Decorating for the Fall and Halloween Season Using What You Have

Now that Labor Day weekend is long gone, summer is officially over, the change of season is officially here. Everyone has already busted out their pumpkin spice. If you haven’t started, then it’s time to talk about decorating for the fall and Halloween season using what you have.

I mean, you do have a bag of eyeballs laying around, don’t you? Hahahahahaha just kidding. But there are plenty of great things around your home waiting to take center stage!

halloween and fall decor on an entry table
fall looking decor on the kitchen table

When should you start decorating for fall?

When to begin decorating for any upcoming season is always a controversial subject.

Do you start early August when the big box stores begin putting out the seasonal items? Or do you wait until you are ‘feeling’ the season in late August, September or even waiting until October?

Depending on where you live, this is a different answer for everyone. So I say, begin your fall decorating when you want to. Once the kids return to school, whether it’s summer or not, it tends to feel like it’s time to decorate for fall. And there are many things to do to get ready for the season.

Being that I live where we enjoy all four seasons, I prefer to wait a bit until the weather starts to actually feel like the new season is here. All the squirrels making a daily mess with the walnut tree in my yard, let me know the fall equinox is upon us.

dried hydrangeas for fall decor

Fall decorations to put out right now

When it comes to fall decorating, I try to take a bit of a natural approach. As my children are grown and gone, my crafty seasonal decor has been replaced or gifted to them.

For fall decorating, with the harvest season in full swing, I pull out all those items that make it feel like autumn. This also involves pulling inside what nature is giving me outside, and shopping my house to restyle some vintage finds.

fall foliage for fall decor inside

Using your fall foliage

Late September is my favorite beautiful season change. The fall colors begin to change everyday, the pine cones have already dropped all over the yard, and the season is here.

Just having the bounty from the garden or the farmer’s market can add a bit of coziness to your decor.

This year, I have been all about drying hydrangea! I love the colors they turn when they are dry and they look amazing in the house as fall decor or year round.

Bring indoors whatever is giving you fall vibes from your outdoors. Soon enough we will be dragging out our Christmas decor, so enjoying the fall colors now is key.

Even if things aren’t changing outside in your climate, create the feel of the season with your decorating ideas. Fake autumn leaves will do the trick if you don’t have the real thing.

fall garden bounty as fall decor in kitchen

Decorating with natural elements

Whether you like orange or white pumpkins, or no pumpkins at all, simply gather the natural, seasonal items that are available to you. I always enjoy seeing hay bales, dried corn stalks, and autumn decor out on a front porch.

The fields on the side of the warehouse where my paint business resides is currently filled with dried flowers and foliage of the season. There are so many great colors and textures to bring indoors.

picking fall foliage in the fields

Dried foliage, when artfully arranged, can create a beautiful focal point in the season.

dried fall hydrangeas for family room autumn decor

How should I decorate my home for fall?

Fall has always been my favorite season! What about you? While seeing many fun ideas for ways to start decorating for fall, your climate may or may not put you in the mood. Sometimes September brings very warm weather to many around the country.

If you don’t have a big change in weather, getting to decorate for fall may be the thing that brings in all the cozy feels, even if it still feels like summer outside. And if you’re anything like me, and trying to extend the summer season into October, you may want to delay all the fall decorating.

And if you don’t feel like it, Halloween is right around the corner and we can start obsessing about that! It is, after all, a favorite holiday for many.

halloween decorating on an entry table with apothecary jars

Decorating the front porch, inside the house, or both?

It’s weird, but sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I don’t get the bug to decorate outside at all. When the weather turns, we tend to stay indoors. My focus leads me to start decorating inside and I’m not big on those porch fall decorations. Do you ever feel like that?

If you aren’t into the pumpkin takeover on the porch, do something simple. Even just adding a simple wreath to the front door can give you that fall vibe. Plant some mums in your pots. You don’t need 47 piles, just a few.

Fall is a great time to update the door mat as well. If you’re not really into the outdoor seasonal decor, this can be a nod to you showing that you’re festive.

You may even consider changing the bulbs in the lanterns by the front door to something with a warmer glow. This can cast that inviting glow outside, especially as the days become shorter.

decorating for fall the unconventional way

How to transition fall and Halloween decor?

To be honest, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I mean, you just can’t beat dress-ups and candy! But I can say, I do prefer the look of solid pumpkins to jack-o-lanterns. It makes the season stretch out, so you don’t have to feel like you have to decorate all over again in October.

Using the items you have in your home to create a mood, rather than a theme, will extend your decorating ideas into months. Break out the flameless candles, and solid pumpkins and let’s make that decor work for awhile.

fall gingham tablecloth for fall decor

Choose your fall color palette

Don’t feel like you have to gravitate towards oranges and browns if these aren’t your fave. There are many shades of autumn.

For a lighter palette, think warm whites that lean toward golden ivories. Browns will add a warm touch, and soft blush and tans will play nicely with those warmer tones.

If you want bolder color, skip the traditional orange (and black for Halloween) and go with deep reds, hunter greens, mixed with warm umber. Think of how the October light casts shadows outside when it is early dawn or as dusk creeps in. Then use those shades to create a mood.

dried thistles for fall decor

Vintage decor to pull out now

I feel like fall decor is one of the best excuses for all the vintage hoarding we do! You’re with me right? Like, it’s not just me?

Here’s a list of what to pull out and what to use to decorate for fall now and until Christmas:

stacks of bread boards for fall decor

Wood with patina

This is such a great category that is useful at so many times of the year. If you aren’t collecting wood items with great patinas, you may just want to start.

Stack up bread boards and wood bowls, pull out peely architectural salvage for candlesticks, wood boxes that store all your summer treasures, and wood risers for displays.

patina wood for fall decor in kitchen

Chunky baskets and wicker

From bins that will hold the bounty from a trip to the apple orchard or farmers markets, baskets for firewood and fall foliage, to wicker chargers for the tabletop, wicker will add a wonderful texture to your fall decor.

Plaid for the perfect cozy touch

Are you mad for plaid? I am too! I tend to have more of my plaid stash in the color palette for the December holiday season, but don’t forget to add plaid in those autumn colors.

From wool throws, to metal baskets, vintage thermos, and more, plaid can bring those autumn vibes in real fast.

plaid vintage tins for cozy fall decor

Wicker demijohns

Although these wicker covered bottles can fall under that basket category, they deserve a spotlight of their own as they are perfect to pop a few tall twigs from the outdoors in.

Gather them together in a group for a powerful collection to help you decorate for fall. These are so addicting to collect! You might think you will start small, then all of the sudden, you have dozens. But they are soooo good for that seasonal flair.

And I simply cannot get enough of this gorgeous French linen gingham tablecloth! The price is a freaking bargain for its quality!

wicker demijohns for fall decor

Wood buckets

The patina of old wood buckets, or vintage ice cream makers is perfect for fall decor. Keep it budget and fill them with whatever autumn beauty you have on hand.

wood buckets with patina for fall decor

Weathered metals

Think galvanized metal with a bit of a rusty patina, brass turning to that perfect green, or the gleam of copper. Tarnished silver is another metal that can add beauty to your fall decor.

Natural fibers and fur

When the weeks start to cool (or you want to create the illusion that they do) break out all the cozy textures. Chunky fibers, faux or real fur hides will add a wonderful layer to your decor. These can transition from fall when the weather changes and stay all through winter.

fur pillows and throws for fall decor

Wool pillows and throws

When the weeks get cool, it’s time to pull out all things wool. All those cozy nights spent on the couch will be much more comfortable with some wool throws or pillows.

Wool no longer has the stigma of the itchy fabric. There are many choices that will make this favorite time of year even more special.

wool pillows for fall decor

Apothecary jars and bottles

Fill those jars with all the things for fall or Halloween. Even ‘fall color’ cereal will look festive on the counter in a clear container when you decorate for fall in the kitchen.

I love plastic skeleton parts or eyeballs, candy corn and more to bring the proper holiday vibe.

apothecary jars for halloween and fall decor


The tones of warm whites, discoloring of crazing on ironstone, make it a perfect choice for fall decor. Nestle it amongst other decorations to create a look full of personal style.


If you start decorating with transferware, you may never stop! There are so many great colors out there that look so good with holiday decorations.

Brown and black transferware will enhance decor through Thanksgiving, then it will be time to bring out the green and cranberry shades for December.

Blue is always part of my year round decorations, and can be layered with other colors for a unique personal style.

brown ironstone for fall table settings

Vintage art

Switch out your artwork for something that looks more in the current season that you want to portray. Collecting vintage art is fun, and pieces don’t always have to be hung up. I lean my seasonal art so it can be easily changed.

vintage art for fall decor

Crocks and stoneware

Crocks and stoneware bowls are great for everyday use, but work especially well when you start decorating in the cozy months.

These can grace a tablescape no matter the time of year, but look especially at home during September through Thanksgiving. The sky is the limit on ideas for ways to decorate using this collectible pottery.

crocks and stoneware for fall decor

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving

If you want to start decorating for fall, and just do it once without switching things out throughout September and October, make those choices that will take your fall decor all through to Thanksgiving.

Keep pumpkins without a face, choose fake (but tasteful) flowers and pumpkins that can be used over and over again to decorate year after year. This gingham tablecloth is a year round win!.

gingham tablecloth for fall decor

Create the mood

From lighting to textures, and colors around, create the mood that says fall to you that is more than pumpkins.

Early in the season, before I even start decorating for fall, I’m ready with my candle warmer to begin burning the scents.

burning fall candles

Shop smart in the future

Next time you are out at all those summer flea markets, purchase items that can be utilized all through the year to decorate.

Where to decorate for fall inside

Add a little touch of fall to the entry table, mudroom hooks, the coffee table and main seating areas. The kitchen is usually the heart of the home and the star of the show, and that will be no different when you decorate for fall.

The powder room, dining room tables, and other large surfaces are great surfaces to start decorating for fall.

family room and fall decor

Keeping it real (safe)

Now is the time to enjoy the season. Make a pot of chili, burn that yummy apple cinnamon candle, and be safe about it! I have officially switched over completely to using a candle warmer instead of lighting my candles. After forgetting about one and almost burning down the house, I now use this warmer. I can even set a timer for 4 hours and forget about it (because I always do) and it turns itself off.

Tell me in the comments how you decorate for fall. Do you go the pumpkin route or keep it more natural? Follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration.


  1. I love fall too! It is so beautiful with all the changing colors.

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