Whether you view it as a welcome shift or a bittersweet transition, fall has arrived, and with the autumnal equinox comes the annual push for fall decor. You know the kind — apple cider-scented candles, mustard-yellow accent pillows, anything and everything pumpkin. This transitional season always feels fleeting, so the onset of temperate weather, delicious fall produce, and cozier aesthetics is certainly cause for celebration.
If you're anything like us, it may be tempting to completely switch up your home aesthetic with the change in seasons, but which autumnal decor items are out of date, and which are worth the investment?
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With autumn coming in hotter than a pumpkin spice latte, Hunker consulted interior designers for their insight into which fall decor trends are overdone, out of style, or downright tacky — and which styles they're most excited to see in homes this season. Here's what they had to say.
1. Too Much Fall Decor
There are no shortage of options for seasonal decor, especially now that autumn is in full swing. As easy as it may be to switch out every accent pillow and snag all the cheeky signage, Justin Williams, owner of Atlanta's Trademark Design Co., cautions against going overboard. Instead, spring for a handful of multipurpose items.
"For example, a pumpkin is great for fall decor, and in a fun family project the same pumpkin can be used as a Halloween jack-o'-lantern," he tells Hunker. "I think what makes this worth the investment are the fond memories made with family and friends." Bonus points for any decor that can last throughout different seasons.
2. Items That Scream FALL
Lorna Gross, owner and designer at the Maryland-based Lorna Gross Interior Design, steers her clients clear of decor that overtly references fall, such as accent pillows with pumpkins or art with skeletons for Halloween. Instead, she's a big fan of incorporating objects with seasonal colors for a more tasteful (and less obvious) take on fall decor. "Subtlety is a winner!" she tells Hunker.
Williams agrees, citing the dreaded "It's fall, y'all!" signage as a prime example of what not to purchase. "While I appreciate the memo, I get the weather every day on my phone," he adds with a laugh. "We can pack those signs up or toss them out."
3. Bowls of Potpourri
Scented potpourri was once a fixture of fall decor in homes across America, but Williams says its heyday has come and gone. "People loved using it as fall decor, on a table as a centerpiece, or in other areas of their home," he explains. "It's definitely a thing of the past." As an alternative for tabletop decorations, he is particularly fond of pampas stems, which look more elegant and add warmth to a space.
Another more contemporary option could be fresh, seasonal flowers, which Gross loves utilizing throughout the year. "Accenting the home with bright yellow mums and other botanicals works very well if you'd like to acknowledge that autumn is here," she says. Again, subtlety is key.
4. Indoor-Only Decor
Even though temperatures continue to drop, Gross expects to see prolonged use of outdoor spaces, such as patios, porches, or backyards, throughout the fall. "This movement began during the pandemic and [remains] popular," she explains. As such, she recommends incorporating indoor seasonal decor and outdoor accents for a cohesive aesthetic. Something as simple as incorporating an ochre-colored blanket or chaise cushion into your outdoor seating area can do the trick. (If ochre's not your vibe, mustard and umber are two additional hues on Gross's radar this season.)