Joe Warnement: Autumn decor tips to try at home

Joe Warnement: Autumn decor tips to try at home

Autumn decor tips to try at home

By Adrienne McGee Sterrett

Joe Warnement, floral design/interiors instructor at Apollo Career Center, was in constant motion during a recent visit as he busied himself putting the finishing touches on the floral shop at the school.

An open house in late September welcomed everyone to check out the renovation at the school, and Warnement wanted his department to be at its best.

And since it was all new, he and his students were faced with the challenge of a display space they had never decorated before. How best to design the mantel? What fits best on the hutch? What about these shelves? And the dining set?

The spacious shop offers many areas in which to feature different designs, with Warnement trying to demonstrate to a shopper what that arrangement might look like in their own home. A job, yes, but a fun one.

“Fall is such a beautiful and easy season to decorate,” Warnement said. “It’s the colors, I think, because they’re so warm and inviting.”

He was quick to riff on different ideas:

• Muted metallics. Think coppers and golds, the warm tones.

“And it transitions well into the holiday season,” he said.

• Shiny/bright.

“People want that color and the lights and the glitter. It just lifts people’s spirits. If we lived in Alaska, we’d need a lot of glitter,” he said.

• Natural themes.

“With pumpkins and gourds and just branches, you can make anything look great,” he said. “One of the biggest items that is readily available and very popular right now is burlap.”

• Terrariums.

“It always comes back,” he said of the succulent craze that was last popular in the ‘70s.

No matter your style, add a living green thing as a point of interest, and it will make you happy.

Idea No. 1: Find a good spot for an old trunk or interesting crate. Fill it with gourds and branches. Maybe twist some grapevine through it.

Idea No. 2: Source a wagon, wheelbarrow or crate you enjoy. Line it with burlap, maybe weaving the burlap through the spaces of the wagon/crate. Fill it with potted mums. Make a burlap wreath for your front door to echo the theme.

Idea No. 3: Do the traditional pumpkins, corn shocks, Indian corn, straw bales — but keep it up until Thanksgiving. There’s no need to be regimented — Halloween, then fall harvest, then Christmas. It can flow into each other.

“I’m a firm believer in celebrating all the way up through Thanksgiving,” he said. And then Christmas is “an explosion of glitter and color and lights.”

The floral shop at Apollo Career Center is open 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. every day school is in session. It offers everything a traditional florist offers, from fresh-cut arrangements, balloons and memorial gifts. All items must be picked up; delivery is not available. Apollo Career Center is at 3325 Shawnee Road, Lima, and the floral shop is steps from the front main doors to the right.


Save the date: The Christmas at Apollo craft show is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3. Admission $3 adults, free ages 12 and younger.


Floral adult education classes will begin in January. Check for details.


The floral department’s new greenhouse will allow for bedding plants offered for sale in spring, forced bulbs in winter, poinsettias at the holidays, and vegetables for use in the school’s Garden Café.

Salt Magazine

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