The kitsch and whimsy of Halloween and autumnal decor can be fun, but if you’re a minimalist, it can also be a nightmare. Orange, purple, and neon green don’t exactly fit in with a neutral aesthetic—and if trying to decorate with these colors is giving you a larger fright than Halloween night, we understand.
In an effort to find a way to create a stunning seasonal home and embrace our inner minimalists, we talked to Sarai Reed, a D.C.-based lifestyle content creator and a design consultant for Homesense, who helped us curate a list of festive—but still neutral—decor pieces to snag for fall.
“The number one thing I’d add to a minimalist room to amp up the festive or spooky vibes is tapered candles,” Reed says. “They make me think of fall at Hogwarts. They’re spooky, elegant, and suggest a hint of even better holidays to come.”
Serena & Lily Tapered Candles (Set of 6)
Simple Candle Holders
You’ll need candle holders for your tapered candles, of course, but an all-out Halloween candelabra is not required. We love these simple wooden candle holders that are perfect for a minimalist tablescape or pared-down mantel.
World Market Wood Taper Candle Holder
If you’re looking to add something simple but effective, Reed suggests going as natural as possible.
“A simple garland, unadorned with lights, tinsel, or fake snow can really go a long way on a banister or mantel,” she tells us. “If you’re going with a live garland, make sure you read up on the care required. There are some pretty convincing fakes out there, too.”
National Tree Company 72-Inch Pumpkin and Pinecone Garland
Much like Reed’s tips for garlands, a simple wreath is also a great way to make a statement. Anything dried feels instantly autumnal, and if you skip the ribbons, lights, and cutesy Halloween figures, it’ll be that much more likely to last you all season long.
Terrain Preserved Fern Wreath
Scented candles are great, but incense can do the job while making less of a visual impact.
“You can tap into a fall palette or a spooky vibe without necessarily going full pumpkin spice,” Reed says. “Dim the lights and get some spicy, smoky incense burning. You’ve just channeled Halloween without bringing in a single squash.”
TheArtRoomCeramics Ceramic Black Incense Stick Holder
Persimmons Over Pumpkins
If you’re looking for a pumpkin alternative, Reed has a stellar suggestion. “Persimmons in a pretty vessel make an amazing centerpiece—much better than mini pumpkins, if you ask me.”
VOSAREA Fake Persimmon String
A Decorative Centerpiece Bowl
Whether you go with persimmons or another harvest pick, a simple decorative bowl is a must. Collect your dried or faux gourds in something that will really show off the intended pop of color.
West Elm Oaxaca Ceramic Decorative Bowl
One of the best ways to add life to a minimalist space is with texture. “Halloween is only the beginning of that time of year we know and love: sweater weather," Reed says. “I like to mark the colder months in my home with plenty of cozy textiles like velvet curtains.”
West Elm European Flax Linen & Luster Velvet Curtain
Cozy Throw Blankets
Much like velvet curtains, cozy throw blankets in a heavier knit or with a bit of fringe can add visual interest without taking over your space entirely.
“It’s okay to approach certain home decor items the same way you think about your wardrobe—they can be seasonal,” Reed says. “If it’s not too much of a hassle, think about swapping out your linens or other textiles for heavier, warmer options. They convey a feeling of fall without being over-the-top holiday-themed.”
Casaluna Oversized Solid Bed Throw
As Reed notes, keeping the light level low automatically adds an air of coziness to your home. If your space isn’t equipped with dimmers, add some smaller light sources, like this adorable pumpkin lamp. It offers a touch of magic as well as some ambient, cozy lighting.
Bee & Willow LED Pumpkin in Amber
A Simplified Entryway
“During the holiday season, boxes, coats, and other seasonal miscellany tend to pile up in the entryway of many homes,” Reed says. “Keep your space feeling festive and minimal.”
Add shelving, storage baskets, or hooks—whatever it takes to simplify your space.