Quick and Easy Fall Decorating on a Budget

Put down the Pumpkin Spice and step away from the scarecrow.  Just because fall is finally here doesn’t mean every room in your home has to smell like pumpkin and have a scarecrow knick-nack. Though my husband and I are about to tear apart our fixer upper and begin on some serious improvements in the next few weeks, I still wanted to welcome the season with some easy home décor. I set a tight budget for myself as I’d rather spend the big bucks on more permanent décor, like say, a new kitchen.

Even if you aren’t putting up décor just to take it down in a few weeks to renovate like I am (goodbye wood paneling and carpet), here are some tips to “fallify” your home quickly and on budget.

  1. Pick a Theme

By theme I don’t mean Thanksgiving or Halloween. In fact, decorating for these holidays will mean you have to decorate twice in a matter of a few months. By theme I mean an idea or color palette that you can carry through your home. For example, my home skews a bit traditional- so I opted for luxe patterns in rich colors like burnt orange and red. Sticking to a color theme is particularly helpful because you can incorporate some more budget friendly items (generic orange candles from the craft store) while you splurge on some amazing throw pillows and still manage have your home look cohesive.

  1. Focus on Areas That Will Make a Big Impact

Every room in your home doesn’t need an overhaul. I usually stick to 3 key areas that my family and visitors will see and appreciate: the front door, the living room, the dining room. Keeping the areas limited means less stuff is needed to decorate your home and less stuff means less money. Keeping the areas limited also means less time to decorate and undecorate.

  1. Utilize Fresh and Seasonal Items

Nothing feels more luxurious to me than fresh florals in a home. You can head to your local farmers’ market and buy a couple bunches of sunflowers for less than $10. Arrange the majority of them in a simple vessel on your dining room table, and place the remainder of them in bud vases in your living room. As long as you change the water every day, they should last for about 2 weeks. Pumpkins, gourds and apples are also great for decorating, and cheap! Pick only one of these items (for example, all apples) and group them in an interesting bowl on your dining table or line them up along your mantel.


Arrange a single flower type in a simple vessel to create a statement in your dining area. Pick some up at your local farmers’ market for around $10, or better yet, grow your own for next to nothing and have fresh blooms all season long.

  1. Repetition and Symmetry are Your Friends

My non-seasonal décor is a little more curated- I have interesting items on my mantel with varying sizes and color. A scattering of throw pillows on my sofa. My dining room centerpiece is layered and dynamic. But for seasonal décor? I keep it simple. Two matching throw pillows on the sofa. My mantel has a row alternating of pumpkins and candles. Items and color patterns repeat from room to room to create harmony. Symmetrical and repeating arrangements rarely look bad, are quick to accomplish and create a sophisticated statement.


Use a symmetrical arrangement of low cost seasonal items in a restricted color palette to quickly transform your mantel for fall.

  1. Layer on the Scent

Again, step away from the artificial pumpkin smell. Instead, combine some orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves with water and simmer in your dutch oven. It makes your house smell amazing, and will overshadow the fact that you didn’t decorate every last corner of your home.

What tips do you have for getting your home ready for fall in a flash?

About author View all posts

Rachel Gehrs

Mom. Wife. Designer. Want-to-be-foodie. Classic rock listener. Neat-freak. Black coffee addict with a wardrobe to match.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Confession: I started decorating for fall in early September. My theme/color is metallics. Our home is rustic so I chose orange, copper and a recycled gas can jackolantern to complement the decor. I found some realistic crows to ‘land’ in a few areas but focus mostly on our two main fireplaces and entryway. Target dollar bin is a great place to start!!! Etsy and TJ Maxx are my other go-tos. ??

  • Good tips! A favorite I’ve used for many years: fill a clear vessel with popcorn kernels-1 bag of the cheapest kernels you can find. Put Indian corn (3) standing up in the vessel (the kernels hold the corn) and spread the husks out so they fan out. Great for a fireplace or a centerpiece.

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