Simple Fall Decorating: Embracing It, Not Faking It

The kids are back in school, the routines are settling in, and while there’s definitely not a chill in the air, I find myself longing for a change of season in my home to reflect the change of season in our lives right now. It’s time for fall decorating.

Some of y’all are already on top of this because you LOVE seasonal decorating. You’ve got organized bins in your storage closet/attic/garage already pulled out and your autumnal-loving-hale-bales-and-fake-pumpkin fall decorating self is going to town. Please, peace be with you. Love what you love, including your seasonal décor, but this post may not be for you.

I love fall and I want to change up my home for the seasons but because it’s 500 degrees outside, that means it’s at least 1000 degrees in my attic (math and… physics or… something). The very LAST thing I want to do is climb my sweaty self up there and haul down plastic bins full of fake leaves, scarecrows, and pumpkins just to have to put them away in a couple of months. I can’t do it. Don’t make me do it. I don’t want to do it!!

I also do not want any clutter in my house right now. I mean, I just got the kids back in school and the house is finally not in disarray all the time!! Oh, how I’m enjoying my freshly cleared tables and countertops that are temporarily free of legos, small crafting experiments, and rainbow loom bracelets. Can I just not with a Hobby Lobby explosion?

So if like me, you want to embrace the season but not with a lot of decor that requires storage, let’s talk about how you can still “fallify” your home with just a few subtle changes and attention to detail…

Simple Fall Decorating: Embracing It, Not Faking It

Use what you Have & Focus on Color

Look at what you already have and use on the daily that can be “fallified.” Ideas: baskets, pillows, cloth napkins, blankets, hand towels, hand soaps, etc. Think about the things you’re already using all the time and how they could be changed out or brought to the forefront this time of year.  Throw pillow covers are easy to change out {buy the ones with zippers!} and I just keep the extras folded up in my closet. In the spring and summer months, I’m drawn to fresh and bright colors like aqua and pink, but right now I want to feel warm and cozy with brown, orange, textured creams, etc. So gather what you already have and decide what you might want to buy for fall decorating. Don’t feel like you have to buy fake leaves or pumpkins to make it feel like fall. A textured brown pillow cover or a new furry blanket may do the trick.

Here’s another example: I love books. I have books all over my house. I have them styled underneath lamps and on the coffee table. For an easy switch for fall, I swapped out some brightly colored ones I had on display for ones with covers that fit my fall color vibe (that I already had!!). An easy swap and I’ve “fallified” this little spot of my house. No purchase necessary and nothing to store away when the seasons change again.

Simple Fall Decorating: Embracing It, Not Faking It

Bring the Outdoors In

Okay, so I’m not anti-pumpkin. I am anti-fake pumpkin though. I’m also anti 80 bajillion pumpkins pouring off my front porch. Is it beautiful? Definitely, if you lived somewhere up north. But let’s be real, this is Houston. We all know that beautiful display will be a smelly rotting slime pit before we even get to Halloween.

You may say that’s the reason to get a fake pumpkin for fall decorating. I hear you, and if you’re willing to store it and have the space to do so, go for it. But like I said earlier, I’m just not doing it. Here’s what I will do. I buy a couple of big, beautiful, unique pumpkins every year. One for carving and putting outside and then maybe just 1-2 big pumpkins for the inside. That’s it. They’ve got to be big enough to stand alone on the table and not feel like clutter. When I keep them inside, they last me through Thanksgiving and look really beautiful as a part of a holiday centerpiece too. When it’s Christmastime, I throw them in the compost pile and I’m done. No trips to the attic or storage bins required.

You can also grab a few clippings from the yard and put them in a vase or glass bottle on your table. Yeah, we may not have beautiful colorful leaves in Houston yet but there are signs of the seasonal shift out there happening- berries and leaves darkening. Subtle shifts you notice if you’re looking.

Scent, Sound, & Texture: The Holy Trinity of Fall Decorating in Houston

Once you’ve looked at color and brought some natural elements in, focus on shifts in the scents, sounds, and textures of your home. Get out those cozy soft blankets and throws you might have put away during the summer. Get yourself a few new lovely fall candles and scented soaps

I also love baking these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins this time of year. We’re nearing the beginning of Hygge season so time to dive back into simmering stews and crusty bread {if you can handle the heat}. Here’s a vegetarian minestrone recipe that I love for fall. If it’s too hot for all that oven use, even just some apple butter on toast makes a yummy fall snack that’s different from the usual.

Create a fall playlist- your favorite sentimental background tunes, Norah Jones and Johnnyswim are some of my favorites. If you make a seasonal playlist and start to play it every year around this time, it definitely stirs those fall feelings when you hear it.

Get the Kids Involved

Okay, so maybe I lied about storing fall decor. There is *one* thing I store and retrieve from a closet every year around this time. Several years ago I found these cute little leaves on watercolor paper. My kids were small and I let them go all out with the paint. I stuck the leaves to string and hung them across the mantle. Now it is an absolute treasured piece of fall décor in our home that makes an appearance this time every year. 

What do you do in your home for fall decorating? Do you go all out or do you prefer just a few small changes? What are your thoughts on fake pumpkins? Any sentimental pieces you like to bring out every year? I’d love to hear from you!


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Bethany Dufilho
Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain and a special education teacher, grew up moving every 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled just north of Houston, where she earned her master's degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she decided to stay home full time with their children, Charlie {2008}, Norah {2010}, and Will {2013}. The family moved to Katy in 2012, where they’ve been ever since. She loves decorating and even had her own small business for a while. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.



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