When the air turns crisp, the leaves crunch beneath our feet, and the colors change, it’s only natural to want to cozy up your home for fall, when time spent at swimming pools and outdoor barbecues is replaced with reading by the fireplace, snuggling up on the couch for movies, and preparing for holiday entertaining.
“With the hustle and bustle of a new school year, preparing your home for fall oftentimes takes a backseat to ‘spring cleaning’ and ‘holiday shopping,’” says Kristina Kraemer-Johnson, owner of Breakwater Interiors. “However, don’t underestimate the impact that readying your home for fall can have.” Here, the interior designer shares six tips for a seamless transition from summer to autumn.
1. Dress up your front door.
“That’s the first place your guests see when they come to your home,” says Kraemer-Johnson, who suggests making a statement with fall containers full of cold-hardy plants like mums, fountain grasses, ornamental cabbage, and gourds, all of which hold up well when the temperature starts to drop. An earth-toned welcome mat helps to draw attention to your front door, while a painted chair or bench allows visitors to easily put on or remove shoes.
2. Prep your mudroom and entryway.
Sunny summer days are replaced with fallen leaves, rain, and sometimes snow come fall. Protect your floors from the elements with a low-maintenance, machine-washable rug, with a waterproof rug pad underneath for added protection from wet shoes and boots. Ensure there are ample hooks and storage space for seasonal gear like coats, hats, and gloves, and complete the look by dressing up benches and built-ins with cushions and throw pillows.
3. Layer your lighting.
“Just as we layer our clothing to prepare for the colder weather, fall is a great time to layer the lighting in your home in preparation for those shorter days,” says Kraemer-Johnson. If possible, add dimmers to overhead lighting or consider using lamps that are compatible with three-way bulbs. This way you can control the amount of light throughout the day depending on what you’re doing. “The brighter light is great for reading or completing tasks while the low light settings create an ambient glow for a cozy night in watching a movie,” she adds.
4. Warm up your bedding.
Store the crisp white sheets and breathable comforters in the linen closet until next year—fall is all about heavier duvets, quilted or chunky-knit blankets, and faux-fur throws. Layer throw pillows in a variety of shapes and textures to mimic the same inviting experience that you would get at a luxurious resort hotel.
5. Swap out artwork and accessories.
“This is probably the most attainable way for most people to go about changing the feeling of their home for fall because it really is a low-cost investment,” says Kraemer-Johnson. Using woodwork as a foundation, select décor in warm hues like cinnamon, nutmeg, mustard, and cocoa, and bring in texture and pattern with cold-weather materials—think tweed, plaid, and velvet. A basket stocked with blankets in lounging areas adds an inviting touch.
6. Set the table for guests.
With the holidays around the corner, entertaining is top-of-mind come fall. To create a warm, inviting atmosphere for friends and family, change out hard-surface chairs for upholstered or slip-covered seating options. Add a table runner in a warm color or earth tone, then top it off with a centerpiece that includes natural elements like sunflowers or eucalyptus.
By Taylor Hugo
Taylor Hugo (taylorhugo.com) is a freelance writer and editor who has experience creating content for regional and national magazines, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. After spending most of her life in Minnesota, she recently relocated to Colorado, where you’ll find her hiking the Rocky Mountains and decorating her first home that she shares with her husband and dog.