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Fall Living Room Decor Ideas That Save Money and Time

10 fall decor ideas for the living room that save time, money, and storage space + fall decorating mistakes you should avoid.

Apparently, once the kids are back in school, I get the itch to go on a fall cleaning spree cleaning sofas and throwing around fall living room decor.

Sure, it may be 90 degrees outside, but when you live in South Carolina where it’s 90 degrees through October some days, you sort of get used to decorating for fall while living in denial anyway.

fall living room decorating ideas using soft lighting, fall art, fall leaves, and neutral pillows

Fall Decor That Saves Money, Storage Space, and Time

Over the years, I’ve learned a few lessons from season to season to decorate smarter, not harder. Why buy decor that you can only use for 2-3 months out of the year? (Am I starting to sound like my mom or am I just learning a thing or two with age? Maybe it’s both.)

The 10 fall living room decor ideas in this post are all meant to save you money, time, and storage space to create a cozy home you love without reinventing the wheel each time you decorate.

Most of the fall decorating ideas in this post can be used in other seasons of the year while still creating a warm, inviting feeling perfect for crisp, autumnal weather.

Disclaimer: There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting pumpkins all over your house and filling up every bare surface with pops of orange, yellow, and red if that’s what makes you happy. Decorating your home should always be a reflection of what brings you joy. But if you want to make your seasonal decorating easier and cheaper, this is a great approach...

fall living room decorating ideas using soft lighting, fall art, fall leaves, and neutral pillows

Curate a Capsule Wardrobe

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

When you choose your fall decor wisely, you’re able to…

  • Spend less time decorating for a new season
  • Use less storage in the off-season
  • Save money so that each decor piece gives you the most bang for your buck
  • Have flexibility for creative freedom because all of your decor pieces work together in many different combinations

In fashion, stylists call it a “capsule wardrobe”, which is a collection of clothing composed of interchangeable items only, to maximize the number of outfits that can be created with minimal clothing pieces.

Except, in this case, it’s wise to take a capsule wardrobe approach to seasonal decor instead of just clothing.

This is how I used to decorate for fall:

fall living room decorating mistakes with pumpkins
fall living room decorating mistakes with pumpkins

Do you see what I mean? Pumpkins everywhere, fall garland on the mantel, orange pillows that I only used for 2 months, etc. all shoved into bins in our attic that I’d have to haul down and put away every September and November.

But these days, while sticking mostly to a capsule wardrobe in our home, 95% of our fall living room decor can be used year-round.

Less decor = more time, more flexibility, less money, fewer storage requirements

fall living room decor with fall TV art and a vase of leafy stems

Area Rug | TV Art | Throw Blanket (similar) | Fall Leaves | Vase (old – similar linked) | Brass Footed Bowl (thrifted – similar linked) | Amber Candle | Finer Things Coffee Table Book | Down to Earth Coffee Table Book | Fireplace Screen | Frame TV | TV Bezel (beige) | Sofa | Recliner | Sconces | Linen Pillow | Curtains | Curtain Rod

fall decor on a coffee table with vase of fall branches, candle, brass bowl, and books in front of white couches

Fandelier | Coffee Table (Facebook Marketplace find – similar linked) | Gallery Wall Art (free printables) | Picture Frames | Concrete Figurine (thrift store find – similar linked) | Table Lamp | Lamp Shade | Linen Pillow Cover | Skinny Striped Pillow | Floral Pillow | Textured Striped Pillow | Waffle Blanket

How to Keep a Capsule Mindset in Fall Decorating

Neutral or Non-Traditional Color Palette

Think about choosing a color palette in vases, pillows, and throw blankets that are neutral.

Or use decor items with non-traditional fall colors like pastels, jewel tones, or shades of blue/green that flow with the rest of your home’s color palette.

Stay Away From Fall-Specific Images

Pick decorative objects or patterns in textiles that aren’t fall-specific like pumpkins or turkeys or have fall-specific sayings so they can stretch on into winter or spring.

pumpkin patch sign on a cabinet

Consider Longevity

Before you buy a piece of fall decor, ask yourself, “How can I use this item in my house once fall is over?”

The goal is creating a warm, comforting vibe with plenty of versatility, and the end result feels more refined than using items marketed as specifically “fall decor” in HomeGoods or Walmart.

Pumpkins are cute and all, but are they going to require a lot of extra storage space and time changing out decor beyond September-November?

10 Fall Living Room Decor Ideas That Save Time, Storage, and Money

1. Choose Neutral Pillow Covers

Pillows are a quick way to change the entire look of your living room, but they can be pricey if you’re buying a bunch specifically for fall.

Pillow covers are generally less expensive than buying entire throw pillows, and they require less storage space if you do change them out in other seasons.

neutral throw pillows on a white couch with subtle end table decor and lamp

But by going neutral with throw pillows and staying away from ones with pumpkin graphics or fall wording on them like “Happy Fall”, you can use them on into winter or even spring/summer.

Add interest to the room by playing with patterns and fabric textures instead of fall-specific features. Here are tips to mix and match pillows, and these are some of the best fall pillows to transition to other seasons.

Do something like this:

neutral fall pillows on a white couch in a living room decorated for fall

Not this (how I decorated for fall years ago):

fall pillow with pumpkins on a porch

Or this:

fall pillow with Thankful and beaded wreath

Now, by choosing pillows without those pumpkin graphics and fall sayings, I have the flexibility to use them all year long…

window seat in a living room with neutral fall pillows

2. Let Brass and Copper Accents Shine

I always keep an eye out for brass or copper bowls, boxes, or decorative accents to use on coffee tables and end tables. It adds a feeling of warmth and reflects the glow from candles.

Plus, bowls and decorative boxes come in handy as functional coffee table decor for storing remotes or odds-n-ends that end up scattered around the room.

If you don’t have luck at the thrift store though, look around your home to see what you might already have to paint. These are my favorite gold spray paints and this is my favorite copper paint.

fall decor on a coffee table with vase of fall branches, candle, brass bowl, and books

3. Go for Good Quality Fall Leaves Instead of Berries

Pretty much the only fall-specific item I will buy just for the season is faux fall branches, but I steer clear of any branches with fake berries made of styrofoam. Usually, styrofoam berries don’t hold up well year after year.

I’ve found if I get fall stems that are good quality for around $14-18 (as opposed to stems from the dollar store or the cheapest ones on the craft aisle), a little goes a long way.

I usually only need 2 or 3 of the good quality stems in a vase instead of 7 or 8 of the cheaper stems. Preserved fall branches are great too (you can even dry your own fall flowers).

Whatever vase is in our living room for summer, I just swap out the summer flowers and put a couple of fall stems in their place. Done. Fall decor complete.

fall decor on a coffee table with vase of fall branches, candle, brass bowl, and books

4. Add an Autumnal Print

If you have a Smart TV, you can do this art trick to add fall art to your screen from Etsy or free downloads on public domain archives. Now that we have the Samsung Frame TV, I displayed this autumn art download from Etsy for $3.

You can snag a few free art prints and fall art ideas to add to a picture frame on your wall here too:

For storage after fall, just move them to the back and enclose them with other art prints inside of the picture frame. It takes 5 minutes and requires no extra storage at all.

fall art on TV above brick fireplace

5. Put a Blanket on the Back of a Couch

If the back of your couch is exposed in your living room, make it an interesting moment by tossing a patterned blanket across the back.

I love that this plaid blanket adds a touch of coziness, and it works well there year-round.

plaid throw blanket on back of couch

6. Bust Out Thicker Throw Blankets

As the temperature cools down outside, put out a thick knit throw blanket in a neutral (or color that complements your room rather than just the season) to work all the way through spring.

leather recliner with knit throw blanket in a living room for fall decor

7. Use Candles for Coziness

One little candle can make an entire living room feel so inviting, and it’s great to have year-round.

Keep an eye out for unique containers in the thrift store that you can reuse for making your own candle like I did using this vintage candy dish and this antique brass canister with votive candles and half burned candles melted down to reuse the wax.

If you prefer essential oils though, this diffuser that looks like a candle adds a pretty glow to the room.

fall living room decor ideas on an end table with vase of fall hydrangea and candle

8. Balance Your Lamp Light and Use the Right Bulb

As it starts to get darker earlier in the evening, lamp light will add that cozy feeling better than any knick-knack in the fall decor aisle.

Try to balance a few lamps evenly throughout your living room. I prefer 3000K light bulbs because it’s clean and cozy without being too yellow or too blue. (We very rarely turn on our overhead lights in the living room because we love the glow.)

If you don’t have a floor outlet, you can use this flat extension cord that works safely under rugs (not all do). Put your lamps on a timer with this smart outlet plug so your lamps turn on automatically at dusk.

fall living room decor ideas with lamps and soft lighting

9. Embrace Baskets and Rich Wood Tones

Lean into cozy textures with woven baskets for holding extra blankets or hiding toys.

Look for decor accents or furnishings with with warm wood tones that work year-round but especially drive home that welcoming feeling.

coffee table fall decor with vase of fall stems, candle, bowl, and books in front of white sofa with neutral pillows

10. Set Out a Few Books

Best fall activity? Curling up by a fire with a good book. Okay, well, that’s one of the best to me anyway… besides hayrides, apple picking, and all of the fall things.

Put a few books on your coffee table or living room shelves that encourage snuggling up with an interesting read.

fall coffee table decor with vase of fall stems, candle, bowl, and books
fall decorating ideas for living room with white sofas, lamps, and picture frame gallery wall

Those were probably the most simple fall living room decor ideas ever, but sometimes you just need someone to tell you, “Don’t overthink it.”

I’d rather spend less on good quality decorative pieces (or pick up good quality classic pieces from the thrift store) that will last years through many seasons than buy poor quality fall decor that causes limitations. But maybe that’s just me.

Unless they’re leafy autumn stems, I don’t like to spend much time or extra money decorating for fall. (Christmas, on the other hand, is a different story. 😉)

As long as home feels cozy, it feels like fall, right?

fall decorating ideas for a living room with vase of fall stems, fall art on a TV, and leather recliners

Fall Living Room Decor Sources

Ever since I started ditching my fall-specific pillows with pumpkins and signs with fall sayings, I’ve been so much happier with all of the decor in my home.

There’s a sense of freedom when you’re able to move around decor from room to room and season to season to create a new look in a space without needing to spend more or store so much of it.

And that’s the cool thing about a versatile “capsule wardrobe” approach when choosing home decor wisely.

Fall living room decor ideas using neutrals and items that can decorate other seasons

Got any other fall living room decor ideas you’d add?

Do you take a capsule wardrobe approach to your fall decor or to your home in general? The older I get, the more I crave minimalism. Is that just me?

More Living Room Ideas

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11 Comments

  1. Yes, I am totally on board with this idea! It very much aligns with the “cozy minimalism” concept I’ve learned from Myquillin Smith. You are two of my very favorites for sure! I do have a few faux pumpkins I love, but for the most part I have pared way down on the seasonal decor, and I used to go overboard in a big way. My home is similar to yours in that it has an overall autumnal feeling already in the main living spaces with lots of texture, neutrals, and warm wood tones, and I have also been loving and collecting vintage brass and copper pieces. I noticed a black and gold restroom sign in one of your photos on what I assume is your guest powder room. Do you have a source for that? Thanks for sharing!

  2. I totally agree! I find time with my people is far more fun than worrying about decor! I’ve been making the shift to capsule decor for the last few years…it’s a work in progress!

  3. Haha! Maybe I am the only one but I am still using the botannical prints you posted all those years back. They fit my cottage/traditional style very well. And I just LOVE pumpkins! But, as you always say – decorate however makes you happy in your own home. <3

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