My Dos and Don’ts for Fall Decorating

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.]

My rookie mistake series is by far the most popular content on The DIY Playbook. It kinda cracks me up, because I feel like you guys are really looking for clear guidelines on what to do (and what not to do!) when it comes to decorating your home. And that’s totally fine by me.  I’ve made all of the same mistakes in the past and now I’m here to help!Fall decorating ideas for a cozy home

Today, I thought it would be fun to dive into my dos and don’ts for fall decorating. We’re still getting settled into our new house, so I have only made a few small tweaks around here for the changing season. But those small touches do make it feel a bit homier and  more festive. I have seen some people go waaaaay over the top to welcome in the new season and while I think it’s great to give your home some TLC, there are some fall decorating no-no’s I try to avoid.

Fall Decorating: Dos & Don’ts

My disclaimer for every post of this nature is that “you do you.” My rules aren’t the end all, be all, for home decorating. I’m just here to open your eyes to some small changes you can make to elevate the entire look of your home.

Don’t Forget the Front PorchFall decorating on the front porch

Fall decorating should start outside and I’m so thrilled to finally have a front porch to decorate all year long! I added some colorful mums to our front porch, along with new doormats and it feels so fresh and welcoming out here. Our fall front porchI still have big plans to paint the front door and swap the hardware (blog post coming soon!), but for now, these small changes make me happy! Oh, and come October, bring on all the pumpkins! I didn’t want to buy any pumpkins to put outdoors in September because the squirrels around here are crazy. I figured they might all be ruined by Halloween if I got them too early, but I’ll probably pick some up in the coming weeks (give me all your tips to deter the squirrels…).

I bought these rustic planters for some smaller mums on our stairs and I’m obsessed. The wood and black metal scream “FALL!” to me and you can’t beat that price tag from Walmart. These lanterns would also look amazing out here. Our new fall doormats

Because our front door area is pretty big, a regular doormat was looking like a postage stamp out here. I ended up buying this buffalo check outdoor rug to layer underneath a 24×36 doormat. I went with the 3’x5′ size for the buffalo check rug and it fits the space beautifully. Buffalo check doormat with layered monogrammed rug

I then added this monogrammed doormat on over it and I love the combination. Overall, our entire front area is looking festive and welcoming thanks to these small upgrades!

Swap Out a Few AccessoriesA new green tray

While I didn’t go overboard buying new items for our house (I’m still going through my boxes of decor from the condo), I did buy a few new accessories for our living room. Green key tray

I picked up this green tray from Walmart and it’s the perfect spot for our keys when entering and exiting the house. While it isn’t overly “fall”, the marbleized green finish adds some darker hues to our wood console. I love fall most of all

I try to change up our letterboard sign seasonally, so “I love fall most of all” seemed fitting for the next few months. I also recommend changing out your greenery when fall decorating. I’ll probably pick up some branches or wheat bundles from the craft store to swap out the faux eucalyptus in my vases. That’s such an easy way to bring in some fall warmth!

Don’t Plaster “Blessed”, “Thankful”, & “Harvest” Everywhere

You guys may have seen this no-no coming. I think the biggest rookie mistake I see when it comes to fall decorating is plastering words all over your house. “Thankful” pillows, “Harvest” kitchen signs, and “Blessed” wall art are rampant during this season. Eek!! I dove into this rookie mistakes in more depth in this post (highlighting why your home shouldn’t be so chatty!) and this blog post (specifically outlining the don’ts when it comes to coffee and wine decor), but I think it bears repeating for the fall season.

I love the sentiment of being thankful this season, but I don’t necessarily think you need to decorate your home with that word to drive the point home. If you’re looking for other fall wall art, this botanical flower set is gorgeous (plus, those fall hues are perfect!) as are these prints.

Don’t Forget LightingI love fall most of all

The days are getting shorter (nooooo!), but that means more time for cozy and romantic evenings at home. Lighting is so important (I have an entire post with lighting rules you can check out here), as it sets the mood for a home. Once the sun starts to set, the lamps around our house automatically turn on (Finn is all about making our house as smart as possible!).

I highly recommend adding some table and floor lamps to your living room so you don’t have to rely on overhead lighting. Layering in lighting makes a room much cozier and the overall atmosphere more flattering.

Keep it Cozy

Fall decorating dos and don'ts

As the temps drop, I pull out the heavier blankets all around the house. I like to keep throws draped on chairs and couches for easy access, so I can curl up and get cozy quickly!Cozy throw blanket

I recently added this cream blanket to our living room and it has quickly become a favorite in our household. It’s plush, soft, and I adore the sweater-like pattern. Adding cozy layers to our fall home

Along with chunky knits, it’s also fun to add in a few new throw pillows. Here are some budget-friendly ones I found from Walmart. I especially love this one with the leather detailing…so good!

Bring in Good Smellsfall stovetop potpourri

Last year, I shared this fall stovetop potpourri and oh my goodness it was quite a hit! This recipe is especially great if you go apple picking and end up with lots of extra apples (that’s how I created it in the first place). While adding good smells to your home isn’t necessarily “fall decorating”, I do think that scent plays a huge role in how your home feels! If you want an easier way to make your home smell like the season, candles are always a good idea. This salted caramel candle has almost 300 stellar reviews, so it must be a winner!

Don’t Show Ugly Candle Labelsfall candle holder

Once you buy some new candles for fall, use my trick to hide ugly labels. Simply take a knit sock, cut it, and pull it up over the eyesore of a label. It creates this cozy and custom candle holder that brings in more fall vibes. I dive into the step-by-step tutorial for this easy craft project over on this post, but avoid the decorating no-no of showing the ugly labels all around your home.

Fall Decorating Faves – Shop the Look

I ended up getting a lot of these new fall accessories from Walmart (free 2-day shipping on orders over $35). Here are some other favorite items I found from their Fall Harvest collection.

fall decorating on a budget

Rustic Planter // Cream Throw Blanket // Green Marble Tray // Wood Console Table // Gold Mirror // Knit Pillow // Leather Pillow // Botanical Prints // Salted Caramel Candle // Buffalo Check Rug // Monogrammed Doormat // Basket Trio

Have you decorated for fall yet? Do you love this season as much as I do?! I’m eager to go pumpkin shopping soon…


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.