Unlike the holiday season—when I will quite literally hand over a full paycheck in the name of channeling Buddy The Elf with new ornaments, twinkle lights (always more twinkle lights), and a fresh garland—I simply can’t bring myself to make my bank account suffer for my fall home decor. I obviously love fall (I was born in the ’90s, after all), but the season always seems to escape so quickly that I find I barely have time to slow down and enjoy it before I’m putting up my Christmas tree. Still, I can’t let September come and go without making some key changes around my home to welcome the new season and prepare for several months of hunkering down, hosting dinner parties, and indulging in movie nights on the sofa. Below, I’m sharing six simple ways to make your home cozy just in time for fall.
1. Opt for candlelight
When the temperatures start to drop, I immediately feel the need to channel Hogwarts Dining Hall. These floating candles used by Mallory of Reserve Home are a magical take on candlelit evenings, but even if you don’t go for the floating version, you’ll relish the dim lighting and glow of tall, tapered candles as you unwind after work.
2. Bring in layers
The term “fall layers” usually elicits images of jackets and sweaters, but fashion isn’t the only area where we advise layering up. Bringing in additional textures to your home cultivates a cozier vibe that feels warm and inviting, leaving you happy to trade nights on the patio with evenings on the couch. From chunky knit blankets to velvet throw pillows, we can’t help but opt for the “more is more” approach when it comes to fall home decor.
3. Add depth with rust and copper tones
Copper adds a natural warmth to your living space, giving a subtle nod to the autumn color change. You can bring in this rust-colored hue through simple accessories like a metal vase, tea kettle, or candlestick holders or by opting for rust-colored fabrics in an accent pillow, rug, or tabletop linens.
4. Swap flowers for autumn branches
Fall is the perfect time to bring the outside in, and there’s no need to spend the big bucks doing so. Trust me, after you forage your backyard for a few tall branches of autumn leaves, you’ll suddenly feel like you’re roaming through the New England countryside.
5. Treat yourself to a new scent
You can call me cheugy ‘til the cows come home, but I still want to fill my home with the scents of the season, and that means incorporating pumpkin spice into my fall home decor. Our sense of smell is one of the biggest triggers of memories and nostalgia, and what would autumn be without a little reminiscing? If you can’t get on board with pumpkin spice, try opting for a blend of essential oils, like cinnamon and orange.
6. Use seasonal fruit and veggies as decor
Displaying seasonal fruit and veggies when guests come over is one of my favorite tricks for honoring the current season (without spending a ton of money). Just keep a basket or bowl full of butternut squash, pumpkin, or apples on the dining table or kitchen countertop. Since it’s something you’ll actually use, you won’t even have to store it when the season is over.