It’s getting dark earlier, pumpkin-spice everything is hitting store shelves, and you’re thinking twice about wearing white pants. It can only mean one thing: Fall is imminent. While it’s always sad to see the lazy days of summer come to an end, autumn brings the opportunity to fill your Boston, MA, home with the coziest of cozy decor. “With the change of seasons and more time spent indoors, you should take this as an opportunity to add some warmth and comfort to your home,” says Patty Frischman, co-owner of interior design company SimplyHome2.
If you’re ready to take your home’s vibe from lemonade to apple cider, follow these eight quick decor enhancements that can be done in the hour gained from daylight saving time.
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1. Update your art with autumnal tones
The biggest way to change the mood in your home is with your walls. If you’re not inclined to tackle a new paint job, art makes a big difference without the commitment. Swapping out brightly hued art for pieces that incorporate seasonal hues like claret red, golden yellow, plum, forest green, and chocolate brown, or more muted hues like mauve and moss, will bring plenty of warmth to any room. Paintings and prints are also the perfect thing to look for at the many flea markets that pop up this time of year.
2. Swap out pillows and curtains
“Changing out your throw pillows and blankets can make a big difference with the ‘mood’ of the room,” says Tanhya Schimel, SimplyHome2’s second co-owner. She recommends richer, deeper tones like navy or taupe for bringing in a fall feeling, instead of more-obvious yet bright oranges and reds. For curtains, consider texture. Gauzy panels and sheer cottons are a great option for warm-weather months, but look wimpy come fall. Try wool, velvet, thickly woven fabrics or blackout-lined cotton as a cozier alternative.
3. Go for texture under your toes
Floors offer a huge blank canvas ripe for decorating. But like pillows and curtains, the material you choose can make a big impact on how your space feels. Sea grass, lightweight canvases in bright prints, and indoor/outdoor rugs can be out of sync with fall’s lusher textures. “A small sheepskin fur rug can change the whole vibe of the room, giving you that fall feel without spending a lot,” Frischman says. Other good rug choices include wool, cowhide, modern shag rugs, and even felt.
4. Arrange fall-friendly outdoor vignettes
Frischman and Schimel have a go-to outdoor arrangement for fall: a set of urns filled with mums, decorative purple cabbage or kale, and white or orange pumpkins and gourds, which they use to flank entryways. “This can make an impactful statement and allows you to enjoy the vibrant colors of fall into the colder months,” Schimel says. Want to go for a single type of bloom? Group mums or fall-blooming hydrangeas (varieties like oakleaf or Endless Summer work well) in barrels or bushel baskets by your front steps.
5. Update your bedding
Although crisp cotton sheets are timeless, you might want a little more warmth as the season progresses. “If you are using a lighter blanket in the spring and summer, we suggest investing in a down comforter and duvet cover for the fall,” Frischman says. She suggests Egyptian cotton for the duvet cover, which will last for seasons to come, and a faux-fur throw for the end of your bed. If you’re looking for softer sheets, flannel and jersey are plentiful (and affordable!) this time of year.
6. Stow boots and jackets stylishly
Whether you went for a hike or an apple-picking jaunt, you’ll definitely want a place to stash muddy boots when you come home. “Drip trays are an absolute must to keep muddy or wet boots from tracking throughout the house,” Schimel says. Something like Crate & Barrel’s Zinc Boot Tray gets the job done stylishly. For jackets and backpacks, she recommends hooks in a finish that matches your doorknobs for a unified look.
7. Soften your lighting
“With it fading to dark earlier, we recommend having your lights on a dimming panel. This way, as it gets dark, you are able to adjust the light as needed,” Frischman says. It’s especially helpful for mood lighting when entertaining — after all, fall does kick off the entertaining season that continues through the holidays. Coupled with candles, dimmed lights create a warm, festive scene.
8. Consider small details
Sometimes the simplest fall decorating ideas are the best. Bowls of fresh, seasonal fruit placed in the kitchen, on a dining room table, or even on an entryway console table can have a big impact on the fall feel of your home. And don’t forget the most obvious — and affordable — way to bring some autumn indoors: with vibrant foliage. “A fun idea is to gather up colorful leaves from fallen branches and display them in jars,” Frischman says. Complete the look with candles, dish soaps, and diffusers in fall-friendly scents.