If summer is for traveling and winter is for hibernating, fall is for nesting. With the beach house in the rearview and the holidays on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to settle in and cozy up your home for the months ahead.

No room in the budget — or the calendar — for an extreme makeover? No problem. We checked in with New England-based designer Tiffany LeBlanc of LeBlanc Design for some quick, easy decor tips that make a big impact for a little cash.

Related: Apartment Therapy for first time renters

Layer low

Chances are you put a lot of thought into your couch. But the rug? Maybe not so much. “I ask my clients, ‘What is your rug doing for you?’” says LeBlanc. “It’s a big thing, and yet it’s not a big expense.” For an autumn vibe, LeBlanc suggests layering a statement-making antique carpet or cowhide over an inexpensive sisal rug. If you’re hesitating on the size, go bigger — in LeBlanc’s experience, most people underestimate, and the result can feel bare and empty.

Go natural

Before you click over to Amazon, look around your yard and grocery store for fall decor. One of LeBlanc’s favorite seasonal tablescapes comes together with a vase full of branches, a bowl of artichokes and sprigs of lavender, which she turns into napkin holders with the help of twine. Dried beans make the perfect nest for votive candles, while moss provides a rich, textural element to wreaths. 

Embrace texture

Nubby pillows and faux-fur throws instantly cozy up a couch. If you’re ready to invest in a bigger change, LeBlanc recommends wallpaper. “Wallpaper transforms a room,” she says. “A gorgeous grass cloth will give you a rich texture. It feels like a nice little embrace every time you walk in.” For an interior designer-approved grass cloth, try the seamless variety from Phillip Jeffries. 

Get your glow on

Just because you don’t have a fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a festive flicker. For an impromptu mantel, LeBlanc recommends grouping candles in a deep windowsill or up the side of a staircase. To maximize the effect, work in metallics, such as trendy brushed brass, throughout the room.

Relax already

The rules have changed for entertaining, so there’s no need to fret over those mismatched glasses. “It used to be that we were a more formal society, but the idea of feeling proper in the home has changed, and your decor should reflect that,” LeBlanc says. “We’re using a lot of linens and cottons, not silks — silk doesn’t say, ‘Come into our home and feel comfortable.’”

Two pro tips:

1. Before you even begin 

You don’t need a degree in interior design to create a beautiful room — but you do have to start thinking like an interior designer. “The most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you want the room to look like before you start,” says LeBlanc. “That, simply, is how rooms come together.”

2. Now trending

Many of LeBlanc’s favorite rooms have what she calls a “farm-to-table” feel. “It’s happening in food, and it’s happening in decor. It’s casual, but it’s beautiful,” she says. “I use a lot of handmade products because clients are looking for things that are more authentic. There’s so much stimulation with iPhones and computers that when they go home, they want to feel something real.”