How do I start decorating for fall? Designers offer their ideas for fashioning fall decor

Experts offer their seasonal design advice so you can start decorating for fall with flair

How to start decorating for fall?
(Image credit: Future)

With fall just around the corner, many are wondering how to start decorating for fall to create a festive home for the season. 

There are numerous fall decor ideas that you can use around your home but, once you have established when you should start decorating for fall, it can be difficult to know where and how to start decorating for fall. From outdoor fall decor ideas to generally preparing your home for fall, there are a lot of options for this cozy season. 

Some of Homes & Garden's favorite designers and experts have explained where they start when it comes to decorating for fall so that you can do the same.  

How do I start decorating for fall?  

As fall marks the transition to cooler days and darker nights for much of the world, it is a good idea to start decorating for fall by making your home feel cozy and inviting so you can escape the bitter winds that are heading our way. 

Here, experts provide seven ways to begin your decorating, from smaller home additions to larger-scale projects. 

1. Favor fall colors 

Dining room with dark wooden floor, brown walls, white and pale grey marble mantelpiece and dark wood table and bench.

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

If you are looking for a larger project for the fall months, adding warm-toned fall color schemes is a great place to start - especially for those who want to evoke this snug season all year round. 

‘The sense of wellbeing that we gain from time outside in the natural world has resulted in a desire to re-create this sense of connection and positivity in our homes, driving a renewed love for decorating with greens of all hues, as well as biophilic design. Leaf wallpaper prints, dense foliage-based patterns, rich deep woodland hues, and earthy, natural shades are being used alongside a myriad of green colors to really bring a sense of the outdoors in,’ explains Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene. (opens in new tab)

‘Recently, dark greens have displaced dark blues as our most-loved colors. Although the muted Sage Green has been a staple of the Little Greene collection for many years, stronger tones have come to the fore, including the lively ‘Jewel Beetle’ and bold ‘Puck’.

‘It has been fascinating to see how customers have embraced color and pattern over the past few years,’ Ruth adds, ‘with many recognizing the importance of both times spent in the natural world and how transforming the home environment can lift our mood and have a positive effect on how we feel.’

Alongside deep, forest-like greens, introducing more autumnal shades such as terracotta decor and decorating with orange is great for emulating fall leaves year-round says Rebecca Drury, co-founder of MissPrint (opens in new tab). ‘Terracottas, burnt oranges and warm brown colorways are symbolic of the fall season and its themes. When paired collectively using layers and textures, these shades are reminiscent of the browning tree leaves and the world’s natural environment during this particular period,’ Rebecca explains. ‘One of MissPrint’s original and most popular patterns, Little Trees in Top Coat, a dusky rose shade, can complement rich colors and bold materials. The print adds subtle interest whilst injecting character and quirk to any room.’ 

2. Introduce havest motifs

Dining room with pale green walls, flagstone floor, dining table and chairs beside a lit fire

(Image credit: Nick Pope)

With fall being a wonderful time to invite friends and family into your home, consider fall table decor ideas to spruce up your dining room and celebrate the fall harvest season. ‘Change up your dining tablescape to have a harvest feel – decorate the tabletop with dried floral arrangements along with votives and candles to illuminate the space and bring a warm and inviting glow to the room,’ suggests Caitlin O’Keeffe, merchandise field manager at Serena & Lily (opens in new tab).  

3. Create a comforting space

Cozy living room with furniture in Vanessa Arbuthnott fabrics

(Image credit: Brent Darby / Styling Pippa Blenkinsop)

Cozy room ideas are a staple of fall decorating with these welcoming spaces seen as a must by many designers. ‘I always start by thinking how am I going to use my spaces differently as the winter draws in. Where will I be sitting when I'm holding a hot mug of tea after being out in the rain or snuggled up reading a good book?’ begins Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft (opens in new tab). ‘I recommend creating a cozy space in your home, be it moving a comfy armchair like Model 06 from Swyft by the fireplace or under a window so you can watch the rain and then add a warm throw and a side table to place some candles on and you’re ready for fall.’ 

4. Switch out fresher summer pieces

A white sofa with wooden legs in a white room, with sisal carpet, dark grey coffee table, cushions and blankets, a terracotta tea set on a wooden tray, and a dark green leafy plant

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

When looking for items to start decorating for fall, look within your home before running out to buy new things,’ says Judy Pickett of Design Lines Signature (opens in new tab). ‘Start with items that have warm tones and cozy textures – could you perhaps swap out easy items like pillows, throws, and bedding? We always recommend keeping the seasonal changes subtle so as to not shake up your overall interior design too drastically!’ 

‘Make the home feel like a cozy fall haven with effortless transitions – switch out crisp, cool summer decor items with pillow coverings or bedding that have warmer color palettes, incorporate fall aromas like sandalwood or spiced apple, and bring in a lovely fall wreath to tie everything together,’ says Caitlin.  

5. Add fall florals and foliage

Stunning dried flower arrangements for your home. Dried flower bunches in empty jam jars.

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

‘An easy way to begin transitioning to a fall aesthetic is through florals and foliage’, says Eleanor Trepte of Dekay & Tate (opens in new tab). ‘Think about changing the flowers on your kitchen countertops or dining table centerpieces. This is an easy and very natural way to bring some of that outside crispness in’ 

Consider using festive fall wreath ideas to introduce seasonal or dried flowers both in your fall porch ideas as well as within your home. Outside your home, think about incorporating plants for fall color into your garden ideas to maintain some life and blooms in your yard as many other plants begin to fade away for winter.  

6. Use  festive themed decor tastefully

A mantlepiece with green leaf garland, small white and orange pumpkins, two lit tapered candles, and a framed illustration of a regency lady

(Image credit: Chris Terry)

With fall harkening the Halloween and harvest periods, there is often an onslaught of themed decor items that can quickly cheapen the look of a home. 

When using themed decorations, consider using more timeless, concept items such as fresh pumpkins in different varieties such as white and green to add a festive holiday touch or introduce themes of candles for ambiance. For fall mantle decorations consider leaf garlands or wreaths.  

7. Consider warmer textures

Close up of a bed dressed with coloured blankets and cushions, bedside table with a vase of grasses.

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

With the end of summer, start decorating for fall by using texture in interior design. thicker, heavier materials such as wool and cashmere, velvet, furs, and cords can help make your home look and feel lush and luxurious.  

‘Fall decor doesn't have to be cliche. Instead of focusing on adding a ton of, say, decorative pumpkins into your home, think instead about color. Incorporating warm fall colors like neutral browns, earthy greens, burnt oranges, and complimentary beiges and taupes is an easy way to change the mood in a space. Also, consider textures,’ Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions (opens in new tab) adds, ‘perhaps you can move away from materials like rattan or wicker and instead start to incorporate leathers, suede, approachable velvets, and even faux fur if it fits in the space.’ 

What is the easiest way to decorate for fall? 

One of the easiest ways to decorate for fall is to introduce warm tones and layering to create a comforting sanctuary such as with fall bedding trends. Adding pumpkins is also an easy, albeit stereotypical way of decorating for fall, and are available from most stores in the fall season.  

When should you start decorating for fall?  

Although fall does not begin until September 22nd, you can begin decorating for fall whenever it feels right for you. Whether you want to herald the season early, or wait until the leaves begin to change, the best time to decorate for fall is subjective.  

Chiana Dickson
Junior Writer

Chiana is a junior writer for Homes & Gardens having joined Future plc as a new graduate in 2022 after achieving a 1st class degree in Literature at university. She first became interested in design as a child after spending her summers helping her parents redecorate her childhood home. As a long-time reader of Future’s homes titles, Chiana is constantly finding new inspiration at work as she focuses on emerging trends, how-to’s, and news pieces.