I have to admit, the one time of year I get a little jealous of our northern friends is in the early fall. While they get the crisp air, vibrant trees and sweater weather, we’re left sipping on Pumpkin Spice Lattes, dabbing our foreheads in 80-degree weather. No, thank you.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore summer, but after what seems like an eternity of the same thing, I tend to get a little restless. Growing up, I was always that kid who sat down at Christmas dinner sporting an outfit comprised entirely of brand-new clothes I had just opened that morning, regardless of how it looked all together. The one tried-and-true constant in my life is that novelty never fails to spark my fancy. So when the magazines, TV shows and those darned targeted internet ads all say it’s fall, you bet I’m ready for fall.
I get it. It’s hard to really get into the mood for apple crumble and sweet potato pie fresh out of the oven when as soon as you open the door it feels like you’ve stepped into one yourself. But that’s the best part about fall home decor — it’s something that you can ease into, adding little bits here and there that will make your home feel as if it’s changing right along with the leaves outside.
Think of it like transitioning your wardrobe. Just like you don’t suddenly trade your tank tops for flannel the day after Labor Day (although I wish I could!), you don’t necessarily want to break out the wreaths and paint your walls all at once. Instead, go ahead and keep your same staple pieces, adding layers to create a look appropriate for the season. Nothing says fall like layers.
A good place to start is by slowly introducing darker hues — think deep, saturated jewel tones and rich, warm colors. A pillow here and a throw there can really tone down a room and cozy it up without screaming “Trick or treat!” in your face. Not to mention, incorporating a combination of textures and colors can really work to bring a lush, eclectic and offbeat look to a room.
But don’t get caught thinking texture only applies to fabrics. A bit of hammered metal, for example, creates a lovely contrast and really amps up the rustic charm. Even something as simple as a silver picture frame can add to the character of your room. In fact, this would be a great opportunity to print out and frame some of those pictures from the summer to help keep you warm as the temperatures drop.
Another great way to add some texture to your room is by incorporating natural elements. During the summer we do our best to keep nature outside, but later in the year as the holiday season sneaks up on us, we naturally become a little more inviting. Trade out your flowers for some branches or add a wooden bowl to your coffee table. Just try to take it easy on the pumpkins! The goal of fall decor isn’t to out-pilgrim your neighbor. Instead, it should be to create a space that’s warm and inviting, helping you enjoy your increasing amount of time indoors.
As the season progresses and you’ve managed to warm up your home and tone down the almost aggressive luminance of summer, you can begin to really create atmosphere. Whereas summer was all about letting in the sun and embracing bright, white light, fall has us searching for softer, warmer tones. This could be as easy as switching out a lampshade, or, if your room is full of natural light (lucky you!), you can achieve a softer look by adding heavier curtains. Either of these would also be a great opportunity to incorporate some of those delicious deeper colors.
Contrary to popular belief, home decor can extend beyond just the visual. It’s possible to create an experience at home that all five senses can appreciate. And there’s no better way to set the mood than with a carefully selected fragrance. Naturally, a great way to do this is with candles. While you may be tempted to reach for the cinnamon apple, why not try a scent that’s a little subtler, like amber or tobacco? Just as cozy and inviting as a sweeter fall fragrance, a scent with a hint of musk will immediately transport you to a log cabin in the woods. Of course, candles also have a visual effect, adding that soft, warm light that we’re after. Who doesn’t like a two-for-one?
Fall can be a pretty busy season. Between school starting and preparations for the holidays, home decor might be the last thing on your mind. By focusing on textures and layers, getting your home ready for the season can be as simple or complex, quick or drawn out as you want. Pumpkin Spice Latte optional.