6 fall decorating ideas that make a home look expensive, cozy and warm

Discover how to create high-end seasonal style minus the high price tag from the experts

Three rooms decorated in expensive looking fall colors - a bedroom, kitchen, and living room
(Image credit: Future/Jon Day / Salvesen Graham / Sofology)

Fall decor that makes a home look expensive definitely doesn’t have to come at a premium price. Interiors knowhow can bring high-end results without a big spend.

An expensive fall look can be an aesthetic rather than the result of purchasing power, and that’s a principle that applies generally, as well as proving applicable to fall decor ideas

Beautifully curated interiors that reflect nature’s colors and bounty to make a home warm and welcoming can appear to have been achieved as if expense hasn’t been spared without that actually being the case.

How to create elevated fall decor on a budget? This is what interior designers recommend.

Fall decor that looks expensive

Making a home look expensive relies on understanding how to dress it, and which materials, textures, and objects to choose. Anything that makes your house look cheap is, of course, out of the question.

And whether we’re talking living room fall decor, fall color schemes, fall table decor, fall mantel ideas, or any other part of the home, the same precepts apply when introducing seasonal style. Be inspired by these interior designers’ suggestions to get the high-end look for fall.

1. Atmospheric lighting

neutral living room with green sofa, rust and patterned cushions, painting on wall, paint, floor lamp, drapes

(Image credit: Albion Nord)

The right lighting ideas are crucial to make a home look expensive – and key to creating the right autumnal atmosphere. ‘Fall denotes a particular coziness, and lighting is an easy way to nail it,’ says Dan Mazzarini, principal and creative director of BHDM Design and ARCHIVE by Dan Mazzarini.

‘It’s all about finding that sweet spot where functionality meets aesthetics – light dimmers work wonders,’ he advises. ‘With a simple adjustment, you can create a warm mood or set the stage for a cozy movie night. Our suggestions: Lutron Credenza plug-in dimmer and soft white dimmable light bulbs.’

Find the Lutron Credenza dimmer at Amazon.

2. Rich color schemes

Small bedroom ideas with large lamp and red walls

(Image credit: Future/Alexander James)

Rich color schemes and muted undertones create a high-end look perfect for the season, says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky, and you can look to the color wheel to put them together. For the living room he suggests forest green complemented by subdued taupe, and for the bedroom: intense wine red contrasted with a mellow beige.

‘Shades like forest green and wine red impart a feeling of affluence and richness,’ he explains. ‘Melding them with understated tones enhances their depth without overpowering the ambience. Such hues mirror autumn’s spirit – the changing foliage and the snug essence of the time. The outcome? A fusion of warmth, plushness, and inviting atmosphere.’

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.

3. Velvet and silk

kitchen with dining nook with green velvet seating and mustard and pink cushion and artwork with round table

(Image credit: Salvesen Graham)

Look to rich fabrics for a no-expense-spared aesthetic. ‘The secret to an indulgent fall ambience lies in the harmonious interplay of velvet textures and layers of silk, enveloping spaces with an irresistible warmth and lavishness,’ says Madison Popper, founder of the global interior design firm Chill Casa.

‘You can elevate the allure of your table settings by ensconcing glass vases with meticulously gilded branches and dried florals, crafting an opulent focal point, or add a heritage charm through the inclusion of resplendent gilded mirrors and carefully curated vintage artifacts, capturing the essence of timelessness and extravagance. 

4. Accent wall color

A fall color scheme in a living room with burnt orange walls, blue and white striped sofas and sand-colored mantel

(Image credit: Kit Kemp/Firmdale Hotels)

Consider creating an accent wall to elevate a room and transform it for a new season. ‘I love a good accent wall paint color,’ says interior designer Chantelle Hartman Malarkey

‘The right color in a room can bring it to life. I love one painted accent wall that can be a richer darker color that really looks beautiful during the fall season.’

5. Injections of color

fall decor ideas

(Image credit: Jon Day / Future)

For a chic take on fall decor, consider using accents of color. ‘Instead of the bright red and orange, opt for a neutral palette with selective small pops of color and subtle textures – this allows your fall decor to easily blend in with your existing pieces, making your space feel more cohesive and thoughtfully curated,’ says Jennifer Verruto, founder and CEO of Blythe Interiors.

‘For example, ditch a bright orange vase for a simple gold one instead. Something neutral, yet festive like gold, can easily transition to the following season’s decor. For fall, throw in some gorgeous, dried florals and then swap them out for something more wintery like holly leaves when the time arrives. This will make your decor feel more sophisticated.’

6. Premium seating decor

gray and orange living room with emerald green footstool, orange sofa, ornate fireplace, candles, foliage and vases on mantel, fall freeze, textured rug

(Image credit: Sofology)

Dress up the seating around your home for a high-end look. ‘Apt seating adornments can be likened to fine jewelry for interiors,’ says Artem Kropovinsky. ‘Just as the perfect pendant can amplify attire, the ideal blanket or cushion can present furnishings in a more upscale light.’

For the living room, he suggests ‘silken pillows in colors harmonizing with the room, perhaps taupe or wine red’. And for the bedroom, ‘synthetic fur wraps casually placed on a solitary chair or the bed’s edge’.

‘Materials like silk and synthetic fur epitomize luxury. They’re not just visually stunning but also delightfully tactile, enriching the sensory experience,’ he says.


How do you decorate for fall classily?

To decorate for fall classily, use luxurious materials like silks and velvets, elegant color combinations, and subtle highlights. ‘Lustrous details in gold, copper, and bronze uplift a room’s sophistication instantly,’ says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky. ‘They refract light, introduce luminance, and render a sophisticated touch to the environment. These subtle elements can have a pronounced influence. They metamorphose an ordinary area into one that appears meticulously styled.’

Fall decor can look high end without the accompanying cost with careful curation, and the effect can be replicated with outdoor fall decor. Sophisticated fall weaths and elegant fall front door decor can strike a premium note and boost curb appeal. And for both inside and out, fall craft ideas can create decor that looks expensive but in which you invested just enough for the materials plus your own time.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.