The unmistakable chill in the autumn air triggers my instinct to pull out my coziest cashmere, burn woodsy-scented candles (like Diptyque’s classic Feu de Bois, this “steal” from Terrain and this made-in-the-U.S.A. one from Sydney Hale Co.) and give my home a mini fall makeover. It’s amazing what a few fresh textiles and dark-hued colors can do to transform a space. Check out my four (seriously easy!) seasonal decor DIY tips that work for every interior (note: I originally created these for a feature in AM New York, but they only included a few of them, so I decided to share the complete list here!):
1. GO DARK.
One of the hottest trends for fall — in both the interiors and fashion worlds — is dark, rich colors, such as inky blue, dark forest green and deep burgundy. Create a dramatic feature wall (that won’t be too much of a project or a commitment) in any room by painting it a dark hue (I love the bold fireplace approach above). You will only need a small amount of paint to pull this off, but you will need to do at least two coats to get the full depth of color. To boost the glam factor, when the paint is dry add an ornate mirror or a collection of photos offset by bold frames (gold looks extra luxe with these deep shades). My paint picks: Sherwin Williams’ JASPER is the best green; Benjamin Moore’s AFTER MIDNIGHT is the best blue; Sherwin Williams’ MERLOT is the best burgundy.
2. LUXE BE A LAYER.
Layering remains one of the hottest fashion trends, so it’s no surprise that this look is also having a major moment in decor. My favorite instant update: toss small, inexpensive sheepskin or faux-sheepskin rugs over either indoor or outdoor chairs (I will be doing this at The Anchor House on the screened porch!). White is always elegant, but black looks particularly chic…check out Ikea or Urban Outfitters for the best buys (or check out your local Home Goods off season — I found two gorgeous black sheepskins for next-to-nothing last summer).
And/or, update your couch (or bed or chairs or bench) by draping it with a thick, cozy throw blanket (I love this fringed one) and then adding throw pillows dressed up in fresh textures and color (no need to buy new pillows; just look for fun covers — try cable knit, velvet, or embroidered — that easily fold up for off-season storage).
3. MAKE AN ENTRANCE.
Nothing welcomes you (or guests!) into your home like a cozy, charming entryway. Even if you don’t actually have a foyer (hello, NYC and cottage-owning friends), you can decorate like you do. Add a small area rug just inside the door to define the space. Create a feature wall to further delineate the area (see #1 above for color inspiration). Put a fall-themed wreath on your front door. Put lamps on dimmers for instant atmosphere. While you’re at it, add dimmers (easy, plug-in convertible cords are available at Home Depot) to all of your lamps to create an elegant, warm ambiance. If you need brighter lights for reading or tasks, turn on full-force; otherwise, keep at a lower setting all season long.
4. LET THERE BE LIGHT.
Invest in a few coordinating lanterns of various sizes (I feel safer in my apartment when candles are enclosed) to place in a cluster on a table top, windowsill, console table, coffee table or porch steps. Try Pier 1 or Pottery Barn for an eclectic selection, and use them all season (and year!) long — just switch up the details. For Halloween, instead of surrounding the base of a pillar candle with sand or stones, try a playful pop of candy corn. For Thanksgiving, opt for dark coffee beans or acorns. For Christmas, try mini glass ornaments, or simply add ribbons to the lantern handles.