It’s that time of year again: when temperatures begin to drop and homebodies everywhere rejoice at the prospect of cozy nights spent indoors with a good TV series and a cup of something hot.
Whether you’ve already begun ordering pumpkin spice everything, or could just use a change of scenery, we’re here to help you embrace the new season with as little effort and as much impact as possible.
From adding depth to your decor (all you need is a little shape and texture) to reimagining your backdrop (peel and stick your way to paradise!) — read on as home and design experts share some of their favorite ideas for freshening up your living space this fall.
1. Upgrade your bedding
Experts calculate that you spend about a third of your life in your bedroom, so why not make it count? “With beds serving as the anchor to most bedrooms, new bedding can offer an instant makeover with very little investment,” says Meg Donovan, a home goods expert and senior director of product development and sourcing at Modsy. According to Donovan, this season is all about comfy sheets, duvets, and comforters in relaxed linen and organic cotton. “Invest in breathable, natural fibers on the warmer side of the color wheel. Choose among a boho-chic palette, such as dusty mauves, dark mustard, and orangey-paprika, to create your own calming oasis.”
2. Layer on a throw
Take your new bedding to the next level with the help of a cozy throw that adds texture and ties together different elements in your space. “The trend is using soft, cozy fabrics like wool, mohair (faux or real), and cashmere in chunky weaves. The effect is an atmosphere that beckons you to relax with a warm drink and your favorite book,” says Donovan. She recommends cotton and acrylic blends for those looking to get the look on a budget.
3. Swap out your pillows
Replacing your cushions is another easy way to revive the look and feel of your sleeping and living spaces while adding to the overall comfort of your home. “New pillows can change the color scheme and vibe of a room,” explains Alessandra Wood, a design expert and vice president of style at Modsy. “This season is all about texture and trim, with crisp, clean edges giving way to fringe and tassels for a more decorative look.” Mix and match materials and patterns within the same shade range for subtle panache or complement a neutral palette with a bright color to make it pop.
4. Reset your table
Most people have around three meals a day, and switching up your setting is an easy way to make them feel more meaningful. “Introducing new silhouettes and patterns can elevate your dining experience,” says Wood. Try mirroring a design from your childhood or favorite restaurant for a hint of nostalgia, or infuse new energy into your gatherings with one of the latest trends. “Highly-textured, handmade pottery is having a moment right now. It channels a 70s vibe and may help you be more mindful at mealtime as the pieces are slightly heavier than classic dinnerware.”
5. Shed a new light
Lighting has the potential to set (or reset) the tone of the home. “Bright overhead lighting can often prove too harsh, leaving you with only two choices: a fully-lit room or complete darkness,” says Donovan. She suggests complementing or replacing full-room overhead lighting with lighting that can be attached to walls or hung in corners instead. “Swing-arm sconces and small pendants are trending right now. The effect is a cozy and inviting space that provides light where you need it while calming the senses.”
“Revive an old chandelier or sconce by removing the shades and replacing the bulb with a beautiful porcelain LED for a soft, warm glow or a crystal cut bulb for added glamour!” recommends Ali Levin, an interior designer and co-founder of LABLstudio. She also likes candles for setting the mood. “Add interest to your tablescape by playing with candles in a variety of heights, sizes, and colors.”
6. Let nature in
Speaking of ambiance, don’t underestimate the power of plants when it comes to providing a much-needed pick-me-up. “In addition to improving your air quality, they can bring color and interesting design elements to your space. Succulent walls, large floor plants, and bright bouquets of flowers are trending right now. If you don’t have a green thumb, opt for faux botanicals for the effect without the maintenance,” advises Donovan.
With the onset of chilly weather, now is also a good time to DIY a “cocktail garden” by bringing your fresh herbs indoors. “I love rosemary and thyme for creating homemade teas and fresh garnish for fall drinks and dishes,” says Levin. “The combination of seeing greenery and smelling your herbs is sure to be a mood booster when the weather gets dreary. Splurge on a self-watering planter to guarantee your garden’s success.”
7. Change your backdrop
If you’d like to alter your surroundings, but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge with a full paint job, try faking it ‘til you make it with the TikTok-famous stick-and-peel approach. “Removable wallpaper allows you to totally transform your space without any hassle or commitment,” says Wood. “Victorian-inspired patterns, including florals and large wall murals, are big right now and bright colors really make a statement. Pick an accent wall or wallpaper the entire room for a bolder look.”
8. Reimagine your gallery wall
Feeling creative? A gallery wall is a great alternative for incorporating a pop of color or pattern while adding a personal touch. “Stick with one frame style and simple art pieces that have a unique focus as to not compete with your photos and keep everything feeling cohesive,” advises Levin.
9. Round out your decor
Just like your walls, experts say you should view your decor as another outlet for self-expression, ideally adding dimension by layering different textures and materials as you go. “Swap high-shine geometrics for large, stoneware pieces with fluid, curvy shapes for an effortlessly cool effect,” says Wood.
“At LABstudio, we love choosing one general palette (such as neutrals) brought to life through marble, travertine, and wood,” adds Levin. She also likes introducing functional pieces for a playful-meets-practical vignette. “Try weaving in sculptural vases and paperweights or having some fun with a lucite backgammon or chess set.”
10. Remember your front door
Lastly, remember that showing a little love to your exterior can go a long way. “Nothing shakes up curb appeal like a statement door!” exclaims Levin. She suggests a bold color with earthy undertones, such as muddy green/blues and warm rusts, to complement the earthy tones in the wood and brick often found on the outsides of homes and surrounding landscapes. “Stick to one statement color to avoid competing elements.”
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