Autumn is one of the most atmospheric times of the year, with a beautiful colour palette that lends itself perfectly to home decoration.
While autumn may be known as pumpkin season, there’s a bit of a difference between decorating your home for autumn and decorating for a Halloween party. Luckily, whether you’re a fan of pumpkins or not, there are lots of ways you can embody the autumnal spirit in your home!
When should you decorate your home for autumn?
There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when to start decorating for autumn or fall. Some follow the meteorological calendar and begin on the 1st of September, while others prefer to start on the autumnal equinox in late September (in the Northern Hemisphere).
If you don’t like to follow a strict timetable, you can also simply start decorating when the weather starts to change at the end of Summer. It’s really up to your own preference!
How do you decorate for autumn
Think about what happens in autumn: the temperature grows colder so we yearn for warmth and cosiness, and the days grow shorter so we need more light sources. It’s a time when we harvest autumnal fruits and vegetables while nature starts changing colour all around us.
Here are some tips for translating these themes to home decor:
- Decorate with warm earthy tones and variations of muted oranges, reds and browns, combined with darker shades like deep greens and greys.
- Avoid going too dark, however. Depending on how far you want to go with seasonal decoration, don’t forget your current colour palette and how it will work with these autumnal shades. For example, if you already have a green sofa, familiarise yourself with green sofa decor ideas first to make sure you create a balanced living room.
- Embrace the season’s flowers and foliage, but don’t go overboard with a specific autumnal theme such as pumpkins or leaves all over one room unless that’s the style you’re going for.
- Try to diversify around your home with textures, colours, and patterns that complement each other rather than compete with each other so each room has one clear focal point.
- Instead of decorating with modern materials like acrylics and plastics, opt for more rustic options like wood, leather, stone and linen. This goes for furniture as well as kitchenware and bedroom items. For example, think wooden pen holders, leather bound books, and jute baskets alongside old-school furniture like side tables, sideboards and ottomans.
All these details will add to the cosy atmosphere you’re looking to create in autumn.
Our top autumn decor ideas
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, here are 15 ideas for autumnal decoration:
1. Authentic pumpkins and gourds
We have to start with the obvious: what says autumn more than carving pumpkins and drying gourds to decorate your house with them? If you’re not the DIY type, you can still have fun with pumpkins without getting a carving knife out. Pumpkins of different sizes and colours displayed by your doorstep is a more traditional option, but if you prefer something subtle you can place white and green gourds in a basket in your kitchen or living room for a hint of the autumnal spirit.
2. Textured cushions
Whatever your sofa’s colour or material, an easy way to switch up your colour palette is to get sofa cushions with more textured fabrics like velvet or chunky knits, and patterns with leaves or geometric orange stripes.
For a more understated look that still adds a bit of autumnal flavour, consider rustic materials like jute or wool, and traditional patterns like basketweave, chevron, herringbone, ikat, tartan,…
3. Cosy throws and blankets
Not only are blankets convenient for when you’re cold, they are also great for decorative purposes. Don’t be shy when it comes to displaying blankets in the autumn months. For example, you can drape a tartan blanket over the back of an armchair or display a knitted throw on the side of your sofa for a snug feeling. A stack of warm blankets in the living room might come in handy!
4. Matching furniture
If autumn-themed cushions and blankets aren’t doing it for you, or you want to keep the seasonal spirit going beyond the autumn months, or you simply love orange… Why not choose furniture in autumn hues that will look good any time of the year, such as a brick sofa? Make sure to check out our guide on how to dress a sofa to learn more tips for breathing new life in your living room, for any season of the year.
5. Classic coffee tables
Get rid of everything that’s built up over the summer and redo your coffee table decoration from scratch. For example, load a tray with candles and other decorative objects that match the rustic feel of the season. Match the colours of book covers to the rest of the room, use copper or terra cotta plant pots, and consider clearing away modern tech (remotes, speakers, gaming controllers,…) that might be unsightly.
6. Colourful candles
Light is incredibly important in darker months, and candles are a surefire way of creating a warm atmosphere (especially if you have scented ones). Play around with different types: pillar candles, taper candles, tea lights,… Collect a few yellow, orange and red candles and group them in the corner of your room or line them on your mantelpiece to light up a dark autumn night.
7. Vintage lanterns and candlesticks
If you want to go extra fancy, lanterns are a perfect fit for an autumnal decor, whether you’re DIYing with wax paper and dried leaves or going for an ornate hanging glass lantern. Why not try a candlelit dinner, with vintage-style candlesticks on your dining table for a truly mystical aura?
8. Leafy centrepieces and wreaths
You can find all sorts of decorative elements in nature: pinecones, leaves, branches, nuts, berries, feathers and more! Arrange them into a centrepiece, in a basket, around a candle, in a garland on a shelf or mantelpiece, or in a wreath on your door. If you don’t have access to these in your own surroundings, you can also buy crafting supplies online or pre-made decorative pieces.
9. Dressed up dinner table
Set the table with the season’s more subtle natural characteristics: cutlery with darker handles, burnt orange plates and salad bowls, autumn flowers on your napkins, leafy napkin rings… Put your plastic spatulas away and go for rustic-looking kitchenware like wooden serving spoons and clay crockery.
10. Autumnal coasters and placemats
It’s easy to match coasters and placemats to existing furniture and dinnerware to balance out your colour scheme. If you’ve already got lots of pumpkins and leafy patterns everywhere, try dark wooden or knitted coasters, and burlap or handwoven placemats, to complement your theme without going over the top. Conversely, if your decoration is more understated this is where you can add more vibrancy with leaf print or pumpkin-shaped coasters, for example.
11. Linens in autumn hues
Autumnal decoration isn’t limited to your living room only. If you want to amp it up in your bedroom, you could switch to more golden bedsheets and orange throw pillows to incorporate some colour, or go for darker bedding such as a grey bedding to mark the shift from the summer months. And if you don’t have a rug in your bedroom, it’s the perfect excuse to get a warm-toned wool rug or even a cosy sheepskin.
12. Seasonal fruits in the kitchen
As delicious as they are, bananas and mangoes aren’t really right for an autumn atmosphere (even if you can still find them in the shops). If you want to truly embody the autumn spirit, fill your fruit bowls with apples, pears, citrus fruits and blackberries instead.
13. Spiced up spice rack
Autumn wouldn’t be complete without key spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and star anise – which happen to look good on display, too. How about creating a rustic spice rack front and centre in your kitchen, stored in glass jars with decorative labels? Imagine you’re about to brew a magical potion… or just a pumpkin spice latte.
14. Autumn flowers and foliage
Just because the warm months have passed doesn’t mean you can’t have any flowers around the house. Instead of going for a colourful floral look, go for plants like chrysanthemum, aster, and crab apples, mixed with leaves and berries. Alternatively, get a dried bouquet with flowers like amaranthus and more earthy elements like grasses, oat, and barley.
15. Pumpkin-themed kitchenware
Finally, if you really want to embody the autumnal spirit, you can’t go wrong with a couple of pumpkin-shaped and pumpkin-patterned items in your kitchen. For example: pumpkin-patterned tea towels, pumpkin-shaped salt and pepper shakers, pumpkin-themed aprons,… Consider colours other than orange as well, such as a white pumpkin-shaped mug or green ceramic bowl.
Still looking for decor inspiration or ideas for styling autumnal hues in your home? Check out our guide to how to style a brown sofa to learn more about how to combine autumnal accent colours and furniture to design a harmonious living space.