When to Decorate for Fall? [Inc. Autumn Home Decor Tips]

The crisp mornings, colorful leaves, and chilly, starry nights of fall make it one of the most enjoyable times of year to decorate your home, but when should you start bringing out those decorations? We’ve done some research to help you strategize your fall decorating plans to reflect the season perfectly. Keep reading to learn more!

When to Decorate for Fall? [Inc. Autumn Home Decor Tips]

A good rule of thumb is to start decorating for fall when the weather begins to change. In the Northern Hemisphere, this typically happens in September or October, although if you live far north, it could be as early as late August. You can also start decorating the interior of your home a week or two earlier than the exterior. However, it’s ultimately up to your personal preference and the timing of seasonal changes wherever you live.

In this post, we’ll also discuss the best times to decorate for fall holidays, along with some great decorating tips. So let’s get started!

How Do I Make My House Cozy For Fall?

Making a house cozy for fall is all in the details. To achieve this, think about introducing elements that will help every one of your senses experience the coziness of the season. Here are a few ideas, specially selected for each of your five senses:

Sight

Update your home’s color scheme to include lots of rich, warm jewel tones like red, orange, gold, brown, and burgundy. You could also add small touches of olive green and sky blue – pretty much any color you can find in nature at this time of year is a perfect choice. There’s no need to repaint any walls, of course, but you can swap out curtains, blankets, throw pillows, and even artwork to incorporate this new autumnal color scheme. You can find some great examples of fall curtains and other interior decorating tips in our post, Fall Themed Curtains for the Living Room.

Sound

As the evenings get colder, it’s time to turn on the furnace – and light the fireplace if you have one! The sound of crackling logs in a fireplace embodies the coziness of fall. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, you can achieve a similar effect by playing a live video of a fireplace on your TV.

Smell

Everyone loves a good fall scented candle. Some popular scents to consider are pumpkin spice, apple cider, fall leaves, or anything related to baked goods. Or, if you have the time, you can add autumn scents to your house the old-fashioned way and cook a stew or bake some apple crisp.

Taste

Put out some baskets of apples and plates of baked treats that incorporate the flavors of the season like pumpkin, apple, and spice. There’s nothing cozier than curling up with a good book or movie and a delicious treat. Fall is also the perfect time to start doing some baking since the oven helps warm up the house and make it smell delicious. Use up all of those affordable, in-season apples and pumpkins – your tastebuds will thank you!

Touch

Now is the time to bring out all of your fluffiest and most textured throw blankets to add some warmth and visual interest to your home. Try chunky knits, soft fleece, real or faux shearling, or check out our post 14 Types of Blankets Every Homeowner Should Know to find even more ideas. Also, consider adding texture in other spots – perhaps a rustic-finished bench or a vase with a raised design.

How Can I Decorate For Fall on a Budget?

Maybe lots of new decorations aren’t in your budget this year, or maybe you are frugal and prefer to not spend a lot on something that is only used for a month or two each year. Whatever your reason, don’t worry – you have lots of options to decorate for fall on a budget. Here’s a few of the best:

Make Your Wreath or Swag.

You can either stock up on faux leaves, vines, and branches at the craft store to create a wreath or swag you can use year after year, or you can use real branches from your yard. Willow branches are the best since they’re flexible enough to be bent into a wreath shape without breaking. You could also use dried eucalyptus for a wreath or swag that will smell amazing! Just add some ribbon in fall colors such as orange and gold.

Create Decorations From Leaves and Beeswax.

This one is slightly more involved, but it is a fun activity to do with kids. Collect some of the most beautiful leaves you can find, melt pure beeswax in a double boiler or small crockpot, and dip each leaf into the hot wax for a few seconds. Let the excess wax drip back into the pot and lay the leaves on a sheet of wax paper to dry.

When the leaves have cooled and hardened, you can hang them in your window with translucent thread for a magical effect. Plus, your house will be scented with the sweet smell of beeswax, and the leftover wax can be saved and reused for other projects. If stored carefully, these leaves can be used as decorations for years to come.

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Collect Natural Items to Use as Decorations.

Pinecones, acorns, and interesting branches are all abundant at this time of the year, and they’re also completely free! Take a walk, collect a great selection, and use them to create little vignettes around your home. If you’d like to kick things up a notch, spray paint your findings with silver, gold, or cream paint. You can even use them to create swags or wall hangings or to decorate a wreath that you purchased or made.

Shop for Decor Items in Neutral Tones.

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Buy items like napkins, candles and candle holders, and placemats in neutral colors. That way, not only can you re-use them for any season, they provide a perfect backdrop for small accents of orange, red, and gold.

Is September Too Early to Decorate For Halloween?

The first two weeks of October are generally considered the optimal time to decorate for Halloween. Still, if you love the holiday, there’s nothing wrong with putting up some decorations a little earlier. Naturally, everyone has their personal preference, but the last week of September is generally considered the earliest you should decorate for Halloween.

If you really can’t wait to get the festivities started but also don’t want to overwhelm the neighbors, try decorating in stages. Put out some smaller spider webs and bat garlands in late September and work your way up to the oversized inflatable black cat and motion sensor screaming ghoul during the last two weeks of October.

How Long Do You Leave Halloween Decorations Up?

Again, this is something that varies by individual preference. Many people take their decorations a day or two after the holiday is over, but others leave them up a little longer. In general, though, two weeks into November is about the latest you should leave them up. Some neighborhood associations have strict rules about this, so make sure to check if this may apply to you.

When Should You Decorate for Thanksgiving?

You can typically start putting up Thanksgiving decorations right after taking down the Halloween decorations. This is usually around the middle of November. Lots of people take down their Thanksgiving decorations a day or two after the holiday and immediately start decorating for Christmas. Allowing Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations to overlap can also be done, with lots of people choosing to set up the tree just before Thanksgiving so their guests can enjoy it.

What Is the Difference Between Fall and Thanksgiving Decorations?

Since fall and Thanksgiving share a similar color palette of orange, gold, brown, red, and hints of green, you may be wondering how to select decorations specifically for a holiday. Here’s something to remember – general fall decorations usually highlight the colors and coziness of fall, while Thanksgiving decorations typically celebrate the harvest, turkeys, and gratitude. Check out a few more ways to make your Thanksgiving decor just a bit more special:

Cornucopias

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Also called a Horn of Plenty, a cornucopia is a traditional symbol of harvest and generosity. It typically looks like a wicker basket that tapers on one end and is filled with seasonal bounty such as gourds, colorful dried corn, pumpkins, and squash. They make fantastic centerpieces, or you can make or buy one made of bread to accent a Thanksgiving charcuterie.

Turkeys

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Turkeys are a famous symbol of Thanksgiving, so feel free to add lots of turkey decor anywhere and everywhere! You can incorporate them in centerpieces, placemats, and napkins, or even a wreath on your front door.

Seasonal Food

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Since Thanksgiving celebrates the harvest, seasonal food makes a perfect decoration. Try using gourds, squash, pumpkins, apples, or anything else that’s in season where you live. You can purchase them at a grocery store or farmer’s market, or save some money and buy reusable decorations that can be used year after year.

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