Gourds are really nothing more than little squashes (the word comes from the French courgettes). This time of year you can find them all over the place, usually in mesh bags, at grocery stores, markets, and home centres.
But what the heck do you do with them?
As we mentioned previously, these little wonders are actually quite edible. But that’s not why most people buy them in the fall. The history of using things like gourds, corn stalks, and acorns in home decor actually goes back to the homestead harvest.
It’s not that people decorated with these things. They gathered them. And in smaller farmhouses, when there was an abundance, the squashes and pumpkins had to be set somewhere for later.
The same was true for corn stalks. Wreaths of grapevine would have been made to tie things together, so it was handy just to hang them on the wall. Buckets of acorns and other nuts were collected to store up for the winter.
Taken all together, these elements make the foundation of what we now consider “farmhouse decor.” Practical elements at first, they have since evolved into pieces that evoke the season and a sense of nostalgia for a simpler, quieter time when we all raised and harvested our own food right on our own land.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas on how to effectively and beautifully use gourds in home decorating. Whether you get them fresh from the market or home centre, or use some of the very excellent replicas available in decor shops and dollar stores, there’s no shortage of inspiration to be found online.
Here are a few favourites worth looking at:
A great slideshow, showcasing some stunning table decorating ideas incorporating gourds.
Amazing displays and unique design ideas, collected from around the web. There’s some fantastic inspiration here:
Gourds and decorating with gourds for all isn’t always about pumpkins! Make sure you check out the unique and colourful styles in this article from Bustle: