Modern cotton has been bred to be all white for convenience, but gardeners who love novelty, and home weavers who appreciate natural colors, can grow heirloom varieties that are brown, green, and even pale lavender. Saving seed from year to year preserves their unique colors. Cotton needs warm soil and a long, hot season to mature its pods before fall.
In place of cut floral stems, consider adding the rich look of cotton stems to your Fall setup. Simply gather the stems in odd numbers, five and seven working best, then place them into a large vessel. The neutral tones work well for year-round use, and work gorgeously with Fall tones such as orange and dark brown.
A wreath with real cotton is illuminated by vintage lanterns on an Atlanta front door. Lisa Turner and Wallace Bryan with Trinity Mercantile & Design Co. in Decatur, Ga., used cotton and magnolia leaves as natural elements in the front entryway and throughout the home for their MIssissippi-themed holiday decor.
The glass-top coffee table is set over cubic wooden legs for an artistic, modern look. A faded gray rug, neutral furniture and white brick walls keep the space light and neutral. Cotton stems and greenery add beautiful texture to decorate the room and add a pop of natural color.
A zebra-print rug and transparent coffee table center this modern white living room. Metallic accents like silver vases and textured wallpaper create a glam design that contrasts with the dark hardwood floors.
A deep navy blue sofa adds a rich tone to the room against the white painted brick walls. A faux-texture gray area rug encompasses the sofa simple wood coffee table and midcentury modern, mustard yellow chair. A black and white modern art piece is balanced against the wall to fill some space while retaining the minimalist feel.
Vessels always come in handy for mantel styling, since they can be used as decor when left empty or as vases for cut floral, branches or greenery. A mix of vintage iodine bottles and brown glass apothecary bottles are used to bring shape and sheen to the mantel in an industrial fashion. For an extra rustic look, several bottles are filled with cork and cotton rather than flowers.