Growing up in the suburbs of the South meant that every year come October, we were pulling out a Rubbermaid of fall decor from the garage. Even though I own an interior design business and am supposed to say I don’t love tacky fall stuff, I still get giddy when I see it come out in stores. Nostalgia is powerful, folks.
I still want to get in the fall spirit - just without the plastic bin that always has glitter in the bottom. Pinterest has us all believing that fall means layered front door mats, buffalo check pattern, and stacking hay bales on your porch. None of those are inherently bad, but sometimes we spend so much money and time on things we forget that autumn is to be experienced and enjoyed.
Because I’ve gone without much in the way of store bought autumn decor, I figured I’d share how to slip into the fall spirit with you guys here at the LMCo. Blog. These tips are more about enjoying the season than overly embellishing it, so they aren’t all decor related. However, they are all low-cost or free and sure to help you savor some of that delicious autumn magic.
1. Light a fire.
Inside or outside, it doesn’t matter! Our home has an outdoor brick fire pit attached to the patio, but there are so many inexpensive fire pits you can purchase and move around the yard. The simpler it’s construction, the better. The focus should be on nature, not impressive outdoor furnishings. If you are lucky enough to have land, just circle some rocks up to keep it from spreading, and create one right on the ground. I don’t care if you are 12 or 76, everybody loves throwing stuff in a fire and watching it burn. If you aren’t allowed to have fires in your area, look up tutorials for a tabletop flame you can make with a terracotta pot or a catering dish fuel can. Grab s’mores ingredients and go to town!
2. Burn a candle.
Humans are naturally drawn to the warmth of fire whether it’s from a fireplace or just the glow that a simple candle gives. I am sensitive to most scents, but enjoy using 100% beeswax candles for the natural honey smell and warm yellow glow. Cluster a few together for a collected look, and don’t place right next to a lamp, lest their effect be diminished! Bonus points for placing them near something reflective.
3. Have friends over for dinner.
One of my greatest joys is having a group of people over to enjoy food, drinks, and company. It brings life and joy into my home, and nobody cares if it’s from scratch or a box of family size frozen lasagna. I’m prone to do a double batch of soup & toasted pieces of french bread since it’s simple and makes my house smell amazing when you walk in. You may be tempted to, but don’t worry about your house looking perfect! Be vulnerable, allow people to see that you don’t live an instagram-perfect life, and you may just make some genuine friendships along the way.
4. Hang a wreath.
The only fall decor I have purchased this year is a wreath, a piece I’d actually been eyeing for quite a while. What greets you and your guests when they pull in your driveway sets the tone for your home experience, so I felt it was a fitting place to spend a few bucks.
If you can make your own simple wreath, go for it! Last year I purchased the supplies to make my own magnolia wreath, but that was a short-lived fantasy. I was spinning the circle of florist’s foam around my arm, hula-hoop style like a 12 year old, accidentally broke it, and remembered I have a low tolerance for DIY projects anyway. Thankfully Target still carried their textural dried mushroom wreath this year. It’s unique and I’ve loved it for a while, so I know I’ll use it for years to come!
5. Simmer mulled apple cider.
When the afternoon fades to evening and there’s a chill in the air, hot apple cider simmered with mulling spices is my idea of heaven. If you simply want your house to smell good, simmer the mulling spices in a pot with water! But of course, having the cider to drink is way better.
6. Pull decor straight from nature.
Your credit card company would LOVE if you went “fall shopping” every year. But creation is already beautiful and abundant! Collect acorns to display in a shallow dish on an end table, or frame a fallen leaf that has particularly stunning colors. Find treasures on a slow walk by the river or palk - the iNaturalist app is fun for identifying plants, insects, and animals you come across on your hunt.
7. Focus on the mood, not on too many strategically placed decor items.
Not too long ago, a friend told me she was scared to let her child walk around in someone’s home because everything looked so decorate-y. I learned from her experience that hosting doesn’t mean staging and primping my home. More often than not, picture-perfect styling can feel unapproachable. Provide simple luxuries instead that allow everyone to relax and enjoy the season. What makes you think of fall coziness? A woven basket with a mixture of light and heavy throws? Throwing the windows open? A tin of apple snickerdoodles? If so, I’m begging you to send some my way!
Hey there! I’m Briana Strickland. I live and run my design business, Cultivate Interiors, on the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina. Let’s see...my husband Madison and I have two cats and are currently learning the trials that living in a fixer-upper will put you through. I am helplessly drawn to nature, tattered pieces that could tell a story, and bringing beautiful, purposeful life into homes. If you head over to my blog ,Instagram, or Pinterest, you can hang out with me while I share client projects, our own home progress, and what inspires me. See you there!