As we settle into fall, new routines begin to take shape. Summer clothes are swiftly swapped with waterproof ones, salads replaced with soups, and nights out exchanged for nights in. Slowly but surely, we transition in time with nature, ushering in a season of coziness in all its forms. To emulate this feeling at home, there’s no need to seek a major overhaul; instead, a few simple tweaks, made with practicality in mind, will help you to create that cozy fall aesthetic. Here, Antoni Roig and Sarina Hawkins, two of our expert interior designers in the UK, offer their tips on how to style your house for fall.
As the nights draw in and the temperature dips, we begin to navigate our homes differently. Dinners are taken indoors once more; the sitting room is reappointed as the hub for entertaining; and the kitchen comes alive with new tastes and aromas. With this in mind, a good place to begin is by thinking about the essentials you need to make the next few months as effortless as possible—perhaps it’s a log basket for your fireplace, or some cozy textiles for colder evenings? Both are perfect if you’re seeking fall living room ideas but want to incorporate design elements that go beyond the season. “Fashions come and go, but you’ve got to identify what reflects you, your life and your family,” says Sarina, who advises avoiding trends where possible. “It’s also about choosing pieces that evoke a certain sensation—for example, a cozy throw might automatically make you think of snuggling down and watching television. Everyone has a different take, so look out for what speaks to you.”
“Think about how you spend your evenings,” Antoni adds, “and let that influence your choices. What do you need from your coffee table, for example? Do you need somewhere to store the remote control, a glass for your drink, a tray to hold candles and décor? We’ve learnt a lot over the past couple of years about how we live, so let’s make it practical.”
The fall aesthetic is all about warmth and coziness, and there’s no easier way to introduce this into your home than with tactile textures. Fall decorating ideas don’t come easier than this; simply swapping out your pillows can help you emulate the shift in seasons. “To make the transition a little gentler, identify what materials and finishes give you the look that you want,” Antoni explains. “It doesn’t have to be streamlined color; a mix of different patterns and textures will create a warm aesthetic, whether that’s a linen, silk or velvet—any of these finishes can make a huge difference to how your home feels.”
What better way to mirror nature’s transitions through your interiors than by taking inspiration from the great outdoors itself? When it comes to decorations for fall, florals and foliage will instantly make your space feel more appropriate to the season. “Different faux flower arrangements are a great quick fix,” Sarina says. “Our Maple Bud branches are really lovely and work both in summer and fall—the yellow brings a hit of sunshine, but layer in some of our lovely orange Wild Rowanberry stems and you’ll have something very autumnal.” You could even add a fall wreath to your front door, to really tap into those autumnal vibes inside and out.
The designers also advise looking for flowers that are actually in season, to ensure your arrangements feel fall appropriate. Berries, foliage and stems, for example, will mirror the natural world and give bouquets a seasonal twist. “You don’t even have to go for a whole bunch,” Roig adds. “A few stems in a vase will bring the drama and scale that you need. Less is more.”
With the right décor pieces, you can alter the mood of a room in an instant. Take lighting; as the darker evenings approach, a warm, soft glow creates the snug feeling that the season calls for. The best way to achieve this is by using lots of sources to spread the light evenly—think a combination of floor and table lamps, as well as wall and ceiling lights. Lampshades also impact the way that light—and shadow—is cast in your space, so to achieve a romantic glow, look for fabrics such as linen, cotton or silk in soft colors. These are better at diffusing light than more opaque shades and will give your space a cozy fall feel. “Candles and candle holders are also great for making a space feel warmer and more atmospheric,” Sarina adds.
Switching up the décor on your shelving, mantel or coffee table is another easy way to make your home feel different. Antoni likes to find beautiful antique books and “mix them in with some nice new décor pieces, such as a rustic pot or colorful vase.” You could also introduce specific decorations for fall, such as gourds, pine cone-shaped candle holders or leaf motifs, to make a nod to the season. These can be placed alongside existing treasures, or made the star of the show as fall table centerpieces—don’t forget pumpkin table décor, an essential feature as we lead up to Thanksgiving.
Sometimes a simple reshuffle can make a world of difference—moving an armchair to a new position, changing your shelving arrangement or swapping lampshades can give spaces a completely different look. “There’s no reason why a piece of art or mirror has to be married to a wall,” Antoni says. “You can move them to different rooms or switch them out for the season.”
The same goes for areas of your home that have been a little unloved—if you have a corner that’s missing a plant or a bare wall waiting for that perfect piece of art, this could be the season to take the plunge and finish any incomplete projects. It’s small swaps such as these that can help your home feel instantly refreshed for the new season. In short, any changes you make should require minimal effort but have maximum impact. “If you want to give your space a different feel then think about those really minor tweaks,” Sarina says. “There’s no need for a complete seasonal overhaul. You need longevity in your home at the end of the day, because it should be something that you love all year round.”