Do's and don'ts of decorating with autumn leaves

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Do's and dont's of decorating with autumn leaves
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Use white vinyl branches in a corner for an unusual focal point.

Pack away those summer linens and welcome the rich colors of autumn into your home. Outdoor displays of leafy brilliance -- like gold, red, and orange leaves -- can add vibrant hues to your interior landscape, too. Fall decorations make the perfect backdrop for football parties and seasonal holidays. Keep these do's and don'ts in mind when decorating your home with autumn leaves.

DO create leafy levels. Piling all your leaf arrangements at table height won't create any fall magic. Think in terms of location. For example, stencil a leafy fall vine around the top of a hall door; then position a basket full of leaves at the baseboard.

DON'T go over the top with your autumn leaf decorating touches. Too many leaves will make your family and guests feel like they're living in a tree house. Try to hit the right balance.

DO utilize textures. Touches of texture like a leaf-stenciled, burlap-covered pillow or a silk curtain with leaf cutouts help you create a touchable fall setting.

DO create a focal point of leafy glory. Dress up an entryway with an oversized hurricane vase. Fill it with branches of colored leaves; try a variety of tree species or stick with one type like a fiery, red maple. A wooden tray filled with leaves and varying layers of beeswax candles makes a gorgeous focal point for a table, bar, or dresser.

DON'T forget to dress up guest rooms, too. Wrap fall vines around a curtain rod. Make a picture-perfect arrangement on a guest room wall with photographs from a recent leaf foray. Arrange the guest towels in a tiered stack on the nightstand. Tie them together with twine and tuck a bright leaf under the bow.

DON'T be afraid to try unusual color combinations. You might think that an autumn leaf decor is only possible if you have a neutral background. Think again! You can pair colors with blues, purples, and even yellows. Play with a few silk leaves to match up the perfect combo for you.

Bottom line? Think outside the box but don't go overboard. A cascade of painted leaves on a wall or a niche full of loose leaves and acorns are just a few more ways you can bring this lovely season indoors.

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