4 Fall Porch Decorating Tips to Achieve a Pinterest-Perfect Look

Fall means many things, the beginning of cooler days, leaves falling, pumpkin spice lattes and my favorite, a time to restyle your front porch! This year we decorated 44 porches in Columbus, Ohio and Fairfield County, Connecticut. We've styled porches for pregnant moms, busy parents, and families that are immunocompromised. 2020 has brought on so many challenges for us all. We were thrilled to be able to do our small part to spread fall cheer in our communities.

After decorating so many porches, we decided to write down our top front porch decorating tips so you can achieve a designer look in your own home! First step, decide on a general color palette. This year, we had a lot of fun designing our 3 distinctive fall looks centered around a concept & color theme.

Tip 1 - Choose a Concept & Color palette

Our Eternal Summer look was inspired by our own neighborhood in Coastal Connecticut. This look included a blush-tinged color palette and nautical-inspired accents. We sourced white, pale pink & lavender mums, white wicker baskets, and a white wood nautical lantern. We added hand painted copper & gold accents to complement the muted tones in the scheme.

Our Modern Monochrome look features bold purple mums. We wanted the flowers in this scheme to really pop and add a bright contrast with all the black and white accents. The black and white pumpkin trend isn't going away and transitions so well into your Halloween decor!

The Tried and Trad concept was our most popular package. The beauty of fall comes alive in this look with a its  warm color palette. Golden yellow, burnt orange, and bronze red mums our the foundation for this look. They represent different colored leaves you see as they begin to change with cooler temps. The traditional sugar pumpkins, hay, wooden accents added a bit of country charm to every home.

Tip 2 - layout is key

We are a team of designers trained in basic principles of interior design & interior architecture. Our training and experience came in handy when figuring out how to style our clients homes like the cover of a magazine. However, here are some basic tips you could use to create an editorial style look in your home:

Create balance & harmony with the same number items on both sides of your steps. If you have a lantern on one side, then place a large pumpkin on the other to achieve balance.

  • Buy mums and pumpkins in even numbers.
  • If you don't have multiple steps to arrange pumpkins on, then focus on creating vignettes or groupings of items.
  • Stack pumpkins for height or lay them on their side against a step so they are visible from the street.

TIP 3 - LAYER IN Texture & Decorative ACCENTS

A sign or doormat is welcoming touch to any home. This year, we partnered with AR Workshop to offer custom fall signs and personalized mats to our clients. We delivered them along with our packages and they added so much charm and personality.

A wreath is an important and beautiful focal point on your door. Our wreaths matched the overall concept & color palette with each look. We used outdoor command hooks on doors to hang them. For the modern monochrome package, we tied a large black and white bow on a door hook to hang behind the magnolia leaf wreath.


Don't be afraid to add in faux pumpkins to your scheme. We had fun painting faux pumpkins to add visual interest in our designs. We used metallic blush & gold tones in the eternal summer look and painted black & white patterns in our modern monochrome look.

Hay & Cornstalks are very traditional and inexpensive fall decor items. We like using both to add a variety of textures and height to our designs. The cornstalks should flank either side of your door or mounted directly to columns with simple metal wire. The hay is perfect as the base for a vignette. Stack flowers and pumpkins on top and in front to create a Pinterest worthy picture.

TIP 4 - lighting for those longer nights

Finally, as the sun sets earlier and earlier, think about adding warm lighting to the front of your home. Lanterns with LED candles on a timer are very easy to manage and go a long way to welcome visitors to your home. Michaels & Home Goods are great places to shop for lanterns.

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13 Wallpapers Perfect for Your Gender Neutral Nursery

Expecting? Congrats! Planning a nursery is one of the many exciting things that come with a new baby (and was personally our favorite part of the pregnancy experience). Of course, if you're waiting to find out the gender of your baby, designing a nursery becomes a little more complicated, because you'll want to create a space that can grow and change with either a boy or girl's interests.

Enter: gender-neutral wallpaper. It's a great way to add a "wow" element to your baby's room while also

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An Elegant But Whimsical Nursery in Fairfield

An Elegant But Whimsical Nursery in Fairfield

Kids rooms are always one of the most fun spaces to design in any home, and this nursery for a baby girl in Fairfield was no exception! Baby Izzy already had a big brother, so her mom was super excited to welcome a girl and create a feminine, but cozy room.

The design started with the wallpaper (as nursery designs often do). This sophisticated Chinoiserie pick is from Tempaper. Not only is it gorgeous, but just in case the family wants to change up the room in a few years (or baby Izzy has some design ideas of her own) its peel-and-stick backing makes it easy to remove.

Another highlight of the space is the sweet-but-stylish glider. The blush pink velvet upholstery is inviting, but the oversized, curved dimensions give it a contemporary feel that balances the softness in the room.

A floral light fixture, antique beveled mirror, and glass-shade wall sconces finish off this pretty space.

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Fairfield County Interior Designers Share Top Decorating Trends for 2020

Fairfield County Interior Designers Share Top Decorating Trends for 2020

Trends. We hate to call ourselves beholden to them, yet we find ourselves falling for them time and time again. Whether it was the chevrons of 2012, or the sputnik chandeliers of 2015, or the cool-gray paint colors of the entire last decade, we were there for it, because as much as we love timeless design, we also love the way trend pieces feel novel and fresh, and breathe life into spaces that feel tired or boring.

The thing about trends is that they inspire you to look at your world (in this case, your home) in a new way, for example, a pattern you never would have thought of last year is suddenly en vogue and now you're obsessed with it and you've got a new vision for your whole bedroom. Because they're often unexpected (but predictable, if you pay attention), and omnipresent, they come in with a bang and go out just as quickly. So, we say, embrace trends in little bits while they're here. Incorporate a new print on a throw pillow, or swap out your dining chairs for the "it" silhouette, or, heck, even paint your walls the latest color of the year (you can always re-paint later). But choose the trends that speak to your style, and use them in ways that don't define your entire home for an extended period of time (i.e. don't buy a burnt orange velvet sofa, unless it's your favorite color and you know you'll love it for years to come. Otherwise, go burnt orange throw pillows instead).

We polled some of our favorite local interior designers around Fairfield County, and here's what they had to say.

Bring on the Grandmillennials

"I'm all about the 'grandmillenial' style for 2020. Traditional design with a twist of granny chic. Think: chintz, ruffles, antiques, cornices, and wicker. I’m here for it all!" - Dana Ferraro, Molly Patton Design

Move on, Minimalism

"Moving away from the simple, clean and modern palette (most commonly declared "Scandinavian"), I see interior design trending towards a more purposeful collection of heirloom quality pieces. Seeking warmth and comfort in a space, but without the cluttered knick knack's of our past. Picture Grandma's living room, but without the fringe-trimmed curtains and porcelain figurines. Perhaps you pair light wood toned hard cases with traditional upholstery pieces and classic art with your favorite cozy throw. Seeking authenticity seems to be where we're heading as a generation, so why not open the doors to your home and truly live with what makes you happy?" -Amelia Jo Fogarty, Amelia Jo & Co.

A Little Rusty

"We all know that everyone is excited about Classic Blue being Pantone’s color of the year but I am predicting lots of rust colored accents in the future. It’s a perfect color to gently warm up a room whether it’s by adding throw pillows or reupholstering a favorite piece of furniture." - Ashley Sheping, designer, The Finish, and owner of Fort Interiors 

#Throwback Style

"I never thought I'd say this .. but I'm digging the 80s revival that's happening in design right now! Specifically the larger, chunkier, Memphis-inspired silhouettes moreso than the prints and colors. But the shapes, love it. I think it just feels really fresh after a decade of streamlined midcentury everything." - Kaitlin Madden Armon, co-founder, The Finish

Bold(er) Wallpaper

"In 2020 I predict an even greater resurgence in bold printed wallpaper. Think saturated colors, modern florals, geometrics, lots of interesting texture and hand painted abstract looks- much like an artists canvas but pasted onto your walls! This combined with classic elements- black and white tiled bathrooms, antique sideboards in dining rooms and marble topped entry tables will feel very luxe, collected and current." - Diane Rath, founder The Rath Project

Cocktail Hour

"Drink tables are now a thing, as they should be. They started as pure function; to rest a drink. Now, as 2020 comes to a start, we are seeing more and more sculptural designs that create a statement within a room or act as an art piece in itself. They can be used as base for styling. Add a flower arrangement paired with your favorite candle and you have a complete look." Ashley Sheping, designer, The Finish, and owner of Fort Interiors 

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17 Gorgeous Coffee Table Toppers that are Kid-Friendly, Too

When you have small children, it's best to just assume that at some point, everything in your home will be investigated, climbed on, picked up, or played with. But just because your decor needs to be kid-friendly doesn't mean you have to forgo beautiful furniture and stylish details. One of our favorite ways to add personality and polish to a living room is with accent pieces on the coffee table. We've found 17 kid-friendly coffee table toppers that are not just chic, but unbreakable, too. 

Moss Rocks.

We love adding these moss-covered rocks to low bowls for an instant pop of earthy color. The best part? These "rocks" are actually made of styrofoam.

Wooden Bowls.

Organic wooden bowls are a big trend for 2020, and we love them because dents and scratches only add to their weathered charm.

Coffee Table Storage Books.

Actual coffee table books aren't breakable or dangerous, but if you have expensive ones, you run the risk that pages will be torn out or creased (or chewed on, etc).  These storage box books are hollow inside, so you get the look of books, without worrying about thir

Brass Objects.

Plastic Charger Plates.

Charger plates make an inexpensive

Resin Vases.

Unlike ceramic and glass, resin vases won't break if they're knocked off the table during a game of tag or pulled to the ground by curious hands.

Faux Florals.

Fill your resin vases with faux floral stems in lieu of real. That way, you don't need to fill the vase with water (which means less mess if it's knocked over).


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21 Decorating Ideas To Make Your Airbnb or Short-Term Rental Stand Out

21 Decorating Ideas To Make Your Airbnb or Short-Term Rental Stand Out

Short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO have become incredibly popular these days. For owners, this means your listing needs to stand out among the competition in order to get booked. One of the biggest advantages you can give yourself is creating a beautiful, well-decorated home that feels like a special getaway worthy of your guests' vacation time.

If decorating isn't your forte, however, worry not, because we've compiled 18 awesome decorating ideas to help you style a 5-star airbnb listing.

Create an Instagram moment.

Everywhere you go these days, there's an Instagram moment. Wall murals perfect for posing against, neon signs in restaurants that proclaim "cheers" or "rose all day," the latte art baristas carefully pour ... people love to share good design, and businesses are catching on by giving patrons something to share. Take a cue from this trend and add a few bold decor moments into your home. Try:

Adding a bold wallpaper in a bedroom, powder room or living space

airbnb decor ideas - wallpaper

Staging a tiki bar on the patio or by the pool

airbnb decor ideas - tiki bar
Photo via OMG Home Decor on Pinterest

Installing a statement light fixture above the dining table

airbnb decor ideas - modern dining room
Architect: Jason Thomas

Hanging a gallery wall from floor-to-ceiling

airbnb decor ideas - gallery wall

Placing a welcome mat with a fun saying on the porch.

Guests will take notice!

Consider curb appeal.

Just like when you're selling your home, curb appeal is key when it comes to your airbnb listing. You want your home to look clean, inviting, and fresh, both in photos and when your guest arrive.


Adding a new coat of exterior paint in a crisp white or other neutral.

airbnb decor ideas - white paint
Photo: LAUREY W. GLENN via Southern Living Magazine

Replacing the front door, or painting the existing one in a cheery shade of aqua, yellow, red, or coral.

airbnb decor ideas - front door
Source: One Kings Lane, Photo by Norman Pogson/Alamy

Planting flower beds or planters with low-maintenance perennials

airbnb decor ideas - gardening
Image: Proven Winners

Hanging a wreath on the front door.

airbnb decor ideas - front door wreath
Image: Inspiration for moms.

Choose a theme.

Choosing a clearly defined style or theme for your space will go a long way in making it feel cohesive, and will also make it easier to make decorating decisions. Choose your style based on the location of the space.

On a college campus? Try decorating with collegiate-inspired chesterfield sofas, prints like plaids, and stripes, and shades of navy, white, and forest green. Don't forget to add a few pennants or throw blankets with the school logo.

airbnb decor ideas - college campus

Near the beach? Paint the walls white, and accent with coastal-inspired shades of pale blue, sand, and green, or go in a nautical direction with navy and red tones mixed in with brass finishes and dark woods.

airbnb decor ideas - coastal decor
Photo: Home Bunch

In the city? Go for sleek, sophisticated and modern style with contemporary furnishings and modern art, or evoke a loft space with industrial-inspired design.

airbnb decor ideas - modern city apartment
Image via Hunker Home

In the mountains? Choose a cozy, nature-inspired design. Think: leather furniture, unfinished woods, faux cow-hide rugs layered over wool versions, chunky knit blankets, and vintage ski posters or maps of national parks.

airbnb decor ideas - mountain decor
Image via The Cottage Journal

You get the idea.

Don't neglect the accessories.

While too many tchotchkes will make your airbnb feel cluttered (not to mention hard to keep neat and clean), adding in a layer of decor once the furnishings are in place will give it major style points.

A few musts:

Wall art. Every room needs at least one or two things on the walls. Framed posters, textiles, vintage paintings, pennants and banners, large clocks, or gallery walls are all great options.

airbnb decor ideas - gallery wall
Image via

Throw pillows. Not only do throw pillows make a sofa or bed look more inviting, but they help tie in a color scheme, too. If you went with a nautical vibe, for example, choosing a throw pillow with white and navy striped will help tie in the color palette from the rest of the space. A general rule of thumb: purchase throw pillow covers instead of actual pillows, so you can wash them and easily swap them out as needed.

airbnb decor ideas - throw pillows
Image via Serena & Lily

Area rugs. Don't be tempted to skip the rugs! Area rugs give a room a "finished" feel. If you have hardwood or tile floors, you'll risk a cold or sterile feeling without rugs.

airbnb decor ideas - area rugs
Image via West Elm

Add Local Flavor

Traveling guests will want a sense of place when they come to your home, which ties back to the themes we suggested earlier. You can take it one step further by adding local touches to your home, which you can call out in your listing.


Artwork or photography by a local artist

Design & image by Departure Interiors

Soaps or toiletries by a maker from the area.

Image via Barefoot Gypsy

A shelf styled with guidebooks on area attractions and novels by area authors.

Image via @silverspies on Instagram


Furniture made by local craftsman or vintage pieces purchased from local shops.

Image via My Scandinavian Home

Mix and Match

If you're not a decorator by nature, and you're just trying to get your place furnished so you can list it, you may be temped to purchase furniture "Sets" from big box retailers or chain stores. You know, an entire living room, with sofas, end tables, and an armchair for $999? Don't do it. This is almost guaranteed to make your place look generic and drab. Matching furniture is a dated concept. Instead:

Mix and match pieces from different retailers, eras, and price points for an elevated look.

Image via Magnolia

For example, if you buy a sofa and matching coffee table from your local furniture superstore, buy the armchairs from Target and get the end table from an antique shop. To make things look cohesive without matching, stick to colors that go with the theme or style you decided on earlier.

Finally, if you need help creating a distinctive space from scratch, even if it's just someone to help you sort out your ideas and put a moodboard together, consider hiring a professional stylist or decorator. Many do hourly consulting rates to help set you on the right track.

Find out more about Departure Interiors Airbnb furnishing and styling services here.

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