Fall is here, even if the weather may not feel like it. (It’s been 90 degrees here in North Carolina several days this week!) But while enjoying the beautiful leaves outdoors, we want the inside of our homes to look and smell amazing too. We also want to do it on a budget. I have several suggestions for ways to add some fall decor to your home, without breaking the bank, and without spending all day doing it.
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MAKING OUR HOMES SMELL NICE
First, whether we entertain or just hang out, we don’t want our homes to smell bad. However, most of the store-bought air fresheners contain a myriad of harmful chemicals that can disrupt our hormones. These artificial scents can also cause headaches. Even candles are not without problems. The paraffin wax used in most candles releases chemicals into the air. Burning indoor candles also causes pollution from soot and the added fragrances also release chemicals as they are burning. If you choose to use candles, try to find ones that are made from beeswax or soy wax and use essential oils for the fragrance. (Keep an eye out for my post, coming soon, on how to make your own candles using essential oils!) To read more about the dangers of artificial fragrances check out this article from Women’s Day magazine or this one by Dr. Axe.
Use a Diffuser
Instead of candles, we can keep our homes smelling nice by using a diffuser with some essential oils. Several years ago, I purchased my first diffuser after I started getting headaches from the chemical fragrances. At the time, I wasn’t even aware of the health effects of the air fresheners. I still wanted my house to smell nice so I purchased several essential oils.
I found several “recipes” online for various scents and I started using the diffuser with a few drops of essential oils. Our whole family loves our diffuser and now my home smells great. Plus, I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals being released into the air. Amazon sells many diffusers at various price points. This one gets great reviews and currently is fairly inexpensive, though I haven’t tried it myself. I purchased this one last year and we all enjoy the color changing lights though it does have a way to turn the lights off if you don’t like that feature.
My favorite brand of essential oils is Plant Therapy. You can order them directly online or some of them can be found on Amazon. Buying essential oils can add up quickly, so I recommend you start small and only order a couple at first. You can also buy pre-mixed blends which make it easy to add a few drops to your diffuser. I recently ordered Plant Therapy’s Fall Blends set which contains Spiced Orange, Autumn Breeze, and Pumpkin Pie. They all smell great, however, my favorite combination is a DIY blend that contains just 3 essential oils:
- 3 drops orange essential oil
- 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 1 drop clove essential oil
This “recipe” comes from Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead. This combination smells just like fall to me, and I like to diffuse it all season long. Jill has several more fall essential oil blends on her site that you might like to try out.
DECORATING FOR FALL
To keep it simple, I decorate for autumn, not specifically for Halloween and Thanksgiving. This means I only decorate once. If you like to decorate for Halloween, you can easily add a few Halloween themed items to your fall decor. I also don’t decorate every surface of my home. Adding just a few elements of the season can really make a difference. (Please note-I am NOT a home decor blogger. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest if you are into that level of decoration. I am just trying to help you make your home cozy for fall with minimal work.)
Budget-Friendly Fall Decor
For some budget-friendly fall decor, I hit up the Dollar Tree to see what I could find. They have an amazing assortment of flowers and leaves which make it easy to add some fall color to your home very inexpensively. Most dollar stores have many different vases and cups or mugs that can be used to hold flowers. They also usually sell ribbon and some even sell artificial fruits and vegetables to decorate your home.
Dining Room Table
One of my favorite ways to add some fall decor to my home is to put some flowers on my dining room table. I prefer 3 smaller arrangements down the middle of the table instead of one large arrangement you can’t see (or talk) over. Purchase several sprigs of flowers and cut them apart and arrange them in each of the three vases (or mason jars). Instant fall color for your home. After the autumn is over, you can re-use the vases for other seasons. I have three white vases that I use for all my dining room table flowers, no matter the season. I also keep the artificial fall flowers (and all my flowers, actually) in a tote together. Then when I want to change out my decor, I can pick from flowers I already own, instead of buying new ones.
Mantle or Coffee Table
Another area of my house that I like to decorate is my mantle above the fireplace. You can arrange several strands of fall leaves around your current decor to dress up the mantle for fall. Adding a few gourds or pumpkins would be a nice touch as well. Any remaining flowers from decorating your dining room table could also add a touch of the season to your mantle or a coffee table.
One last thing I like to do to bring some coziness to my home is to bring out a couple of light blankets. Thrown over the back of the couch or the arm of a chair, a blanket adds instant warmth to a room and they are wonderful to snuggle under on a chilly night. You may already have blankets that will work in your home or many stores carry cute ones around this time of year. If you need new ones, Amazon has some really nice fleece blankets that look super cozy. You can usually find ones with designs to match the season or you can use a neutral color that will carry you all the way to spring.
Free Fall Decor
Another way to decorate for fall is to take a hike together as a family and collect fallen leaves and pinecones. You can place the leaves around your home or string them together to make a garland. The pinecones look great in clear vases or placed among some leaves. They make fabulous winter decor as well. Interesting sticks can be added to vases and you can usually find some greenery to cut as long as you don’t mind changing it out frequently.
Hopefully, this gives you a few simple ideas to bring the beauty of fall into your home. I would love to know what you do to celebrate autumn. Leave a comment and let me know.