Friday, August 25, 2023

Cottage Review: Tips to Transition to Fall...the longer version!

Hey friends, I have a little bonus blast from the past today. Unless you've been hiding in a deep dark cave to stay cool this last few weeks, you've seen a bunch of posts on saying "tootles" to this long hot summer and embracing the concept of fall and cooler temps.

Last week I shared a short and quick version to kickstart our motivation to start thinking about fall, but today I'm bringing out the longer version to give us a few more ideas and details of my process. It's no secret that fall is my favorite time of year and I drag it out for several months. There's "early fall", fall and "late fall" which includes Halloween through Thanksgiving. Because it's a big chunk of time with a lot of weather changes I like to give it a lot of thought. 

Here are some of the ways I start the decor change up to Fall.

1. Look to Nature for the Color palette. My first consideration in whatever I might be using for this time of year, I bring out the colors of  Late Sumer and Fall. This means looking to the Harvest-y colors of nature. Golds, deep greens, browns, a little orange, deep reds and purples. I let the season dictate the colors I use. Think about golden maize colors, garden produce at the local farm stand, Maple leaves starting to change, prairie grasses, and Hydrangea blooms taking on their last metamorphosis of color. Even if you prefer whites and neutrals, I think it's good to have a touch of seasonal color to add to the backdrop. One year I did an all neutral Fall d├ęcor and I was totally depressed. Just a little color, even pastels help to set the stage for a seasonal reset.

The casual eating area in the Garden Room always has a colorful seasonal tabletop grouping.

The sitting area in the Garden Room always reflects the seasonal color palette.

2. Texture and Warmth in Textiles with Quilts, Pillows, Throws and Bedlinens. As the days and evenings cool a bit it's time to bring out the cozy throws on the sofas and chairs, more comfy pillows, fabrics with a warm cozy feel, and an extra quilt on the bottom of the bed. Take the opportunity to bring in those seasonal colors in your layered fabrics. You can use warmer and more coarse textures and fabrics as you head into Fall like grain sacks, burlap, cotton/wool blends and heavy linens.  As we move further into Fall those light colored textiles can be exchanged with woolens and darker colors. I love Pendleton blankets and Scottish woolen "throws" so those come out as Fall progresses.

Using seasonal colors and themes with decorative pillows is a real favorite of mine. It's easiest if you have actual pillow covers you can change out while using the same pillow form. I really love decorating with new and vintage quilts for the seasons. Having my little sitting area with a wicker settee has been fun through the years in having a place to display quilts and pillows. Using a quilt on the back of a sofa or love seat or even a chair, can bring in color, pattern and texture that's fun for Fall. 

The Hearth Room is another spot for decorative pillows, quilts and throws.

Early Fall Hearth Room with Kilim Pillows

3. Florals, Plants and Arrangements that reflect the season. One of the easiest ways to transition to Fall is to change up faux floral arrangements to keep pace with the flowers that are common with late Summer and Fall. I like to see seasonal and natural looking florals whether they are real or faux. Keep flowers, fruit and natural  elements seasonally current. Hydrangeas are my favorite decorative flower, since they can be used for each season. Adding sunflowers and leaves to a bunch of dried summer hydrangeas or faux blooms can easily take you into Fall. Then, later in the month add some Fall leaves for more color. Mums are starting to show up in late August and faux mums can now be found that look just like the real deal.

I keep this big ice cream bucket filled with seasonal faux flowers throughout the year. Mixing hydrangeas and sunflowers is my go-to look for late Summer into Fall.

This Italian metal basket is a fixture on my dining room table. It has a base of moss and ivy, then I change out the faux florals throughout the season. Hydrangeas and sunflowers always show up in late summer to early Fall, then stick around until late October.

Dried early summer hydrangeas mix with faux hydrangeas in the Garden Room.

A late Summer grouping of cut hydrangeas from the garden show off their gorgeous green, mauve and purple hues.

4. Seasonal Prints and Wall Decor. New and vintage prints and wall decor can do a lot to change the feel and vibe of a seasonal home. I've always loved vintage prints so I tend to lean in that direction. I keep this in mind when strolling the aisles of an antique shop or vintage market. Favorite Fall pieces for me would be fruit prints, still life prints, paintings with a garden theme, and landscapes that are done in earthy colors.

The  Entry Console is a spot I change up frequently. Small vintage prints that are seasonally appropriate are rotated as the calendar changes.

Late August Entry this year.

A few years ago.

Mid September Entry

The mantel is another spot that is easy to change up for the seasons. Small prints and paintings usually accessorize the other seasonal pieces. My vintage "French" mirror stays here, but other pieces can be added.

This sunflower print has been on the mantel this late Summer/early Fall.

Later in the Fall season I swap the sunflower wreath out for this Fall leaf and pear wreath.

Antique Fall Botanical in an oak frame.

5.  Table Runners and Table Linens. I like to keep my Dining Room tabletop seasonal by using a table runner that's in autumnal colors. In the Fall I gravitate to darker neutrals and heavier textures. I've mentioned before that I'm lazy when it comes to table runners in the Dining Room, so I just buy a length of fabric and fold and press it to the right width. Super easy and if I ever prefer to use the fabric for something else like curtains or pillows it's at the ready. 

One of my favorite runners for Summer and early Fall is using a large piece of indigo ticking.

Late Summer arrangement with ticking tablerunner.

This years farm table with a European grainsack.

Grain sack fabric.

I was using this length of grain sack fabric with the old window box full of hydrangeas in Fall colors at one of our previous homes. 

This is one of my favorite easy table runners for Fall. It's just a piece of 3 yard fabric folded down the middle in shades of grays, rust, and golds.

This floral fabric print is what I'm using this year in the early Fall season...

6. China, Pottery, and Ironstone. Going along with colors and table linens using table settings that reflect the season is another way to bring in the feel of Fall. I don't have a lot of dishes, but I really love Transferware and have several pieces of Brown and Red. During late Summer and Fall, the Brown transferware pieces get top billing, whether I'm displaying them in the China Cupboard or using them for a tablescape. Take advantage of harvest gatherings and Thanksgiving by bringing out the seasonal china and pottery pieces.

I love to display my dishes, china, and pottery in the Holiday Cupboard. I keep this seasonal with a color palette and collectible pieces.

A display with my Brown Transferware as a base, from last year in the Holiday Cupboard.

My Brown Transferware pitchers are are a great way to decorate for Fall.

A late Summer buffet using brown transferware.

No matter the season I love incorporating my pieces of ironstone. It works for any season and color palette.

7. Create Seasonal Centerpieces, Vignettes and Tabletop Displays. Whether it's a simple bowl of seasonal fruit like apples, pears, pumpkins, or hedge apples, or a grouping of cloches, be sure they reflect the season. Using dried leaves and Bittersweet vine can go a long way to add some "Fall" to your everyday transitional vignettes and displays.

A grouping of pears in a basket or bowl is a great way to ease into Fall without going all out "Pumpkin Crazy".

But when mid September rolls around, I'm ready to bring out the pumpkins!

A tapestry stuffed pumpkin nestles in a vintage ironstone compote. 

Ironstone small pitchers on the buffet in the Dining Room.

Late Summer cloche with bird.

8. Bring out your Seasonal Collections: anything in multiples such as squirrels, chipmunks, sheep, villages, pumpkins... they look perfect for a Fall grouping.

I love sheep and incorporate them throughout the seasons in displays and fun vignettes.

9. Fragrances and Aromas of the Season. I love the yummy aromas of Apple Pie, Blackberry Cobbler, Pumpkin Bread, Caramel and Cinnamon... those are some of my favorite smells of the Late Summer into Autumn Season; not a coincidence that those are all flavorful and nostalgic aromas that come from the kitchen. I like to bring in Harvest aromas of nature during the Fall; earthy smells of woodsy campfires and Fall leaves with candles, room diffusers, potpourri, and if you can enjoy these home baked goodies for real, then all the better!

Walnuts and acorn naturals with leaves and pumpkin spice candles...

10. Don't forget the Porch. Fall is such a fun time to decorate the front porch and deck. Clean out all the dead summer pots and grab those Mums as soon as you can. I know they start showing up here in late August. I try to buy mums in their various stages of bloom. I find the ones that have just a hint of bloom are just as pretty as those in full flower. Keep your ferns alongside for greenery, and when the pumpkins and gourds hit the market stand, I say "more the merrier". Can't do live plants? then find some realistic faux mum bushes for some color instead. Enjoy the cooler evenings on the porch with decorative pillows and quilts too.

A wicker door basket that I use each Fall is filled with faux hydrangeas, sunflowers, and a few darker coneflowers with berries. It's the perfect way to easily go from August into September. 

We have seating areas and a potting bench on the back porch. So it's fun to add a little seasonal touches to the setting. 

I'm always in a hurry for September and for Fall to get here. I love the Autumn season so much it's worth it to get ahead of things just a little. It's never too early for me to start thinking about the transition to Fall. Keep these little tips in mind when you feel the urge to embrace the idea of Fall. And no matter what the season, these same little tips can take you into the next season, just use the colors and flavors of the season you're heading into. Have fun this next few weeks making the transition from Summer to Fall!

Here's the short version post from last week, if you're having problems getting motivated for September.

Did you get a chance to see my last post?

joining in here:

The House on Silverado,  Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
 Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life   Wonderful Wednesday at Eclectic Red Barn
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode,  Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin's Kottage
Share Your Style at French Ethereal,  Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home,  
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  
Farmhouse Friday at  County Road 407



  1. So much beautiful Fall inspiration Debra! I love the Hydrangeas and Ironstone too :) Hugs- Tanya

  2. So many great ideas to bring fall into your home Debra. The temperatures have yet to cool off around here. I am afraid we have another two months of this terrible heat. I just hate it. You always know how to make your home look picture perfect for every season.

  3. Hi Debra! I enjoyed seeing all of your lovely pictures of fall decorations! You have so many wonderful ideas I would love to share this with my readers in our weekly newsletter on Friday! Happy Day, Donna

  4. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! YOu know how I love your fall decor and I am so wanting to get our new house looking pretty for the season, but there are still power tools everywhere and I am majorly down in the back from the long car ride to New York and back! UGH! I am scheduled for Marty's tour next week so I have to get some things done this weekend. I am also emotionally adjusting to my boy being gone to college but keeping busy will help I know! Miss you and will catch up soon!


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