Fall Decor Ideas: How to Decorate Your Home for Fall
It’s that time of year when evenings turn a little cooler, the sun sets a little sooner, and the colors of local flora start to come alive. Autumn has arrived in New England, and with it, endless opportunities to embrace the season with a refresh to your indoor and outdoor fall decor.
For some, fall decorating means looking to nature itself for design inspiration, like the spectrum of colors you’ll find on fall leaves — from wood-fire crimson to warm chocolate brown. For others, fall decor is less about embracing color, and more about welcoming harvest-inspired neutral fall decor in a clean palette of ivory, grey, tan and taupe.
No matter your color philosophy, the very essence of harvest season is about abundance, gathering, and creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere at home. One of our favorite ways to create a sense of warmth is through layering. Here, we’ll share our design team’s favorite fall decor ideas and uncover endless opportunities to add seasonal layers throughout your home. The result: a cozy, autumnal vibe you’re sure to enjoy all season long.
Outdoor Fall Decor Ideas
The first step to creating a welcoming abode is focusing on the first impression your guests will receive on arrival. It’s no wonder why our favorite fall decorating ideas for outside spaces center around a home’s front door. So, how to decorate a front door for fall? Here are some simple ideas to try this season.
1. Go natural.
The best fall front door decor is achieved by creating a natural look with seasonal flora. One of two never-fail elements are seasonal Chrysanthemums (commonly known as “mums”). These fall florals are synonymous with the season because of their photoperiodic attributes; they require at least 10 hours of darkness for their buds to start to bloom, which is why they turn on their charm in September as the days grow shorter. For a home’s front steps, mums offer a blend of seasonal color along with a pop of texture and greenery from their lush stems.
2. Source variety.
The second of our two favorite elements are colorful pumpkins and gourds as they are synonymous with the season. The key to success here is sourcing a variety of different types of pumpkins. Look for an array of sizes and shapes; a mix of wide, squat pumpkins as well as more narrow, taller gourds. We love a mix of Jack-Be-Littles and Baby Boos with larger Rouge Vif D’Etampes, a classic heirloom variety.
3. Think locally.
For the best sources of fall front door decor — like mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks — think locally. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of fabulous farms in and around the Greater Boston area. Some of our favorites include Lookout Farm based in Natick, MA and Volante Farms based in Needham, MA.
4. Layer, layer, layer.
Once you’ve sourced your fall door decor elements, it’s all about layering and creating balance. Here, similar principles of shelf styling can be applied, especially when it comes to playing with height and texture. Embrace your front steps — whether you have one step or six — to create different levels to work with. Ground your corners with a substantial piece like a large pumpkin or fluffy, textured mum, then layer in smaller elements like small- to medium-sized gourds until you feel like you’ve struck the right mix.
While some successful examples of fall front door decor include a maximalist approach to gourd-layering, don’t feel like you need to have pumpkins actually spilling from your front steps. This is especially important if you use your front door daily as you’ll want to ensure a clear, unobstructed path. Sometimes, even a light grouping of a few objects in varying heights can often give your steps just the right pop of seasonal color to do the trick.
If you have a bit more space around your front door — perhaps with a covered porch — consider refreshing a porch rocker or wooden Adirondack chair with a cozy throw blanket or textured throw pillow. All instantly signal warm, inviting vibes.
Fall Table Decor Ideas
The perfect way to create a festive look for a fall dining room table? You guessed it: layers. For fall dining room table decor, we look to these design principals, especially for building a look for a Thanksgiving dining room table.
1. Establish a base using fresh table linens.
We love a festive plaid print for the occasion, but depending on your personal aesthetic, other great options could also include a solid, textured linen in a warm neutral or autumnal shade. Feel free to layer in a linen placemat or natural woven charger at each seat.
2. Layer in seasonal elements.
This is where you really get to play. Along the length of your dining room table, fold in a combination of mini gourds, newly fallen leaves, and any small heirloom or decorative objects that evoke the spirit of the season. Move pieces around until you find a mix that feels just right. Keep an eye on the sightline as you go so that you don’t have a voluminous centerpiece that might obstruct a dinner guest’s view.
Tip: If you can’t make it to the flower market, you can forage right from your own backyard.
3. Add candlelight for warmth.
The low glow of candlelight adds instant warmth to any space. Lean into this with your fall dining room table decor. Add visual interest down the length of the table by using a combination of low votives and heirloom candlesticks in varying heights.
The Best Fall Table Decor
Whether it’s a coffee table, console table or dining room table, there are a few essential elements that can be applied in different ways to achieve the perfect look with your fall table decor.
1. Table linens
Choose a lovely base layer to anchor your design, which is especially important when working with a fall dining room table.
2. Antique vases or large ceramic vessels
These help provide a focal point and anchor your table.
3. Seasonal fresh flowers, dried florals or branches
When placed in a narrow ceramic vessel, dried florals and branches add height to your table. Seasonal florals — like Russian sage, Goldenrod, Dahlias, Marigolds and more — add color and texture to the mix.
4. Fall fruit or produce
When Either fresh or decorative fruits like mini pears are a great way to sprinkle in earth tones and warm neutrals.
For instant warmth.
If you’re looking for a bit more glamour — perhaps for a formal dinner party with friends — opt instead for metallics. We love the combination of mercury glass or gold-painted decorative objects combined with high and low candles for warmth. And don’t forget to incorporate a few clear-glass objects, too, which will help bounce your candlelit glow around the table. Both Simon Pearce and Pottery Barn are perennial favorite sources for beautiful autumnal glass objects.
Fall Living Room Decor
There is truly nothing that creates a warm, cozy vibe than luscious textures and warm layers. Here are some tips for creating a cozy, seasonal haven in your own living room.
1. Adjust your color palette.
When the weather turns cooler, it’s the perfect opportunity to weave deep, rich colors into your palette — think cranberry, burgundy, charcoal, and warm camel. Swapping out pastels and corals for textured throw blankets and throw pillows are simple ways to refresh for the season without committing to permanence.
2. Embrace elements of rustic design.
While the modern farmhouse interior design style isn’t for everyone, there is an inherently rustic quality to fall decor that makes farmhouse style a natural source to draw inspiration from. Rustic design refers to a style that’s “natural, rough, aged, and casual,” so it can be applied in a variety of ways.
Look for natural materials like wool and cotton blankets or organic elements like branches and dried florals.
Think about coarse textures like woven fibers, jute or seagrass, chunky knit blankets, unfinished surfaces and wood grain tables.
Make it comfortable for anyone seated in your living room. Make sure your basket of throw blankets is fully stocked, and consider adding in a floor pillow or an upholstered footstool for unfussy, additional seating.
Ultimately, the key to cozy fall decor ideas for your home is by layering, bringing the outdoors in, and channeling elements that echo the cozy, casual spirit of the season. Happy fall, friends.