Decorating on a budget doesn’t have to be so challenging! Here, I’ll be sharing 8 creative ways to style your home for Fall on a budget.
What is it that makes fall so magical? As I close my windows for the winter ahead, I want to add as much warmth and coziness as possible over the next few seasons.
So whether you are looking for a fresh look this fall or to make a few subtle updates to get ready for Thanksgiving; I’m here to inspire! I’ll be sharing practical an affordable ways to help you achieve those cozy fall vibes this year without having to run to pottery barn.
Create a home environment that brings you joy
For those of us who work from home, creating a cozy fall atmosphere can make our house a haven that is safe from the winter blues.
I am one who is directly impacted by my environment. It can work for me if I’m in a clean and well decorated space that inspires me, or it can work against me by uninspiring me to do the things I need to do.
Redecorating seasonally can be pricey, and sometimes it is tough to figure out how to bring that magical feeling into your home without breaking the bank. Fortunately, decorating your home for fall can be easy if you keep a few things in mind – even on a tight budget.
When should you start decorating for fall?
While there are no hard and fast rules as to when you can start decorating for fall, I generally start to think about fall decor as soon as I see the first trees changing color.
Another indicator is when the weather gets a bit chilly. September seems to be a time most people like to start decorating. Although around here, September is still pretty hot.
Know which style direction you want to go in for fall decor
When you are thinking about changing up your decor, the first step is to have is a clear vision. Spend some time on Pinterest looking for style inspiration.
But Pinterest should be only the beginning of your style inspiration. Do you have a stylish friend who always decorates perfectly for the season?
Any influencers you follow because you love their home decor? Think about what you like about their homes so you can find a style category. Is it rustic with warm colors? Maybe you are drawn farmhouse style?
Or do you prefer clean and simple designs? Perhaps you prefer modern, traditional, or transitional styles. Maybe you like a mishmash of styles and appreciate more eclectic design. Whatever your preference, pick a direction you want to go in and find inspiration.
Trending fall color palettes
Now that you have a style direction you want to go in, first thing first, it’s time to pick a color palette that appeals to you!
Do you love the reds and yellows of maple and aspen leaves, the classic red and orange Halloween palette, or are you more interested in classy neutral earth tones?
Be sure consider your whole room when picking colors for fall. You want your fall color palette to complement that colors of your wall, furniture, and existing decor.
Choosing a color palette will be your jumping off point. Make sure you keep photos of your palette as you look online, shop at your favorite flea market or thrift store, or as you stroll through Target or Walmart.
Consider other aspects to fall decor
Beyond palette, what are the other components of your theme? Think about the textures, smells, and shapes that inspire that cozy fall feeling in you.
Armed with a clear creative vision, you are ready to begin the adventure of finding your perfect fall decorations. Even with a low budget, decorating for fall should be fairly simple.
Repurpose what you have into new fall decor
Remember, the most inexpensive way to decorate for fall is to focus on the fall themed items you already have. First, think about putting away any decorations that are not within your theme.
Poster of tulips in the springtime? Out! That wonderful brown throw blanket your mother knit for you? In! This is an especially important step for those in a small space.
Make sure that you are not wasting space on any decorations that do not fit with your theme.
Next, use items you already have that could be adapted into fall decorations. Take out the things you had from last year, also look to see what transitional pieces you have in your home that could work for fall.
That white vase full of faux summer flowers can be replaced with fall ones for your coffee table. I like to use mirrors as a way to reflect light. So maybe use that small mirror you have as a tray and stack seasonal flowers and a candle on top as a centerpiece.
Craft old items into fall decor
Perhaps that candle doesn’t look too much like fall, but dressed up with a brown ribbon and a few orange leaves, it could be a centrepiece. Take your green faux summer garland and add some faux orange flowers to it.
Think about whether there are any simple DIY projects you could do to make decorations you already have more seasonal.
Have an old picture frame laying around? You could use some chalkboard paint and make it into a chalkboard to display seasonal quotes.
Or create an accent wall with from fall themed Etsy PDFs. With a little creativity you can turn an ordinary item into a statement piece.
Engage your five senses
Think of how you experience a perfect autumn day with your five senses. What does it smell like? What are the tastes of fall? Are there textiles that invoke fall for you? What music reminds you of the sound of the first rain on your roof? And of course, what does fall look like?
Cinnamon sticks, potpourri, and candles are all classic ways to invoke fall through the senses, but the creative decorator can dive even deeper into cultivating the feeling of fall.
Travel back in your memory to the falls of your childhood. Were there particular activities, places, or things that represented fall to you as a kid?
Find ways to invoke those memories. If you grew up on a farm and always loved the excitement of fall harvest, perhaps it would be nice to decorate with some stalks of dried corn in your entryway.
One of the best ways to make your room feel more like fall is to add fall scents. Candles and pouporie are an easy way to decorate for fall.
You could also use a glade plug-ins. They put out so many seasonal scents. This is the most affordable way to add fall scents to your home. Those glade fragrances last a long time and are very cheap to replace.
Decorating seasonally without breaking the bank is all about taking advantage of moments of opportunity.
The first thing is to create a decorating budget. This way if you do a little shopping, you won’t feel guilt. I find that If you have the chance to shop for things off-season, you have a better chance of snagging some of the best deals.
I love the end caps at Target. When Items are about to clearance out, you’ll find them on the end caps.
Bargain bins one season later are the best places to score inexpensive holiday decor. Think ahead and carefully store away those decorations for next year.
Shop summer yard sales. I find a lot of people sell their unused fall decorations.
If your local Jo-Ann or Michaels has a great sale on summer decor in the fall, consider walking through that section.
If you don’t find gems that you want to keep until next summer, you might find some summer decorations that could be adapted for fall. Green false leaves can always be spray-painted gold, orange, and yellow by a crafty decorator.
Buy used fall decorations
If you are shopping in-season, consider some less conventional shopping options. Thrift stores are a great place to start. Adding new life to used decor items can give your home a whole new look without breaking the bank.
A lot of the time people are donating seasonal decor not because it’s low quality decor but because they simply have too much.
I have found many items that I take out year after year for fall and Christmas are from thrift stores. It’s my favorite way to decorate for different seasons.
Beyond thrift stores, there are many great online consignment options. Facebook Marketplace, and Ebay are great places to find fun and unique fall pieces, especially if you are going for a vintage look. Decorating on a budget has never been easier.
Get outside and get creative
We often focus on finding faux leaves, pumpkins, and gourds to decorate, but many of these things are much more beautiful when they are real.
And fall leaves always invoke fall best when they are from the trees down the street. Bundle up the family and go on a leaf-hunting mission.
Collect a variety of leaves, sticks, pinecones, acorns or evergreen branches that you can use to create wreaths, centerpieces, and unique table settings.
One of my friends always collects interesting dried stalks and seed pods to arrange in a vase as a centerpiece. I love adding pine cones to a basket and placing them on an entryway table.
The project of collecting natural decorations and placing them around the house is a great way to get the whole family involved in your fall decoration adventure.
Stop by your local farm
Another excellent way to bring the outdoors inside your home is visiting local farms or farmers’ markets to find fall-themed items.
I bought the most beautiful fresh flowers at my local farm for a fraction of what I would have spent at a floral shop. Farms generally have some really great deals.
Many farms will sell gourds, pumpkins, dried stalks of corn, or baskets of apples that can fit beautifully into your fall decor vision.
This is a great way to support local farmers, and makes for great day as well. TIP: When those pumpkins and gourds start to turn, chuck them in a corner in your card. They will re-seed and grow organically. Then, next year, you won’t have to buy them again!
Modify, don’t replace
When possible, think of ways to modify your existing furniture or decorations rather than replacing them.
Let’s say your living room couch has turquoise throw pillows that are distinctly outside of your white, brown, and grey color palette.
Rather than buying a whole new set of pillows, consider replacing the pillowcases with something more seasonal.
Similarly, duvet covers, throw blankets, or napkin sets can be high impact items to switch out seasonally. Even summery items like potted herbs can fall into an autumnal theme.
When you do invest in big decor changes, consider purchasing things that are easy to adapt seasonally.
For example, a framed chalkboard, large round baskets, neutral throw blankets, or pricey down throw pillows. These items can be a great decor investment because they can be changed to suit any season.
Think about purchasing a neutrally-toned platter or tray that can serve as the foundation for many seasonal centerpieces. Decorated with an a large vase, orange flowers, and pumpkin-scented candle.
In the winter it can be adapted by replacing the flowers with holly or cedar boughs.
Wreath bases are another foundation for decorations that can be changed to suit the season. Colorful leaves, boughs, dried flowers, and yellow wheat all say “welcome home” in a different season.
All you have to do is add those items to your wreath to change the theme. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add decorations you love to your home, often the small changes make the biggest difference.
Eight creative ways to style your home seasonally
Here are eight creative and cheap decorating ideas to decorate your home seasonally. Many of these tips can translate across seasons.
When you start thinking about decorating on a budget, it is important to take a step back and think about the style narrative that you want your home to tell throughout the seasons.
And when you shop, let it be for statement pieces you can continually repurpose. Only adding new inexpensive seasonal changes to keep things fresh.
1. Choose a cohesive theme
Think about the look of your home and how transcends into different season. What defines you as a family? Use your family identity as a starting point for your theme.
Are you an outdoor family? Love taking hikes in the woods and collecting items you’ve found? Stick to more early and neutral colors that bring you joy when you’re out in nature.
Try and replicate that inside so it makes your whole family happy whether inside or outside. Maybe your family wants a whole new look but you’re not sure where to start. Pick a color and add a new coat of paint! This is the easiest way to go in a different design direction.
2. DIY as much as possible
DIY can be as simple as giving a picture frame a fresh coat of paint, or as complex as restoring a vintage table. Whatever you do, the important thing is that you are making it your own.
Remember, before any DIY project, assess the resources you already have, and think of ways you can use them creatively in your project.
I wanted a new welcome mat for fall, but didn’t want to spend much money on one. So instead I bought a few new things to create my own. I’ve also used old mirrors to either layer on a mantel for a new look or spray paint to make chalk boards.
Try cutting the top off of a faux pumpkin and using it as a vase for fall stems to display on your dining room table. Keep in mind, the most unique art pieces are generally home décor items you’ve created!
3. Shop thrift shops and online consignment stores
Give your wallet and the planet a break, and fall in love with thrifting. Most consignment stores and upscale thrift shops will have decorations that are ready to add to your seasonal centerpiece.
Consider barn sales, estate sales, and even online thrifting before running to your closest home decor store. I love to shop for staples like new furniture, window treatments, dishes, or even bakeware when thrifting.
However, thrifting can also be a great opportunity to find pieces that need a little DIY love to really shine.
4. Find unique pieces in local shops
Big-box stores can be a great way to decorate your home in a pinch, but generally the most unique decor will be in small local shops.
Most interior designers like to add unique accent pieces when they decorate a home. Try and do the same by visiting small businesses that specialize in decor specific to your hometown to give your house that personalized touch.
5. Swap decor with friends
Swap seasonal decor with friends. Let’s face it, after a few seasons, sometimes even the greatest pieces look…well, boring.
Rather than tossing them, consider hosting a decor swap, giving everyone a chance to replace their own home decor for free.
6. Involve your family
Ask the kids what they love about a certain season, and consider using that as inspiration (if it’s a reasonable idea, of course you do not have to decorate your house in Frozen theme).
Head outside and find the perfect maple leave. Then ask your kids to trace and then color in their leaves. Next, grab some twine and cloths pins and string up their art. And as an added bonus, you can also swap out the diy art for a creative way to display your family photos.
7. Create your own art
Finding seasonal art can be pricey, especially if it is something that you will be replacing every season. Printables from Etsy are a great option for seasonal decor.
They are usually only a few dollars, and because you can send them to a one hour print shop, you can do your printable project from start to finish in one day!
Do you have children or friends who have made you beautiful, seasonally-appropriate wall art? This is your chance to feature those pieces.
If you are very brave, there are a lot of Bob Ross style tutorials on the internet for creating simple pieces of art.
Consider setting aside an evening for yourself, pouring a glass of chardonnay, and learning to paint. It doesn’t have to be that challenging either.
I am not an artist, but I did take an old mirror, paint it orange and then paint a fall phrase to display on my front porch.
8. Bring the outside in
Think of ways to incorporate nature into your seasonal decor for free. Bring some of the flowers, leaves, and branches from your garden inside, and make sure to replace them regularly.
Featuring different house plants throughout the seasons can be another great way to do this. If you have a lot of plants, consider rotating the ones that are most seasonally appropriate into a focal point during different seasons.
Decorating for fall is the perfect opportunity to go through your house and assess your style. Then to pick a color scheme that reflects your personality and your home.
Be sure to sure to repurpose what you have and then to either modify it or swap it out with a friend. Add in a few purposeful pieces that you can modify for any season.
To get the best deals, shop at the end of each season to decorate for that next year.
Don’t be afraid to buy used. Some of the best home decor items I have I bought were thrifted.
And lastly, create a small budget each season to add in seasonally appreciate items to freshen things up. The end result should be a seasonally decorated home that brings you and your family joy.
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Want to read more about updating your home on a budget? Check out my post below!