Although some people thrive in summer, others look forward to sweater season, pumpkin Spice And apples—everything, and the joys of adding autumn decor and texture to every corner of your space.
Luckily, since fall has a huge fan base, there are many clever and classy ways to incorporate pumpkins, candles, chunky weaves, dried flowers, and wreaths into your indoor and living areas. The key is to keep it simple by choosing the pieces you’re going for without cluttering your living room, front door, and dining room table.
Here’s our ultimate guide to decorating, from the inside out, straight from the design experts who’ve mastered the perfect balance.
Think outdoor flowers are only for summer? Think again, says Renee Richardson, principal of Renee Richardson Interiors, She recommends planting chrysanthemums, a hearty, flowering plant that blooms in fall. “Choose yellow, orange, red or even purple and plant in a large pot,” she says. “With a little care, these plants should last through the fall and look inviting to your porch.”
If you want to get your home ready for fall, but you’re strapped for time, an autumn-inspired wreath will add character to your front door. Depending on your style, Richardson says, you can keep it simple or go gorgeous with twists or a tangle of fall leaves with a bow made of different textures, dried flowers, and even burlap.
Leading designer and founder Cynthia Montoya says some mood lighting is needed in the most spectacular seasons of the year—even if you focus on the surroundings more than a spooky atmosphere. Urban Gypsy: Style, Instead of the super-bright bulbs you usually flick on, consider a dimmer option or one that changes colors with Wi-Fi or uses Alexa. You can also add some sparkle with an outdoor lantern or two that give you similar functionality.
Whether you go Team Pumpkin or choose a clever fall-inspired proverb, a seasonal doormat goes a long way in updating your front door. In keeping with its overall theme, Montoya says, it also keeps your porch fresh and festive.
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Richardson says chargers are a quick and easy way to create the feeling of falling on your table. “Choose natural wicker or even plastic chargers in a wonderful fall color and place them under your regular dinner plates to bring warmth and weight to the table,” she recommends.
Etsy can be a great place to find fresh home decor Like fun candles and holders, especially if you’re getting tired of what you see at the big stores. As Richardson says, this season is the perfect time to gather up all your candle holders and run them in the center of your table. “Different types and heights and types of holders will add more interest,” she continues. “Fill in varying heights of colorful fall flowers to add both color and ambiance to your tabletop.”
Montoya says one of the biggest design trends of 2021 is bringing natural elements and textures into your home, and fall provides ample opportunity to experiment.
“Sticking to nature, comfort, and earth tones, we’ve been using fresh and dried greenery and flowers to add natural pops of seasonal color throughout the home and especially as centerpieces in artisanal pottery.”
To top this off, she recommends adding hand-woven cotton linens to your table medley as your first layer. Then, pair with round leather placemats and top with a rich marble or wooden tray to set your vase.
“To create a focal point, lean a large mirror on your mantel and move a framed photo of friends or family to the right or left in front of the mirror to make it off-center,” Richardson advises. It calls attention to the heart (aka hearth) of your space.
Dried flowers are most commonly found in fall-inspired bouquets and wreaths, but they can be just as strong on their own. Richardson recommends finding an old jar or favorite vase and placing it at one end of the mantel. Then, fill it with dried fall flowers and use ribbon in fall colors to add a decorative bow around the container to finish off the space.
Montoya says this season is largely about greenery. You can do this with a large garland that wraps around your mantel. Or, you can collect vases that mix ceramic, terra cotta, and woven rattan to fill with dried or fresh flowers. “Seasonal colors can have a big impact with lots of colors, or you can stay neutral with dried okra, wheatgrass, and pampas branches,” she adds.
Like every season, Richardson says, one of the best ways to create a sense of fall in your home is through smell. “Choose pumpkin spice, clove or cinnamon candles and light them in your family room. More than one light will fill the whole house with the unmistakable scent of autumn,” she says.
And if you want to go the extra mile, try this festive tealight holder, which includes an LED tealight and creates an orangey, tasteful ambiance.
Your sofa may already have a throw pillow or two in it, but now’s the time to make it seasonally appropriate. Swap your everyday items for orange, red, brown, yellow, dark green and other autumn colors. Have fun with textures and shapes, too, says Richardson, because they’ll all make your autumn nap more comfortable.
Pick up a chunky knit blanket in olive, earthy or putty colors to continue incorporating those fall tones into your current decor, recommends Montoya.
“For an even better look, finish with rich cotton or velvet curtains in shades of copper and dusty roses to really lean into those fall and winter months and give your home the warm cozy vibe you crave.”
Nothing says fall like a pile of pumpkins. And the options are endless – from real to fake, colored or classic orange, textured or smooth. Enjoy this part of the decorating and experiment with different groups. “Pack the pumpkins along a sidewalk, on the side of a tree, or use bales of hay to provide a varying level of exposure,” says Richardson.
Richardson recommends placing a bench in your front or back yard and some outdoor pillows in fall colors or “hello fall” or “Happy fall yall.”
“If the bench is covered, you can drape a comfy blanket over the back to make it even more inviting,” she adds.
Depending on which zip code you call home, you may need to set up a little fire in your backyard if you want to spend time outside in comfort. Montoya says you can do this easily with a decorative freestanding heater and/or freestanding fireplace Painted around the patio or yard.
“Either way, make sure your outdoor furniture is comfortably positioned around it so you can enjoy the yard while staying warm,” she adds.