fall wreath

Have you ever watched that show “What Would You Do?”

You know.

The one with the host who hides hidden cameras and then puts people in awkward situation and films their reactions to random things and sometimes they totally do the right thing and pay for the toy for the little child who’s mother can’t afford it and sometimes they just raise their eyebrows and walk away.

There are days when I feel like I’m about to be the star of that show.

fall decorating bedroom

I have to begin by explaining that I like my Halloween non-scary.

I know ghosts and ghouls and goblins and boooos and eeeeeks are a thing.

I get it.

I understand.


pumpkin decorating for fall

But me?

I like gourds and corn stalks and leaves and wreaths and burlap measuring tape ribbon.

I’m okay with the occasional bat or spider or spooky silhouette…..

….and I always like my pumpkins to smile.

fall decorating

Yesterday, me and my non-spooky Halloween self were sitting in a parking lot minding our business and our pumpkins when a vehicle pulled up next to my car.

I glanced up from my dashboard.

And stared.

And wiped my eyes.

And stared again.

pumpkins fall

Parked next to me was a Zombie rescue vehicle.

It was super official looking and covered with zombie writing and scary looking graphics and dark tinted windows and ghouly looking paint.


And as I stared at it intently…..

….four thoughts occurred simultaneously in my brain.

rustic pumpkins

1.  Are zombies a thing now?

2.  Do they really need rescuing?

3.  Should I check my lipstick and make sure I was having a good hair day?

4.  And where were the cameras for the hidden camera show?

fall mantel bedroom

No one ever came out of the vehicle.

No hidden cameras showed up.

No zombies were rescued that day.

But I was ready.

Just in case.

And for the record?  My lipstick looked amazing. 🙂

PS  How do you like your Halloween?

PPS  Here’s a source list for the fall decor:

branch basket:  Painted Fox Shop

numbered drawers:  Hobby Lobby

birch bark wreath (this is a larger size than the one I listed previously….the other one sold out):  Painted Fox shop

gray architectural plaque:  Hobby Lobby

straw bundle:  Painted Fox shop

pumpkins:  grocery store

curtains:  Lowe’s (drop cloth)

wood planter:  Painted Fox shop

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      I LOVE that ribbon! I should have added it to the sources! I just got it at Target in the dollar bins!!!! Happy day friend! karianne

  1. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    I prefer the sweet pumpkins and the beautiful colors and textures of Halloween with a sprinkle of ominous. Not scary...just ominous. I am a true Headless Horese Man and Tell Tale Heart kind of girl. I guess I like pretty Halloween with a little creepy literature. :)

  2. Image for Alice Alice

    I am with you, I like the fifties kitschy graphics, and can hand a spider or too, but absolutely no blood, guts or gore. I am all about the cuter side of life!

  3. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    I live in an apartment, but we are allowed to decorate in the hallway just outside our doors. I usually go somewhere in between and concoct something that requires a little imagination on the part of the viewer to fill in the story. This probably wouldn't work in a larger space such as the front porch of a house, but would be feasible for a party. This year it's a wacky portrait of two Victorian men in formal dress (got it at a thrift shop and was intrigued because there was no explanation of who these gents were), a rather spooky wreath that's more suggestive of the grave of a Victorian woman than realistic, a small white-linen-covered table with a silver goblet, a tipped over bottle emitting red splotches and the story explaining the relationship of the "twins" with the woman printed on antique looking paper and set on a wrought iron easel. The two Victorian men look over the scene between the swaths of an ornate black and gold drape held up by a very unusual cat-head curtain holder that I also found at a thrift shop. Fun, fun. What's not fun is trying to store all the props while living in a one-bedroom apartment. What I'd give for an attic, a basement, a garage, perhaps a barn with hay mow for storage and studio space!

  4. Image for Jennifer W Jennifer W

    I'm with you, non-scary please! ;) I love pumpkins, autumn leaves, vine wreaths, and fall colors for Halloween.

  5. Image for Becky Becky

    Yeah, I'm over the whole zombie thing too. It's big though. I live near FortWayne IN and last weekend they had a big zombie walk. It's a big deal. I've never gone to it bc even people dressed up like zombies creep me out. Maybe that's where that zombie rescue van was headed. I like decorating for fall too with pumpkins and gourds and an occasional friendly ghost or cute witch. No scary stuff. I love that wreath! I also like how you turned the milk glass over and used them as pedestals for your pumpkins. Cute stuff.

  6. Image for Lisa Lisa

    I love scary movies, but I don't like scary décor. Just not my thing. I think it's pretty scary that the van pulled up, but nobody got out. Also that the windows were tinted, so you can't see who or what may have been staring right at you (and your lipstick) the whole time! Happy Halloween!

  7. Image for Carol Bray@The Red Painted Cottage Carol Bray@The Red Painted Cottage

    I like happy smiling pumpkins and witches with a twinkle in their eyes and maybe a few hairless rubber or plastic spiders. Give me peace and tranquility over scary, please. And for that zombie vehicle, I would have grabbed my phone and taken a quick photo of it before high tailing it out of there!

  8. Image for Missy Missy

    Halloween, whatever. I was hit by a "light bulb" moment - I need light colored curtains in my dark living room and I have a birthday gift card to Lowes!!!! Thanks for indexing everything in the pictures.

  9. Image for Gail Gail

    Love the fabric. I am on spoonflower too. It is a lot of fun. I love the pumpkin part of the season too. I live in a part of the south that doesn't really do Halloween. Only at the churches and private parties, but nothing like witches and things. I love witches.. Sadly I live on a street that doesn't decorate or anything. My house looks crazy all decorated, but I refuse to not make myself happy and decorating makes me happy. Keep doing your pumpkins.. Where did you get the measuring tape?

  10. Image for Sheila Sheila

    I love Halloween and usually like black, white, and orange color combinations. Pretty with a touch of creepy, like maybe a spider or two, works for me. I do love lots of witchy things. And would fly in to a fun party of I had a stylish broom! :-) ha. Sheila

  11. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    "curtains: Lowe’s (drop cloth)" - Surely you've let us in on this before - how did I miss that?? I'm all about a non-scary Halloween, but mostly because it just transitions into Thanksgiving decor, and I'm a tightwad when it comes to seasonal decorating, and I'm too busy to put out decorations that only last a month... Thus, starting my Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving and keep it up until the Epiphany.

  12. Image for Rose Rose

    Hi Kari-Anne~ This is my first comment on your blog. I love your sign "I hope you dance" A good friend of mine passed away about 10+years ago, and she had this as the last song at her service. My husband found wooden sign saying I HOPE YOU DANCE they became our special gifts from him that Christmas. Both our girls have them displayed in their home now. I am going to purchase the sign you have for my husband this year for Christmas. Thank you so much for posting where to buy it. I love your home. It's so peaceful, and your decorations are beautiful. Looking forward to more of your posts. Much love, Rose

    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      Rose, I just found a smaller more affordable version of that sign! Here's the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/237357509/hope-you-dance-sign-1x2?ref=shop_home_active_1 Hope this helps! karianne

  13. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I'll have mine non-scarey please with a double shot of pumpkins and pumpkin products such as pumpkin graham caramel lattes, pumpkin ginger clove scones with spicy glaze, and pumpkin salted caramel cheesecake. I love hayrides and bonfires and harvest moons. You can keep the vampires, ghouls and zombies!! Would you care to join me in a pumpkin latte and pumpkin scone with spicy glaze? And I notice that your lipstick is absolutely perfect so if anyone films us at the coffee shoppe you will look fabulous!! Big Hugs!!

  14. Image for Ren Ren

    I am a non-scary fan too! Just pumpkins,etc. I do have a black cat(live) but he isn't scary either. Love the numbered ribbon. Source?

    1. Image for Thistle Thistle

      I LOVE that ribbon! I should have added it to the sources! I just got it at Target in the dollar bins!!!! Happy day friend! karianne

  15. Image for Laura Putnam Laura Putnam

    There is a woman driving around our town with her back windows rolled down slightly - one has a Chuckie doll peeking out, the other side has the bride of Chuckie. When you peek in the backseat there are five bloody dolls. Creepy. Weird.

  16. Image for Sherry Myers Sherry Myers

    I love your bedroom. Such a peaceful fall vibe. I could picture walking to the window and gazing out at a gorgeous autumn scene. I bet you do. I don't like the scary part of Halloween. I am more of a "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," kinda girl. But, thank you for that decor "magic" you send our way! Sometimes your photography seems to cast a magic spell on me (and not the zombie kind)! Have a magical day, Sherry

  17. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    So glad I bought my wreath before it sold out! I absolutely love it! I decorate for Fall so I don't have to change things out again before Thanksgiving.

  18. Image for Kris Kris

    I'm more into "autumnal" decorating than "Halloween", much to my children's disappointment. I don't have the energy to bother with both Halloween and Thanksgiving with the expectation of morphing into Christmas decorating. I also don't like scary decorations, but I do think that helping my kids (ok, only my daughter now ... my middle school-aged son is far too cool for costumes) make their own costumes is fun.

  19. Image for Gee Gee

    Hmmm. Halloween.... I have never done Halloween, really. Like you, I'm not into the ghouls and scary bits. I do Fall. As in dried hydrangeas, pine cones, a few pumpkins n magnolia leaves.... No bats and the like. :)

  20. Image for Doreen @ Hymns and Verses Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    Another LOL story! I'm totally with you - not a spooky Halloween gal, although I could pull together a cool costume for the kids when they were little! My hubs just said to me, you used to get so excited for Halloween (he's not a fan) and I said, yea - it was because I could make costumes! Those days are long over! Maybe someday I'll have grandkids to make costumes for!!!

  21. Image for Judy C in NC Judy C in NC

    I do not do scary - never have liked Halloween for myself, but do love to see all the small children and the excitement they have. My decorating is white pumpkins on the porch with mums and inside are different shapes of pumpkins with bittersweet garland around them with LED candles mixed in. Love the fall colors. Judy C

  22. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    I can truly appreciate the scary decor of neighbors and friends but love the autumn theme, the deep vibrant colors of leaves, pumpkins, acorns, leaning towards what nature can provide. When I look around the surrounding hills and valleys with it's riot of fall colors, it all balances out and I gleefully pull out all my favorite sweaters and boots that have been tucked away, long walks amongst the fallen leaves, geese flying overhead as they head south, their noisy calls echoing early in the morning as a soft mist hangs over the lake. Shorter days and thoughts of nestling next to the woodstove with a good book. Love the changing of the seasons and your wonderful heartfelt postings.

  23. Image for Pam Pam

    The only Halloween ornament I have is a cute little mouse dressed as a witch asleep on a piece of candy corn. My children are grown so no more Halloween. Love to decorate for fall and Thanksgiving though and I enjoy seeing how others decorate. Not really into scary though.

  24. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    I'm on the non-scary Halloween train too KariAnne! I like Fall and Thanksgiving, so Halloween just interrupts it in between, lol ;) I do love candy though, so it's not all bad. I've seen a Zombie rescue vehicle in my neck of the woods too...nothing says "I'm a dork" like actually driving around in one of those...it's equivalent to driving around in the 80's with an "I heart Dungeons and Dragons" bumper sticker, hahaha.

  25. Image for Lanita Lanita

    I, too, enjoy decorating for fall....not so much Halloween. I don't mind the "fun" things of Halloween - cute jack o'lantern's, little ghosts, and small children in their Halloween costumes. I have a few fun ceramic ghosts & jack o' lantern pumpkins that I made when taking a ceramics class as a teenager with my great aunt, but other than that, only decorations for fall at our house! I love the burlap measuring tape - is that a recent purchase? Would love to know where you found it! Love your fall decorating, too, by the way! Much love, Lanita

  26. Image for Dawna Dawna

    I went white pumpkin crazy this year too!! The fireplace, the outside "room without a roof", the hayloft for our dinner party, all got a touch of autumn with pumpkins. I see they are one of your favs as well, and of course they look wonderful in your decor! You are the best!!

  27. Image for Barbara Ann Barbara Ann

    I've never been a fan of Halloween. I will decorate for fall, and I will buy candy to hand out to Trick or Treaters, but I was "that" mom that didn't let her own kids Trick or Treat. If they had to have a costume for some party - they needed to come up with it on their own. In fact one year, my youngest daughter went as a Flying Pickle. I didn't take a photo, but I think it involved a bath towel and a green shirt. I've no desire to glorify satanic or gory practices.

  28. Image for Julie Julie

    I do not like to decorate for Halloween! When my children were little I would tell them we could only put out things that God had created, like owls, spiders and such, but NO witches, or goblins! Now we live in Franklin, TN which has a haunted walking tour, and one of the scariest "real" haunted houses around. I can't even drive past it this time of year! Im a big scare-dee cat!!

  29. Image for Susan Susan

    I'm not a fan of horror movies at all, but don't mind a little scare in my Halloween...I always admire those houses where they go all out with lots of scary visual and audio treats to scare the living daylights out of brave trick-or-treaters. I don't do a whole heckuva lot decorating-wise now during this time of the year...I generally save that for the holidays. It's all I can do to keep up with raking the leaves around here! But I do soooooooo LOVE your style, KariAnne...you are the master at styling any time of the year!

  30. Image for jody jody

    Thanks so much for indexing the items, may I ask how long ago you found the Scroll at Hobby Lobby--I love it and you have given me a fab idea where to place one. Each year I do less and less, I do a little mostly for my 6 granddaughters when they come for Sunday night family dinner. Halloween seems to have become a hugh holiday as it has no affiliations to anything. It is cute to see children dress up …but I'm non ghoulish …and non zombie stuff.

  31. Image for Susan Takeda Susan Takeda

    I am a non scary Halloween decorator also. We don't do any scary movies in our house either. The hubby and I are just to susceptible to nightmares, Lol. Please share where you found the measuring tape burlap ribbon. It is fabulous!

  32. Image for Pamela A Pamela A

    I'm right with you...Halloween is all about the pumpkins, cider, leaves and cornstalks. Don't want to see Jason 1 or Jason 22 (whatever they are up to now), but I still love Michael Jackson's thriller video. Every time it's on I sit down watch it and it still as good as the first or the 100th I've seen it!

  33. Image for Sandy Gooselaw Sandy Gooselaw

    A few months ago you had a post on the overuse of the word "Amazing". I meant to make a copy of it and didn't and now I can't find it in my email. Would you consider reposting it? Love your blog, your stories, ideas and sharing your life with all of us. Thank you! Sandy

  34. Image for Marie Marie

    I get so caught up in your stories that I have to go through your posts more than once! First for the wonderful story and then again for the fabulous pictures. You never disappoint on either one!

  35. Image for Kristin @ Pink Camellias Kristin @ Pink Camellias

    I love Halloween and I love decorating for Halloween, but I am on the vintage Halloween decorations bandwagon. I have a Mary Emmerling flag that I put out that is so cute. I'm just not a fan of tombstones, blood and gore. That's not fun to me!

  36. Image for tammy tammy

    I love Fall, and put my Autumn decor up in June/July, so by the time Halloween rolls around, I don't mind changing it up for a few days right before Halloween. I just add it in with all the pumpkins and acorns...Most of my stuff is more Victorian/Goth looking than gory. We have a Victorian house, which really lends itself to that kind of Halloween! Most of our Halloween decorations are centered around our entry table; I have a small shelf with three Shaker pegs on it, and I hang a cinnamon broom and a really fancy witch's stocking from it. On a small table below it, I have a very fancy witch's hat on a tall candlestick, a cool old pendant necklace that has amber and a little scorpion in it, and then there's a sign on the wall behind it that says Salem Witches Ball. I have several fancy scented candles in unusual bowls that are green, burnt orange, and deep violet that I scatter around the foyer, and we have lots of CDs from Midnight Syndicate that we play in the day leading up to Halloween. The only really scary thing I have a are some Haunted Memories Portraits, and they ARE gory, but I think they're hysterical. :o) I think I'd do it up a lot more, but I have SO much Autumn and Christmas decor that I simply have no room to store any more. My Halloween stuff is up a week at the most ( and usually less than that unless we have a party), then on November 1st, I decorating for Christmas!

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