Whether your vacation dwelling is a cabin in the woods or a home on the range, it’s always fun to decorate. With a second home you’re free to experiment a little more. Your vacation home is a place to have fun, so give it some personality and pizzazz. Explore the limits of your decorating creativity!
It won’t take much, and you can probably source a lot of the individual components like leaves, branches, etc right from your backyard.
Start with the large and broad areas like your dining room, and work your way down. As you get the overall look completed, it’s much easier to spot what you’re missing on the mantle, or on the couch, etc.
When you opt for a lighter palette of paint or wallpaper you have more flexibility when it comes to seasonal decorating. With a neutral backdrop, you can change the look of your home by adding bright spots of color with couch pillows, dresser scarves, sofa throws and curtains.
For fall you’ll want to go with harvest colors of rust, green and gold. Take your inspiration from nature, think autumn leaves and fall produce, and aim for a cozy feel of candles, hearth and home. Here are a few suggestions:
A centerpiece can be anything you want it to be, from a rustic basket brimming with apples, to a decorative jar filled with bright berries, acorns and pine cones. Utilize electric candles, floral arrangements, seasonal pumpkins or gourds and anything else that catches your fancy.
A table runner can also be a nice touch. Have your center piece be the main attraction, and use a runner with complimentary colors.
If you have too many centerpiece ideas, branch out from the kitchen table and decorate coffee tables, buffets, and any other inviting flat surface.
Coffee tables might be small, but unlike a dinner table, you can actually make use of the entire surface – without having to move decorations aside for meals.
A few candles, some leaves, and a handful of mini pumpkins can go a long way on a small table.
Windows, especially when surrounding the surrounding wall is of a neutral color palette, are a fantastic spot to introduce a splash of color. You don’t need much – a simple valance will do.
Something like the valance shown above pairs perfectly with kitchen windows. For living or dining room windows, solid colors would be a more elegant touch.
Here’s a space for your collections. Weave fall garlands laced with twinkle lights around antiques, photos and bare autumn branches. Vary your heights and sizes, and place décor items in groups of three.
Few things say fall quite like the scent of pumpkin spice! One or two scented candles on the mantle will do the job.
Mantles are long and narrow, so it can be a challenge to fit larger objects. To fully accentuate your mantle, try some tall picture frames.
Fall is one of the best times to decorate your porch. How about a wheelbarrow or wagon filled with cornstalks and fall produce. Line your walkway with late-blooming mums and colorful pumpkins.
Hang a leafy wreath on your door and gather a collection of garden tools with colorful handles. Don’t forget the scarecrow.
The larger the porch, the more you can fill it without having it look too busy. Try to keep a balance of colors though. You don’t want too much rust, or too much green, etc.
For a more contemporary look, add a splash of white or cream. Buy cream-colored pumpkins – or paint them, use white flowers or plant pots, etc.
Treat your backyard as an extension of the porch. Whatever works on the porch, will work beautifully in your yard as well.
Do you like buckets of flowers? Great – add four or five. Do you like wagons? Try a wheelbarrow. Anything that you felt was just “too much” for the porch will easily find a spot in the yard.
Most backyards have tables as well. Perfect – add a centerpiece!
Seasonal accent pillows
Decorative pillows are a conveniently quick way of adding to whatever seasonal theme you’re trying to convey. You don’t necessarily need pillows featuring pumpkins or brown leaves.
You just need a little flair of fall colors! Rust, orange, brown, green – all of these can add that perfect pop of fall color to an otherwise plain background.
The fireplace is great for the no-so-delicate decor pieces. Anything iron, anything heavy, anything rusty – you get the picture.
On the other hand, if you don’t actually light fires in your fireplace, decorate however you’d like.
With the rest of the large spaces decorated, let’s focus on your kitchen. Most kitchens are already cluttered with appliances, containers, etc., so we don’t want to add to that clutter. It’s better to replace some everyday common items, with fall themed substitutes.
Do dress up the oven, try adding some fall dish cloths or tea towels.
Spruce up your sink, or window sill with some fall flowers and leaves.
And if your kitchen has an island – that’s a great spot for a centerpiece (or two).
Finally, add some of that great pumpkin spice scent to your kitchen by replacing your usual dish soap with a pumpkin spice dish soap – like this one from Williams Sonoma.
It’s the perfect way to interject a fall spice aroma, without adding more candles or items to your kitchen.
For a complete look, don’t forget about your powder room. You don’t need to go all out here, just a few simple additions.
Maybe a fall scented candle, or some guest towels. Perhaps some fall flowers, or a few mini pumpkins.
When in doubt, err on the lighter side. A powder room is a relatively small space. There’s a fine line between elegantly decorated and tacky.
Other fall favorites –
Line mason jars with fall leaves and illuminate with a tea lights.
Fill antique watering cans or painted buckets with berry laden branches. Got an antique milk can? Fill it with dried sunflowers.
For seasonal wall art, dry large maple leaves between the pages of a book. When dry, press between two panes of glass and seal together with colored linen tape.
Remember, decorating is all about making your home a comfortable and inviting place to be. By surrounding yourself with things you love, you can make your vacation residence a cozy home away from home.
Don’t be afraid to make things different. Make a vacation home feel like an escape from your daily life. With new scenery and surroundings, you’ll feel more refreshed when you return back home.