Does seasonal decorating get you excited or stress you out? Freshening up your decor to match the season need not be an overwhelming task. If bringing a touch of autumn into your home brings you joy, but you’re not sure where to start, these five inexpensive fall decor ideas to help you nail a tastefully autumnal vibe without becoming a Pinterest perfectionist.
I have a confession to make. I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time stressing about seasonal decorating.
As one season blended into the next, my laptop screen would be filled with open tabs linking me to a myriad of ideas. My brain felt like it had just as many open tabs. I was in a constant state of confusion as I wondered how I was going to make everything seem fresh and new each year.
This may sound strange to you. But my work and ministry center around sharing ideas and inspiration for your heart and home. So there was a very real pressure to provide the latest, greatest, and most Pinterest-worthy content.
A few years ago, in early September, I was lying in bed unable to fall asleep. My mind swirled with plans for what to put on my fireplace mantels, how to create the perfect centerpiece for the dining room, and style my kitchen counters in the most Autumnal way possible.
But, somewhere in the foggy haze of trying to decide between the corn husk wreath or the bundle of wheat for my front door, I felt a pricking of my spirit. In the stillness of my bedroom I knew the Lord was speaking to me.
Why was I allowing my mind to be consumed by these thoughts? I used to enjoy decorating as an extension of the creativity given to me by my Creator. But now I wasted so much time, money, and energy to get the perfect look for Instagram.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are challenged to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Suddenly, I became aware of that the pressure I was putting on myself was causing my thoughts to run around like wild animals. It was past time for me to take them captive.
So, I did.
With my head on my pillow and tears threatening to spill from my eyes, I confessed to my Savior and fell asleep immediately. Friends, I’ve never looked back.
The freedom I have found since then has forever changed how I approach decorating my home, especially when it comes to adding seasonal touches. We have now entered my most favorite season of the year. So I want to share with you some easy and inexpensive fall decor ideas to get you started.
1. START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
One of my greatest revelations when it came to simplifying my seasonal décor was that I could use what I already had on display year round. No more clearing off entire surfaces and struggling to find places to store everything.
If you keep containers or urns on a buffet or coffee table, simply switch out what you put inside to match the season. A bundle of wheat or a few sprigs of fall foliage creates instant change!
2. INEXPENSIVE FALL DECOR IDEAS FOR YOUR TABLE
When it comes to centerpieces, it’s all about layering. Start with a table runner or even a placemat. Put it in the center of your table.
Then, place a basket or a tray on top of the runner. Next, you’ll need some height. A candlestick or two will do the trick. And then you only need a couple more accessories to round it out.
Ideas include a pumpkin (real or faux) or a pitcher with some branches trimmed from a maple tree (preferably from your own yard). You could even get some inexpensive, faux fall greenery from the craft store.
3. COMMIT TO A COLOR PALETTE
Picking a new color palette each year is a great way to mix things up without having to buy all new accessories. Go around your house and find items that are all within the same color family. Use those to reflect the season.
For example, one year I decided to go with a theme of browns and creams. Out came my favorite transferware plates. By simply stacking them on a table with a cluster of cinnamon sticks on top, I was able to add just the right hint of Autumn. Continue to repeat the color palette on your other surfaces. You’ll be surprised by how cozy it feels without having to do much work at all.
4. BRINGING FALL TO YOUR FIREPLACE MANTEL
When it comes to fireplace mantels, try varying the height of the items you place there. One very simple formula I use all year long is to place two candlesticks of differing heights on one end of the mantel (I like the chunky ones!). Then add seasonal items on the other end, such as an urn filled with foliage reflecting your chosen color palette. Add a stack of antique books with a pumpkin on top and you’re good to go.
5. PERENNIAL FALL DECORATING TIPS
If all else fails, a bowl filled with apples, a potted mum, or little grocery store pumpkins are all you need to inexpensively welcome Fall to your home. Trust me when I tell you that a wonderful thing happens when you put things into the proper perspective in your mind and heart.
The Beauty of Simplicity
Once I took my thoughts captive, I discovered that I actually preferred the simplicity. The less time I spend decorating my home for each season, the more I find I love the results. As I relax, so does my home and the people who have to live with me. Bless their hearts.
Most importantly, the less time I spend comparing my home to those I see in those little squares online, the more time I have to focus on making it a place that embodies the intangible things that I love about each season. And, in Autumn, that means watching as our maple tree turns glorious shades of red and gold and orange. It means welcoming friends to our home for a chili dinner followed by board games. It means gathering around the fire pit outside, warming our hands and toes as we savor the last few days of perfectly crisp weather.
What Makes a Home?
Decorating for each season should always be about simply enhancing what is already there. And, when what is already there is a home centered around a harvest of laughter and joy and grace and community, it doesn’t take much to improve upon it.
“Delicious autumn, my very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot
Which of Vanessa’s fall decor ideas are you inspired to try in your home? If you have any other easy and inexpensive fall decorating tips, we’d love to hear them!
Blog Cover Photo: Loralie Hoffort @highwoodroad
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Wonderful tips, Vanessa! I resonate with you and the pressure for IG-worthy interiors. Mini pumpkins from the grocery store are my favorite fall accessories, especially the white ones. Thanks for sharing your ideas and your heart.
What a wonderful realization. Isn’t it jubilantly liberating?
Each year I purge and do less. I have just filled my life with too much stuff – and letting it go is freeing my spirit. I love your simplistic ideas – they work very well. (And your home as always looked so awesome.) Hope you have a wonderful new season coming up. For now it is way too hot to do much autumn decorating, but it lasts awhile once it gets here. I am excited!!