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Fall Decor Tips

November 3, 2014

Cozy sweaters, boots, coffee spiced with cinnamon, red wine — and nesting. “These are the things I love most about the fall season,” says Shannon ONeil Yerkovich. As a prop stylist for home and craft magazines, as well as a visual merchandiser for chic home design shops, the Cargo-Creative founder is the local decorating doyenne. From hosting an elegant fall dinner party to do-it-yourself crafts for the home, Yerkovich brings sophisticated style to the table — along with a few tips.

How can I create an autumn essence that isn’t kitschy?
For fall, I love contrast. Introduce the feeling of warmth and coziness to the home with color. Achieve this by keeping a neutral palette, and then pick one color family for seasonal decor — I like orange, navy, and magenta right now — and incorporate up to five shades in the same family. For the holidays, think “Winter Wonderland” verus “Santa’s Workshop.” Stick to subtle, creative accents opposed to tacky knickknacks.

What are some simple decorative accents?
Bring the outdoor harvest inside. I absolutely love white pumpkins. Pinecones, twigs, fruit (pomegranates, berries, persimmons), gourds in a variety of shapes and colors, succulents and autumn blooms (dahlias, sunflowers, mums) are all great for tabletop decorations. A seasonal candle can also set the mood; my favorite for fall is Forest by Rosy Rings. Around the holidays, I like to add Christmas greens — eucalyptus and magnolia leaves are great — with pinecones, bells, and other festive pieces.
A toasty fire in the fireplace brings it all together.

What DIY crafts work well as autumn décor?
Carve or paint a pumpkin. Decorate a wreath or Mason jar chandelier with things found in nature or from the farmers market. Create elaborate fall floral arrangements. For the holidays, I like to make my own ornaments; I fill them with things like fake snow and bells and other mini ornaments.

What decorating ideas are unique to coastal homes?
Around here we see a lot of outdoor decorations. We use our backyards and outdoor living spaces well into the season because the weather is welcoming. Dress your palm tree or oak with chandelier or white holiday lights. Carve out a large outdoor dining space. Play up an outdoor lounge area. You can also use coastal elements (sand, seashells, driftwood, faux coral) for making wreaths, chandeliers, and ornaments.

What is your favorite fall backyard tradition?
Setting the table is one of my favorite things to do; it sets a mood and creates a story. You can use some of the same items mentioned above, along with colorful glassware and candleholders to add to the ambiance. Fall is perhaps the greatest time to host a meal outdoors in Newport Beach. I love to cook a delicious feast for friends. On chillier nights, be sure to provide a basket of blankets for your guests!

Yerkovich also styles for engagements, weddings, and other private parties. For ideas or services, visit

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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