Embrace autumn colors in design

Embrace autumn colors in design
By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

October is the time to celebrate the harvest and borrow a few decorating colors. Take a cue from pumpkins, falling leaves, apples of all colors and flavors, cranberries, sunflowers and the rich hues of the chrysanthemum.

I’ve been lucky enough to provide the decorations for an event this month at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. It’s a fund-raiser for Jupiter Medical Center and will honor football legend Joe Namath. The former New York Jets star is the namesake of the hospital’s Joe Namath Neurological Research Center. Namath has suffered neurological problems and has been treated at the medical center, as have patients involved in automobile accidents or who have suffered strokes.

The Plaza’s ballroom will be sporting a “fall at the stadium” look. Planning a tablescape for a charity event, wedding or private party calls for the same sort of imagination and follow-through that room décor demands.

Table linens created especially for the fund-raiser will feature a Florida trellis pattern in golden corn and russet tones on white. Fall leaves in russets, wheat tones and pale greens will be assembled in baskets for the centerpieces, along with golden sunflowers and those shaggy-chic mums so often seen pinned to women’s coats at football games. Strings of tiny lights will add shimmer to the tables as they are scattered among small gourds.

Arched boxes overlooking the ballroom will be decked out with hanging baskets filled with more autumn foliage.

Natural touches are so important in bringing life to a ballroom when decorating for a gala event. The same concept is important at home, too.

Recently while I was decorating a home in Connecticut, my client asked why I had placed a medium-sized carved trunk on a Jacobean table in her entry hall. I said it would be used to display potted flowers that could be changed for every season. Just lift the trunk’s top and fill the inside with, say, six or nine plants in clay pots with saucers.

For the fall, I would suggest orange flowers — a mix of small white button mums and sunflowers.

I’m looking forward to decorating for the Joe Namath event, which will offer a colorful kick-off for the fall.


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