Shopping: Stores already showing fall colors

Fall charger plates from Michaels in Shiloh.
Fall charger plates from Michaels in Shiloh. News-Democrat

It’s not even Labor Day and we’ve already moved on from summer to fall. We’re a fickle bunch, but I attribute a lot of this to school being back in session and the shopping associated with it well past its due date. Retailers push us along toward yet another way to spend money.

I try to resist, but everywhere I went Tuesday, the color palette had changed. Gone were beachy bright colors, along with the laid-back merchandise. Taking prominence were shades we won’t see for quite a while in nature around here: gold, bronze, pumpkin, maple, oak.

It makes me want to put on a sweater, except I saw that next week’s weather forecast predicts temps in the high 80s. Plus, there’s one last summer fling with the Sept. 7 holiday weekend ahead. I’ll contiue trying to be a holdout.

Still, if you’re thinking about getting ready for a decor change, consider some of the ideas I saw at local retailers.

Charger plates at Michaels Crafts in Shiloh are so much more than something to be hidden under a dinner plate. These deserve to go on display as part of a centerpiece or propped up on a mantle. Look for them on a rack at the front of the store in faux wood and leather designs, a Burberry-style plaid and one with a leaf design. Prices for the most part are $1.99 and $2.99 each, but some are $4.99.

While I was there I also spotted one of the biggest artsy trends for adults: Coloring books. For $5.99, you can choose big books with dozens of designs and patterns, plus you’ll find a selection of coloring pencils — all at a bin at the front of the store.

Camouflage has gotten completely out of hand. I understand the hunting concept of disguising yourself so you disappear into the foliage, but really, do we need it as a fashion statement in the kitchen and on the table? Seems so. Gander Mountain in O’Fallon has everything from serving trays to napkins in a woodland camouflage pattern. Trays and pot holders are $9.99, as are a pair of kitchen towels (one of which is striped!). Placemats are $3.99 and napkins $4.99 each. I also spotted tablecloths, but by that time everything looked the same and I left.

It was a toss-up in AtHome (I still want to call it Garden Ridge) in O’Fallon as to whether it was way past fall and already winter. It’s Halloween when you enter the store, with a spook couple of displays. To the right, though, it’s all about Christmas. I count this retailer as one of the first in the metro-east to set up its displays of trees, which typically range from small to towering and in hues from forest green to less natural shades of hot pink, gold and turquoise.

I spied two fall items I found appealing, though: Metal yard stakes that look like corn stalks were fun and $10.99 each. I found them in the autumn section further into the store near the other spooky Halloween stuff. The other item was, honestly, discovered in a Christmas ornament aisle. I think the ornament is supposed to be a snowflake, but its glass-like gold, bronze and clear stones make it just right for autumn decorating. You could hang one on the corner of a mirror, prop a trio up on a high shelf or even decorate a tall ficus plant on the porch with a few. Cost: $7.99.

Don’t miss the sidewalk sale at Sandy’s Back Porch garden center in Belleville. (It started Thursday.) Take half off all garden decorations and get perennials for as little a buck. Crape myrtle are 20 percent off and perennial 30-gallon hibiscus are $10. Plus, there are more than 20 varieties of mums for your fall garden.

Save 20 percent through the rest of the month on all trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses at Effinger Garden Center in Belleville. There’s also a great selection of blooming shrubs like butterfly bush, crape myrtle, Knock-Out roses and Wine & Roses weigela you can plant this fall.

At the Basket Case in Belleville and Lebanon, get a free pair of Dare to Dazzle Red Post Earrings with a single, same-day Brighton purchase of $75 or more. The offer is good through the end of the month.