How to: Transition your home from summer to fall
Follow these helpful tips for decorating, storing and organizing your home for the fall season.
When the fall air arrives, it’s a natural time to transition your home for the cooler temperatures winging their way to an evening near you. “With every season comes subtle changes in the home,” says Toronto decorator Laura Collins. “While a fresh coat of paint is quite an extreme approach to seasonal decor, interchangeable throw pillows, cozy blankets, and fall inspired florals, might be a perfect solution,” she says. We also caught up with Calgary-based professional organizer Jennifer Zagorsky for her take on prepping for September and beyond. These experts share their tips for decorating, storing and organizing for the season.
Bring in “fall” colour
Fall decor doesn’t have to be the obvious “warm” colours, says Laura, such as oranges, reds and burnished yellows we associate with fall. “Choose pillow coverings with neutrals, and metallics in bold prints, such as ikat, and animal prints, for a sophisticated twist,” she suggests. In terms of flowers and plants, instead of summer succulents, opt for deep purple orchids, and protea, which are hearty and beautiful and come in many colour variations, she says.
Transition the outside of your house
You needn’t add a scarecrow to your front yard to signify fall, Laura jokes. She suggests keeping it beautiful and sophisticated outside with flowering cabbage, herbs, and kale, vibrant merlot-coloured reds and purples, and for the front door, a simple boxwood branch wreath that will be hardy throughout the winter. In terms of organizing and tidying, there is much to get to work on when summer comes to a close. “You’ll need to put away the patio set, gardening tools, flower pots (if you’re not doing any winter arrangements) and hoses (don’t forget to turn off your external water supply),” says Jennifer. Give the grill a good scrubbing, and purchase a proper cover for it to save it from wear and tear, she adds. Tackle the kids’ outdoor toys, “donate or sell any items they didn’t use this year and pack the rest away for the winter. And if any toys require batteries, take them out before storing them for the season,” she says
Tackle the garage
“Get your garage in order so you can actually park in there when it’s cold! That’s what the garage is for,” says Jennifer. Garages do indeed suffer a lot of abuse in the summer, and things get messy in there. “Get heavy-duty shelving and weatherproof bins (avoid clear plastic bins in the garage as they tend to crack in cold weather) to organize and store items that need to be stored in the garage,” Jennifer says. Storage sheds need to be organized using as much vertical space as you can by adding wall hooks and shelves, and you can consider adding beams overhead to lay items across, she adds.
Turn to textures and layers
“During the summer months, a Turkish throw is light and breathable, but when the air turns crisp, throw a chic faux-fur trimmed blanket over your sofa and cuddle up with a chai latte,” says Laura. She loves layering cozy and unexpected textures in the colder months. “I throw sheepskins on all of my summery printed chairs, for texture and to create a warmer vibe,” Laura says. Candles also get incorporated into her home as she doesn’t have a fireplace. “And I love to incorporate different flowers in metallic vases to amp up the glam a little further,” she says.
Swap summer-weight accessories for winter-weight items in the bedroom
Fall is a great time to freshen up your bedding. “Not just the look of it with a new duvet cover or pillow cases, but the actual pillows and duvet. And consider the weight of your duvet – you may want to buy something heavier or add an additional blanket or throw,” she says. To further perk up your bedroom, think about changing up artwork, even if it’s just to rearrange what you already have to give it a fresh look, Jennifer says. “You can also update any wall photos with great shots from your summer vacation. Get those photos off your phone and onto your wall to give you a lift during those cold winter months,” she says.
Review your clothing
“Clean up your front and back entry by getting rid of any summer shoes and jackets and replacing them with fall and winter ones,” says Jennifer. “Clean out any clothes you didn’t wear during the spring and summer months and review the items you have for the upcoming season. Get rid of anything that you don’t wear, doesn’t fit or you just don’t feel good in,” she says. “And when you're cleaning out your clothes, take the time to look at what you're using to store your clothes. Do you have the right furniture? Do you need a larger dresser? Should it be in your closet or in your bedroom?” Show your closet some tough love, and buy the right storage containers and furniture to suit your needs.
Add hints of nature
Fall is a favourite season for many of us. So if you really embrace the colours, smells and indeed the very atmospheric essence of fall, then add more of it to your interiors. “Add more nature-themed decor into your home,” Laura says, but do so in more subtle ways, such as using acorn finials on your drapery rods, or candleholders with botanical motifs. Or choose a sunburst mirror in a rich gold tone, and add tortoise shell, and rustic wood bowls for function and decoration she suggests.