Normally, I do just about everything I can to get out of grocery shopping. Even an empty refrigerator can’t induce me to go to the market—that’s why God invented carry-out, right? But in the fall, I make an exception. I willingly hit the local food market, not to get stuff like milk and bread, but to prowl for seasonal decorating tools manufactured by Mother Nature herself.

My favorite? Gourds! These days you can find gourds in an array of colors, from buttery yellow and persimmon orange to ghostly white and eerie gray-green. And the sizes and shapes are just as interesting. I am wild about petite pumpkin-shaped gourds and any gourd that is twisted, gnarled and covered with knobby warts.

Here are a few ideas for using glorious gourds in your decorating this fall.

Monochromatic Masterpieces

Sometimes, the most dramatic displays are those that rely on variations in textures, not colors, to make a statement. This fall, try creating a display that weds together gourds and pumpkins with accents from the same color palette.

For instance, to bring a subdued but sophisticated fall touch to a side table, start with a weathered white capital riser. Blanket if with moss and place a pumpkin-shaped white gourd on top. Then finish off the look with a glass cloche.

If you’re having guests for dinner this fall, make it a “white pumpkin” affair. Start with a black and white damask or plaid tablecloth. Use silver trays as chargers below gold or silver-rimmed china. Place a black iron urn at the table’s center filled with twigs, gold-misted grape leaves and clusters, and white gourds. Then create an interesting multi-level tableau with mercury glass candlesticks, clear glass cake plates and silver trophy cups, all topped with white gourds.

If you like color, and plenty of it, pool a mass of vibrant but similarly colored gourds in a simple container, like a small concrete urn or cachepot, and you have an instant eye-catcher to place on your coffee table, mantel or kitchen island. For a fall display at Garrity’s we mounded several faux gourds on the shelves of one of my favorite two-tiered servers to create a simple centerpiece that would be ideal for a breakfast table.

Mix it Up

I admire the way Mother Nature mixes colors willy-nilly.  You can do the same in your fall tableaux by tossing together a variety of gourds. Create a memorable display on a side table by filling a decorative wheelbarrow with a harvest of green, white, yellow, orange and red pumpkins. Or place a large pumpkin, garden statue or gazing ball in the center of a mini concrete birdbath and surround it with a passel of assorted gourds.

To add grace to your dining room buffet or a console table in your entry, put matching blue and white Asian ginger jars on each end. Fill them with a bouquet of fall foliage and gourds, resting additional gourds and pumpkins randomly at the base of each jar. Freshen up your mantel with an undulating phalanx of pumpkins and gourds of different sizes, shapes and colors. Give a few gourds added height atop candlesticks or votive cups.

This year at Garrity’s, we’re creating lovely floral arrangements in inexpensive wicker baskets, then tucking in a few pumpkins here and there for added color and interest. Simple and inexpensive, these displays look fabulous in centerpieces or hung on doors or from garden gates.

Sneak in a Surprise!

Gourds are so much fun that they just scream to be used in quirky, unexpected ways in your home décor. Once I hollowed out gourds to use as soup bowls at a fall fete in my garden. To keep the soup warm in the chilly autumn air, I served the gourd bowls on small concrete risers topped with glass cloches.

Hollow out a tall pumpkin and fill it with fresh veggies like asparagus spears or carrot sticks. Try the same trick with a short pumpkin, filling it with dip. Shave off the top of a squat pumpkin to make it level then use it to hold serving trays filled with seasonal fruits or cups of steaming cider. Place candles in small, hollowed-out gourds or use mini pumpkins as place card holders.

I also like to use faux pumpkins on my dining table to delight guests. How about resting a squat squash inside a soup tureen to be uncovered by an unsuspecting diner?

Quick Fixes

If you’re busy this year and don’t have a lot of time for seasonal decorating, just work a gourd or two into your everyday displays, and in a matter of minutes, your home will have a subtle fall ambiance. Place a gourd on top of a cake plate, candlestick or vase to brighten up a side table. Work one or two into a cluster of family photos. Or group different sized pumpkins around a planter you already have on your front porch.

Or brighten up an empty corner by putting a faux pumpkin on a riser, then covering it with a wire cloche.

Next Week … The upcoming holiday season is a busy time for your dining room as you fill your calendar with dinner guests and parties. If you’re thinking about getting a new dining room table or dining chairs this year, come back next week when I’ll share some tips for picking a table and chairs you’ll love.

Want to receive the latest blog posting
in your email inbox every week?
Click here to sign up.

18 Responses to “Glorious Gourds in Your Fall Decor”

  1. Terri Steffes Says:

    It was a delight to meet you on Sunday. I was at Nell Hill’s and met you with my daughter Ashley who has your white china as her wedding china! We are from Jeff City!

    Can’t wait to come back to see the store for Christmas!

  2. J Says:

    I would love it if you would include recommended dimensions for dining room chairs–such as–how much room between chair and wall? How much depth before a “back pillow” is needed? How close can chairs be to one another? And, what is the “lead time” from order to delivery on most chairs.


  3. Merit N Hellman-Funk Says:

    Sensational inspirations. Love it love it love it. Heading out to get some gnarly gourds . Hope to see you in early October. Merit

  4. rene Says:

    After a long day at work, I love coming home and seeing your immagination at work. Thank you for cheering up my day. Rene

  5. Mary Carol Says:

    Berry–I will pass your information along, however, I have not heard that before and our computers are not doing that in the store locations.

  6. Mary Carol Says:

    Good information to pass along J–and our standard delivery time on a custom chair would be 8-10 weeks–maybe a little longer around the holidays and availability of fabrics.

  7. Mary Carol Says:

    Lovely meeting you too–Terri, can’t wait to see you back here for the holidays. It is already buzzing around here with new merchandise coming in everyday.

  8. Noreen Says:

    Loved your decorating ideas for Fall Gourds. Your decorating ideas are outstanding. At least once a year, I visit your store in Kansas City to get fresh ideas and purchase items. Sure wish you could expand your business to other states, in the meantime, I will shop through the internet. Thanks!

  9. Marilyn B Says:

    I.was in the Atchison store Labor Day weekend. Garriity’s was inspiring. I love gourds too. Always buy a bunch in the Fall.

  10. Linda Brewer Says:

    I do love the fall’s glorious colors that shout God;s autumn bounty. Thanks for these wonderful ideas for the home and for a beautiful store in Kansas City that never ceases to amaze me!

  11. Gail Says:

    I am so in the mood for fall decorating and your post is an inspiration for me to start Fall decorating. I wish I were closer to your stores but for now this is the next best thing.

  12. Nancy Potter Says:

    I too, live far away from the fount of inspiration, so as I absorb the beauty created from afar I peruse all the books and wish for another. Please say there are pictures in the camera and prose on the way and do give us a hint of when the wait might be over.

  13. Khristine Says:

    Purchased one of those great wire urns this weekend at the open house! Love it but need a little help on some ideas to fill it. I was thinking pumpkins and sticks for the urn and maybe some greenery or grapevine weaving through the the base? Any other ideas, and definitely need some ideas for the next decorating season (winter/Christmas). Please help.

  14. Mary Carol Says:

    Khristine—Make sure you look through the Aug. 30th blog–it showcases those urns decorated in a fall venue. Just take that same idea for your winter theme and substitute the pumpkins in the urn base with pincones, fruit and ornaments (by themselves or mixed together), then cascade some sticks and greenery out the top of the urn. It will be fun to constantly think of new ideas for your urns–Enjoy!

  15. Kathleen Beilein Says:

    I am interested in your fall floral display in baskets for my front door…love the simplicity and color.I understand from reading this post it is something new you are doing. I am interested in purchasing a basket display for my door and would like to know how much they cost and are they an item I could have sent to me?
    Thank you,

  16. Terri Landschoot Says:

    I am also interested in the long basket filled with the fall leaves. I would just like to purchase the basket. Can you buy it on-line?

  17. Karissa Shannon Says:

    Great articles & Nice a site….

  18. area rug cusion Says:

    Solid information.. This was my First time to your website. Thanks for sharing . I will revisit this website. I was a house specialist for five years. Personal decor hint of the century is this: Do not overdecor a home. A good walking path is key. Farewell..

Leave a Reply