For me, bringing in that feeling of the changing seasons is all about adding simple things around the house that fit the season, but don’t punch you in the face and say, “HEY! IT’S FALL”–not that I’m opposed to a good fall punch, it’s my favorite season, remember? But, we live in a small space, no formal living or dining room around here to go all out, so things need to stay pretty functional–a beautiful, fully set table isn’t very realistic around here (maybe someday). We’re also a family on a budget, so while I love decorating, there are other things higher on the priority list than spending a lot of money on things that only stay out for a few months out of the year, so I’m careful with the budget and creative, with a few splurges here and there. So let’s dive into my favorite ways to add that seasonal feeling without spending a small fortune.
Fabric brings in pattern and texture and is one of my favorite tools to change up a room any time, and they work great for seasonal decor. You may notice that I’m pretty mad about plaid. In fact, my husband asked me if the Brawny man was moving in–always the comedian. But seriously, I bought two yards of this plaid fabric at JoAnn’s ($10 with 40% off) and was able to make a table runner, some new pillow covers (tutorial coming on that one), frame a few scraps in embroidery hoops, and I still have a bunch left over–you know, just in case the Brawny man needs a new shirt when he moves in.
Pillows and throws are a MUST at my house. I used to think pillows were a frill that I could live without, because they can be expensive, but the difference they make in a room is night and day. I keep most of my pillows pretty neutral, which makes it easy to switch out a few here and there (or just make covers, which is what I did with the plaid) to change them out a bit for the season. I have never paid more than $10 for a throw pillow–Target end caps are my best pillow friend. I used an old shawl from my mom to add texture on this chair, and things like this are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores for between $2-$4 each. I guess throws from the thrift store may be kind of gross to some people, but I give them a good wash and they just sit on the back of a chair, or the end of the bed, so it doesn’t really bother me.
At around $1-$1.50 each, framing fabric with embroidery hoops is another super simple and inexpensive way to decorate for holidays, and you’d be hard pressed to not find one around my house on any given day–Halloween, Christmas, and my very favorite in my daughter’s room. And here’s a little tip: I stain all of my hoops. It gives them a bit more of a finished look and makes them pop! This year, I also used a scrap of toile that I had, and purposely cut out a feast scene–perfect for keeping it up all the way through Thanksgiving. One more tip: if you’re worried about holes in the wall when you hang and switch out hoops, straight pins are amazing because they leave a hole so small you can’t even see it (wisdom passed on from my grandmother–I use them to hang everything).
In my entry way, I used embroidery hoops to display some doilies and lace of my grandma’s, which I totally love because I think of her every time I walk through the door. The lacy textures and dark woods work great for fall, but I’m confident these will now be a permanent fixture around here.
We’re a family of book lovers, so at our house, there are books everywhere you turn, but they’re also one of my favorite ways to change out color on the cheap, because you can buy them for a couple of dollars at the thrift store. I changed out some of our bright books, for darker fall colors. I’ll be honest, sometimes I buy books just for the beautiful colors and cover art, but I really try to stick to things that my daughter will read as she gets older, like classics, or science, history and reference books so that they’re useful, as well as beautiful.
And finally, natural (and free) things. I can’t keep a flower or plant alive to save my life, so fall and winter are totally my jam when it comes to bringing natural elements in. We have been going hiking on Sundays, so along the way, I’ve picked up fall branches (which I didn’t end up actually using), birch bark, pine cones–just decorative things that I can use to bring in fall and spend zero money! (Print is available in my Etsy shop.)
Most of all, almost all of the things I’ve added for fall will carry me through Thanksgiving and some will even stay out during Christmastime and I’ll just add to it. I hope you’ve been inspired with some out of the box, budget friendly decor for the fall season, and now I’m so excited to send you to the next stop on the tour, my talented friend Diane at In My Own Style–I know she’ll wow you!!
How do you decorate your home for fall? What are some of your favorite budget-friendly decorating tricks?