Fall is the perfect time to make some easy changes to your home, inside and out. Decorating for fall doesn't always mean putting up the scarecrow or taping the kids' fall leaves to the living room window. Here are some easy, quick and cheap ways to update your home decorating for the colder months ahead.
Inside and outside of your home, take a few minutes to do some decluttering. Every season has its amount of clutter and the summer is no exception! Time to put away the kiddie pool, pack up the beach towels, and put away the flip-flops lining the entryway. Make sure you have designated a place for the kids backpacks and school papers, and set aside a place in the kitchen to store the lunch boxes, water bottles, and the like. Get ready now with a little organization, and your home will show its full potential throughout the season.
Warm up your rooms by bringing in the layers. Throw rugs on the floors, throw blankets on seating, use pillows and layered tablecloths, placemats, and table runners. The layers of fabric add warmth and charm, and you probably have a lot of what you need right in your linen closet. Quilts can cover tables, cloth napkins can be made into pillow covers, and sheets can double as tablecloths.
Add some layers to your windows as well. Cheap muslin from the fabric store can be twisted and wrapped around existing window treatments to add no sew warmth and character. Add a valance, layer mini blinds under your curtains, or add decorative tiebacks. No need for anything fancy and expensive. Try silk flower vines, raffia, bandannas, textured yarn made into tassels or velvet ribbon, depending on the style of your decorating. Remember, for the darker winter months, it's more important than ever to let as much light in as possible. If you haven't already done so, remount your window treatments so that when open, they clear the window. Even a couple of inches of blocked window light can make a huge difference in the feeling of a room. And it's free!
Outside your home, it's time to do a yard cleanup and check your curb appeal. Easy and cheap things to up your autumn season curb appeal? Paint your front door a warm rich color. Deep cranberry, rich chocolate brown, or deep navy all go well with most color schemes, and bring the eye to the entrance of the home for a quart of paint. Add a simple flower planter next to your front door with fall annuals such as mums (for sun) or pansies (for more shady spots). Clean up any weeds or trash, cut the lawn, and trim back overgrown bushes, hedges, or trees. One final outdoor pick me up? Add one window box under your front window, and fill with fall mums. This is an inexpensive project, but it adds more curb appeal than almost anything else you can do. One weekend and your home catches the eye of everyone who passes!
Finally, add some spirit of the season. Perhaps you know a neighbor who has squash overflowing their kitchen? Offer to take some off their hands and display it piled on the porch, or stacked in a wheelbarrow. Tuck a small pot of mums into the stack for a special fall touch. Pick up some candles from the dollar shop or discount store and use them nightly for your family and yourself. Pick up seed pods, pinecones, and acorns on your family nature walks and start a nature jar to display and keep as a memento of your year. Line a serving bowl with a cloth napkin or fabric remnant, and fill with apples and pears from the grocery. Set out small dishes with cinnamon sticks and cloves to sweeten the air with the fall feeling.
Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator, Decorating Your Small Space, and Decorating Cottage Style. For hundreds of free home decorating ideas, visit her now at TheBudgetDecorator.com. Don't forget to sign up for her free newsletter while you're there.
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