professional decorating tips: Cozy fall décor
Decorate for fall like a pro with these designer tips. The Design Twins share their best advice for seasonal decorating & tons of inspiration in their Fall Home Tour. Let’s jump right in.
Welcome to our Fall Home Tour. We are so glad you are here. Jodie and I couldn’t be more excited. Fall is a season full of opportunity and fresh starts, a return to the home, a celebration of family, traditions, and the start of the holiday season. There’s no better way to welcome the new season than with a fresh look in your home. Fresh fall decor helps us, our friends and our families fully embrace and savor the moments of life. We can’t wait to inspire you with our decor and empower you with our best tips so you too can decorate for fall like a professional. If you missed our Fall Home Tour from last year, check out Jodie’s Fall Home and Julie’s Fall Home.
Let’s get started on our tour.
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Phase 1: Inspiration to Decorate for Fall
The great news? You’re already working like a pro. High five friends. By simply being here, you are actively involved in our recommended first step. And this is how the pros do it too. We seek inspiration constantly. Jodie and I first began our Instagram journeys doing just this. It is so convenient to have virtually endless sources of easily accessible inspiration available to us. We like to mix it up and look for ideas everywhere, IG, decor blogs like ours, sites like Houzz.com, magazines, HGTV, and on and on. We love getting real-life ideas too, whether it’s visiting a friend’s home, attending an open house or a new model home. Ideas are everywhere.
Phase 2: Create a Theme
This step is all-important. Without a theme your decor can end up feeling hodge-podge or cluttered. A theme provides cohesion and will also help direct your decisions. It actually makes decorating easier if you choose a theme first. This step is tough but essential. It’s time to make choices.
A theme can be based on a mood or style and is usually defined specifically by a color scheme. It can determine choices in elements, textures, as well as your colors. For example, I created my theme by giving it a title: Farmhouse Traditional. Farmhouse is the overriding style and helps determine the types of elements I am going to choose. Adding “traditional” to my definition helped me choose the color theme, that of traditional fall colors (vs. neutral or the new modern greens etc.).
Phase 3: Evaluation
Now that I’ve made some decisions and have a general framework in my head it’s time to get organized.
- Step 1: Look at your home and your current decor. Figure out what you definitely want to keep and what can be removed (or reworked, moved, painted, swapped out etc.)
- Step 2: Take away everything that says summer (or is specific to the past season)
- Step 3: Take out all your fall decor so it is all visible and evaluate what you have, what you like/don’t like. Determine your possibilities.
- Step 4: Make piles during this phase. If I find something that I haven’t used in several years, I get rid of it. Have a bag for trash and a bag for Good Will (or your favorite charity). Too much clutter can inhibit your decorating, not to mention take up valuable storage.
Phase 4: Decorate for Fall
Pro tips to remember as you decorate:
- This is the fun part. Try to focus on one area or one room at a time. Everything is connected so sometimes I will move around the house, but I try to focus mainly on one space at a time.
- As you decorate you will probably get ideas of things you wish you had. Try to find substitutes where possible (think outside the box). Sometimes, these problem-solving situations are where I come up with my best decor ideas.
More Pro Tips:
- If you don’t find a way to create your vision with what you already own create your shopping list as you go.
- If you get stuck take a break and return to your inspiration sources to help unlock new ideas. Take ideas you like and make them your own by putting your own spin on it.
- Have fun during this creative phase. Try not to feel pressure. Hopefully, you don’t have a time crunch so you can let this phase evolve over time, days, even weeks.
I like to think of decorating as “play.” Many times, I don’t know if I will like something until I try it. When I decorate there is a lot of trial and error. Sometimes I try something and I’m not sure about it, and it will evolve over several days, until I finally get a breakthrough and solve it.
Decorating is a visual puzzle. You are in charge. There are no real right or wrong answers. You really have to please only your own aesthetic. Let that freedom empower you to explore what you love. Your aesthetic will evolve as you decorate.
Decorate for Fall: Levels of Decor Swapping
Everyone has a different level of seasonal decor swapping (as you may or may not have noticed). Some people do nothing from season to season. Actually, when my children were babies I did very little. I had no time and much more pressing matters to attend to.
One key focal pillow can make all the difference. Here I have showcased one new fall pillow from Linen & Ivory, her green and white Cinderella pillow. I absolutely love her designs. Plus, the quality of her pillows is exceptional. Each season I simply unzip the last season and easily add my new season pillow cover and voila.
When swapping our seasonal decor what level are you?
- 1st level: You swap out candles, pillows, small decor items, front door decor. This is most people.
- 2nd level: You also change out wall hangings, art, bedding. You’re definitely seriously dedicated to decorating.
- 3rd level: In addition, you might find yourself changing out curtains, rugs, and even some furniture. Ok, girl, the addiction is real.
Of course, there is no right or wrong, simply a personal preference. I was a level two for a long time and never even considered changing out such items as curtains or rugs until I witnessed some decorators changing out items I viewed as “permanent.” It was a bit of a lightbulb moment to realize how taking down a set of curtains was not actually difficult and could really allow for a new look to more easily evolve.
Decorate for Fall: Let’s Talk Color
No discussion of decorating is complete without discussing color. Color is one of the most powerful elements in decor.
Rule of Three’s
I don’t like “rules” in decor per se, but one rule I stick to is: Limit any space to three colors. Any more is very difficult to pull off successfully. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a mix of hues of the same color. I love mixing a variety of hues. I think it adds interest.
Color is how you create cohesion in a space and tie it all together. A great guide is the 60, 30, ten rule of color proportions: 60% of a dominant color, 30% of a secondary color, and 10% of an accent color, which ensures balance in the room with just enough pop for interest.
Mix Warm and Cool
Another way to make even a neutral room very interesting is to mix warm and cool colors. For example, a room mixing cool gray and warm beige while being soft and neutral is still exciting because of the warm/cool mix.
Take Existing Colors into Account
When decorating for a season be sure to take your existing colors into account. Wall color and furniture colors that will remain need to work with your seasonal decor for your spaces to feel inviting and not overwhelming. This is why I choose white walls and mostly neutral furniture. I like to change out the colors in my seasonal decor and my neutral background allows me a lot of flexibility.
Decorate for Fall and Have Fun
Here’s our best advice: Enjoy the process. If it feels like a chore we say, take a break. Decorating should be gratifying, fun, and add joy to your life. The process should feel like playtime and not something to cross off your lengthy to do list. We hope that these simple tips make your fall decorating a labor of love.
Cheers to loving your home and loving your life.
We sure hope you are enjoying the Fall Home Tour Blog Hop. We know you are going to be beyond inspired by her fabulous fall home decorating ideas. Be sure to visit all the blogs along the tour. You won’t want to miss any of these beautiful homes.
Tamara Citrine Living
Kathleen Lindsay Hill Interiors
Ashley Modern Glam Home
Kim & Lacey Styled With Lace
Summer Summer Adams
Janine Happy Happy Nester
Mysha Remington Avenue
Sheila Maison de Cinq
Martha Simple Cozy Charm
Amie Meme Hill
Laila Designs by Laila
Gloribell I Don’t Know How She Does It
Joan 2 Ladies and a Chair