As summer fades away I am slowly making a few changes around my living room. Adding darker colors, more texture, warmer fabrics and lots of cozy-inducing layers.
This year, my fall decorating plan was less about adding specific fall-themed decor items and more about creating a cozy feel that’s inviting and comfortable.
As I mentioned in my recent post about decorating my kitchen for fall, readers often ask me where I come up with my decorating ideas and inspiration.
The answer is something that Steve Jobs once said when asked about creativity:
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
This process is what happens to me, I just see something and it mixes up with something else in my brain. Recently, it happened when I was watching the Nancy Meyers movie, It’s Complicated on Netflix starring Meryl Streep.
If you’re not familiar with Nancy Meyers, she is the queen of cozy movie making that has become synonymous with the best designed sets/rooms. Her movies are the only movies I have seen where the interiors can upstage the actors and feel good story lines.
In a scene from the movie, Streep’s character’s friends come over to her home for an girls night-in.
As they enjoy each other’s company and are served gourmet food warm from the oven while drinking goblets of wine, the ambiance of the low-wattage lamps in the room, mixed in with candle light was so inviting I wanted to jump right into the scene with them.
I also found I liked the black accents in the room along with the tapestry and textured large throw pillows that the character’s are snuggled into on the sofa.
But it wasn’t the actual decor so much that I liked. It was more about the room’s overall ambiance that had me rewinding the scene over and over so I could take all the details in and not miss a thing.
To my eye the scene felt so cozy and perfect, so much so that I had to create a similar ambiance in my living room as best I could.
With the movie set in mind, to make my living room cozier for the cooler months ahead, I added a mix of neutral colors and textures with a touch of green.
I made sure to layer various materials all around the room – nubbly, woven woolen, furry, wood grain, leather, wicker, rattan, velvet and more to create a warm and inviting ambiance.
Decorating 101: Layering
In the decorating world, layering is nothing more than combining items with different textures, colors, patterns and shapes to make a space feel cozy and look eye-catching. A room can have the best furnishings, but without layers, the space will feel flat – like it’s missing something.
On the mantel, I didn’t add any pumpkins or mums, they wouldn’t fit as the mantel ledge is narrow. What I did instead was add my two favorite things – photos of my 2 grandchildren that live clear across the country from me.
Putting their photos in such a prominent spot lets me at least see their smiling faces throughout my day.
Each photo is in a black frame with a white mat. There is a window sash and smaller empty frames I painted black behind the photos. All are just leaning against the wall.
I normally don’t go for black when decorating, but using it as a small accent, especially in the fall, does gives the room definition.
The color also works to balance the black wall mounted TV across the room, the black framed sliding screen doors, as well as the black accents in the new area rug I layered over the existing sisal rug to warm up the room. I find using black is a safe choice that offsets softer neutral colors.
Adding Cozy Ambiance
Over the past few years I have been embracing a more natural feel and colors for my living room. I call the style, White and Woodsy.
It just feels right, not only for my psyche, but the style creates a fluid connection between the view outside the sliding glass doors in the room and the room itself. Balance and harmony that meld a seamless transition between the two realms is what I am after.
To create cozy light when in the room in the evenings, battery-operated pillar candles are my go-to. I placed my collection of them in a wood bowl. One press of a button and they all turn off and on at the same time.
I have both the floor lamp that I wrapped in jute and the thrift store table lamp I made over in the room as well as the recessed lighting on the ceiling all on dimmer switches. These allow for instant cozy ambiance at night.
If I was a better photographer, I would have liked to show how the room looks at night when it is full of the ambiance I set out to create.
On the other wall in the room, I placed a tree branch in a large glass vase on the console table. I wanted to add a textured finish to the glass vase, but haven’t come up with an idea yet. If I do, I will be sure to post about it.
Since my fall decor is all about keeping the space cozy, I keep two fur throws under this table…
…and another one by the sofa so they are easy to grab when needed to cuddle under.
A Few Cozy Fall Details
Where I live in South Carolina, we won’t see the colors of the leaves change until the end of October. I have been keeping a few green accents around the room to keep in sync with what is happening outside. I collected these green acorns on my morning walks. Placed in a bowl they become fall decor.
If you don’t have any oak trees around your house, you can use faux acorns instead. I use these every year in this glass candle vase.
I found this little stone owl at my local garden center to place on the sideboard under the TV. The store had a big display of them with many different faces, expressions and sizes. It was hard deciding which one to buy as they were all so cute.
Once the leaves start changing colors outside, I will change the greenery in the white planter to reflect that.
And of course it wouldn’t be fall without having a pumpkin or two in the room. For now it is just a mini one I bought at Trader Joe’s.
As you can see you don’t need bins full of “fall-season-only” decorations to make your home feel fall-like. It can be achieved by creating a warm and cozy atmosphere using simple items from nature, candles and by adding various textures.
You may be surprised to see how welcoming your home can look and feel.
If you’ve been searching for a source of inspiration for your decorating, I encourage you to keep your eyes open for ideas everywhere you go and in all you do. Try to connect something that sparks and idea to your decorating style to come up with decor that will feel just right for you and your family.
More Fall Decorating Ideas
- Fall Living Room Decorating with Natural Elements
- Adding Fall Color to the Living Room
- Low-Budget, But Cozy Living Room Decor Ideas for Fall
- Natural Fall Decorating Ideas All Through The House