRATE & BARREL - spotlight desk | At $599 this one is a splurge for sure. The spotlight desk is one of the larger options though, and you know it's quality and will last a while. I love the cross brace between the legs that you can rest your feet on and unlike the World Market desk I think this beauty gets her proportions just right. It also has three drawers for storage and the middle one flips down to become a work surface - perfect when your desk is covered with papers.

I hope this guide helps you on your quest for the perfect place to layout instragram, I mean, desk. I know I have my favorite picked out. I can't wait for my office to be ready so I can share it with you all (and so I can finally stop carting all my work all over town). So tell me, which desk is your favorite?