Design & Style | September 22,2021

The Blue & White Lover's Guide to Fall Decorating

blue and white

by Marcie Millholland

Even in the Deep South where I live, we're beginning to feel a fresh coolness to the air in the mornings. So I thought I'd share how I use my collection of vintage blue and white Chinoiserie pieces with some of my favorite fall decor items.

The Perfect Pairing for Pumpkins

I have collected my pieces over time. I grew up in a home filled with antiques, family pieces and lots of blue and white - dishes, lamps, and more. We moved a lot because of my dad's work and my mother’s blue and white Chinoiserie vases, teapots and lamps were a part of every home we lived in. 

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I like having a collection that I can use with any seasonal decorations and blue and white definitely works year round. I like to add natural elements to my home seasonally. I have to admit that in the Fall I can barely pass by a pumpkin display without buying some - especially the little white ones! I will pile them in a big blue and white bowl in the kitchen. I also like to buy big pumpkins and perch them on my blue and white planters like they are sitting on a pedestal. It’s easy to clip leaves that have begun to turn and add them to my ginger jars and vases. These are simple and easy touches that make my home feel cozier. Add a delicious smelling candle and a cozy throw and the whole house will feel ready for crisper mornings and cooler evenings. 

 

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There are so many beautiful heirloom pumpkins available but if you are a purist you are in luck because orange pumpkins look fabulous paired with your blue and white pieces - they are complimentary colors, after all. 

 

Lighting Sets the Scene in Any Season

I've found some beautiful pieces on AuctionNinja. One thing I never, ever pass up when I'm vintage shopping is a blue and white Chinoiserie lamp! I must admit, I've driven quite a distance a time or two to pick up a blue and white lamp! I love lamps on in the evening after time changes and it gets darker earlier. It's good to have a variety of sizes because I like to use them on the kitchen counter and on the bathroom vanity in addition to the usual spots like bedside tables and end tables!

 

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  1. Single Blue and White Ceramic Table Lamp (White Goose Estate Sales)

  2. Pair of Blue and White Lamps with Burlap Shade (Clearing House Estate Sales)

 

Planters + Seasonal Blooms

The other thing I never pass up is a large planter. They're the perfect home for a big, gorgeous mum. I personally love mums and buy them as soon as they show up in the garden center. I love incorporating white variations in my blue and white vignettes but I often use purple ones too. The bright yellow and orange mums just pop against a beautiful blue and white planter.

You can't go wrong - whatever you put in one of these planters will look amazing! You can also pile a bunch of pumpkins in a big planter along with a mum or ornamental cabbage to use on a porch or by the front door. 

 

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  1. A Blue and White Fishbowl Planter (Trading Post Estate Sales)

  2. Large Blue and White Chinese Planter (Foss Appraisal Service)

  3. Asian Planter with Brass Pagoda Style Base (Great Estate Tag Sales)

 

From time to time blue and white Chinoiserie style porcelain is considered to be a design “trend” and becomes very popular but blue and white porcelain production dates back to the 14th century where it was mass produced in China and later became a popular export to Europe. It is classic and timeless and a design staple for many. It mixes beautifully with all furniture styles from traditional to contemporary and works with every color scheme. Vintage blue and white chinoiserie pieces are a great way to add a touch of something exotic, traditional, timeless and versatile design wise to any room in your home. 

 

Accents for Outdoor Entertaining

Keeping with my love of blue and white, I also found these great blue and white chairs on AuctionNinja. They would be perfect around a fabulous old painted white table set with blue and white dishes! Mums and mini pumpkins down the center. Add brass candlesticks to light up your Fall dinner table. Perfection.  

 

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Another fun touch would be to use these blue and white teacups as place card holders or a little take home gift. Buy a little orange mini pumpkin to sit in the teacup. Pick up some leaves in the yard that are starting to show some Fall color and use a permanent marker to add your guests’ name. Tuck the leaves in around the pumpkin. Add a Spiced Pumpkin tea bag if you are going to send it home with your dinner guest afterwards! Collect blue and white teacups when you find them because this would work any time of the year - Easter grass, eggs and foil wrapped chocolates in the Spring, evergreen clippings, an ornament and a candy cane for a Christmas meal. 

 

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Building Your Collection Over Time

One of the most rewarding things about collecting blue and white is that there are pieces to suit everyone’s decorating style and budget. There are very rare, valuable pieces but there are a lot of great vintage finds at every price point. You just have to be willing to build your collection over time and online auctions, estate sales and thrift stores are a great way to do this. It’s very exciting to spy a great piece for a great price! One of my very favorite pieces was found at a thrift store for less than $4. It was missing the lid but it’s very old and has a lot of charm. It’s unique shape makes it the perfect piece to use for flowers on my powder room vanity. It makes me happy every time I see it- that’s a pretty good return for my $4 investment! 

 

Marcie Millholland blogs and can be found on Instagram at @madebymolliesmom. She lives and shops vintage in the Atlanta suburbs. 

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