Inside: Having trouble getting into the fall mood? My 29 best ways to create a cozy home atmosphere to savor the joys of fall!
Aaaaaah, the enchanting embrace of autumn, with its crisp air and stunning fall foliage.
Or so I’ve heard.
The simple turn of the calendar to September makes us run directly (in a cute pair of boots of course) for the pumpkin spice everything.
It can be a bit more challenging to get the fall feels when you live where it doesn’t really get cool until Christmastime, and the leaves are green one day and brown the next.
But we all love the snug fest of fall—some people just have to be a little more creative to bring the cozy vibes. Me. I’m some people.
If you are too, I’ve come up with a list of 29 simple ways we can set the scene to all enjoy the delights of fall in our homes!
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1. Create a cozy fall atmosphere with strategically placed seasonal decor.
The easiest and most obvious way to make your home feel fall-ish is with fall decor. It can feel awkward while it’s still warm outside, but there’s no need to blanket the entire house in pumpkins and orange if you can’t go there.
Here are a few simple decor ideas to ease into autumn, and the best places to put them that you’ll see all the time:
- Throw pillows on the sofa in a cozy texture or fall color palette
- Cuddly throw blankets to snuggle under
- A welcoming fall wreath on the front door
- Natural elements tucked in a bowl or tray on the coffee table
- A vase of fall branches on the fireplace mantel
Get more ideas from my fall tour last year along with 24 budget-friendly ways to decorate for fall.
2. Let there be soft light.
To create a cozy atmosphere, bring down the lights:
- Turn off overhead lights and use lamp light instead. (Use a timer to have them come on for you.)
- Add lots of candles for warm ambiance.
- Light a fire in the fireplace—there’s nothing like the first fire of the season to set the mood!
- Add the magic of twinkle lights or string lights to your existing home decor somewhere, like a large plant.
3. Savor cozy autumn scents.
This might be my favorite way to set the fall mood, because smells are so closely associated with memories. And the smells of fall instantly bring that nostalgic, warm fuzzy feeling.
Of course, the easy way is with a fall-scented candle. This is my second season of burning this vanilla pumpkin scented candle in the cute glass pumpkin jar—it’s heavenly!
And when you don’t want to burn a candle, you can still have delicious fall smells in the air:
- Experiment with mixes of woodsy, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils in the diffuser.
- Switch out the hand soap to a fall scent.
- Plug in a fall room air freshener. (My favorite is still the “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles” wallflower from Bath & Body Works.)
- Simmer a mix of fall potpourri on the stovetop with orange slices, apple slices, 2-4 cinnamon sticks, a couple tablespoons of cloves, and a teaspoon of vanilla.
See more ways to make your house smell good in the post, “How to Make Your House Smell Incredible: Real Estate Expert Secrets“.
4. Have a cup of comfort.
Cozy up from the inside with a warm drink like coffee or pumpkin spice latte, hot apple cider, or hot cocoa.
And fall is not just about hot drinks. Any cold beverage with fall flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, apple, pecan, or caramel will hit the spot.
Or how about my current favorite cocktail, an espresso martini? (See the shortcut recipe without brewing espresso on the blog next week.)
5. Bake something.
I don’t know what it is about fall that makes me want to bake all the things. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, cakes, cookies, pretty much anything—and I don’t even eat many sweets anymore. Plus it doubles as another fall mood booster by adding amazing autumn aroma throughout the house!
6. Soups, and casseroles, and comfort foods, oh my.
And it doesn’t stop at baking. Cooler weather means comfort food and casseroles!
Easy comfort food recipes
- The Best Creamy Pumpkin Cheese Soup to Keep You Warm This Fall
- Quick + Easy Taco Soup with Ranch Dressing (Dump & Go)
- Short Cut Chicken and Sausage Gumbo: Quick Cajun Comfort Food
- Easy Cheesy Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole (Make Ahead in Minutes)
- Best Mexican Cornbread Casserole Recipe with Ground Beef
7. Put on a cozy music playlist.
Music is always a great way to get in the fall groove!
Personally, I like jazz-type music for fall that you’d hear in a cool coffee house. I started a new playlist on YouTube music this fall season to play in the background while I’m working. I aptly named it “Autumn Jazz” if you’d like to use it!
8. Display a cozy scene on your television screen.
Treat your TV like a piece of artwork with a beautiful autumn scene or painting. Search “fall TV art” on YouTube for a screensaver that will play and change scenes every few minutes, so it won’t burn one image into your screen. (You can follow my channel there while you’re at it.😉)
9. Snug in for a fall film favorite.
What better way to get in the fall spirit than with a feel-good rom-com or a classic Halloween movie? My October must-watch is always the Twilight series, but here are a few other popular ones to start your watch list:
- Hocus Pocus
- Harry Potter
- The Blind Side
- Remember the Titans
- When Harry Met Sally
- You’ve Got Mail
- St. Elmo’s Fire
- Autumn in New York
- Baby Boom
- Sweet Home Alabama
- Sweet November
10. Get lost in a good book.
While you’ve got that chill music playing and a hot drink poured, set aside some reading time.
I keep a list of books going on Amazon that I’ve really liked and that I would highly recommend: See my Amazon book recommendations.
11. Buy an extra snuggly blanket.
And you’ll need an extra soft and cozy throw to snuggle under while you watch TV or read. This teddy bear throw from Pottery Barn would be a real treat for fall:
12. Create a cozy reading nook.
Carve out a special place to get away from it all with a good book, comfy chair, fall pillow, delicious smelling candle, soft blanket, and table to set your mug on.
13. Leaf through a beautifully inspiring home magazine.
Devour some gorgeous home photos of the autumn season. Then when you’re done, the covers can double as fall decor on the coffee table.
14. Layer up in cozy fall fashion.
What you wear has a lot to do with your mindset (just like a good hair day). So put on the garb of fall as much as the weather will allow—cozy sweaters, boots, hats, and scarves, or warmer weather pieces in fall colors.
15. Pamper yourself.
Between the hectic pace of fall activities, treat yourself to some self care:
- Exfoliate and use a brightening facial mask to get rid of the sun spots of summer on your skin.
- Paint your toenails or nails a deep, rich, dark color. (My current favorite is this brown/burgundy “Raisin’ the Bar” by OPI.)
- Then pamper those tootsies and hands with some hydrating gloves and moisturizing socks.
- Stay ahead of dry lips from fall winds by using this pampering lip mask when you go to bed. (I can still feel it when I wake up in the morning!)
16. Then pamper your pet.
Spoil your furry friends this fall. We both know they really don’t care, but these things sure bring us a little happiness:
- A cute fringe-y fall plaid scarf, a cozy fall-colored sweater, or a cute autumn collar. Or for Halloween, turn them into a “hot” dog with a costume, or make Fido more fierce with a skull sweater.
- Fall chew toys—how about a “pup-kin” spice latte?
- Some pumpkin spice treats.
- An extra walk in the lovely fall weather.
17. Cozy bedtime rituals.
No place in your home should be cozier than your bedroom. Fall is a perfect time to do a mini makeover of not only your bedroom, but your bedtime routine. Things to help with better sleep hygiene:
- Get yourself a cozy new loungewear set or pajamas.
- It’s probably time for new fluffy bed pillows and maybe a crisp new set of sheets.
- Clear the clutter in your room, which will clear your head to sleep more peacefully.
For more tips on making your bedroom a restful retreat, see the post, “How to Make Your Bedroom into a Dreamy Spa-Like Sanctuary“. And for the perfect paint color, check out the post, “50 Best Paint Colors Designers Swear by for Master Bedrooms“.
18. Release your inner creative with a fall craft.
I don’t know if it’s a throwback to starting school in the fall, but when I don’t have the urge to bake something when fall hits, I want to make something. Sure, you can buy a lot of these things, but sometimes it’s more fun to make an activity out of it!
Fall Craft ideas
19. Play games.
Fall is about gathering, togetherness, and making memories. So pull out some board games, cards, or even work a fall puzzle and have some family bonding time.
20. Make a blanket fort.
Make a cozy secret space for your kids with the dining table, chairs, blankets, couch cushions, or whatever is handy. Tell ghost stories or read a book by flashlight.
21. Enjoy the weather with some fall gardening.
Clean up the dried ravaged bits of summer, mulch tender plants for winter, plant some pansies or spring bulbs when it gets cool enough. Oh, and there are always leaves to rake.
22. Alfresco autumn dining.
Fall is a beautiful time of year to eat your dinner outdoors and to linger leisurely over a meal with friends and family.
See tips for setting a fall table outside in the post, “How to Set a Simple Al Fresco Table Brimming with Autumn Ambiance“.
23. Camp in the backyard.
Pitch a tent in the backyard for more family fun and memories. Roast some s’mores and look at the stars. Better than real camping because you don’t even have to spend the whole night and the bathroom is really handy!
24. Reflect with fond photos.
Embrace special fall memories by changing out the photos in your existing frames. I have the best time poring over old fall photos, remembering what my kids dressed up as at Halloween, and football games we’ve gone to.
25. Create a fall bucket list.
One of my favorite habits and happiness authors Gretchen Rubin says, “September is the other January“. It’s the start of a new school year, with new clothes, new supplies, and a clean slate. While we are feeling excited and reinvigorated with this “new year”, it’s a great time to set goals and take stock of things we want to achieve before the end of the “calendar” year.
26. Do some fall cleaning and organizing.
Getting our fall nest in order goes hand in hand with that “new year” feeling! Declutter all the crap that has somehow accumulated over the summer (it’s always the pantry for me). Get your home cozy and clean to hunker down in for the cold winter months.
27. Make the fun of Halloween last all fall.
Halloween has become a major holiday, I think because it’s so much fun and it makes us all feel kid-like again. There are no rules that say it has to be celebrated only around the end of October. Put up your Halloween finest and enjoy it from the beginning of September till the Christmas tree goes up. (If you decorate it for Halloween, the tree will already be up for holiday decorating!)
28. Spread the fall cheer.
Now that you’re in an autumn mood, spread your infectious fall feeling to your neighbors with a surprise on their doorstep. You can take advantage of all that baking you feel the urge to do, but don’t want to eat by passing it on. Now that my kids are grown, I miss “boo-ing” and getting booed. It was so much fun trying to not get caught and also to figure out who left something for us!
29. Host a fall-themed party.
Any time of year is a good excuse for a party in my opinion, and fall is no exception. Throw a get-together around:
- Wine or bourbon tasting, or a fall mimosa bar
- Pumpkin carving
- Chili cookoff
- Fall foods, soups, or a supper club theme
For tips for planning a party, see the post, “Entertaining 101: Basic How-To Guide for the Home Hostess“.
I hope you’ve found some ways in this list to help you feel the full excitement of fall. And to savor all the wonderful things this cozy season brings!🍁
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