Expert Tips for Creating a Cozy Home for Fall
Yes! Fall has finally arrived after the heatwave that was summer 2021. The cooldown is a welcome change for the environment but also for design enthusiasts everywhere. There is something super exciting about re-imagining a home’s interior as a warm, cozy shelter from the elements. It’s not all that different from transitioning your wardrobe to include nubby sweaters, chic boots and interesting layers in longer proportions. It’s all about warmth, comfort and laid-back personal expression.
Since it isn’t altogether practical to completely transform your space each and every season, we put together a shortlist of design shortcuts that will help to create the cozy fall vibe everyone loves to come home to without too much effort and expense. Here are our favorite tips and tricks for getting your space ready for the season. Borrow away!
Photo credit: William Abranowicz for Architectural Digest
1. Pile on more pillows
Changing up your pillow game tops our list of the simplest ways to transition your space from one season to the next. To achieve a cozy fall vibe, look for colors and textures that lend more warmth to your space — deeper, richer hues in warm earth or jeweled tones, and textiles that are softer to the touch. Whether you add a few accent pillows to your current lineup or swap in a whole new set, there really is no easier way to signal the change of season in your interior.
In addition to using richer colors like earthy greens and blues, there are a few other designer tricks to getting that cozy seasonal look. Texture is one of our favorite ways to make a seating area look warm and welcoming. Simply adding another layer of pillows — in the same tonal family but a contrasting texture — to what you already have is a great way to achieve that cozy, inviting vibe.
Look beyond your sofa to kitchen seating and bedding to make this simple switch throughout your space. Oversized pillows on the floor can also create a cozy feel and an open invitation to gather around your coffee table for an impromptu game night. Cue the hot cider and let the cozy spirit of the season soak in.
Photo credit: Jenna Cooper
2. Think throw blankets
Give cozy throw blankets their moment in the décor spotlight by artfully draping or stacking them in your seating and lounging spaces. Nothing adds more instant warmth, both visually and practically. Think beyond the sofa and the foot of your bed to your favorite reading spot, office space and even a covered patio.
We think you’ll agree with us, throw blankets have never been as big a design statement as they are this season with a wow-worthy assortment of textures and knitted patterns to choose from. We’re beyond obsessed with the chunky knits, the exaggerated fringe and the cool, graphic patchwork patterns. Where and how you arrange them is up to your personal taste, but we have one major rule for mastering the throw blanket trend … make sure they’re always within reach, so getting your snuggle on requires virtually no effort at all.
Photo credit: Elle Decor
3. Switch to softer bedding
Nothing marks the shift in seasons like the ritual of switching your bedding to flannel sheets. It’s practically a rite of passage and one of the most welcome changes of the season in our opinion. All it takes is one crisp evening with a slight chill that wafts its way inside to inspire the desire for cozier bedding. Lightweight sateen and jersey knit just won’t cut it when the season of pumpkin patches and fleece jackets is here.
For an optimal night’s sleep in these cooler months, we like ultra-soft micro-flannel and -fleece, breathable cotton flannel and, of course, a flannel duvet cover for an added layer of plush warmth. There are so many on-trend colors and patterns this season. We like to mix a solid with a plaid or a graphic leaf pattern with a subtle stripe. Who says comfort and style can’t coexist? Yes, your bed can be the coziest and the chicest spot in the house.
Photo credit: Undecorated Home
4. Roll out more rugs
In keeping with this year’s maximalist trend prescribing that more is more (in contrast to the popular “less is more” design philosophy), we are loving the trend toward a layered rug look. A simple way to experiment with this fun design statement is to layer or stack a smaller patterned rug in the same direction or slightly angled over a larger neutral or solid-colored rug that you might already have in your space. A basic guideline is to stick with the same shape — square and rectangle silhouettes paired together and round and oval shapes grouped together. Or try introducing a sheepskin rug at the foot of your sofa or bed over an existing area rug.
Simply adding a rug or two can create depth, dimension and the coziest vibe. There truly is no wrong way to configure your rugs and multiple right ways to use floor covering as a way to add instant warmth to your space.
Photo credit: House of Jade Interiors; Photo: Lindsay Salazar
5. Turn up the texture
A simple way to warm up your space for the cooler months is to bring in more textural elements — in both your textiles like drapes, upholstery and floor coverings and your furnishings. Interesting, unexpected texture is a design pro’s secret weapon for creating dimension and contrast to give a space richness and depth.
In cooler months like we’re heading into, put polished surfaces like chrome, glass and marble on the backburner in favor of textiles made from natural materials like fleece, leather and wool. You can never go wrong with velvet, flannel and faux fur for instant warmth, but one of our favorite textural trends is the bold, chunky knits we’re seeing in everything from throw blankets to pillows and poufs. It’s warmth combined with a bit of whimsy which is a major design win-win. Texture is made for mixing, so experiment, create contrasts and, most of all, have fun.
Photo credit: Hillary Thomas, Architectural Digest
6. Invite richer color
It’s time to trade in the crisp whites and soft tones of summer for a richer, cozier palette featuring grounded earth tones and deeper hues inspired by natural elements. With camel, clay browns and bronzes stepping in as the new neutrals, there is an undeniable warm-up taking place. For the more color adventurous, we’re also loving the mossy greens, inky blues and saffron golds being featured for fall and beyond.
Whether you opt for a striking transformation like a change in wall color or making small changes with big impact by swapping in colorful new pillows, bedding and décor, it’s always exciting to bring home the latest trends of the season. This year’s palette is definitely more expressive and inspired, so get creative and put your own personal stamp on your space.