Autumnal Infusion

Spruce up your Home for Fall

WHILE THE SUN CONTINUES TO SHINE on our beautiful state and the leaves are, well, still green, there are some things you can do to transition the season within your home to usher in autumn.

Color is the first indicator of fall, most notably the jewel and harvest tones – golds, oranges and reds – in all their earthy and warmest glory. Scents – such as cinnamon, star anise and cloves – also add to the aura of autumn.

The dining room, which stands to be the main attraction in these coming months, is a great place to start your home makeover.

“We don’t have dramatic changes in weather and landscape. We (in Hawaii) still want to feel that excitement that fall brings,” says Shari Saiki, award-winning interior designer and owner of Shari Saiki Design Studio and Mesh by Shari Saiki. “Our dining room tables are put to use for the holiday season, and we can bring fall in to the home by focusing on this area – and on food.”

Before reinventing your dining room, decide on a theme and then accessorize, says Saiki. For example, she suggests involving reclaimed wood tables and natural elements such as recycled glass, dry branch arrangements, miniature pumpkins and gourds. Linen place mats and napkins also warm up a room.

For a Middle Eastern or Asian style, consider taking the sit-down dinner to the floor by using a coffee table or grouping of coffee tables surrounded by comfortable floor pillows. You also can coordinate accessories on the table and throughout the room.

Changing your home for the season is a personal expression of how you feel the season. “If you’re a traditionalist, you might have the horn of plenty and pumpkins. For Christmas, Santas and the snowmen,” says Saiki.

Once the dining room is complete, it’ll be easy to extend the new theme throughout the rest of the house.

Matching accent pillows in the living room, a new area rug, complementing towels in the bathroom all weave the home décor together.

“Changing the setting of your home between seasons gives you something to look forward to,” adds Saiki. “Getting together with people you may not have seen the rest of the year – adding these touches to your house helps to add to that anticipation, and the buildup of the fall and the coming holidays.”


1. Buy new place mats in fall colors. This is one of the quickest and easiest fixes to spruce up your tabletop and introduce color. My pick is the Chilewich line of tabletop décor, which includes place mats, napkins and table runners. It’s a vinyl textile that is so easy to clean and comes in great colors. Also, vintage obi makes for a great table runner. You can sew your own with just a few seams!

2. Stock up on candles, scented and unscented. Use unscented ones for the table so the fragrance doesn’t mix with the food aroma. Intersperse groupings of candles with fragrances such as vanilla, lavender and cinnamon for a woodsy fall mood. Floral scents are for spring.

3. For fall, look for natural accessories for your centerpiece. When the weather turns cooler, take a family outing through the rain forest or on the beach. Choose a fallen branch with interesting knobs or a bleached piece of driftwood from which you can hang leaves, ornaments or tuck in little votives. 4. Along with fall colors, jewel tones can take you from autumn through the holidays. Deep, rich ruby, garnet and gold add festive flair.

5. Buy glass vases or bowls. The bigger the better! Layer with cinnamon sticks, star anise, mini gourds and my favorite, pine cones from Aiea Loop Trail. The rich smell invokes a highlight of the season – mulling spice!

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