We decorate for every season at Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast in Jacksonville, Illinois. Our “seasons” include Winter, Valentine’s Day, Spring, Summer/Patriotic, Fall/Harvest and Christmas. It’s great fun for me to transition from one season to another. If you know me at all, you know that I love, love, love Christmas, and the arrival of our “Christmas Elves” is a highlight of my year. But, as a true Midwesterner, I enjoy welcoming every season. Join us as Maureen, our frequent guest, performs a decorating takeover and helping us extend a warm welcome and enhance our curb appeal with pumpkins, flowers and other seasonal fall decorations.
Tips for a Successful Decorating Takeover
Step 1: Choose the Right Time to Decorate
When is the best time to decorate for fall? I’m pretty sure my daughter-in-law longs for fall pretty much all year round. Stores are putting out Christmas décor right now, so, it’s hard to keep the decorating seasons straight. I always try to wait until mid-September to begin decorating so that my décor can last through October into November. However, when your guest/ friend the former florist/designer needs to come for an extended stay and offers to decorate your porch and lawn while she’s here, just go with it!
Step 2: Have An Open Mind
Sometimes we get stuck in our ways and think we’re the only ones that can make things look just the way we want them to look. It’s hard for me to take my hands off and limit my consultation/ advice/ direction! I was blessed this year to host Maureen, one of our regular guests, for several days while they replaced flooring in her home. She honored the necessary parameters, i.e., one side of the steps open for safe traffic flow with luggage, dedication to shopping local, etc. while demonstrating her own skill and vision. Maureen was exceptionally generous with her time and resources, and we’re so thankful for her work!
Step 3: Identify your resources
I love to support our local businesses and that’s where we purchased items for our displays. Market Six Pumpkin Patch, in rural Chapin, is a delightful family farm with mums, pumpkins, animals and lots of activities for children. Keithley Farms, just north of Jacksonville, has a wide variety of pumpkins and other produce, many animals, and fun seasonal activities. We are also blessed to have our local Jacksonville Farmer’s Market at Lincoln Square for great produce, meat and baked goods, along with flowers and pumpkins we can use to enhance our curb appeal.
Step 4: Build Your Team
Enlist your family and friends to help. In this case, it includes our Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast team. Glenn advises and loads and unloads, moving items from storage and prep areas to display areas. Casey’s recent assignment was sealing pumpkins. I’ll post again with some of my tips for making outdoor displays last.
My assistant, Kelly, “gets me” and remembers my decorating style from year to year. She understands and respects my vision for Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast, from our service standards to our décor. I know that I can confidently trust her to do the design work on the interiors. Sam, our high school student, is great at serving breakfast and doing lawn work. As the seasons change, you’ll find him carrying totes as we “shop the attic” and decorate the interiors.
Step 5: Stay Out of the Way
I can find pictures of beautiful decorating vignettes, both interior styles and those that extend a warm welcome and enhance curb appeal outdoors. I can even purchase all the pieces and parts, but I sure can’t put them together the way Maureen and Kelly can! So, I just stay out of the way and watch the magic happen!
Blessings on State Bed & Breakfast is an award-winning all-suite inn located in Jacksonville, Illinois. Hospitality is our hallmark. We offer many amenities, including overnight accommodations in a 130-year-old vintage mansion, Wi-Fi, expansive lawn and gardens, all-season fireplaces, and multi-course breakfasts. Come see us! Our reviews reflect that guest satisfaction is a high priority.
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