Decorating tips for autumn for a tight budget with ways to shop smart in clearance aisles and thrift stores + a full autumn home tour.
Happy Fall, y’all! It’s hard to believe I’m really saying that when it’s 80+ degrees outside. If you’ve never visited my little corner of blogland before, you should know, I have no idea what I’m doing. Like ever.
Decorating, home improvement-ing, blogging, mom-ing, I’m just wingin’ it and hoping to fly 99% of the time.
That might be apparent as I walk around with you in our house decked out for fall because this house and I are still getting to know each other. But one thing I have figured out is still shopping sales aisles and digging around at thrift stores and DIYing my little heart out to make it all work on a budget. So I thought it would be good to share some of my best budget tips to decorate for fall, if you’re gearing up for it.
Today, I’m joining in with one of my best blogging friends Rachel of Maison de Pax for her Fall into Home Tour. If you’re visiting from Shayna’s beautiful Colorado home at The Wood Grain Cottage, welcome! I’m so glad to have you here. If there was a way to hand you a mug of hot apple cider through a screen, I totally would.
Every year, I tell myself I’m going to keep fall simple and stick to neutrals and minimal pumpkin-y things, and then EVERY year I get excited and over-the-top and toss orange and gold and burgundy all over the place.
But I think the best part about fall is there are no rules.
If you do want a great place to start with some fall decorating ideas on a budget though, here are my go-to ways:
1. Baskets are your best friends, especially thrifted ones.
There’s just something about a woven basket or two that adds great warmth and texture to invoke “fall” while still adding storage. Win/win!
We use a woven trunk as a makeshift end table to store DVDs in our living room (because we still live in the stone ages and watch them). We keep a basket tray on our coffee table to collect our remote control and other random odds and ends we need to corral. And we use baskets to hold extra throw blankets. Because fall is for movie nights and snuggling, right?
One of my favorite things to buy at thrift stores is always baskets. The more textured, the better. And if you don’t like the color, you can always paint or white wash them.
2. You don’t have to stick to a particular color scheme. Just use what you have.
Since we have hints of blue already in our living room but I still craved some orange, I used both in here. Play around with blush or plum or coral or sage or whatever colors would work with your already existing decor.
I always thought years ago that I had to decorate with orange because that was the rule, and I’d try to reinvent the wheel in our house. Decorate with what you love and not because you feel obligated. Look through your decor stash and decorate with colors you already have. Because anything can say “fall” if you just throw in a white pumpkin somewhere, right? 😉
3. Go Faux. Reuse and recycle year after year.
Fresh greenery is so gorgeous, but for us, personally, it doesn’t make a lot of financial or practical sense to put fresh flowers all over the house since they usually die in a week or two and make a big mess. (And with an almost 5 year-old and a doggie running around, they wouldn’t last that long anyway.)
I’ve added a little bit to my faux fall greenery over the years by shopping after-season sales, and it’s paid off in the long run to reuse. I caved this year for these cute $1 fabric pumpkins from the Target Dollar Spot though.
If you’re lucky enough to have trees in your yard though, go snip some branches from those bad boys.
(Living Room Sources [affiliate links]: Woven Tray | Brass Candleholders (similar) | Marble & Wood Coasters | Leather Coffee Table | Blue Vintage Rug | Faux Pumpkins | Vintage Books | Coral and Sage Garland | Blue & Orange Pillows | Cream Knit Pillows | Wool Pillows | Kilim Pillow (similar) | Sofa | Chairs | Ceiling Fan | Sconces | Wall Color: Ben Moore Swiss Coffee | Door/Window Color: Ben Moore Wrought Iron)
4. Take advantage of free printables. Because freeeeeeee!
I found this set of vintage fall botanical prints that you can download in this post along with a whole bunch of other bloggers’ fall printables. Send ’em off to Staples or just print them from your own home computer and you’re set.
5. Dip into your decor capsule, the good stuff that never goes out of season.
I keep around lots of non-seasonal decor that can be used any time of year and just accentuate with little hints of seasonal stuff. Brass candle holders, neutral pillows, black lanterns, plain white dishes, ya know… the classics. So many of those classics can be found at thrift stores all the time too.
6. Think outside of the box in clearance aisles and thrift shops.
I found these antique banisters for practically a song that I created a wall planter out of and can swap faux greenery throughout the seasons. This framed autumn vegetable print is actually a $5 tea towel. And this copper basket tray came from the thrift store for a couple of bucks. Keep your eyes peeled in thrift stores year-round for fall decor too because people often purge in the off-season.
And sometimes the grocery store produce aisle has pretty, edible accents for fall gatherings. 😉
7. Bust out the metallics. And sometimes spray paint.
I love copper in the fall! Brass and gold are fun to incorporate and add warmth too. If you don’t own any, but have some cheap pieces that could use a makeover (like these dollar store votive holders and plastic chargers I made over last fall), a dose of copper spray paint can work magic.
I usually check TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Ross for copper decor too since it’s usually priced lower than most other places.
8. Incorporate warm fabrics. Catch them when they go on sale in the off-season.
Flannel, velvet, wool, cable knit, waffle weave, all that cozy stuff. I love finding pillow covers rather than buying entire pillows when I can to reduce storage space and save some mulah. (A lot of times, H&M has some for around $6.)
Because my favorite fall past time is hiding under 4 layers of squishy comfy blankets. What? Yours isn’t?
I feel like I should always follow every one of these home tour kind of posts with a disclaimer. If you’re sitting there wondering if we keep our house always clean and styled, I can promise you it doesn’t look like this on the day-to-day… really not even 95% of the time. But it does my soul good to clean the house and pull out the seasonal decor to enjoy it when I can, even if that’s only 1 day of the season and the rest of September – November has folded laundry stacks piled on our sofa.
A messy house tour really needs to happen soon just so I can show you what I really mean. But basically, don’t for a second compare your behind-the-scenes with this highlight reel. Promise? Okay.
Do you have any budget fall decorating tips of your own you like to use? Are you going the traditional (orange) color scheme route, the neutral color scheme route, or the unique and non-traditional color scheme route this year? I kind of wish I could do all three, but I’ll drink my pumpkin spice latte and dream instead. 😉
You can hop over to Danielle’s beautiful New England home at Finding Silver Pennies for the next stop on the tour or see all of the others here: