Fall Decorating: Making Your Home Feel Like Autumn Using the Five Senses

Are you are the type of person that doesn’t have the space to keep bins and bins of fall seasonal decor stored away? I don’t have the room to store tons of autumn decorations (or any other season). The good news is, you can still transition your home to fall using the colors of fall that you find outdoors. You can also bring in fall cues that stimulate the senses, the smells, flavors and the feeling of fall.

Autumn is my favorite season. I love the crisp air, the smells of cinnamon and pumpkin, and all of the gorgeous colors that are unique to this time of year. Get five tips for transitioning your home to fall using the five senses.

1. Sight -Bring the Look of Fall To Your Home On A Budget

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to bring the colors and scents of fall into your home. The first step is letting go of any preconceived notions about what an autumn-inspired space might look like. Many people think that their living room must be muted in tones of red, orange and yellow for it to be fall, but it can be any color that matches the outdoors where you are.

visual cues for fall

For example, this year I decided I wanted to use pink, cream and copper. Copper always makes me think of fall and pink looks so pretty with copper. This fall I’m bringing out the few copper things I have and spray painting others using a copper spray paint (like the candle holders next to the mirror). Spray painting is such a quick way to change the color of inexpensive decorations.

spray paint copper

I also like to bring in fall touches from the outdoors, especially if it’s something that has staying power like a fall branch. There are tons of ways to bring in fall foliage without spending a fortune. You can use real moss or faux silk leaves on top of bookshelves, hanging from the chandelier, lining your windowsill or on your mantel.

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2. Sound – Add The Sounds Of Fall

The music that reminds me of fall is Harry Conick Jr. Specifically the soundtrack from When Harry Met Sally. Do you have certain songs that make you think of fall? I bet if you close your eyes something will come to mind. You can also go to Spotify and type in “cozy fall” and it will bring up playlists with ideas. If not, here are a few ideas for you (but don’t hate me if you don’t share my taste in music😢):

  • Autumn Leaves – Eric Clapton
  • In My Life – The Beatles
  • One Headlight – the Wallflowers
  • September – Earth Wind and Fire
  • Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
  • Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
  • Landslide – Fleetwood Mac

Did you know that music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses. If you don’t believe me, read this article from Psychology Today about the power of music.

3. Smell – The Scents of Fall Are An Easy Addition

Scent is one of the strongest of our triggers that fall has arrived. Does cinnamon evoke October for you? For me, it makes me think about crisp apples and coffee with cinnamon spice. Even if your house doesn’t smell particularly seasonal, you can make it feel like fall with a few simple scents. You can do this with candles or essential oils.

smells of fall pumpkin spice latte

4. Taste – Bring Back Your Favorite Fall Recipes

Fall means pot roast is back. This is my favorite school night meal. I love the smell and the feeling of coming home to a meal that’s all ready. From my childhood, fall meant my grandmother’s cinnamon pastry strips that she made from the pie crust leftovers and my mom’s oatmeal cookies. What recipes does your family have every fall?

5. Touch – Add the Cozy Feeling of Fall

When the weather starts to get cooler, I like to change up my bed by adding a warmer quilt at the end. I also like to bring out the bulkier throw blankets (like this one from Target) for watching TV at night on the couch. It’s also time to bring back hot apple spice tea at night.

Fall decorating can be effortless and affordable even if you don’t have lots of “fall decor” in storage. There are many ways to transition our homes to fall even if we are limited by space for decorations. I have a small, old Craftsman Style home with no storage space. I was able to transition it to fall all the five senses to bring in the season instead of a bunch of expensive decor.

Try adding something that reminds you of fall in each of these areas: sight, sound, smell, taste and feel. This approach to seasonal decor was inspired by my favorite seasonal decor book, Welcome Home. I have read several of Myquillyn’s decorating books and her approach speaks to me like no other decorating book.

Before you go, you might like 5 ways to decorate for Fall on a budget or fall color palettes without orange. .

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  1. I love When Harry Met Sally and watch it every fall. You are spot on with all of these for me … I’m the same decorating naturally, cinnamon smells, etc. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I just love fall, and these are great ways to really experience all of the wonders of the season! I am already thinking of bonfires, and hayrides and all of the senses those will touch! Now you have me thinking about other holidays, like Christmas and peppermint and hot chocolate and the smells, and the tastes! What a fun idea this is!

  3. Andrea, a snake?! Oh my! I never thought about using all the 5 senses for fall decor. It’s still so hot here but beginning September 1, I will be decorating. I love those candlesticks by your mirror. The fall is also the time I’m happy to be back in the kitchen~making apple pie and all the things that make the kitchen smell good. Thanks for such a wonderful post…now I’m dreaming of cooler days. And I have that Target throw-thanks to you. I love it.

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