If you’re anything like me, the very mention of seasonal decor drudges up images of corny ghouls, faux leaf bouquets and pumpkin-laden pillows. But, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. For years I avoided changing my decor for the seasons because I had some seriously entrenched opinions about the cheese-factor that was necessarily involved in doing so. I now choose to see decorating for fall with class as a fun challenge.
So, here it is. May I present to you a list of seven different ways to add a touch of fall to your decor without breaking the cheese (or the real) bank.
BRING NATURE INDOORS
Because, truly, what screams “FALL” more than spending time outdoors. The crisp, cool air lends itself to a host of outdoor adventures from hiking to football games and (my personal favorite) vineyard hopping. Though fall is also aptly associated with its bold, autumnal palette, I’d recommend leaving the bright colors to other areas of your home. To keep things sophisticated, stick to a neutral or limited palette when bringing the outside, well, inside.
Wheat and pampas grasses arranged in a tall vase make a truly classy statement with their oversized scale and interesting texture. A bowl of pine cones or acorns are not only FREE to collect, but look fabulous either in their birthday suits or spray-painted in a single shade to fit your decor. Pumpkins are a classic fall favorite, and I find sticking to the white variety, mixed in with some colorful gourds can be a beautiful combination. And if you’re looking for a touch of the unexpected, decorative peppers (as pictured below) are always a fun option.
BUFFALO CHECK, VELVET + FLANNEL
Buffalo check is such a timeless American classic, but it is having a serious moment in the design world. The pattern is so versatile that it fits in well with nearly any design style: it is perhaps an expected addition to farmhouse decor, but it can also be a chic surprise in a modern, bohemian or eclectic’s home. Flannel and velvet are also extremely versatile options and bring the cozy into your home in full force. If you’re looking to keep things a bit casual, go flannel. But whether you choose the more sophisticated velvet or good old laid back flannel, opt for mustard yellows, burnt oranges, maroons, burgundies and deep purples. Choose no more than two shades and use them in equal amounts. The best thing about buffalo check, flannel and velvet? All three are welcome additions to your winter decor, and would go unnoticed by any judgmental guest if they even carried over into any other season of the year.
BRING ON THE COLOR
But before you get crazy, you must know one thing about color: it is best used with restraint. And this couldn’t be more true than when talking about seasonal or holiday decor. Pops of muted autumnal colors in unexpected places is how to play the color game best. A stack of rust colored books on your coffee table, a burst of yellow sunflowers on the dining table, or a bowl full of juicy red apples will all give your home the warmth and coziness of the fall season without offending the senses. The trick to avoiding cheesiness here is to group single colors and keep the palette limited overall. Perhaps those rust orange books in the living room coupled with that single burst of yellow sunflowers to complement them.
CANDLES, CANDLES, MORE CANDLES …. AND TWINKLE LIGHTS!
And maybe even a disco ball or two. Any way to capture that warm stunning light that streams through the foliage this time of year. Add twinkle lights to your fireplace or place them in a decorative bowl. Candles throughout the home are another fabulous way to bring that warm glow inside, but opt for battery operated, timed candles in places you may forget to blow them out. And if scented candles are your thing, there is no better way to bring those amazing fall scents into your home than a pumpkin spice or apple pie candle (ok, maybe a REAL pumpkin pie baking in your oven would top it). Just be sure that the candle container is keeping things sophisticated. Nothing ruins the scent of pumpkin spice more than a tacky candle holder. Hit up the thrift store, or find some great fall candle options here, here and here.
THROW COZY SH*T EVERYWHERE
I know we’re all operating with different moral systems, and I have nothing but respect for yours (probably), but mine does not disclude a good thrifted sheepskin to warm things up. I personally opt to support the secondary, thrift market when it comes to animal products and while I do realize there are solid ethical arguments that could easily throw my morals into a garbage can and light them on fire, I simply can’t resist a good sheepskin or vintage leather chair. My love of them, combined with the ideas that I am saving these pieces from landfills, honoring the animals by salvaging their byproducts and ensuring their death did not happen in vain, let me rest mostly at ease on my leather chairs covered with sheepskin throws. Faux skins and leathers are also ethical alternatives. Because, really, there is no debating that skins, leathers and cozy throw blankets are all fabulous ways to add the textures and warmth of fall to a space in a sophisticated way.
SKULLS AND FOUND OBJECTS
Whether they are authentic animal skulls, gold-gilded faux human skulls, or that Native American arrowhead you found in your cousin’s backyard (seriously, this happened to me), these down-to-mother-earth options all bring us back to nature in the same way the season does. Style your coffee table with them, place them on a shelf or, hell, why not just hang a thrifted cow skull on your range hood?
HANG UP YOUR HAT
Your cowgirl hat, specifically. Hat collections hung on the wall can really make a statement and make us want to throw on our boots and mount the nearest horse (or something like that….).
So, there you have it. Seven tacky-fighting ways to bring that universally loved feeling of fall into your home. If you liked what you read, please scroll to the top of the page and subscribe to the Kate Pearce Vintage blog via the sidebar! You wouldn’t want to miss that next piece on Halloween decor now, would you?