Transitioning Your Home For Fall

By Kate Riley September 15, 2011

Don’t you just love September?  The air is cooler, the leaves begin to change, and the kids are finally back in school!  I can feel the seasons changing when I step outside which always leads to seasonal changes indoors too.  This week I welcome back contributing writer Michelle of Ten June for her monthly column.  Today, she’s sharing her best tips for transitioning your home from summer to fall. 

Please welcome back Michelle!

“Doesn’t it seem like we just got used to our summer schedules? Long days by the pool, late nights catching fireflies, every dinner cooked on the grill. Then, all of a sudden, it’s September. Although I love summer, personally I’m ready for fall – there is something about the crisp, cool autumn air that puts a smile on my face.

However, my house still feels like it just settled into its summer vibe. Coral from this summer’s vacation still rests in a bowl on my dining room table. A nautical themed pillow remains on one of the slipper chairs in my living room. And I’m pretty sure there is still a pile of sand laying somewhere around my house.

If you’re like me, it might seem impossible to take your summer décor to fall without feeling as if you have to completely revamp your accessories.  Well you don’t have to go Clark Griswold with your seasonal décor in order to bring fall into your home. Rest assured, these simple tips will help you to make those subtle changes to your home to easily make the transition from summer to fall.

1.  Start with natural elements.

bhg natural elements

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine


fall berry branches pinterest





There is nothing quite as simple as sprucing up a space with natural elements. Head out to your yard and gather acorns, leaves, twigs and berries to create small autumn vignettes throughout your home.

fall branches and pears hgtv


Or stop by your local farmers market and pick up seasonal fruits and vegetables to decorate your home, such as apples, squash and pumpkins. Simply place the earthy elements in a natural fashion around your home, filling vases or bowls. Remember that natural items tend to stand out when clustered in similar color groups or textures.

bhg fall apples on candlesticks

Better Homes & Gardens Magazine


2. Incorporate warm tones.

Accent your home with the colors that mirror the beautiful fall hues that you find outdoors, such as mustard yellows, purples, and burgundies.



Or mix varying shades of red, orange and yellow with sophisticated metallic sheens like gold and bronze.

fall mantel homegoods

Home Goods

plum copper pillows hgtv



Better Homes & Gardens

If you’re feeling bold, add a few deep shades, such as a aubergine or cranberry. All of these colors help create a beautiful autumn ambience throughout your home.

aubergine cranberry tabletop hgtv



3. Focus on scents and lighting.

In my world, few things say fall to me more than the smell of baking pumpkin pie. What do your memories of fall smells evoke? Fresh apples? Cinnamon? Most major retail stores have already put fall inspired candles out ­­­on their shelves, so pick up a few and light them up around the house. You’ll find that the soft glow of the candles also sets mood lighting for those shorter autumn days.

If candles aren’t your thing, create your own natural­ fall scents at home. Make up a batch of potpourri or simply boil apple cider, water and cinnamon cloves on the stove for a warm, cozy scent.


Woman’s Daily

pumpkin candles martha

Martha Stewart


4. Let nature take the spotlight on your tabletop or sideboard.

The approaching holidays means that there are plenty of opportunities for hosting parties, dinners and other gatherings at your home this fall.  Go ahead and get your table or sideboard ready for the season with a creative centerpiece and other beautiful fall inspired place settings.

martha leaves chandy

Martha Stewart



Better Homes & Gardens



Choose To Thrive


bhg acorns

Better Homes & Gardens


mums in pumpkins sunday in bed

Tumblr via Sunday in Bed


fall leaves on table bhg

Better Homes & Gardens

Just because the season is changing doesn’t mean that you have to completely change your home décor as well. By bringing a few of these small, subtle fall touches, you will easily create an autumn ambience throughout your house in the most simple of ways.”

Well said Michelle, thank you so much!  My favorite fall decorations are warm amber tones mixed with yard clippings of changing leaves, pinecones, various colored pumpkins and interesting gourds. 

What are your favorite colors, scents, or natural elements you always bring into your home during the autumn season?




  1. Wow, I feel so “in style”….this is exactly what I have spent my day doing! Cleaning and changing little things like pillows and flowers. Thanks for the validation and new inspiration!

  2. I am laughing because I did my fall mantle last week…and I did leaves in frames…like the first bhg pic! Wow!! Guess I’m on the right track:)

  3. I use a lot of pinecones, leaves, dried things from the garden, apples and pumpkins.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,

  4. Kate thanks so much for featuring Michelle.

    These are all wonderful images, and it is so true nature has so many bountiful elements to use for autumn decor!!


    Art by Karena

    I hope you will join my special Giveaway from Interieurs!

  5. Note to the wise: If you are going to use acorns to decorate, there’s a certain way that you’ll want to treat them to ensure that there are no maggots inside…my husband and I learned the hard way last year when one day we woke up and had maggots all over the family room floor from a bag of acorns that I had collected a few days earlier and was planning on using for decor. Sick! I know you can use them, but you just have to get rid of the bad ones first!

  6. Great tips, Michelle! I bought a “cinnamon bun” candle yesterday. Even though I can’t smell, I like for my house to smell all cozy when people come over. :) I need to get busy on the Fall transition here! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  7. Hey Kate, great post! I’m a summer girl. But after our LONG, HOT summer in the MW, fall will be a welcome change!

    I read recently on Pinterest, that you can use those silica gel packs found in new shoes and purses to extend the life of your pumkins and goards! I’ll be trying that this year at the new house to see if I can keep my decorations long lasting!


  8. My favorite smell to have going throughout my house in the fall is pumpkin spice. Walmart actually has a great candle, their mainstains 3 wick candle in the glass container, it’s like $3.50 and it lasts a long time, best bang for your buck!

  9. I REALLY love the tree above with the little nuts hanging from it. It’s kind of similar to a project I was brainstorming for fall using some things I find outside & some leftover vases from my wedding. We’ll see what I come up with!

  10. Love the fall inspiration! We are adding coziness in our homes with branches, pumpkins ~ real and velvety, and a little bit of burlap!

    Mixing textures as the colors turn ~ brings in the warmth!

    Chris Ann & Kristin

  11. I truly love fall colors and I love your ideas! I haven’t started decorating yet, but after reading this and viewing all the wonderful pictures, I am definitely inspired to do so. Thank you for sharing!

  12. I had to come back and look one more time. I wish I could afford to hire you to make my home look beautiful! I’m an Independent Scentsy Consultant, and I know about candles and candle warmers. I can also see when one of my warmers looks good with a certain decor, but I don’t know how to start from scratch. I need help lol

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