Updated: Dec 23, 2020
It's that time of year again cooler temps, changing leaves, boots, scarves, and pumpkin flavored everything. With fall slowly blowing in it's time to transition our homes not only with decor, but maintenance as well.
Before we jump into my design tips for getting your home ready for fall lets cover a quick maintenance punch list that should be completed as well to keep your home in tip top shape for the season.
1. Feed Your Lawn
If you are doing this yourself make sure you get fertilizer formulated for fall as you want it to trigger the growth of your grass' blades and roots so it will be healthy before the cold winter temps set in. This not only protects it over winter, but it will help it green up faster come springtime.
2. Service Your HVAC
Your AC has been working hard for you all summer now it's time to give it a well deserved break. Before you shut everything down in preparation for colder weather consider having it checked over by a professional. There are also a few things you can do yourself. Change your air filter (you should be doing thing every 3 months anyway), make sure all of your indoor vents are uncovered, then moved outside to cover the outdoor unit to keep debris and ice from damaging your system.
3. Clean The Fireplace and Chimney
Nothing puts a damper on cuddling by the fire than a blocked chimney filling your home with soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide. Even gas fireplaces need an inspection before the first use of the season. Because of the hazards involved this job is best left to pros, but you can eliminate extra build up and possible issues by cleaning out your fireplace regularly.
4. Shut Off Exterior Faucets and Store Hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Now that summer flowers and gardens are done disconnect your outdoor hoses and spray nozzles and let them drain before storing them indoors for the winter. If you have a sprinkler system turn off the water supply and run the system to drain it of any remaining water.
5. Clean Out The Gutters and Downspouts
You'll want to clean gutters and downspouts out frequently throughout fall to prevent build up of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. You'll also want to make sure that water is draining properly and doesn’t pool. Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.
6. Trim Trees and Shrubs
Now is the time to trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house as heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter. By pruning your trees and shrubs after the leaves turn it will encourage healthy growth come springtime.
8. Drain and Store Lawn Equipment
Unused fuel that sits in tanks over a period of time will create deposits that will destroy your machines. Before storing your lawn mower, weed eater and leaf blower make sure you drain the tanks. Fall/Winter is also a great time to have your mower serviced and blades sharpened so it is ready for Spring.
9. Prep Windows and Doors
Change out the summer screens to storm windows and doors. Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames. Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
Now that all of your maintenance is taken care of on to the fun stuff...decor! I don't know about you but fall doesn't really kick in for me until the weather cools down and leaves start to change and that varies every year here in the Midwest. I am also not super into the stereotypical red, orange, black color palette that is associated with Fall/Halloween so you can imagine my delight at the fact that many stores this year are featuring more neutral/harvest color palettes.
With all of that being said I am going to cover 4 areas of your home where you can simply incorporate decor to make your home feel fall ready.
Nothing lets your neighbors know you are fall ready than to decorate your front porch/door.
Use a mix of real and faux gourds that way you don't have to constantly replenish the real ones if you like to start decorating earlier in the season. The plus side with the faux is that you can reuse them every year and they come in a variety of styles and colors.
Add a wreath. Full or chunky wreaths can overpower some front doors and tend to be a little too much if it has a lot of color while simple thinner wreaths appear more delicate and modern so you can go with a bolder color choice without it being all up in your face.
Use black accents. Like the photo above and below there is just something about black accents and fall that add a touch of elegance and juxtaposition to your decor.
Pro Tip: Use matte black finishes for a more refined less cheesy commercial fall look
Add a festive doormat. There is a fine line between festive and holiday when it comes to doormats and I like to tell my clients to tread on the festive side as they can stay out for the season without screaming 'It's Halloween!" Want a punch of color, layer your mats. You can use a colorful patterned thin doormat with a more natural mat on top to give your entry a little extra pop like in the photo above.
The Dining Room
Gathering together for meals is the core of holidays and fall is the kickoff. Here are a few things to remember when setting your table and buffet. In the photos above we went the more non traditional fall color palette but utilized all of the tips below to make it come together.
1. Stick to a simple contrasting color palette
2. Use both texture and pattern
3. Add a touch of metallics to give that festive cozy feel
4. Add mood lighting with battery powered twinkle lights and candlesticks
5. Vary the heights to add depth and interest
Pro Tip: Stick with classic pieces for your main dishes and serving ware and even candlesticks that way they can transition throughout the year saving you money and space.
Fall is the time for curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and a hot beverage and what better place to do that in than a nook.
To create that cozy feel what you'll need is textures and prints remembering that feel is just as important as appearance. Take the photo above, with that knit throw and velvet pillow it makes you want to crawl in that chair and check out for an hour or two. Why? Textures!
Also I am super obsessed with that wingback chair from Target (not a paid endorsement) nothing screams fall for me like a nice buffalo check print and the more modern lines of this wingback make it perfect for any home.
Layers also play a big role in a nook. Pull in a rug to anchor that chair and use the colors from it to pick your throw and pillow. Add a cute floor lamp, accent table or a basket, and some art on the wall and honey you got yourself a go to reading nook that you can't wait to curl up in.
1. The Home I Create 2. Handmade Mood 3. Nest of Posies
When it comes to fireplaces and holiday decorating you want to remember that sometimes less is more. Every room needs a focal point and if you are adding fall decor throughout your home remember that if everything is the star nothing is, so pick one area to have a moment and go simple for the rest.
I rounded up 3 of my favorite fall/Halloween fireplaces and as you can see they all vary but follow the idea of simple restraint.
The styling in fireplace #1 is simple all the way around and gives off a fall vibe instead of full on Halloween. Many of the pieces are classic staples and can transition throughout the year.
I love the visual impact of fireplace #2 with adding the metal suitcase to hold all of the interesting trinkets and how it draws your eye up. Also notice that because it's so styled on the mantle they kept it pretty simple on the hearth so it doesn't come off as too much.
Fireplace #3 thinks outside of the fireplace with having the bats moving onto the wall for more visual interest. The decor is kept pretty simple on top so that the cascading pumpkins can have their focal moment.
So there you have it your complete guide to get your home fall ready. We'd love to see how you add fall into your home, leave your pics in the comments below.