Colder temperatures and shorter days bring out the best in Jonathan Adams.
For Adams, fall is something to celebrate and his home on East Main Street in Jonesborough is certainly a reflection of his love of Autumn.
His home is surrounded by and filled with fall color. Immaculately kept, his 1920 Federal farmhouse is adorned with dozens of corn shocks, pumpkins and fall flowers.
“I used to do quite a lot in the way of a Halloween display, but now I’ve gone to more of a fall theme,” Jonathan explained.
It isn’t unusual for passersby to stop, knock on the door and ask if they may look around and take pictures. Whimsical silhouettes of a witch and black cats add a bit of Halloween decor to Adams’ front yard, and the front entry is flanked with corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds. Tiny “ghosts” peer from behind plantings.
Even a handwritten chalkboard sign next to the front door is indicative of Adams’ delight in all things fall: It reads: “Who is ready for fall leaves, hoodies, pumpkins and s’mores?”
Outside, family and friends can gather on a cozy patio. Multiple seating and dining areas center around an outdoor fireplace surrounded by fall plantings, mums, and pumpkins.
Getting his home ready for fall is a year-round process, as he is always thinking ahead.
“I always plant things that have fall appeal, such as the plant Nine Barks. During the spring, it has beautiful blooms; but in the fall, it turns copper, gold, red and brown – just beautiful colors. So even though you do most of your planting in the spring, you also want to consider fall and winter appeal.”
Adams’ interest in plants and decorating started early in life. With two working parents, he found himself alone a lot.
“I had to find ways to entertain myself,” Adams said. “I lived with my grandmother for many years, and she was always working around the house, so I would go outside and find things to do.
“Fall was always one of my favorite times of the year,” he added. “We had lots of beautiful trees, everywhere. I would try to decorate her house a little bit with what we had available – things from the yard, dried corn and such.”
As a young man, Adams’ knowledge of plants broadened during his time working at a produce market. There, it was his responsibility to choose plants to be sold at the market.
“I just picked out things I thought were interesting,” he said. “As I learned more, I just fell in love with plants.”
Adams’ passion for decorating is also reflected on the interior of his home, particularly in the dining room. He enjoys entertaining and keeps the entire house — and the dining area in particular — fresh by changing up the area entirely several times a year.
“I change the dining room with the seasons — for Easter, Christmas, fall, summer and winter,” Adams said. “I change out the rug, tablecloth, curtains and the decor.
Neutral tones throughout the home provide a backdrop for the constantly changing decor. The fall theme is evidenced with warm colors and cozy linens.
Wooden lanterns lit from within by russet candles line the center of the dining room table, flanked with small pumpkins, ornamental gourds and additional votives. A well-stocked sideboard, filled with additional linens and pure white tableware, is topped with a cheerful sunflower bouquet, a ceramic owl, vintage blue canning jars, ornamental squash and pumpkins. And, as a touch of the unexpected, Adams’ has made unlikely use of a cheese dome, filling it with small pumpkins.
Adams, a product service associate at Lowe’s, finds and purchases many pieces where he works, as well as at other locations in the area.
“It’s just a collection of things I’ve gathered throughout the years,” Adams says.
He mixes modern with vintage, with stylish results. But with no formal training in decorating, Adams simply buys what he likes, hoping it will work.
“I buy items I know I can use for different things. For instance, when I bought the cheese dome, I knew I could stack pumpkins in it for fall, put pine cones and holly berries in it for winter, and Easter eggs for spring. You just buy something knowing you can use it for multiple holidays.”
“It’s just trial and error,” he added. “Sometimes, you have to keep setting something up and if it doesn’t look good, I just keep doing it until it looks just right.”