Simple Ways to Give Your Home Decor a Fall Refresh

Are you ready for a change of season? It’s time to think about some simple ways to make your house feel like fall, without going overboard on Halloween decor and pumpkin spice everything.

Living in Southern California, it really doesn’t feel much like fall around here. I’m still running around barefoot most of the day and relaxing by the pool occasionally, too. But I would like to give my home a bit of that cozy fall feeling, without a lot of heavy wool blankets and pinecones and traditional fall decor.

So I am taking a look at some simple ways to make my house feel more like fall, but still be appropriate to southern California.

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So Many Ways to Create That “Fall Feeling”

Several years back, once my kids were away in college, I gave away all of our artificial pumpkins, yard goblins, orange twinkle lights, and plastic tombstones to a friend of mine with younger children.

Without kids at home, I just didn’t feel the desire to decorate for each Holiday.

Plus, as always, I was trying to lighten my load and simplify my life.

All that decor was feeling too much like clutter to me.

So I gave it to my friend, and she was happy to have it. Honestly, I was glad to pass it along to someone who’s kids would appreciate it and relieved to have it out of my attic.

In my current search for fall decor, I’m not looking for plastic pumpkins.

I just want to emphasize the colors, textures, and scents of a crisp fall day.

Colors to Make Your House Feel Like Fall

Naturally, I want to bring in some traditional fall colors. I love the brilliant burgundy, hunter green, mustard yellow, and burnt orange traditional tones of autumn. I think these are all beautiful colors and they really conjure up the idea of the changing season. As a bonus, these colors will really pop when added to the soft blue and grey color scheme of my home.

collection of fall vegetables and leaves in basket, with color chips underneath

But fall colors don’t stop with just these traditional tones. Look at the fabulous neutrals and mossy greens in the picture below. These will also work well with my decor and are a bit fresher and more unique.

fall scene, leaves and grey rocks surrounding small waterfall and pond with color chips below

Plum and rosy pink are super trendy fall shades this year and I’ve seen them everywhere – magazines, Pinterest, and all the home decor stores (online, of course! I still haven’t been anywhere). While they are lovely colors, I find they are a little too bright and trendy for my home. But in the right location, they would be fantastic!

colorful fall leaves with color chips beneath

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Albert Camus

Textures to Make Your House Feel Like Fall

Now that I know the color palette of the decor items I’ll be looking for, it’s time to focus on bringing in some great texture.

Perhaps more than any other season, fall is all about touchable textures.

Think pinecones, sheafs of wheat, pumpkins and gourds! Any of these items make for easy fall decor while adding lots of wonderful texture.

Another way to add texture is with nubby woven pillows and blankets. You can get a pop of color or balanced neutral, and add some fall texture at the same time.

True fact: My husband hates pillows! He thinks I buy them just to irritate him!

Another way to add texture? Baskets.

Many popular fair-trade stores have incredibly beautiful hand-woven baskets available that can add just that fall touch you are going for.

Bonus #1: You are helping an artisan support his or her family with a traditional craft.

Bonus #2: Baskets are handy to have at home, and you can always use another one!

3 pictures - pinecones, wheat sheaf in burlap sack, and multi colored gourds

Fragrance to Make Your House Feel Like Fall

Candles, air fresheners, homemade potpourris, and wax melts can all add delicious fragrance to the air in your home that will really emphasize the change in season. I’ll be packing up my fruit and “fresh linen” scents for now.

Fall scents seem practically unlimited, and range from outdoor scents (think bonfire, aspen leaves, cedar, smoke) to comfort foods (maple pancakes, cafe au lait, hot cocoa) to traditional seasonal favorites (cranberry, teakwood, pumpkin spice).

I really like the Nature’s Wick 3-layer candle I found that has wooden wicks that crackle like a fire! (Another great Target find, but I’ve also seen them at Home Goods)

I’m totally loving the acorn spice scent of the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products! I found a great selection of these at Target just the other day.

So more fragrance items are a definite must for my fall home. I’m a big fan of the 3-wick candles at Bath and Body Works, so I’ll keep my eyes out for their frequent half-price sales. These candles have some of the strongest throws of any brand, and can scent your whole home!

Football Decor to Make Your House Feel Like Fall

Sometimes, there are small personal things that can set the mood of a season for you.

At our house, that’s already been taken care of.

Several years ago I gave my husband this football helmet as a gift, and I think it is one of his favorite possessions. That’s the University of Michigan, in case you weren’t sure, and Hubs is a huge fan (as well as an alum).

This helmet goes on display under our television on the opening day of college football season, and it stays there until the championship game is over. It just wouldn’t be fall in our home without it, and even though it doesn’t really “fit” my decorating style, it is in our home to stay.

football helmet and football on 50 yard line

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Final Thoughts on Simple Ways to Give Your Home Decor a Fall Refresh

In summary, when I go out in search of decor, I’ll be looking for:

  • traditional fall colors such as burgundy, rust, brown, mustard yellow, and pumpkin
  • items with great natural texture
  • candles and fragrances that evoke the out of doors

Now that I’ve finished brainstorming what fall feels like to me, it’s time to go out into the world and see if I can collect just a few items that will bring that feeling into our home. I’ll keep you posted!

Do you go all out with your fall decor, or do you try to keep it simple?

mantel decorated for fall with candles and "hello fall" sign in orange check

5 thoughts on “Simple Ways to Give Your Home Decor a Fall Refresh”

  1. These are all great suggestions! I do love scented candles for fall and winter. For me, fall scents like pumpkin spice, apple, and cinnamon evoke the holiday season!

  2. A few of my fall favorites are from Trader Joe’s – I always scoop up a few of their mini cinnamon-scented broomsticks (only $0.99 each!) and their Harvest Apple candle has a great crisp fall scent – not too sweet like so many other fall candles (looking at you, pumpkin-spiced latte candle).

    1. These sound wonderful! I will check them out next time I go to TJs. Especially that candle – I’m with you, I don’t like the sickly sweet ones! Harvest apple sounds perfect. Thanks for reading!!

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