5 (Non-Cluttered) Fall Decorating Ideas

Seasonal decorating can be exhausting. Not just from the decorating itself, but it can be exhausting — and overwhelming — to see so much “ode to the season” piled on top of itself. In general, we’re trending more toward a minimalist mindset, in our homes, belongings, etc. So, in celebration of the onset of autumn, today I’m sharing five ideas for non-cluttered fall decorating ideas. Simplistic looks, practices, and suggestions that will give your home enough homage without making your house feel crowded.

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1. Do One Thing & Make It Count

Instead of small fall knickknacks, arranged into vignettes, try one single large statement. And then, let that be it. There’s still a place for arranged collections, but incorporating some areas that have single, large-scale items gives a bit of variation and visual rest. Too many vignettes can be… well… overwhelming.

You’ve already seen my entry moment, but this vase has worked well throughout the seasons as a stand-alone piece. As we move into the holidays where decorating becomes more of a sport, I’m grateful to have this tried and true, simple statement.

As an FYI, the faux stems are on sale for 20% off when you spend $100+ — you can find those HERE. You can also check out my other favorite faux stems for the season in THIS recent post — many of the branches are included in the sale.

SourcesPlum Faux Foliage Branches (I used ten branches here and they are currently 20% off on orders $100+.) | Large White Earthenware Jar | Bronze Mirror | Grey Three-Drawer Chest

2. Make Your Fireplace Practical

I am all for “cozy” — especially in family areas during the cooler months, but I’m kind of over blanket baskets on the hearth. Blanket baskets — yes! But on the fireplace hearth? Instead, I’m loving a simpler, more practical approach to hearth “decorating”. Instead of blankets or pillows, you can make the area just as cozy — but actually functional — by housing some of your firewood.

I’ve kept logs in THIS heavy brass beverage tub for a few years now and I’m still digging the look (and the practicality with how helpful it is). While it isn’t “soft and cuddly”, what’s more “cozy” than reminders of warm family fires?

White Living Room Decorating Ideas for Fall

Sources: Stoneware Urn | Faux Magnolia Stems (I used seven here.) | Brass Party Bucket | Fireplace ScreenPocket Watch Clock | Bronze Linen Pillow | Green Textured Linen Pillow (several colors are on clearance!) | Sofa | Wool Jute Rug (8 x 10′)

During the Christmas season, I vamp it up just a little more with some additional hints of evergreen nature. 😉

Fireplace Hearth Christmas Decor with Logs

Source: Brass Party Bucket

3. Use the Color RUST

Everything in design — just like fashion — is cyclical. From stark whites and cool grays, to now embracing more organic and earthy textures and venturing back toward contrast and a warmer palette, last year I started incorporating a little rust back into our house during fall. And I love it. I think this is going to be something we start to see more of this year and will likely continue on in heavier doses next year.

I love rust in its burnt orange glory but if you are considering “rust” but in a smaller/safer dose, you can get some of that same warm effect by tapping into the similar color family by using cognac leather, tobacco browns, and terracotta.

In our entry last year, I had a rust moment — both with an affordable texture pillow and a mum I basketed (yep, now a verb) and brought indoors…

Easy Decorating Ideas for the Home Entry for Fall

SourcesTufted Pillow | Rust Pillow | Rattan Storage Crate | Shallow Wooden Bowl (similar) | Upholstered Bench (similar) |  Wood Bead Garland

And I love this woven pillow on my mom’s bed. It has varying hues to downplay the rust and is currently on sale HERE.

Pottery Barn Labor Day Sales

Sources: Wool Textured Pillow (currently on sale!) | Quilt & Shams

I gave a small dose of rust on our living room sofa with a neutral, striped pillow, and the color tone plays well with browns, blacks, and whites.

Winter Sofa Pillows and Living Room Decor Ideas

SourcesRug (currently on sale!)| Sofa | Striped Rust/Neutral Pillow | Linen Pillow |Charcoal Textured Linen PillowCream Tassel Throw | Side Table | Floor Lamp | Wall Art | Woven Box | Woven Tissue Box HolderCream Tassel Throw | Side Table | Floor Lamp | Wall Art | Woven Box | Woven Tissue Box Holder

Here are some new pillows in the rust fam for the coming season I’m loving…

FALL DECORATING IDEAS- RUST PILLOWS

Row 1: Left | Center | Right
Row 2: Left | Center | Right
Row 3: Left | Center | Right
Row 4: Left | Center | Right

THIS is the pillow I have on my sofa, neutral with rust stripes. From my fave pillow shop, this is such a gorgeous but subtle touch of rust and really mixes well with anything. I’ve used it with both grays and browns.

THIS is the rust pillow from my entry — it has a zip closure so you can fill it with your fave insert. Here’s my fave down alternative insert that comes from Amazon in a variety of sizes. You’ll probably want to size your insert up by two inches.

I have THIS linen pillow (that comes in both 20″ and 24″) in a TON of colors — I think all of mine are the 24″ option. The apricot version is gorgeous and I use the bronze color regularly in my decor throughout the year. The bronze can be seen on our sofa in the image below.

THIS striped pillow mixes rust with other deep seasonal neutrals and is GORGEOUS!

If rust still feels too orange for your taste, here’s a look at how a little cognac pop can make things a little warmer…

White Living Room with Fall Decor Ideas

Sources:  Rug (8 x 10′) | Sofa | Coffee Table | Coffee Table Bowl (similar) | Leather X Bench | Bronze Linen PillowTextured Green Linen Pillow | Large White Urn on Built In | Large Vase on Hearth | Faux Magnolia Branches

In terms of terracotta, I’m still crazy over THESE terracotta beads

Fall Terracotta Beads

Terracotta Beads (image via product listing on PB)

4. Let the Centerpiece Speak for the Room

Similar to Number 1, sometimes all you need — even in the most prominent of rooms — is a statement centerpiece. Whether faux or fresh, you don’t even have to fuss with outlying fall-i-fied decor on the periphery if your attention grabber gives a nod to autumn. You can see how I created this harvest bounty centerpiece, from start to finish, HERE.

How to Create a Gorgeous Fall Harvest Floral Arrangement Centerpiece

Sources: Dining Chairs | Chandelier (similar) | Brass Pillar Candle Holders

Because I keep my kitchen working essentials on the countertops, I’ve found that my kitchen island looks best with a single large-scale item to contrast the smaller outlying tools.

Kitchen island centerpiece of eucalyptus and other ideas

Sources: Large Vase (currently on sale!) | Faux Eucalyptus Stems (similar) | Circle Art | Cabinet Pulls

5. Layer Up

This one may sound contradictory to the other points in the post of minimizing and simplifying, but it’s not about having more — it’s about layering what you do have. Collections don’t have to feel cluttered — as a matter of fact, some well tailored collections can feel like your home is curated and lived in. To me, that’s the ultimate “cozy” fall feeling. To feel like your home is collected, tells a story, and is lived in. So, the goal? Collected not cluttered. Stacks of books on the coffee table or bookshelf aren’t season-specific but they are homey.

Winter Shelf and Console Table Styling

SourcesConsole Table | Rattan Mirror | Garden Stool | Black Vase | Faux Magnolia Stem | Large Textured Vase (currently on sale!) | Small Textured Vase (currently on sale!) | Lidded Basket (similar

So is layering dishes and bowls. This one is easy to get carried away on though, so choose your moments in strategic locations 😉

Shallow Planters for Fruit Bowls

Sources: Round Pizza Paddle Board | White Ruffle Platter (similar and currently on sale!) | Round Mirror | Gray Footed Planter | Faux Artichokes (set of six)

Layering within vessels (bowls, baskets, trays…) is a way to show your small things and to keep it interesting, while still looking like a singular, simple piece.

Simple Home Decor Ideas for Fall

SourcesTufted Pillow | Rust Pillow | Rattan Storage Crate | Shallow Wooden Bowl (similar) | Upholstered Bench (similar) |  Wood Bead Garland

I toss plenty of throw blankets on the corners of sofas –especially during the cooler months — but a more streamlined, folded plaid throw paired with a throw pillow is a cleaner-cozy layer.

Styling a Sitting Area in the Living Room for Fall

Sources: Wingback ChairsLarge Round Vase | Textured Green Pillow Covers | Plaid Throw (similar

Here’s some simple vertical layering where I’ve tried to vary scale, keeping heavier items at the top and bottom. And while the surface is filled and varied, there’re really not much on it.

Sitting Area Setup in Living Room

Sources: Wingback Chairs | Pillows

Have you gotten your first Starbucks pumpkin something of the season? Have you made any shifts in comfi-fying your home yet? Are you a maximalist or are you more of a minimalist these days? I’m counting down the days to when we’re set to visit the pumpkin patch and I’ll be looking forward to my fall front door wreath arriving and getting our porch set! To keep up with projects in the coming seasons, be sure to subscribe to emails at the bottom of the post.

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16 Comments

  1. 8.31.22
    Debra said:

    Thanks so much for letting me know about the sale on the plum fall stems that you’ve tempted me with! And most importantly, for telling us how many you used in your vase. Will definitely be copying your good taste.

    • 8.31.22

      Debra, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and for your kind note! Those plum stems are the perfect element to welcome fall. I hope that you will love them!

  2. 8.31.22
    Jodi said:

    So nice to see something that doesn’t scream Halloween season, but autumn and cozy instead; simple and warm! I plan to use copper pots and planters with flowers in my decorating this year. Love all your ideas😊

    • 8.31.22

      Jodi, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for your sweet note. I love that we can start fall early and take it right to the Christmas season. I love your plan to use copper pots and planters — I know your fall look will be gorgeous!

  3. 8.31.22
    Linda said:

    This was such a great post with lots of information, including how many stems of something you used in a vase! This is so helpful when you want to recreate a piece. I am wondering what is the shade of paint you used in your living room. It appears to be a warm white. I am looking for a similar white in my living room so I am always curious about paint colors.

    • 9.3.22

      Linda, Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I am so happy to know this post was helpful to you. Our living room color is Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. Thus far, we are very happy with the brighter and lighter result in the room.

  4. 8.31.22
    Julie said:

    Kelley! This is a wonderful post and I’m loving the styling! Simple, but impactful. I like the textures, rust and natural colors coupled with natural materials. Nothing cliche or kitschy and I thank you for that. I’m so tired of over the top decor that looks like a Halloween store just upchucked. Way to keep it classy!!

    • 9.3.22

      Hi Julie, You are so kind and I really appreciate your sweet note. I love to decorate for fall in neutrals with subtle touches of color and the “new” rust seems to do the trick. It’s a nice color palette to enjoy before the holiday season begins. Happy September!

  5. 9.1.22
    Jennibell said:

    There is something about September 1, right? I have always always loved all the rust tones so it’s nice to see I can pull some out this year 🙂
    Thank you for your encouragement to “keep it simple“. I do find “too much“ to be overwhelming and like your ideas of just a few big statements. Happy fall!

    • 9.3.22

      Yes! Even though we still have warm temps in September, the changing of the shadows and early morning cooler temps has begun. I’m so glad this post was helpful to you. Happy fall!

  6. 9.1.22
    Sharon said:

    I always feel like I’m “home” when I visit you’re beautifully curated spaces!

    • 9.3.22

      Oh Sharon, what a nice compliment. Thank you so much!

  7. 9.1.22
    Michele M. said:

    You do it so well – truly looks amazing.

    • 9.3.22

      Hi Michele, I really appreciate you taking the time to visit. You are the sweetest supporter!

  8. 9.26.22
    Dianne said:

    My husband thinks when you buy something, it is there for all time! He married the wrong woman. I have projects lined up that he doesn’t even know about. Thanks for your ideas.

    • 9.27.22

      Dianne, Thank you for taking the time to stop by and for your note. You certainly brought a smile to my face today! I am so happy to know that you like my ideas and love that you have lots of projects lined up to do.