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Decorating on a budget for fall plus 8 creative ways to style your home seasonally

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!

What is it that makes fall so magical? As I close my windows for the winter ahead, I always want to bring a little piece of fall into my home. 

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.

While there are no hard and fast rules for 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. 

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. 

Know which style direction you want to go in for fall decor

When you are thinking about changing up your decor, the most important tool you can 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? Think about what you like about their home. 

Wherever you find inspiration, remember that the foundation of any decorative vision is a clear colour palette. Focus on finding pictures in the colour 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 tones?

Whatever you prefer, this palette will be your starting point. Make sure you keep photos of your palette as you look online, in thrift stores, or in bargain bins for those perfect fall items. 

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 on a budget should super simple!

Start with what you have

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 of us in smaller homes.

Make sure that you are not wasting space on any decorations that do not fit with your theme.

Next, what do you 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 with any season and can be adapted to work for fall.

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. 

Think about whether there are any simple DIY projects you could do to make decorations you already have more seasonal. Could you repaint that old picture frame and make it into a chalkboard to display seasonal quotes? 

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.

If the taste of chai tea brings you back to the first days of college, perhaps you could light a nice chai scented candle.

Shop savvy

Decorating seasonally without breaking the bank is all about taking advantage of moments of opportunity. If you have the chance to shop for things off-season, you have a better chance of snagging some of the best deals.

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. 

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. 

If you are shopping in-season, consider some less conventional shopping options. Thrift stores are a great place to start.

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 that I purchased for a fraction of the cost from thrift stores. 

Beyond thrift stores, there are many great online consignment options. Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, and Craigslist 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.

Wherever you shop, make sure you are buying pieces that you will love year after year. The best bargain on decor is buying something timeless that will last. 

Get outside, 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.

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. 

Another great way to bring the outdoors inside your home is visiting local farms or farmers’ markets to find fall-themed items.

Many farms will sell gourds, 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 a fun story. 

Modify, don’t replace

When possible, think of ways to modify your existing furniture or decorations rather than replacing them.

Let’s say your couch has turquoise throw pillows that are distinctly outside of your white, brown, and grey colour 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 if they are wrapped in an orange ribbon. 

When you do invest in big decor changes, consider purchasing things that are easy to adapt seasonally. For example, a framed chalkboard can be a great decor investment because it can be changed to suit any season. 

Think about purchasing a neutrally-toned platter that can serve as the foundation for many seasonal centerpieces.

Decorated with an orange, pumpkin-scented candle, and some yellow leaves, it is perfect for fall, while it can be adapted to a winter centerpiece by replacing the leaves with holly or cedar boughs. 

Wreath bases are another foundation for decorations that can be changed to suit the season. Colourful leaves, boughs, dried flowers, and yellow wheat all say “welcome home” in a different season.

Eight creative ways to style your home seasonally

Many of these tips can translate across seasons. When you start thinking about decorating on a budget seasonally, it is important to take a step back and think about the style narrative that you want your home to tell throughout the seasons.

These eight tips can help you create a cohesive theme that you change slightly from season to season, all without breaking the bank.

Choose a cohesive theme

Think about the theme of your home that transcends season. What defines you as a family? Use your family identity as a starting point for your theme.

Are you a sporty bunch? Maybe vintage athletic gear could be a fun direction for your decor. This could mean a classy croquet set on display in summer and a pair of vintage snowshoes over the mantle in winter. 

DIY as much as possible

DIY can be as simple as giving a picture frame a new layer of paint, or as complex as restoring a vintage table. Whatever you do, the important thing is that you are making it your own.

https://thefarmhouselife.com/diy-outdoor-fall-welcome-mat/ Remember, before any DIY project, assess the resources you already have, and think of ways you can use them creatively in your project. 

Fall round up, Fall welcome mat

Shop thrift stores and online consignment for easy decorating on a budget

Give your wallet and the planet a break, and fall in love with thrifting. Most consignment stores and upscale thrift stores will have decorations that are ready to add to your seasonal centerpiece.

However, thrifting can also be a great opportunity to find pieces that need a little DIY love to really shine. 

farmhouse bedroom with exposed wooden beams and rust colored bedding. wooden secretary desk and wooden chair. buffalo plaid pillows and white knit blanket on bed.

Find unique pieces in local shops

Big-box stores can be a simple decoration purchasing choice in a pinch, but generally the most unique decor will be in small local shops.

Think about visiting small businesses that specialize in decor specific to your hometown to give your house that personalized touch.

Swap decor with friends

My friend over at Blesser House suggest swapping 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 decor for free. 

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).

Ask your family’s opinions on different paint colours when you refinish a piece of furniture, so they can be part of the project.

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 bring your printable project from start to finish in one day! 

Do you have children or friends who have made you beautiful, seasonally-appropriate 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.

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 focal points during different seasons.

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Be sure to pin for later! 

Thanks so much for reading along!

Much Love,

Kori

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