flowers and pumpkins on kitchen counter

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—and my brain felt like it had just as many open tabs, keeping me 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 since my work and ministry center around sharing ideas and inspiration for your heart and home, there can be 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 as 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, the only sound being the soft breathing of my husband lying next to me, I knew that the Lord was speaking to me. 

Why was I allowing my mind to be consumed by these thoughts? When did I go from being someone who enjoyed decorating as an extension of the creativity given to me by my Creator to someone who 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 very aware of the fact that the pressure I was putting on myself to create the perfect seasonal décor was causing my thoughts to run around like wild animals, and 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 the way I approach decorating my home, especially when it comes to adding seasonal touches. And, since we have entered my most favorite season of the year, I want to share with you some easy and inexpensive fall decor ideas to get you started.



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 them to match the season. A bundle of wheat or a few sprigs of fall foliage creates instant change!



When it comes to centerpieces, it’s all about layering. Start with a table runner or even a placemat and 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), a pitcher with some branches trimmed from a maple tree (preferably from your own yard), or even some inexpensive, faux fall greenery from the craft store (where everything is usually 50 percent off before the season even actually starts!).



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 and 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 and, 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 and you’ll be surprised by how cozy it feels without having to do much work at all.



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!) and then seasonal items on the other end like 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.



If all else fails, a bowl filled with apples, a potted mum, or little grocery store pumpkins here and there are all you need to inexpensively welcome Fall to your home without any added stress. Trust me when I tell you that a wonderful thing happens when you put things into the proper perspective in your mind and in your heart. 


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 that 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 all of the intangible things that I love about each season. And, in Autumn, that means watching as our maple tree turns the most 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. 

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


6 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Home

To dive deeper into this content, Vanessa has offered her beautiful “6 Ways to Have a More Peaceful Home” download FREE to our readers. This download is designed to help you cultivate a restful home environment. You can download it here.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

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