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Decorating Diva: Welcoming fall into your home

Welcome to Decorating Diva, where every week we share fresh, fun ways to update your home and spice up your living space! We may not be thrilled that summer is over (seriously, how did that happen so fast?), but that’s no reason to turn our backs on fall. Autumn is upon us, so why not embrace this crisp, cool season with open arms? We’ve put together some simple and stylish ways to help welcome fall into your home.

Decorating Diva

Expert transitional tips

We turned to Kim Salmela, home décor expert and designer for home furnishings brand Hotel Maison, to get her tips for injecting some fall flair into every room. “Because of the economy, it’s not always realistic to make major updates when a season changes, but there are subtle things you can do to help bring the season of fall alive in your home,” she explains. She shares some of her ideas with the Decorating Diva below.

1Embracing autumn

Since moving from Minneapolis to L.A., Salmela says her idea of fall has changed. In the Midwest, of course, there’s a greater transition, with the weather cooling down and physical changes to the outdoors, but regardless, in both places she craves being outside. “I focus some of my decorating on my backyard. My backyard becomes an extension of my living room, complete with a daybed and pillows and warm throws that I bring in and out,” the designer says. “There is nothing better than cuddling up under a faux-fur throw outside on a crisp night.” She suggests thinking about your outdoor space as an extension of your living space – even as fall approaches. In short, “get outside as much as you can!”

Embracing autumn

2Use fresh flowers

This is one of the simplest accessories you can add to help bring the seasonal tones into your home, Salmela says. Since fresh flowers change with the time of year, it’s an easy and natural way to shift from the pinks and bright oranges of summer to colors that are earthier for fall, such as deep reds, burnt yellows and deeper plums. She suggests putting large leafy branches from trees and bushes in your yard in big glass vases on tabletops instead of floral arrangements, and changing the branches as the colors turn to keep your indoor space transitioning along with the season.

Use fresh flowers

3Add seasonal candles

Another easy seasonal transition is to change the scent of your candles from the light florals and beachy scents of summer to those that have a hint of spice or heavier aromas. “Nothing says fall like the smell of pumpkin and spice,” says Salmela. We like the spicy scent of Fruits & Passion pink pepper and anise candle ($12), packaged in a cute ceramic pot, but choose whatever scent reminds you of autumn.

Add seasonal candles

4Switch bedding and blankets

Make subtle changes like trading your lighter throws and blankets for faux-fur and heavy knits to bring a cozier element into your home for fall. “Just the simple task of replacing your lighter cotton throw in your bedroom to a thicker hand-knit one will have you dreaming of chilly nights by the fire,” Salmela says. Cuddle up in the plush grand chenille throw from Pottery Barn ($79), which comes in several seasonal shades including cardinal red, espresso and metal gray.

Switch bedding and blankets

5Focus on fruits and veggies

In your kitchen, you can keep a large bowl of fresh fruits and veggies on the island or counter to represent the transition from summer to fall. “Not only does it look pretty, but it’s another way to bring a design element into your home that has a seasonal flair,” Salmela says. In the summer you might have a bowl stocked with lemons, limes and oranges on your kitchen table, but in the fall the same bowl can hold small squashes and pumpkins – great for just decorating or for adding to that Thanksgiving feast.

Focus on fruits and veggies

6Trade towels and pillows

In your bathrooms, shift your towels from summer whites to darker, richer colors like burgundy, plum or ochre to bring about the feel of fall. Pillows are also an easy-to-change – and not too expensive – accessory that can be easily adapted for the fall season. Pillows in the summer, for instance, can be cotton or linen-based with neutral or bright colors. For the fall, pillows can take on heavier fabrics, weaves and blends, and should pull in more rustic tones that help bring the fall season alive in your home. We love this chunky-knit, oversize pillow in navy from Crate & Barrel ($139), a warming addition to any couch or chair.

Trade towels and pillows

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