5 easy fall decorating tricks designers swear by - that cost next to nothing to achieve

Try these design ideas that will help transform your home for the season and give it an autumnal twist

A dining room table with lit candles
(Image credit: Nicole Franzen, Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

Fall is officially here and we're ready to fully embrace the season, pumpkin spiced latte in hand. A perfect way to cozy up your home and give the space an autumnal twist is to switch up your home decor to reflect the changes in weather outside.

I've spoken to the designers to get their hot tips on how best to reflect the season and smoothly transition into the cooler months on the cheap. Here are the five top tips for upping your home's seasonal fall decor - and where to buy on a budget.

1. Go big with the foliage

A kitchen decorated with a large vase of autumnal foliage

(Image credit: Derek Swalwell. Design: Studio Tom)

The easiest way to bring fall into the home is with oversized branches and foliage. From discarded branches to evergreen ivy and furs to twigs with berries and holly, going for a tall display will bring fall to your home in a sculptural way.

'Incorporate autumnal dried florals, elevating spaces with nature's palette,' says Artem Kropvinsky, founder and principal director at New York studio, Arsight. 'Integrate berries in décor; their rich colors and textures exude fall vibes effortlessly. Display branches without leaves in tall vases too, mirroring the bareness of autumn trees.'

'As fall approaches, I often shift around the interior design elements of my home, swapping summer flowers for wild branches,’ agrees interior designer Ming Thompson of Atelier Cho Thompson.

2. Try a festive wreath or garland

A tablescape floral garland

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

An elegant garland of nature's bounty is another great way to get a taste of the season into your home. You can either buy a ready-made garland or get crafty yourself. I always like using gardening wire, stringing along red leaves taken from the backyard, making sure there is no wire in sight, and laying the piece decoratively on the table.

‘The most frugal and fun strategy to bring the colors of the fall into your home is as easy as inviting nature indoors with vegetation and floral centerpieces,' says Juan Carretero of Capital C Interiors. 'A fall centerpiece can elevate any dining experience.'

For a less formal statement think about fall floral garlands in your kitchen, a place where we sometimes forget to decorate. 'Flowers will transform your cooking area into the most homely, cozy corner of the house. This time of the year you can use dry florals you won’t have to constantly tend to. Hydrangeas in particular work well, but sculptural branches, pinecones, and acorns,’ says Juan.

3. Browse your bookshelves for autumnal reads

A coffee table with a stack of books

(Image credit: Arsight)

Use what you already have and go through your bookshelf, picking out autumnal-colored spines to create a beautiful color scheme on a curated coffee table. When decorating with books, go for a blend of sunset colors - so reds, browns, yellows, golds, and oranges, creating a beautiful stack that brings that fall color pop.

Take autumnal reads as inspiration as well, picking books that have seasonal content. Cookbooks about autumnal produce or winter travel books are a nice nod to fall.

4. Awaken the senses with fall candles

A dining room table with lit candles

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

Scent is such a powerful thing and can really level up your home. Creating a scentscape adds another dimension to your interiors. Enlist the help of candles that omit evocative aromas - think ginger, cinnamon, and other warm scents.

Candles can also create pools of glowing light and the perfect candle holder adds a decorative touch when used as fall table decor, like this example by interior design studio Homework.

'A great way to bring fall to the home is to curate tablescapes using berry clusters alongside candles for intimate fall dinners,' says Artem.

5. Set up a home bar tray to celebrate the season's holiday

A living room with autumnal colors and home bar tray

(Image credit: Keita Turner)

A big part of the fall period is the start of the holiday period. With October and the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, our homes turn into festive spaces to entertain and celebrate with friends and family. I love the simple addition of a home bar tray to usher guests out of the cold, with a drink to warm the cockles. This example by New York-based interior designer, Keita Turner makes a welcoming addition to a coffee table.

A styled bar cart or simple tray can be a great way to give your home a festive feel. Investing in a home tray is a cheap addition, and can be inexpensively decorated with amber-tinted glassware, warming festive liquors, and a sprig of berries to finish off the look.

'Styling a bar cart or tray can be fun and easy,' says Bethany Adams of Bethany Adams Interiors, 'since the main players are the things you actually need to serve drinks.'

'Start with your larger liquors in the back, and neatly arrange glassware and cocktail-making accouterments on the top shelf. If you can fit a vase with seasonal flowers, or greenery do that - just make sure to use something tall so that it doesn't get in the way of making drinks.'

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.