My Cozy Fall Living Room Decorating Ideas


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.

Large wood bowl on ottoman filled with battery operated off-white pillar candles in a living room.

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. 

Its-Complicated-friends-in-family-room-

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.

A collection of textured and patterned pillows on a sofa in a fall decorated living room.

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.

Side view of a white sofa with fall colored throw pillows on it.

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.

Living room decorated for fall in a simple way.

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.

Console table in fall decorated living room.

Since my fall decor is all about keeping the space cozy, I keep two fur throws under this table…

corner of living room decorated for early fall

…and another one by the sofa so they are easy to grab when needed to cuddle under.

A Few Cozy Fall Details

Green acorns on white bowl with a binoculars behind it on a white sideboard.

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.

Stone owl and decorative accessories on a sideboard.

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.

Close up of a hanging wall basket with dried hydrangeas.

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

Cozy Fall decorating ideas for fall that you may not have thought of.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


29 Comments

  1. Refreshing my living room for fall and winter is something I genuinely enjoy. Swapping out the cushions with velvety ones is my secret weapon. Not only are they incredibly comfy, but they also infuse the entire space with a warm and cozy atmosphere that’s just right for the season. It’s a small tweak, but the impact is huge – transforming the whole vibe of the room!
    https://www.linenhouse.com/homewares/cushions

  2. Ann Wilder says:

    Love the acorns in with the candle! As many times as I have watched and loved the movie It’s Complicated…I do not remember a scene with her having girls over for a girl’s night in. It’s Complicated stars Meryl, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ann – The scene from the movie where Meryl Streep’s character has her girlfriend’s over is in the first half of the movie. It is after she goes to her son’s college graduation. You can see the scene in the photo I included in my post. The room/set looked so cozy. :-)

  3. As always, you inspire and motivate me! It’s a learning experience to not only see what you’re doing but also to read your explanation of why and what you are aiming for. After reading your posts I always look around my house with a fresh eye. As soon as you mentioned the movie I could picture that house and those rooms. While watching it I found myself pausing to look at the rooms, they just made me feel good. It’s a great idea to analyze the details of what I liked about them.

  4. So cozy, Diane! Love all the faux fur throws. Just begs for snuggling up! Painting the outside of your glass vase with gloss Mod Podge will make it look like old wavy glass- that could be fun!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Bettsi for the idea for painting my glass vase. An old glass look would look nice. I will have to experiment. :-)

  5. Michele M. says:

    Your home looks super cozy!! And the movie It’s Complicated has fabulous sets I bought that DVD when it first became available and haven’t watched it in ages. Loved that home, too.

  6. Michele H. says:

    Your living room is just lovely. It is exactly my style. It looks so cozy and comfortable.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Michele – That is what I was after cozy and comfy. :-)

  7. It has been fascinating to see the same room re-worked time after time.
    Especially how great it looks each and every time.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kat – That is the perfect word for it – reworked. :-). Since my house isn’t that large and I always need original content, I have to work with the rooms I have. I enjoy doing this and got a lot of experience making the same space over and over again on a budget when I worked in retail display. Back then I had to make the departments in the store look different every few weeks with nothing but what I could find in the store’s prop room to do it.

  8. Ethel Alderson says:

    Like this look!
    White needs.lots of textures.
    I was taught every room needs a touch of black.
    Just like every garden needs some gray planets.
    Black is a neutral color.

    I

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Ethel- Yes, and I remember learning that the color yellow be used in every room too. :-). I never heard about the garden with grey. Very interesting. I will have to look into that.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I read your blog each week. I see your idea from the movie scene. Their sofa is more tailored & beige. I’m not liking the green pillow and leopard pillow against a white sofa. It’s not soft & cozy. Looks clashy instead of classy. Please retire the pom pom ottoman cover & pillow. Need a fresh update. Your new dining area wallpaper is quite nice. The piece of wood above the window area looks odd & out of place. Sorry if my comments are too critical today. Thanks for your information on helping us to repurpose house items each week. I always enjoy doing that.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anonymous – I decorate my house in my personal style as well as what feels and looks good to me. It is why I named my blog, In My Own Style. I don’t want my house to look cookie cutter and boring by following some textbook way of decorating or someone else’s thoughts on how a room should be decorated. The study of personal style fascinates me. I enjoy seeing how each of us as individuals see our space, self, world and put our unique stamp on it.

  10. Barbara Keyes says:

    I would love to see an article on “where I store my seasonal changes”. My space is really limited. Do you have a storage locker? Love the look of coziness.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Barbara – I wrote a post a few year ago showing where I have my decor stash. It is in my attic. You can see the post here: https://bit.ly/44TcLAT

  11. I’m inspired by your blog. Thank you. The animal print pillow is gorgeous, is there a source for it? Have a fantastic fall. Regards.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Wanda – It is nice to hear that you have been inspired by my blog. Thanks for taking the time to tell me. :-). The leopard print pillow on my sofa I made using fabric yardage to make a cover for an existing pillow I had. Here is a link I found for you to a pillow with the fabric: https://bit.ly/3Lnj9te

      You can also buy the fabric yardage here: https://amzn.to/3PEgePs and here it is cheaper: https://bit.ly/3PGZ6sf

      If you want to make a cover and don’t have a sewing machine, I have a no sew pillow cover DIY on my blog. You can see it here: https://bit.ly/45TEIdg

  12. Just love those 2 faces above the fireplace xo

  13. Diane, you nailed it on the easy casual fall accents and pillows. I am excited to see if you do any black accents. Also, did you finish the basket with the hydrangeas using grey wash?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Laura – The color on the hanging basket is the original color. I bought it quite a long time ago at JoAnn’s fabrics when I lived in PA. Over the years I have hung it on my exterior doors as well as inside my home. It has faded a little giving it the weathered grey finish.

  14. Now I need to cue up “It’s Complicated” and watch! Fun post. I have piles of pillows and have just switched in a few burnt orange pillows for a touch of fall, along with my leopard print velvet pillows. Just says cozy to me.

  15. Love your cozy, warm home, Diane. It is like a hug and a mug of hot tea…so comfortable. I also love the sentiments of the quote you used. Ideas do seem to magically come together when we creatives see things.

    About your vases, have you thought of using either double-sided tape or glue dots and some pretty white-ish silk fall leaves to layer around the bottom 1/3 or so of the outside of the vase? What a long sentence!! Using double-sided tape would make it easy to change out for seasons or leave it in its original, beautiful state. Of course, you will have a brilliant idea of what to do!

    I’m glad you are loving South Carolina! As you may remember, I live in Spartanburg (Upstate) and love it. However, we are praying for cool weather!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Delanie – Thanks for giving me some great ideas for the vase. I like the size of it, but it just needs some more ooomph! I am looking forward to the cooler weather. Yesterday and today so far has been very nice here in the Midlands. I hope it stays this way as I love being able to have all the doors and windows open and a breeze blowing through the house.

  16. Looks lovely, Diane. I learn so much from your posts! Your home feels warm, cozy & still so cheerful too!!

  17. I love ‘it’s complicated’. Steve Martins pot smoking dancing scene kills me every time I watch it.
    Grandsons picture is sweet.A that hair!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – I agree with you about the pot smoking scene in the movie. It is one of the funniest scenes ever. I remember when I saw the movie when it first came out in theaters I knocked my popcorn over because I was laughing so hard. :-). It is an entertaining movie all around.