You've just finished your third pumpkin spice coffee drink of the week, have plans to go apple picking on the calendar, and are feeling oh-so-autumnal... except when it comes to your home. Do you really need to outfit your space for fall? What should you do if none of the decorations you've been seeing in stores appeal to you?
We spoke with designers to get the lowdown on what industry pros really think about all of the fall decor we see on social media. The consensus is that while going overboard is a no-no, there are still plenty of fun ways to embrace autumn in your space. Read on for some pointers from designers across the country.
It's Best to Go Subtle
Steer clear of the pumpkin overload and instead opt for introducing some festive, yet less dramatic seasonal touches in your home. "Avoid going all-in if you want a designer look," says designer Anais Chaumien of Design by Anais. "You can add a fall touch by simply integrating a few warm colors (oranges and browns especially) in your home." For example, Chaumien suggests, pillows are an excellent place to begin—she recommends stashing away neutral pillow covers and instead introducing a burnt orange velvet for the season.
"After a hot New York summer, I love welcoming an autumnal palette around my home," comments designer Gideon Mendelson of Mendelson Group. "Rather than going all-out on the fall decor, I like to look for ways to naturally incorporate the colors of the season," he adds. Mendelson's kitchen already features some orange touches, so come autumn, he likes to decorate with green and brown linens and tabletop accessories. Finish off this fall look by taking some cutes from the natural world. "You'll often find a few pumpkins and gourds on my table, along with natural elements like branches and herbs to welcome the season in a subtle and elevated way," Mendelson explains.
If fall decor makes you happy, you shouldn't avoid it altogether, but it's best if you can be sustainable about you choices, says Mindy O'Connor of Melinda Kelson O'Connor Architecture and Interiors. "I would recommend opting for zero waste, or sustainably sourced items that can be reused year after year."
Not sure where to begin? Kelson offers a few ideas. "Keep a collection of glass vessels in various sizes—they can be from salvage or repurposed—and use them to display natural elements according to the seasons," she suggests. "Anything from nature usually works! Large sparse branches from your yard can be artfully arranged in a glass vase and create a drastic fall or winter showpiece." Kelson is also a proponent of collecting simple ribbons in natural, seasonal colors. "They can be pulled out and used to subtly accent containers or table linens," she comments. Last but not least, get textural. "Baskets, bark and linen all evoke fall and are unlikely to become tiresome," Kelson shares. "They can be combined and continually reused. Think real trees and plants over plastic anything. Whether you are a seasonal minimalist like me, or a maximalist, look for elements that can be used again and again in creative and simple ways."
Make Over Your Mantel
Designer Emily Ruff of Cohesively Curated Interiors is a fan of incorporating fall decor in small doses. "I would pick one area to decorate like your fireplace mantel or entryway and leave the rest of your home as is," she suggests. Ruff notes that the mantel in particular is great because you can weave garland over mirrors or on the mantel top for added festivity.
Note That It's Ok to Skip It All Together
Still on the fence about how you'd like to decorate for fall? If you're feeling like you'd rather skip the seasonal decorations and call it a day, you're not alone. “This may be an unpopular opinion, or maybe a popular one only among designers, but fall decor is a hard no for me," says Meghan Basinger of Stevie Interiors. "Rather than spending money on items that will only be on display for four to six weeks of the year, invest in a classic piece that you can enjoy year-round," she suggests.
Alternatively, some ultra simple touches like seasonal flowers never hurt. "If you can’t fight the urge, I recommend bringing in some fresh flowers in a moodier color palette and opt to keep your fireplace lit in the evenings.”