Decorating Tips

Fall: How To Cozy Up Your Home

October 12, 2009

I was reading this article over at Woman’s Day magazine online giving some suggestions on how to cozy up the home for Fall. It made me think about how, despite the suggestions that exist out there in myriads of blogs and magazines, we all have a deeply personal way of decorating for the seasons and I’d love to hear from you this morning so we can all have a voice in this – how do you cozy up your home for Fall?

Fall: How To Cozy Up Your Home

Here are some of my tips, including things that I do personally to take my home from summer to fall:

1. Swap the throw on my sofa. In the warmer months I have a throw, but usually as decoration more than anything else – though I do use it on chilly summer nights from time to time. In the autumn though, I swap it out for a warm, thick throw. Chenille, wool, felt, a heavy cotton, cable knit cotton — all work nicely.  I have a gray cable knit throw that I love!

2. Pillows! I love to change my pillows with the seasons, that’s why when I buy pillows these days I usually buy only the zippered covers and leave the inserts in the store. I have so many inserts I do not need more! Silks and canvas pillows are exchanged for velvets and knits. I also like to use hues a few shades deeper than what I use in the summer. For instance, lilac and pale blue gets replaced with jewel tones like plum and turquoise or plum and deep sea blue.

3. Warm up your vignettes. For instance, I like to mix in cream and sand with my white pottery. I exchange pebbles and sea glass with leaves and acorns. No detail is left unnoticed!

4. Candles that are white, lilac and ice blue in the summer are exchanged for ones that are medium gray, plum, turquoise and cream. I also add in a bit of chocolate to warm up the palette. Also scented candles change according to the season. I currently have candles that are unscented from Villa Collection in gray and my scented candles are from Floris. The Floris candles can be a bit expensive, but are so, so worth it, they commonly sell for around 43 Euro for a 6 oz candle. I exchanged my Jasmine & Rose Floris candle with a Cinnamon & Tangerine. Also, I love Candied Fruit from L’Occitane, that is my signature scent for autumn I think. In the warmer months though, you can find me burning their Lavender candle, a favorite of mine for quite some time.

5. Speaking of scents, my scented sprays change by the season too. I keep a bottle of room spray in my bedroom and another in my hallway. The one in my bedroom is what I use religiously each night before bed, it puts me to sleep. It’s called Relax by German organic cosmetics company Amala. The spray I use in my hallway is from Annick Goutal in Paris, it’s called Noel and is perfect for this time of year. It smells like pine and berries. Soooo lovely. Perfect for freshening the air before guests arrive! That is, if I don’t have something cooking on the stove or in the oven – then of course no room sprays are needed. :)

6. My linens — table linens go from a summer palette to a warmer, more rustic one. I also like to layer tablecloths, a solid with a pattern, for instance. I use chargers beneath my china to warm things up as layers of things always give a cozy feel. They also help my white china to look more cozy. Same goes for bed linens, I add blankets and extra warm sheets but also the palette goes a bit darker in hue – from light gray to dark, for instance.

7. Bring the outside in: I tend to collect finds from my daily walks, I’m like a squirrel, especially in the autumn. I collect branches (ask my husband about the spiders I ask him to rescue from them) to arrange in large vases, leaves, pine cones, acorns and chestnuts to place around candles, on the table runner in the dining area, in the hallway in a small basket, even to add little ribbons to the stems and place them on the table. I love all of these fallen finds and also find some use for them, though they don’t always last that long and you have to make sure you find ones that are clean! Squash, pumpkins and other harvest goodies look nice on the table or in the kitchen on a counter.

8. Swap out art prints. This is another easy way to bring the Fall look to your home. I collect art prints and so I love being able to remove current ones and swap them out. This is the beauty of owning prints. Store the current ones in acid-free archive safe folders so you can put them back up next year.

9. Swap curtains, if you can. I don’t do this as often as I once did because now I have roman blinds in most of my home and those work great year round for me, but if you have drapes you can consider using linen and cottons in the warm months and in the colder months, opt for velvets and heavy cottons, or even lined drapes, as this can help you save considerably on your heating bill and warm up the room – velvet always makes a room feel very cozy.

10. Replace your rugs. You can roll us the sisal and replace it with a thicker, warmer throw. If you have few rugs you can add a few more when it gets cold, I don’t have wall-to-wall carpet so I need rugs when the temps drop or else my feet freeze and I have to turn the heat way up. And heat is not cheap! If you have a rug that is painted onto your floor, you can simply put a “real” rug over it to keep your toes warm until the temps go up again and you can reveal your hand painted or stenciled rug again.

11. Wood! Another thing that I don’t do simply because I do not have one, wood for the fireplace! It looks so nice stacked neatly inside or nearby, or if you have a fireplace that you cannot use, place candles inside instead and light them in the evenings for a warm glow.

12. Flowers and plants: See what is in season in your part of the world and work with the freshest, most beautiful greenery and blooms you can find. Try to treat yourself to a small bouquet each week, or pick some field flowers and bring them in. Using flowers that are in season can certainly give your home that fresh fall feeling!

Your turn – how do you cozy up your home this time of year? What are some of your favorite home scents?

Oh and to all those living in New England, anyone have a good Apple Cider recipe? We don’t have apple cider here and I’d love to make some for my relatives!

(Photos: Woman’s Day magazine online)


  • Reply Diana October 12, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Ooh, no apple cider, that’s tough. My little sister is making some today with friends so I’ll pick her brain later.

    I too love bringing in the fallen branches, leaves, acorns… This year we tried to process and eat some acorns but without much success. The biggest change in my house is the food though – from salads and frittatas to squash soup and chicken pot pie. :-)
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Weekend Time! =-.

  • Reply Judith ~ Felicity Crew October 12, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Great list! Number 12 is absolutely on my personal to-do list. Immediately after cleaning the windows to allow more light to come in…
    .-= Judith ~ Felicity Crew´s last blog ..The Secret – 8×10 – original signed fine art photograph =-.

  • Reply Suzy Pierce October 12, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I am in love with Fall, I love the colors of the leaves when they change. We live in the desert far from any changing leaves, so I buy Fall leaves and scatter them throughout the inside and outside of my home. Visitors are always stunned when they arrive and see the leaves all about the floor and tables… It’s so exciting and I look forward to that every year. Your blog is wonderful thank you for sharing all of your wonderful inspirations!

  • Reply Katie @ Making This Home October 12, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I love bringing in things from outside, too. It’s tough to find things that aren’t too soggy in Berlin right now – drats! Love your suggestions, Holly.

    Here’s how we make cider in Berlin:

    .-= Katie @ Making This Home´s last blog ..Staying Encouraged Despite Your Home’s Flaws =-.

  • Reply amy lapi October 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

    i love this :)
    will try some of these later tongiht.

  • Reply Ele October 12, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I turn on the electric fireplace in my studio church building. The furnace is turned down, so there is a little chill inside (now that our daytime temps are below freezing). Yesterday, I sat sewing as warm air blew on my feet and legs, and my kitty curled up on my lap.
    .-= Ele´s last blog ..Pillow Talk =-.

  • Reply Elzi October 12, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I have a blackboard in my hallway. It’s great for a poem about daffodils in spring, bare branches in autumn, or for a Valentine message in February. When I feel creative, I draw something on it.


  • Reply Winter October 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Great post, made me think I want to warm some things up! Awesome picture too.

  • Reply Eileen October 12, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I always put up our chocolate coloured curtains (since I got them) in the fall replacing our light, cream-coloured ones used from May to October. I put a rug down in the hallway and change the pillows in the livingroom to darker colours and warmer fabrics. I also change our bedding and of course change our light duvet for the warmer one. Still haven’t done that, though. It was warm her until recently. Will probably wait until we get back from Europe. Hope it isn’t too cold in Germany. I also intend to knit a type of patchwork throw for the cooler months. All my throws are just a little too on the small side.
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..September 18-19, 2009 =-.

  • Reply visualingual October 12, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Wow, I’m a simpleton, I guess, because I don’t do most of those things! I dislike owning duplicates of items when I don’t really need to, like with pillows, rugs, or candles. I keep my seasonal transformations simple — adding my favorite cashmere throw to the back of the sofa, and changing out the bedding. I do love these suggestions, though; they’re very thoughtful!
    .-= visualingual´s last blog ..Set of 4 Grandma’s Doily Gas Station Price Placemats =-.

  • Reply Wendy McDonagh-Valentine October 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I’m just lovin’ those orange clogs!!!! Thanks for all of the autumnal tips. They were great. :)

    ~ Wendy
    .-= Wendy McDonagh-Valentine´s last blog ..A History Lesson on Columbus Day . . . =-.

  • Reply Sondi October 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

    To make cider at home, I take one or two bottles of apple juice and dump them into a large pot (the size you would use to boil corn or potatoes). Then you can either just let it simmer until it cooks down and becomes thicker OR instead, add one can of frozen apple juice. Be sure to add in a handful of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and anise seed pods. Let it simmer on the stove. It makes your home smell delicious and tastes pretty good too!
    .-= Sondi´s last blog ..Is Asperger’s really just another personality type? =-.

  • Reply Lindsay {Shrimp} October 12, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I love to switch out my blankets for big, fuzzy, warm cozies. I also throw up some heavier curtains and opt for a more cinnamon-y scent range.

    I finally live somewhere cold (not agreeing with me so far…), so I’m going to try a dinner party with mulled wine and all sort of fall/wintry goodies.

    You’ve beat me to it with your Wikipedia link, but I’m all the more inspired now!!!
    .-= Lindsay {Shrimp}´s last blog ..Blogroll – Totally Tutorials =-.

  • Reply Marianne from France October 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Hi there !

    I’ve given my living-room a Fall look with pillows, scented candles (I have one that smells like wood fire ! Almost as if we had a fireplace in the room !) and blankets, and also with a little super simple piece of DIY art with a deer head shape in a fake wood vinyl paper on a canvas. You can check it out here :
    Hope U like it !

  • Reply TheBellaLife October 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    LOVE the post! I am sooo in the mood to Cozy Up my Home. Thanks for the inspirations.


  • Reply jamieofalltrades October 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Cook soups! I love to cook soups on a cozy fall weekend afternoon. The whole house smells amazing and then you have something delicious to eat!
    .-= jamieofalltrades´s last blog ..chocolate malted cupcakes =-.

    • Reply decor8 October 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm

      Jamieofalltrades – exactly! We made homemade soup last week and the house smells beautiful for days now since we’ve been reheating it. We just ate the last of it tonight with crusty bread, butter, and fleur de sel sprinkled on top. :)

  • Reply Iva October 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Reading your blog is like reading a magazine to me, a real good magazine! :)
    Great and simple ideas for changing your place without spending much. I am pretty sure it will look a lot different with all those little changes. I am waiting for the trees here to get really colourful and go to the park to get some :)

    have a lovely day!
    .-= Iva´s last blog ..Addicted to Lace =-.

  • Reply Frugal Bon Vivant October 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    #1 yes! and I’m on a recent kick of making chai lattes… ;)
    .-= Frugal Bon Vivant´s last blog ..Free Aveeno Shampoo & Conditioner Samples =-.

  • Reply Sarah October 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Great post! My living room is already cozy with reds, yellows and leopard prints but one thing I love is scented candles – Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Cider from Yankee Candle are wonderful and make the house smell like someone has been baking for hours!!

  • Reply Tracy@Comfort&Luxury October 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    My switch to fall usually consists of changing pillows and throws and flowers. I might change up an accessory or print here and there too. Not too much but just enough to cozy things up a bit. Great tips and I love your photo examples.

  • Reply lindsay October 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I bring in as much of nature as I can. Once it gets super cold I know I won’t be out much, so I have to get my nature fix indoors. That means potting herbs from the garden for overwintering, hanging vine wreaths my dad made, topping the mantle with stones collected from the beach, and hanging up lots of woodland shots throughout the house.

  • Reply Lydia, Clueless Crafter October 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I have collected a variety of handmade mittens from Scandinavia. I leave a basket of these at the front door for an impromptu winter walk when friends are visiting. . .
    .-= Lydia, Clueless Crafter´s last blog ..Curate to Differentiate? =-.

  • Reply AndyMathis October 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    My favorite apple cider recipe is actually a mxi of cranberry juice and apple juice or cider, with cinnamon stick, whole cloves, 1/2 lemon, and brown sugar. It was in Southern living years ago- 1998.

    I actually make it in an old percolator- juice goes in the bottom. Spices, cinnamon sticks, and lemon go in the basket.
    .-= AndyMathis´s last blog ..Bo Needs a Home- Pointer? Spaniel? Mix =-.

    • Reply decor8 October 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

      Andy thank you – sounds realllly nice.

  • Reply nichole October 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Just came back from my parent’s house in PA with a fresh batch of firewood. I can’t wait to light a fire!

    I also swap out throws, scents and have the boys collect leaves and acorns.

    Best time of year!
    .-= nichole´s last blog ..Who loves these as much as I do? =-.

  • Reply andreasweets October 12, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Holly: how come on flickr i cant enlarge image for better viewing?!
    can you please adjust your flickr setting so we can get a detailed look of your wonderful images! thank you!! (:

    • Reply decor8 October 12, 2009 at 5:19 pm

      andreasweets – no clue, I’m sorry!!!!

  • Reply Megan October 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Fantastic tips. It’s coming into spring here in Aus but i have bookmarked for when summer ends and i start to get depressed about it. This should cheer me up.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Seeing Pink For a Cause =-.

  • Reply My Owl Barn October 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Holly, you can change the image size from your Flick account setting.
    1. Login to you account
    2. Click on “You” drop down menu (right below the Flickr logo)
    3. Select “Your Account”
    4. Scroll down on this page to “Your photostream page layout” and click “Edit”
    5. Select the size you want your images to appear and hit on “SAVE” button.

    Hope it helps!
    .-= My Owl Barn´s last blog ..Talented Gals: Angie and Kristin =-.

    • Reply decor8 October 13, 2009 at 5:16 am

      My Owl Barn: Oh I see what you mean, yes I know about that but I do not like them in any other format except for small with the sets to the right. Here’s what you can do to see larger images on my Flickr…If you go to my flickr, find the photo you like, click on the photo, then over the photo click on the words “All Sizes” and that will give you an option to see it in larger sizes, or at least the largest size I’ve uploaded. I usually do not upload anything larger than 900-1200 pixels wide.

  • Reply Diana October 12, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Glühwein – yum!
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Weekend Time! =-.

  • Reply Melissa Allam October 12, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    All these posts about fall is making me feel very eager to hurry up and cozy up my home. I usually do this as well, but it has been warmer for a longer time than usual here in Washington State, but it is starting to get cold now. I love candles and this is when I start lighting them up and I flip the switch for our gas powered fireplace. I change the throws and pillows on my sofa as well from cotton to velvet. I really like velvet. I think I might like to try a few new cable knit pillows this year. I do the same as you and just change the pillow covers. And my favorite drink is carmel apple spice from Starbucks, but to save money, I buy my own homemade apple cider from the grocery store, add carmel, a cinnamon stick and heat for a sweet warm cozy drink.
    .-= Melissa Allam´s last blog ..What’s Your Interior Style? =-.

  • Reply Diane October 12, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I love the fall switch! I made my list a blog post almost a month ago… when fall started here! Feels like it’s almost over already, unfortunately.

  • Reply Rose October 13, 2009 at 1:57 am

    This is just a perfect and yummy way to describe candles and their colors: “Candles that are white, lilac and ice blue in the summer are exchanged for ones that are medium gray, plum, turquoise and cream. I also add in a bit of chocolate to warm up the palette.” Makes me hungry as well as wanting to layer everything in plums and chocolates. In the fall I swap out throw pillows and pull out blankets and bed linens that are deeper in tone. I love pulling out quilts that have been hiding all summer, too.

  • Reply tricia@danish dessert October 13, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I love cozying up my house for fall! I usually swap out some of my more colorful decor for more neutral accessories, like warm oranges, browns and even a little blue thrown in. I also have to mention that I love Halloween decor, I am always excited to put out my little halloween knick knacks…and I love to be a little cheesy too and put up some cobwebs!
    .-= tricia@danish dessert´s last blog ..weekend fun… =-.

  • Reply Kiran October 13, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Great suggestions Holly! Occasionally, I do replace my photos in the frames. But I need more furniture in my home in order to change along the season :D
    .-= Kiran´s last blog ..Guess Glow Candy =-.

  • Reply Eireann October 14, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Since I’ve moved to England, I find lots of chestnuts and always seem to have some in a dish–on the piano, or on the coffeetable. I love how glossy they are, and how their colors change as they dry.

    The smell of baking gingerbread and lots of candles in the evenings makes it feel very cosy.

  • Reply Sandra Schulze October 14, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I love this. And I wish I could live there.. its so organized and cozy.

  • Reply Feline October 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I’m such a sucker for the fall!
    My home is always decorate in that theme – maybe a bit boring but fall is definitely the most fabulous season ever!
    .-= Feline´s last blog ..Fresh start ! =-.

  • Reply Laura Gaskill October 15, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Oh dear, I know I’m a bit late commenting, but – do they have the plain apple cider in Germany at all? I suppose you could use apple juice. I usually buy plain apple cider in the fresh juice section & then simmer it in a saucepan on low (about 10 min) with a wedge of orange stuck with 2 cloves, along with 2 cinnamon sticks. I know some prefer to spice it up more, but I like it simple :) If you are feeling frisky you can pour a shot of brandy in the bottom of your mug!
    .-= Laura Gaskill´s last blog ..Daily Mood: Down A Country Lane =-.

  • Reply etienne October 25, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Hi Holly,

    Love the recommendations – I was just going to suggest a cheaper alternative to the Annick Goutal scents for those of us in Europe (I can’t quite stomach 35 EUR or whatever for a candle ) – Durance. They are a French brand similar to L’Occitane but much much smaller (and cheaper). They might have locations in Germany. They have a Noel line of scents, in addition to a huge huge line of candles and scents (about 30). I just picked up a pine scented one yesterday for 13 EUR – even cheaper than l’occitane. And their perfumed sachets are todiefor.

    • Reply decor8 October 25, 2009 at 4:31 am

      Etienne – Thank you. I am going to look them up because I hate paying such high prices, too. I usually find my expensive brands on end-of-season sales. :)

  • Reply Beautymist October 30, 2009 at 5:19 am

    hello Holly!

    brilliant post!
    I *so* loved it that i responded by a blog post of my own!
    read it here:

    keep up the good work!
    .-= Beautymist´s last blog ..Oh, and Happy, Happy Friday! =-.

    • Reply decor8 October 30, 2009 at 5:37 am

      Beautymist – I just took a peek – great work, so nice!!!

  • Reply LeeAnn November 19, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I LOVE this time of year, pulling out all of the seasonal home decorations! Wonderful ideas in this blog I hadn’t thought of (like changing out the sofa throw). It’s hard for me to “change things out” in home (like rugs, etc.), that coordinate with the season, but this has helped inspire me! Thank you!

  • Reply Christine December 6, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Love these ideas!

  • Reply Erica Cottrill August 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Love this story! I just wrote a similar feature on Transitioning to Fall with Color. Great and useful topic.

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