When it comes to seasonal transitions, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying new decor to spruce up your space. But along with just creating more stuff you need to store later, it gets expensive to shop seasonally.
In an effort to minimize spending, we turned to the experts to ask what small, cost-effective ways they suggest prepping your home for cooler days and cozier nights.
01 of 10
Add Layers of Autumnal Tones
“One of my favorite ways to transition my home from summer to fall is through layers,” said Drew Scott of Lone Fox. “Even adding a layer on top of my previous summer layers can intensify the feeling of coziness without having to redecorate the entire space.”
If you want to look toward items you already have, Drew suggests pulling in pieces that feature “terracotta, olive, or earthy tones” because these colors are “a no brainer when it comes to getting the fall feels!”
But for colors outside of the normal autumnal tones, Stephanie Lindsey of Etch Design Group suggests using pieces with “rich, luxe jewel tones. The colors engage the eye and give a subtle nod to the shades mimicked in the kaleidoscope of fall leaves."
02 of 10
Consider Your Other Senses
Transitioning your home into autumn mode doesn’t just need to be visual. Drew pointed out that it can happen through scent, too. “The impact that a scent has on somebody when they walk into your home is the starting point to any fall transition,” Drew told us. “I think a crisp fall scent is the perfect way to tell somebody you took the effort to make your space coordinate with the season. I personally love the hand-carved Pumpkin Spice candle from my shop! It comes in the perfect hand-carved wooden bowl which you can use after as a catch-all!”
Kristin Bartone of Bartone Interiors is on the same page. “[A] great seasonal interior item is your home scent,” she said. Look for “warmer, spicier scents to take your decor to the next level.”
03 of 10
Rotate Your Wall Art
Another way to make your home feel more fall is by “switching out wall art for something moodier or warmer," said Drew. "[This] is a great way to add new color, pattern or texture without having to commit to larger changes that traditionally cost a lot more.”
And no, you don’t need to splurge on new pieces or maintain a hidden archive somewhere. Drew noted that “Etsy is an amazing site to shop for digital art prints which you can print locally at an extremely affordable price point.” Or you can tackle something homemade, like a DIY wreath using autumn-inspired colors and materials!
04 of 10
Fall Foliage Is Key
Xander Shreenan, interior designer at home décor brand Dowsing & Reynolds, noted that “small updates can often have the biggest impact in a space, as you can experiment with colors, textures, and patterns” on a smaller scale. One of the best ways of doing this is with preserved and dried foliage.
Consider “beautiful rich colors such as burnt oranges, deep crimsons, or even subtle use of black tones," said Xander. "Dried foliage is a great way to introduce color updates to a space without a major overhaul.”Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Add Textures That are Fall-forward AND Functional
Cheryl Kees Clendenon, president of In Detail Interiors, pointed out that the best way to invoke fall feels is with plenty of textures--but the key to doing this cost-effectively is to add items that also have a function.
"Update your bedroom sanctuary to transition into fall with a shaggy plush rug under your feet and a cozy fall-inspired throw. [It's] easy and inexpensive to add a warm ambiance to your bedroom and feel ready for the cooler weather!” say Cheryl. The same idea can apply to your living room, "particularly with a gorgeous mohair throw. Instantly transform the feel from summer to cooler weather with color and warmth."
Kristin Bartone agrees. "You can easily switch seasons by swapping out pillows and throw blankets and other small accessories that take you from hot summer days to cool fall evenings by the fire,” she said.
Other fabrics that are great for adding layers according to Karen B. Wolf of Karen B. Wolf Interiors include “faux fur throw blankets, flannel sheets, and knobby knits."
06 of 10
Collect Your Throws in One Place
While draping your blankets or throws might work here and there, Emma Sims-Hilditch of Sims Hilditch Designs has a more practical solution that still ups the coziness of a space while keeping things neat. “[Woollen throws] placed in a wicker basket adds a certain coziness to the room, without the need for changing the entire scheme,” she said.
07 of 10
Don’t Be Afraid of Florals
As Emma noted, “color plays an important role when creating autumnal schemes,” but prints can last through multiple seasons. “Floral fabrics are not only for spring/summer.”
The key is to look for florals with earthy throughlines––Emma suggested “deep russet and chocolaty colors.” These can carry you from summer easily into and through the rest of autumn.
08 of 10
Transition Your Outdoor Oasis, Too
Early fall is the perfect time to make the most of your outdoor space, according to Nancy Charbonneau of Charbonneau Interiors. "As the temperatures become more conducive to being outdoors, fall is the perfect time to enjoy a cozy oasis right outside your backdoor,” she said.
“[It] offers the perfect place to cozy up with friends and family in an intimate way while getting to enjoy the fall's cooler temperatures. [Add] baskets with warm cozy throws, trays with s'mores ingredients, and plush outdoor furniture cushions allow for a setting conducive to a mini-retreat and place to linger and enjoy the season."Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Bring the Outside In
Once it is officially too cold to hang out outside, moving indoors for the rest of the season doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some greenery.
“Houseplants become more of a focus when you can’t spend as much time outside,” said Lucy Gleeson of Lucy Gleeson Interiors. They’re the perfect buddy to keep inside during the winter days, because along with boosting your mental health, “they really add an extra element to the space.”
But if you’re not ready for a houseplant, Emma Sims-Hilditch suggested a more temporary solution. “Gather some seasonal flowers and foliage from the garden or the surrounding landscape and arrange them on your coffee table and shelves,” she said. “This brings life to your home, as well as giving a gentle nod to the impending autumn.”
10 of 10
See the Transition as a Form of Self-Care
If you’re really looking to cut costs, Lucy also noted that making a project out of your decor plan can be an excellent form of self-care. “When it comes to autumn decor, I tend to work on projects such as upholstering and making soft furnishings for the home in my spare time. There’s something about working with textiles that is quite comforting in the cooler months.”
So grab those knitting needles and get to work!