by Jennifer Ruple

When it comes to fall decorating ideas, look no further than Mother Nature. Amy Nolfo of The Butter Barn, a monthly barn sale event in Ottawa Lake, Mich. featuring vintage and reimagined treasures, declared, “This really is my time of year. My favorite thing about fall décor is that Mother Nature provides just about everything you need, pumpkins, gourds and colorful leaves.”
The Butter Barn, 5541 Consear Rd., is the creation of designers and curators, Nolfo and Brad Bingley. For Bingley it’s all about the ambiance. “I think about fall decorating in terms of a total sensory experience,” he explained. “The scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, an apple pie baking in the oven, cider warming on the stove and warm flannel shirts… all create that cozy fall feeling.”
Nolfo and Bingley were happy to share some of their favorite decorating tips for the season.

“We all have jars, big bowls, favorite vases… fill them with a variety of pumpkins and gourds. Vases look great with cuttings of long twigs with leaves still intact in bold fall colors in lieu of flowers,” said Nolfo.
“You know all those pots and urns of summer flowers you are now emptying? Well, fill them back up,” smiled Nolfo. “We love perching gourds and pumpkins in garden pots. I always keep Spanish moss on hand to tuck in under the pumpkins,” she added.
“The ‘flower of the season’ is the hardy mum, available in lots of great autumn colors,” stated Nolfo. “Mums are inherently rustic, so they look great in old containers. Head to your barn, garden shed or local vintage shop and pick up old buckets, rustic wooden crates and boxes for unique and fast fall centerpieces and porch décor. Leave the mums in their pots and simply pop them into your containers,” she suggested.

Nolfo and Bingley love flannel and like to repurpose their old shirts into fall décor. Nolfo explained, “When I want to add some fun decorative touches, I do my ‘snip and rip’ technique to create rag ties for the handles on our buckets of mums, flannel bows around electric candles, ties on vintage coffee mugs and just about anywhere that needs a little kiss of autumn.”
The next Butter Barn sale event runs October 17 through 20 from 10 am to 4 pm each day.