October 8, 2023  

7 Quick & Easy Fall Decorating Ideas

Simple tips and ideas for adding fall decor to your living room, entryway and kitchen (without spending a ton of time or money).

I’m not a huge seasonal decorator, but when the weather starts to change I always feel a tug to transition our house to fall.

To me, fall decorating is less about piles of pumpkins and leaves (though I do love to sprinkle those things in) and more about subtle shifts in colors, textures, and even scents. It’s about creating that cozy, familiar fall feeling that makes you want to slow down a little bit and curl up with a cup of cider or get lost in a good book by the fire.

I always go into seasonal decorating thinking I need an entire free day or weekend to go all-out decorating for fall, but that’s not realistic in this season of life as a busy mom nor is it necessary! In the past, that’s stopped me from doing any fall decorating at all.

But this year I took my own advice and approached it one small space at time, restyling a little console in the entryway during nap time one Saturday, playing around with decorating our built-ins before bed one night, and sprinkling little bits of all in the kitchen as I went.

And you know what? Focusing on just a few little spaces with the bits of time I had was all it took to get that cozy fall feeling. I’m always pretty amazed at what a few simple tweaks can do to transform a space!

Read on for my simple tips for fall decorating, and I’ll take you on a little tour of the fall moments in our home as we go.

Looking for more fall inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

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Fall Decorating Ideas

This post goes over easy ideas for fall decorating that will carry you all the way through until Thanksgiving! If you like to decorate for Halloween, I prefer to create a base layer of fall in September and early October, then sprinkle in some Halloween elements for the last half of October.

1. Fill Vases With Faux Fall Branches

The easiest way to add touches of fall to your home is by filling a few vases with pretty fall branches and florals. A branch of leaves or a bunch of maroon florals tucked in a pretty vase is an instant way to bring in a bit of fall color and texture.

I’ve personally collected faux stems that I can use year after year, but you can also go right out to your backyard and cut a branch off a bush or tree. Whether you’re using real or faux branches, this is such an easy place to start decorating for fall.

You can find great faux branches at all sorts of retailers and the prices vary a ton. One thing to keep to mind is that the more expensive ones are often a lot larger or fuller so you may only need one to fill a vase as opposed to a few of a more inexpensive version.

Michael’s is my go-to for affordable fall stems–they frequently have 50% off sales which is a good time to stock up. Hobby Lobby is another great place to look for inexpensive options.

2. Swap Out Your Textiles

Another simple way to decorate for fall is to swap out your textiles for ones that give you that comfy fall feeling. Throw blankets, bedding, kitchen towels, tablecloths, small rugs, etc.

Muted fall colors, plaids, ginghams, chunky knits, and lots of texture all feel very fall to me.

A lot of my everyday textiles fit the fall vibe but I still like to rotate out a few throw blankets on the couch and swap out the hand towels in our bathrooms and kitchens.

3. sprinkle pumpkins on shelves & surfaces

Pumpkins and gourds are such a fun way to decorate for the season! You can choose to decorate with real or faux–my preference is to invest in a few nice faux pumpkins each year so I have a collection of pumpkins that will last year after year.

Faux pumpkins are so great for incorporating into your shelves, entry tables, kitchen counter, and other surfaces throughout your home. I usually like to keep it subtle with one or two pumpkins added into a bookshelf, but I’m also not opposed to going more maximalist and piling a stack of pretty pumpkins on a shelf either.

Faux pumpkins can range from foam or plastic ones that look like the real thing to pretty glass pumpkins, fabric pumpkins, wicker pumpkins, and more.

You’ll find faux pumpkins at all the retailers pretty much, but this year’s jackpot location is Walmart! They have the prettiest collection of heirloom-looking pumpkins for a really great price. Add a few to your next online order or look for them at your local store! I’ll link some favorites here:

4. Make use of functional decor in the kitchen

When it comes to the kitchen, I’m all for functional decorating. That means decorating your counters with useful, functional items that feel like “fall” but are actually useful in the kitchen.

Bowls and cutting boards with rich wood tones are an easy place to start–they add a lot of warmth and texture. Baskets are another great option. I also like to mix in brass pieces.

Edible decor is another easy option. A bowl of red apples and a dish of candy corn and nuts are simple things to add. I’ve also seen people incorporate pretty glass jugs of apple cider into their kitchen styling.

Once you have a base of functional decor in place, you can of course layer in a few extras like a small vase of fall branches, a little frame of fall art, and a pumpkin or two for good measure.

This type of functional decor is one of my favorite ways to avoid adding extra clutter to our home and keep things budget-friendly. If you’re decorating on a budget, here are some more inexpensive fall decor ideas.

5. Set The Mood With Candles & Lighting

The ambiance of flickering candles and dimly lit lamps can really set the mood for a space. Turn on the fireplace, add another lamp, and sprinkle candles (both real and faux) throughout the room.

I recently bought one of the viral candle warmer lamps and I’m a firm believer everyone should have a cute little lamp like this in their house! Instant cozy ambiance PLUS the scent of a fall candle all in one. I chose one with a glass shade that would have a pretty glow and it makes me so happy.

Taper candles are trendy right now and I’m totally here for it! I bought these battery-operated faux candles and they look so real and come with a little remote to turn them on and off (they even have a timer you can set to turn off after bedtime!).

I’m also on the lookout for taper candles at thrift stores this fall and am hoping to start a little collection of them in lots of festive colors I can use all fall and into the holidays.

Lamps are also your friend when it starts getting darker earlier. I have these smart bulbs in all of our lamps so they automatically turn on at dusk and instantly create a cozy vibe.

Mini lamps on shelves or the kitchen counter are also a great way to bring in more lighting – I’m on the hunt for a cute little one for our kitchen this season.

6. Change Up Your ARtwork

Filling your existing frames with new art for fall is a simple way to change things up. You can download tons of free art online (I like this curated website). You can also purchase printable art from Etsy, Collection Prints, Juniper Print Shop and so many others. I look for art with fall colors and moody vibes.

I don’t have the fancy Frame TV, but if you go to Youtube on your smart TV you can actually search for TV art and pull up a “video” that’s usually just a static image that plays for an hour or very slow slideshow. I found the cute ghost art below by searching “fall tv art”

Another idea is to switch up your family photos and display some of your favorite fall memories from years past. Or try your hand at the popular thrift store ghost art trend and show off your own masterpiece!

7. don’t forget about fall scents

A final key element of fall decorating is scent. There are so many amazing fragrances that remind us of fall and they’re a great way to create a cozy fall home.

Candles are a no-brainer–don’t be afraid to have a few going at the same time in different rooms around the house.

I’m also obsessed with my new candle warmer lamp. It melts the candle’s wax without a flame so its safer option and your candle will last longer.

Diffusers are also a good choice. I highly recommend our Pura Smart Diffuser. You can fill it with two different scents and create a schedule of when it diffuses which scent. It’s so nice to have going in the background and easy to swap out fragrances for the seasons. Plus, they have a ton of scents to choose from!

Another way to incorporate fall fragrance into your home is with seasonal soaps. Switch out the hand soaps in your bathrooms and choose a fall dish soap to use this season. Use your existing soap dispensers or swap them for something more fall feeling, it’s up to you!

Here are a few cute fall decor finds you can incorporate into any room!

I hope this gave you some quick and simple ideas for fall decorating this year! Send me a message on Instagram if you use any of these tips –I’d love to see your fall home!

Looking for more fall inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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