Okay, I’m going to admit it. We have not one itty bitty bit of pumpkin decor out at the farm. No farmhouse steps lined with white pumpkins and mums. No pumpkin spice latte in the percolator. Somewhere in the garden shed is my pumpkin welcome sign, which I may or may not bother to dig out. We’ll see.
As I scroll through Instagram, I see tons of tablescapes, porchscapes, and all kinds of farm-y scapes filled with pumpkins and leaves and just the right amount of bling. And did you know if you are decorating with pumpkins, the traditional rich orange is not your only choice? They come in all shades of sage green and cream so you can artfully blend them with the carefully crafted farmhouse look.
What’s the farmhouse look? As best as I can tell, it’s furniture slip covered in white, a little bit of distressed wood, a little bit of metal, a few antique-y things, and grey, beige, and white everywhere else.
It seems the concept of farmhouse is all the rage these days. I get it. It’s lovely and dreamy, and the Fixer Upper people have turned it into a lucrative business (seriously, that’s great for them). But for most of us living in the country, these pics are not even close to reality.
So for a little fall fun, I thought I’d debunk a few of the fall farmhouse decor myths, at least around this farmgirl’s humble barndominium.
White sofas – Who are we kidding with this one? Yes, it’s lovely. And yes you can bleach it, but heaven help me I’d be bleaching daily. It would remain white for all of two seconds before Maybelle bounded onto it with wet paws or a black cat decided to make it his scratching post.
Pumpkins by the dozens – Yes, pumpkins are great. But thanks to Starbucks and their PSL (pumpkin spice latte in case you’ve been hiding under a rock), pumpkin flavors and pumpkin decor are E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. And while folks used to get one pumpkin and carve it with the kiddos, the photo worthy farmhouses filling up my Instagram feed look as if they’ve had an 18-wheeler of pumpkins delivered. Seriously, the last time I had a pumpkin, it was lovely, right up until I left it outside, sitting too long on the porch bench, and well let’s just say it was not pleasant when I picked it up. And on a side note, I seriously do not remember all of this pumpkin crazy when we were kids. Our moms handed us the plastic pumpkin to go trick-or-treating, we watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and called it good.
Accessories, lord honey, accessories – Look, we all love to decorate our houses. They are expressions of us. For Cowboy and I, it’s a mix of things we’ve collected over the years. Lately, though we’ve been on a real pairing down spree. Why? Because country living is dusty and messy. That’s right, when you live in the country with gravel driveways and large fields, well dust is just a fact of life. And while I truly adore all of those perfectly accessorized rooms, it’s just not practical. Not to mention, with dog tails wagging and cats climbing, things will get knocked over, broken, and worst of all, eaten. (And on that last one, if eaten stays down and doesn’t come back up or out to haunt you in another way, well then that’s a good critter day.)
Perfect porches – Now this one speaks to my heart of hearts. The porch is my home. I am out on my porch daily. It’s my happy place. But it does not constantly look like I am ready to host tea. I don’t have rugs and fabrics swathed all around. Why, you ask? Well, first of all, the aforementioned critters. Heck, I’m lucky if I can keep Maybelle from digging up my potted plants, or, worse, eating horse apple snacks. That means it’s slim to none, I’m going to keep fabrics pristine outside. Pillows? Let’s just say they’d be gone with the wind. After two summers of chasing chair cushions around the pasture, I finally wised up and bought ones that tie to the chairs. Brilliant! There is nothing like riding the tractor around the farm, weaving between horses, looking for chair cushions. Oh and what decor is on my porch right now? A snake grabber and a shovel. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
Now I say a lot of this with fun and jest. We love fall and all the joy that comes with it. And I’m sure pumpkin something or other will appear at the farm before this season ends. (Seriously, all of this pumpkin madness has to be a real boom for pumpkin farmers. Two points for that.)
And to those farm style bloggers who can whip up some amazing decor and inspire us all, more power to you. You are some amazing folks. However, if you are reading this and are a bit more like this farmgirl, i.e. likely to be wandering around doing chores in an old t-shirt, jeans, and muck boots, your house slightly disheveled, the only white decor that stands a chance is your washable wood trim, and critters rule the roost, it’s perfectly okay.
Don’t feel guilty. Don’t think you have to run out and fill your grocery cart with pumpkins and somehow stack them with hay bales and mums in a way that is oh so extra. Don’t spend hundreds on craft supplies to make the perfect tablescape that is destined to be chewed on by the cat. Instead, enjoy your farm (or cottage, or house, or apartment), and whatever fall means to you. Drink a PSL if you like, or go rogue and drink a Dr. Pepper from a glass bottle while sitting barefoot on the porch reading a good book. (Personally, I pick cozy mysteries every time. )
And for all you ladies who make it looks so easy, God bless you. I do love the inspiration. But when I look at my own farm pics on Instagram, I have to remind myself that pumpkins and white sofas are just one of the many ways farmgirls can decorate our humble abodes. For the rest of us, washable denim and a can of Libby’s pumpkin will have to do.
P.S. I totally recognize the irony of writing this on the eve of visiting the Magnolia Silos. Maybe I just had to assure my wacky farmgirl self, who while not the quintessntial decorator, is still quite okay. At least in the eyes of Cowboy and the critters, and that’s all that matters.