4 Easy Ways to Instantly Refresh Your Home for Fall

published Oct 21, 2019
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Credit: Emma Fiala

With the dog days of summer in our rearview mirror, it’s time to embrace all that fall has to offer—vibrant leaves, crisp apples, chunky knits, a piping hot cup of cider. There’s a definite shift in our interiors as well, with windows closed up and darker hours descending. And if you work a nine-to-five, chances are the sun is setting by the time you call it a day. 

Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to give your home a refreshing makeover for fall. The key, according to Havenly interior designer Annie Mueller, is to create a foundation that lends itself to new layers with each season. Depending on your tastes, this can mean starting with softer hues like beige and gray or a high-low contrast in shades of black and white. Those who favor the bold might prefer a mix of vibrant colors and patterns for an eclectic foundation.

“If you’re unsure of where to start, try sticking to a neutral palette for your larger pieces,” she explains. “Doing this will ensure you’re not pigeon-holed to a specific color story and allow you the flexibility to go bolder with your accessories if you’re so inclined.”

With this clean slate, follow her genius tips to make your home cozier than a pumpkin spice latte.

Add Seasonal Touches in Moderation

For autumnal decor that is both festive and sophisticated, Mueller says less is more.

“Add a mix of mums and pumpkins to your front porch, making sure to include a variety of widths and heights for interest,” she notes. “A unique arrangement in your dining room or living room can give your space all the cozy fall vibes without being overwhelming”

The interior designer recommends starting with some greenery, layering in flowers, and injecting a pop of metallics in gold, silver or rose gold.

Credit: Emma Fiala

Layer Textural Pillows and Throws

Fall is the best time to cuddle up on the sofa and binge-watch your favorite show. Up the cozy factor by adding extra throw blankets in chunky knits, Mueller says. Then, add pillows with textures like velvet, mohair, or faux fur.

“For a modern edge, keep your palette monochromatic,” she says. “Or mix colors and patterns like buffalo check, plaid or ticking stripe for a more traditional approach.”

Brighten Up Shorter Days

Calling all plant lovers: You have our permission to add more greens to your home. (Those plants won’t last on the porch once the temperatures drop, anyway.) Mueller loves fiddle-leaf figs, eucalyptus branches, and orchids.

Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry. Try some brighter artwork you might not hang year-round, for example. Mueller says easels make a smart, non-permanent installation. 

Create a Signature Home Scent

We all love a good pumpkin candle, but there’s a better way to inhale scents of the season without worrying about potential toxins. Mueller is all for a stovetop potpourri.

“Include anything from apples or oranges to cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cloves, pine needles, anise or lemon peels,” she recommends. “Add any combo of the above ingredients with water in a pot, let simmer, and breathe in that intoxicating scent of autumn.”

But, as Ina Garten always says, store-bought is also fine. If you’re on the search for a streamlined scent, purchase pre-packaged potpourri or create a candle cocktail.