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There is nothing quite like decorating in the fall. Cozy blankets, thick curtains, and candles galore make this the perfect time of year to make a house look and feel cozy.
Whether you want to go all out with your themed fall decor ideas, or are looking for a more subdued scheme, there are plenty of ways to make a home cozy for fall that will curate a space you’ll never want to leave.
We asked interior designers for tips on how to nail cozy room ideas for the cooler months ahead.
How to make a house cozy for Fall
Once you have gotten over the hurdle or working out when you should start decorating for fall, it is time to whip out the cozy throws and excessive pillows. Here is what else the experts recommend.
1. Layer, layer, layer
Layering in interior design is important no matter the time of year, but it really plays a role when making a house cozy in the Fall. It is also one of the easiest ways to add coziness to your home, says Jacky Chou, principal designer and director at Archute.
‘Now is the time to go to town layering different textures and patterns on your furniture, floors, walls, and windows,’ he suggests. ‘Think of soft and fluffy pillows, blankets, rugs, and curtains in fabrics like wool, velvet, faux fur, or flannel. Feel free to mix and match patterns like plaid, stripes, checks, or florals in autumnal colors like orange, red, yellow, brown, or burgundy.
‘These will create contrast and interest in your space, as well as provide warmth and comfort both visually and physically when you cuddle up on the couch.’
Layer inviting color to your living space or bedroom with this Alaia Sherpa Throw from Lulu and Georgia.
Jacky Chou is the principal and director at Laurel & Wolf online interior design agency. Jacky is also the principal and director at Archute, an editorial magazine about architecture, homes and gardens. They have been referenced by The New York Times, Bustle, House & Home, Bloomberg, and Angi.
2. Change cool metallics for warm-toned brass
When wondering how to start decorating for fall, changing out your home hardware probably isn't the first thing to come to mind. Nevertheless, swapping out any cool-toned metals such as silver and chrome for warmer alternatives like brass, copper, and gold is a great way to warm up the space and make it feel cozier, recommends Mehreen Baldoni, creative director of Mehreen Baldoni Interiors. You can also mix metals if swapping out everything in your scheme isn't for you.
‘I also love adding metallics like brushed gold and brass as I feel it brings character and charm when used with Fall colors,’ she shares. ‘A good way of incorporating this is by adding warm lights with brushed gold or brass details in the room.’
3. Carve out a cozy corner
Although we strongly recommend making your whole home cozy in Fall for true immersion into the season, it is possible to carve out a single cozy corner to settle down into to relax, especially in rented properties, or shared homes.
‘This special corner should be a place where you can enjoy your favorite activities like reading, knitting, painting, or playing games,’ advises Jacky Chou, designer. ‘Find a spot near a window or a fireplace where you can get some natural light or cozy warmth. Then add a comfortable chair or sofa, a side table, a lamp, and some storage for your books, magazines, or supplies.
‘You can also decorate your nook with some personal touches like photos, art, plants, or candles. This will make your nook feel more inviting and cozy.’
4. Create cozy wellness with color
To create a relaxing space, Ashley Banbury, interior designer and color expert at Dutch Boy Paints suggests picking a natural color: A neutral-toned sanctuary makes people feel good while providing comfort and protection from the outside world.’
It is not just browns and yellows that can make your space cozier, however, she adds.
‘The primary colors of Fall are warm shades, but dusty blues are now entering in to be well-loved for Fall. You can also add a bit more character with green neutrals to switch it up.
‘Curl up with a warm cup of apple cider, your muted brown chair, and olive-green throw pillows – you’ll be transported to Salem in the Fall.’
5. Initiate intimacy with lighting
You should never underestimate the power of lighting to completely transform a space – even if you haven't touched the decor yet.
‘Lighting is a critical element in creating a cozy ambiance in your home. Instead of using bright and harsh overhead lights, opt for warm-toned lamps, sconces, or fairy lights that will cast a soft and cozy glow in your space,’ suggests Jacky Chou, designer.
Whether you are making a living room cozy with lighting, or creating a cozy kitchen for hosting, following designer lighting rules to create atmosphere and paying attention to lighting temperatures will unlock a whole new set of possibilities for your Fall home, and make snuggling up in bed that much cozier.
6. Cozy up with candles
‘One can't really feel the full extent of Fall approaching without the gorgeous smells of fresh pine, sweet cinnamon, spiced pumpkin, bergamot, or the notes of amber and leather,’ says Mehreen Baldoni, designer. ‘My personal favorite is Diptyque’s Maquis, available at Diptyque, which has just the perfect amount of amber and leather with subtle notes of sun-dried earth which makes you feel so close to nature.’
If you can't have live candles, then you could consider a candle warmer to help melt the wax without a flame, or alternative methods of making a house smell like Fall such as simmer pots, with lighting provided by warm table lamps.
How do I make my house cozy but not cluttered?
When making a house cozy, swap out fresh, bright home decor for cozier, warmer decor to avoid doubling up. Light blankets should be exchanged for thicker throws, for instance. You can also take approaches to decorating that don't involve adding into your space, such as changing bright light bulbs for warm temperature bulbs to create a cozier atmosphere and lighting candles to create ambiance, even if they are a more traditional summer scent.
Why doesn't my home feel cozy?
There are several reasons why your home might not feel cozy, from open plan spaces that are difficult to fill in and make feel enclosed, to a lack of personal items to make the space feel homey. Try to remedy the issue by adding in personal items such as pictures and mementos, using warm-toned lighting through lamps and avoiding harsh overhead lighting, and adding in warm-toned, thick textiles to help soften the space and make it look welcoming – as if your thick throw on your couch is calling you to come and sit down.
When making a house look cozy for Fall, it helps to declutter before Fall to make the space feel intentional, and not cramped. This process should include getting rid of any summer decor you didn't resonate with this year and clearing out any Fall decor you don’t like when pulling pieces out of seasonal storage. This not only makes your home feel less overwhelming, but makes space for you to find some new seasonal pieces too.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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