Early Fall Decorating Style Starters

Ready or not, fall is on its way! Get a head start this year on your fall home decor planning with these budget-friendly ideas. Then, when autumn does arrive, you’ll have a fall decorating plan in place to easily transition your home from warm summer vibes to a cozy, comfy fall feel.

Coming into the fall season is a favorite time for many of us home lovers. I think it is the comfy-cozy aspect the season that makes us eager to even start thinking about it in August. We are getting tired of the heat and humidity and thoughts of welcoming fall into our homes is one way to get the heat off our minds.

It doesn’t feel at all like fall around my house, in fact as anyone who lives in the south knows…. the heat will stick around well through October.

Although my mailbox tells a different story.

The first signs of fall have begun to arrive in my mailbox in the way of home decorating and fashion catalogs.

Living room in August getting slowly transitioned to fall.

The catalogs make for great mindless browsing while relaxing on the beach or simply chill-laxing on your porch or patio enjoying a summer afternoon or evening.

I usually find inspiration in the catalog pages that get me thinking what I can make myself as well as how I want to decorate my home for the fall season.

I went into decorating action yesterday after browsing through Pottery Barn’s Fall Lookbook. It gave me the inspiration to start playing around with adding a few warmer colored and textured pillows to the sofa in my living room while still keeping the summer blue pillows. I liked it, transitional, but not totally fall yet.

Then I headed outside to save a few still not “dried to toast” from the heat hydrangeas blooms. There weren’t many, but I was able to get enough to fill the hanging basket hanging in front of the fireplace cover I made using the wood panels of an antique file cabinet.

Just a few touches in the direction towards fall without going all out yet.

When To Start Decorating For Fall

So if you are asking, Is it too early to decorate for fall?

I would say no, but it is not too early to start thinking about it.

3 pillows lined up on a white sofa. One is summer blue and the other two brown and beige to slowly add warmer colors to the room.

When to put out fall decor is a personal choice. Over the years I have slowly transitioned from summer to early fall, then to full autumn over a few weeks time.

DIY concrete look finish on planter and rustic aged decorative acorn.

I have also paired back quite a bit when decorating the house for the fall season. I used to have bins full of fall decorations, faux apples and gourds, wheat stalks, and more including Halloween, but with each passing year, I have been giving most of it away.

The novelty and orange decorations were beginning to feel too fussy and unnecessary to me.

Wood door covered fireplace with a black window sash on mantel, white sofa and pillows in fall colors.
Simple Fall Mantel – Painted Window Sash

What feels better to me now is simply creating a warm and cozy feeling by adding some fall color, and dried foliage as well as textures around the house and less about bins of stuff.

leopard print pillow on white sofa.

I found this classic leopard print throw pillow cover I made years ago in my decorating stash. To me is says comfort and fall just as much as an autumn-hued tartan plaid pillow.

Fall Home Decorating Style Starters

My favorite fall decorations are now much simpler… like piling acorns or pinecones found on a walk in a bowl, lighting the first fire in the fireplace and getting out the fur throw blankets from the closet to place on the sofa. ( I do have to admit – the fur throws pretty much stay out even in summer as they are so nice to cuddle under when the AC is on high. )

Here is my list of 11 things you can start planning or doing right now to ready your home for fall once you are ready to decorate for the season.


Edit The Fall Decor You Already Have

If you have bins full of fall decorations, now is a good time to go through it to decide what you like and don’t like anymore.

Sell or donate what you don’t want or need anymore.

Also look through your all-season decor stash in search of warmer colored objects.

For instance, this collection of vintage doorknobs are not typical fall decorations, but when gathered together, they have a warm look to them that says fall to me.

3 pillows lined up on a white sofa. One is summer blue and the other two brown and beige to slowly add warmer colors to the room.

As I mentioned above, mix in a few fall colored pillows to your seating with your summer pillows for a warmed up end of summer look.

3 fake flicker candles on a coffee table at dusk

Gather Candles

Now is a good time to look for battery-operated flicker style candles that may be on sale.

Bundle of Birch logs in a large basket in a fireplace.

Keep An Eye Out for Items Made from Trees

If you have a birch tree or any tree for that matter in your yard, you can trim the branches and save them to use in a vase, place in a basket or to display in an unused fireplace.

If you have a fireplace – birch logs look nice piled in a basket. You can buy them at the craft store now before they sell out.

styling a coffee table

When out on a walk and you see a small tree trunk down, bring it home and cut it to use as risers for your smaller decorative accessories.

Green moss globe on floor in whitewashed terracotta pot.

Look Around Your House

Look at every surface to come up with ideas on where to place fall decor or a pumpkin come October.

Shop Your Yard

Flowering plants or hydrangea blooms with faded color look nice when used as fall florals or in wreaths or centerpieces.

My hydrangeas are no longer vivid pink and purple. I have found if you cut the drying stems from the bushes now before they get brown and then place the stems with fading leaves in a vase of water they will retain whatever color is left that looks aged, but not dried and all brown.

Driftwood stained wood bead garland for Fall with colorful raffia tassels.

Start and Finish a Fall Project

August is the hottest month of the year in most parts of the country. If it is too hot to sit by the pool or relax outside, why not begin to make a simple fall wreath or decoration like a raffia tassel to use to accent a mantel, a door knob, or key hanging from a drawer.

The tassels are easy to make and you can find many colors of raffia at the craft store.

White dishes and Roman numeral clock in cabinet

Large Platters and Plates

Look in your china cabinet for plates, platters and more to create a new fall display and a warm welcome in your kitchen or dining room.


Plan a Trip to the Thrift Store

Search for white covered books there or books that are of a similar size that you can paint any color or cover with textured fabric.

Use them as risers for small items you want to put into focus. Or get crafty and make a stack of books with a favorite fall saying or quote.

Once fall is over, remove the fall saying and use the books to add height to a lamp or vase on a table.

Removing handle and shim reeds on a wicker basket that will be used for cheap, but decorative storage

Never Overlook a Basket

While you are at the thrift store look for square or rectangular wicker baskets with handles that you can easily remove to make chic storage organizers to use in any or every room of your house.

Repurposing ideas using old furniture

Wood Cutting Boards

When out shopping at places like HomeGoods and Target, keep an eye out for breadboards and cutting boards.

Breadboards of any shape give any style kitchen that comfy-cozy feeling.

Decorating uses brown paper bags

Kraft or Brown Paper

Begin to save brown paper bags from the grocery store – When mums and fall plants start to be sold everywhere, you can make a free planter cover to hide the plastic pot.

Now you can see that even though it may be too early to start decorating for fall, it is the perfect time of year to start thinking ahead and planning for it.

What are your favorite ways to transition your home decorating to fall?

living room with a few early fall accents added.

More Fall Decorating Ideas

Leave a Reply

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


  1. Great suggestions and photos, Diane! I also like to slowly roll out the pared-back fall decor. That’s the way Fall actually shows up, in fits and starts anyway!

  2. Caye Cooper says:

    Really affordable ideas, Diane. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Hi Diane, I agree with you too much of the Fall decor is just too fussy for my tiny house. BUT… I love Halloween decor and do the outside and the inside 10/31. So I struggle with Fall vs. Halloween decor–do you start with some simple fall decor (say in September?) then move into Halloween in October and then Fall with a touch of Thanksgiving in November? I have enough Halloween I want to put it up at the beginning of October but here in CA it’s not fall-like either in September. So the struggle is real! I love a lot of your ideas. I knit “acorns” and use the little cap of the real ones for a bowl full of colorful acorns.

  4. Anna Coblin says:

    OMG!!! I love everything! Everything looks perfect for this summer!

  5. Lots of great suggestions; I also like to add apples and plaids to incorporate thoughts of back to school.

  6. Thanks for these great ideas and instructions. While August is usually warm in Northern Michigan it cools off fast after the second week in September. I’m with you on not overdoing the decor for fall. You always have great affordable ideas. Thanks!

  7. Love this post! Slowly and with lots of natural elements. I’m not ready yet though 😊. It was 115 here in AZ yesterday 🥵

  8. Wonderful ideas! Thanks so much! I use your idea of displaying pine ones on candleholders so this fall I’ll use them for small pumpkins!

  9. These are such great ideas. I am in Michigan, too, and Fall is my favorite season. I am looking forward to more cozy nights with hoodies and my patio heater and outdoor lights on the deck and fires in the fire pit.

  10. Nice Photos how can i contact with you guys ?

  11. John Donovan says:

    These fall home decorating ideas are simple and easy to execute. What’s great is that in order to enjoy them, you don’t need to change your existing décor. They fit well with most color schemes and styles.

  12. Gloria Andre says:

    Hello Diane Henkler,very nice

  13. Stephanie Mitchel says:

    Great ideas! I’m goping to decorate my house thisa weekend and your post gave me great ideas. I love adding fresh flowers to my fall decorations and I’m choosing again a new color fall mums. And can’t wait to receive my copy of Susan Branch’s new book – just ordered it. Greets!

  14. Elaine Williams in Baltimore, Maryland says:

    I LOVE summer (yes even the heat – we live in Baltimore). I steadfastly refuse to accept that summer is over until I can no longer get in my pool. Last year I made it to September 21. After that I like to wait until at least the first frost to consider decorating for Halloween.

  15. Thanks for introducing me to Susan Branch and to Ina Garten’s apple crisp!

  16. I don’t know what I am doing wrong but I can’t get the pdf to download! Love your home and reading about all that you have done to your new home.

  17. Diane | An Extraordinary Day says:

    The last two days here in Michigan we have the first cooler weather of the summer. Our summer has been perfect temperature wise, so this little cool snap definitely gives things a September feel, already. Tonight I was at the dollar store and noticed they had some fall items and I picked up some faux leaves and some unusual and large picks. That’s the beginning for me…. but my eyes are on the mums I saw at the grocery store so maybe I caught the bug. ;) Thanks for all the lovely tips, Diane. You are always so creative and inspiring.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Diane – I am excited to see mums and pumpkins soon too. In Michigan I bet you are seeing many more signs of fall than I am, but the temps have dipped over the weekend here in SC to mid 80’s. I am looking forward to being able to open the house up and turn the AC off, but I am sure we will still get some more 95 degree days. I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Writing that makes it sound so official – end of summer. Enjoy adding the fall touches around your house with your new leaves and fall florals.

  18. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    I can almost smell the pumpkin spice! You’ve shared some wonderful ideas for fall….I just want to go to the lake a few more times before I start decorating! I do love Susan Branch’s books….so inspiring!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  19. Noooo… it can’t be fall, we haven’t had a real summer yet… LOL

  20. Well… I wasn’t ready for fall, but your post did kind of make me look forward to it! It really is a magical time of year. Our Sacramento summers are long like yours so when real fall comes, it is such a treat! Adore Susan Branch- thank you for sharing about her autobiographies. I’m adding them to my reading list.

  21. Marcia Brinkley says:

    I love painted books. I spray painted some black and others gold. I mostly use them to display Hummels and other small knicknacks on bookshelves. I also use them as bookends by piling a few next to the upright books. I like the white ones you did so will try that next. As far as transitioning from summer to fall, I don’t do much of that here in Hawaii. A few pumpkins on the front lanai, maybe, but that’s about it.

  22. I am so excited about Susan Branch’s biographical books. I didn’t know about them and will be ordering them soon. Thanks for sharing. I’ve purchased many of her other books, especially the cookbooks and they are fabulous. Love her artwork and comments.

  23. Great ideas! I too love the Susan Branch books and her style. Did you know she has a website too with many great ideas? It got political a while back but other than that has been so enjoyable to peruse. Now you’ve got me wishing for fall. We too watched the spectacular total eclipse over Lake Murray – sitting in that heat! Wasn’t it beautiful?!