We all switch our wardrobes with the cooler days of fall, digging out our favorite sweaters and swapping sandals for boots. Fall is also a great time to make our homes cozier for the shorter, cooler days ahead. “There are plenty of inexpensive ways to make your home more snuggly and inviting,” says Heidi Techner, director of the interior design program at Harcum College. “My favorites ways all involve appealing to the senses.”
Techner suggests candles to fill your home with the fruity and woody scents that evoke fall. She recommends soy-based candles as a healthier alternative to petroleum-based paraffin. If you’re the forgetful type, you can get battery candles so you don’t have to worry about remembering to put them out.
It’s easy to appeal to the sense of touch — we all like to snuggle up and get cozy this time of year. Combine plush throws in great textures with new covers for your throw pillows and you’ll create a sofa perfect for cocooning. “Try one in an on-trend faux fur animal print,” recommends Susan Matthews, a Philadelphia-based decorator. “They work as a neutral so they go with most decor styles.”
Getting cold feet? “Warm up your flooring with area rugs,” Matthews suggests. “Even if you have a wall-to-wall carpeting, you can layer [on a rug] to designate seating or dining areas. The fluffy sheepskin underneath my home office desk is a total treat for the toes as the temps drop.”
But the most important sense is sight. “Both candles and throws appeal to sight as well,” Techner says. “They make great splashes of color against a neutral background.” A more dramatic way to bring in that color, though, is paint. “You don’t have to paint the whole room,” she says, “you can just paint an accent wall, like the one your sofa or entertainment center is against, or your bed in the bedroom.” She recommends dark red, forest green or chocolate brown for the most impact.
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“My philosophy is, don’t leave your style locked in stone,” says Techner. “Change your home’s accessories seasonally.”