While some people thrive on summer, others look forward to sweater weather, pumpkin spice and apple-everything, and the joy of adding fall decor and textures to every corner of their space.
Luckily, since fall has such a huge fan base, there are plenty of smart and basic ways to incorporate pumpkins, candles, chunky knits, dried flowers and wreaths into your interior and living area. The key is to keep it simple by choosing pieces that will give off the vibe you want without cluttering your living room, front door and dining room table.
From the inside out, here’s our ultimate guide to fall decorating, right from the design experts who have mastered the perfect balance.
Classic Home and Garden Honeysuckle Patio Pot Planter
Think outdoor flowers are just for summer? Think again, says Rainey Richardson, principal of Rainey Richardson Interiors. He recommends planting chrysanthemums, a hearty, flowering plant that blooms in the fall. “Choose a yellow, orange, red or even purple colorway and plant in a large pot,” he says. “With a little care, these plants should last through the fall and make your porch attractive.”
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Faux Rusted Eucalyptus Plant Wreath
If you want to spruce up your home with a nod to fall but you’re strapped for time, a fall-inspired wreath will add character to your front door. Depending on your style, Richardson says, you can keep it simple with a twist or swag of fall leaves or go fancy, with different textures, dried flowers and even a burlap bow.
The spookiest season of the year calls for mood lighting — even if you focus more on the ambient vibe than the spooky, says Cynthia Montoya, lead designer and founder of Urban Gypsy: Styled. Instead of the super-bright bulbs you usually squint at, consider a dimmable option or one that changes color with Wi-Fi or with Alexa. You can also add some flare with an outdoor lantern or two that gives you the same functionality.
Whether you’re going team pumpkin or opting for a clever fall-inspired saying, a seasonal doormat is a great way to update your front door. In addition to keeping with your overall theme, says Montoya, it also keeps your porch fresh and festive.
$14.95 at Crate&Barrel
Richardson says chargers are a quick and easy way to create a fall feel on your desk. “Choose natural wicker or even plastic chargers in a nice fall color and place them under your regular dinner plates to bring warmth and weight to the table,” she recommends.
Pour Toi Home Set of 3 Donut Ceramic Candle Holder Sticks
Etsy can be a great place to find fresh home decor like fun candles and containers, especially if you’re tired of what you see in bigger stores. As Richardson says, this season is the perfect time to gather all your candle holders and run them down the center of your table. “Different types and heights and types of holders will add more interest,” he continued. “Fill different heights with colorful fall flowers to add both color and ambiance to your tabletop.”
Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Large Wood Paddle Serve Board With Handles
One of the biggest design trends of 2021 is bringing natural elements and textures into your home, and fall provides ample opportunity to experiment, says Montoya.
“Clinging to nature, comfort and earth tones, we use fresh and dried plants and flowers to add natural pops of seasonal color throughout the home and especially as centerpieces in artisanal pottery,” says he.
To do this, she recommends adding handwoven cotton linen to your table medley as your first layer. Then, pair round leather placemats and add a rich marble or wood tray to hold your vase.
“To create a focal point, lean a large mirror over your mantle and layer a framed photo of friends or family in front of the mirror to the right or left to make it off-center,” recommends Richardson. This brings attention to the heart (aka the hearth) of your space.
hitomigift dried flower bouquet
Dried flowers are commonly found in fall-inspired bouquets and wreaths, but they can stand just as strong on their own. Richardson recommends finding an old jar or favorite vase and placing it on one end of the mantle. 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.
Fresh Bunches Garland
Montoya said this season is all about the big plants. 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 make a big impact with lots of color, or you can keep fall neutral with dried okra, wheat and pampas sprigs,” she adds.
Autumn Hayride Candle
As with every season, says Richardson, one of the best ways to evoke the feeling of fall in your home is through smell. “Choose pumpkin spice, clove or cinnamon candles and light them in your family room. Lighting more than one will fill the entire home with the unmistakable fragrance of autumn,” he says.
And if you want to go the extra mile, try this festive tealight holder, which includes an LED tealight and creates an orange, toasty ambiance.
Your couch may already have a throw pillow or two, but now’s the time to make it seasonal. Swap your everyday for orange, red, brown, yellow, deep green and other fall colors. Have fun with textures and sizes, too, because all of these will make your fall sleep more comfortable, Richardson adds.
Pick up a chunky knit blanket in olive, clay or putty to continue incorporating those fall tones into your existing decor, Montoya recommends.
“For an enhanced look, finish with rich cotton or velvet curtains in copper and dusty pink to really lean into the fall and winter months and give your home that warm cozy vibe that you want you,” he added.
Nothing says fall like a pile of pumpkins. And the options are endless — from real to fake, vibrant or classic orange, textured or smooth. Have fun with this part of the decor and experiment with different groups. “Pile pumpkins next to a tree, along the sidewalk, or use hay bales to provide different levels of display,” Richardson says.
Richardson recommends placing a bench in your front or back yard and adding some outdoor pillows in fall colors or with cute sayings like “Hello Fall” or “Happy Fall Y’all.”
“If the bench is covered, you can drape a cozy blanket over the back to make it more inviting,” she adds.
Endless Summer Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit
Depending on what zip code you call home, you may need to add a little fire to your backyard if you want to comfortably spend time outside. Montoya says you can easily do this with decorative freestanding heaters and/or free-standing fireplaces featured on the patio or around the yard.
“Either way, make sure your outdoor furniture is comfortably positioned around it so you can enjoy the yard while staying warm,” he adds.