How to Update Your Fall Decor for Halloween and Thanksgiving

Fall is the coziest and most beautiful time of year, so it’s natural that you want to bring that sense of coziness into your home. But what’s the best way to decorate for fall? How can you decorate for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving all at once, and when should you start decorating? Read along for some easy decorating tips that will take your home from the beginning of fall to Halloween and Thanksgiving.

When to Start Decorating for Fall

With all the beauty and warmth that comes along with fall, it’s no surprise that you’re excited to start decorating for autumn. If you’re a true fall lover, wanting to fill your home with pumpkins, plaid, and candles begins with the first sign of cooler weather. The first day that dips below 70 degrees, you're ready to put out pumpkins, leaf garlands, lanterns, candles, and blankets to create a cozy atmosphere. But when is the right time to decorate for fall, really?

A general rule of thumb is to decorate for fall after the weather begins to consistently cool off and the leaves start to change. Depending on where you live, the weather may not change until much later or even at all, making this rule difficult to follow. The first official day of autumn is September 22, so decorating after this date is a natural way to embrace fall. If September feels too warm for you or you just aren’t ready to fully give up summer, waiting until October 1 to decorate is totally fine too. Decorating at the beginning of October gives you plenty of time to enjoy the fall decor you put out before Halloween and before taking it down to decorate for winter holidays. 

You can also keep an eye on when your neighbors begin decorating to determine when you can transition from summer to fall. Start updating your porch, patio, and home with fall colors and accents as you notice people in the neighborhood doing the same. Ultimately, when you decide to decorate for fall is completely up to you. Whether you choose to decorate on the first day of fall or before, there are plenty of ways to add your own flair to your holiday decor.

How to Decorate Your Home for Fall

Decorating your home for fall is fun and allows you to transform your home into a cozy place to make memories with your friends and family. Here are a few decorating tips to get you started!

fall pillows on a couch in living room

Pay Attention to Colors

Gradually transition from summer to fall by swapping out bright colors like sunshine yellow, pink, beach blue, and bright green with earth and jewel tones and muted colors. Fill your home with deeper colors that are naturally found outside this time of year, like burgundy, deep red, brown, orange, mustard yellow, olive green, dark purple, and blue. Changing the color themes in your home helps create a warm feeling and brings the beauty of fall foliage indoors. For a more subtle yet seasonal look, choose neutral tones, light blues, and greens paired with white and gray for a sophisticated, modern take on fall.

Add Cozy Accent Pieces

Fall brings a naturally cozy atmosphere with cooler weather and beautiful colors. Add different textures and accents to your home to create the ultimate relaxation space. Drape plaid blankets over the back of your couch, replace your curtains with fall colors or neutral tones, and switch out throw pillows with earthy colors. Keep a basket of soft flannel, fleece, plaid, or muted tone blankets in your living room.

person creating a fall wreath

Let Nature Inspire You

Decorate with leaf garlands, pumpkins, gourds, apples, dried flowers, wheatgrass, cotton, berry picks, and corn stalks to create an authentic fall look. Create tablescapes and wreaths or fill clear vases with pinecones, acorns, and branches to add a natural touch. These items can be found in your backyard or at a craft store, depending on your decorating budget. To add a special touch to these natural elements, paint them gold, silver, cream, or white to stand out while on display.

candles lit with pumpkins and blankets

Think About Textures

As you decorate for autumn, try to incorporate a variety of textures into your home to add to the cozy feeling fall brings. Use knits, fleece, leather, galvanized steel, wood, and glass to create beautiful decorations inside and out. You can achieve this easily by using some glass vases or jars or galvanized watering cans or vases to hold flower arrangements or branches. Place a tall vase in a corner or near the entryway to invite guests into your home. Place knitted and fleece blankets throughout your house to add softness anywhere. Baskets are an easy way to display pumpkins, blankets, flowers, and other accents and are great for adding woven textures.

candles and lantern on table

Set the Mood

Fall is not only a season, it’s a feeling. Set the right mood in your home by lighting scented candles, lighting a fireplace, decorating with lanterns, and incorporating warm white string lights into your decorations. Creating the right ambiance is easily achieved when you think about each of your senses. Changing color schemes and adding natural accents helps you to see fall, while the differing textures help you to feel the chilly season. Add a crackle of a wood-wick candle flame or logs burning in a fireplace to complete the sound of fall. If you prefer no open flames or you don’t have a fireplace, consider using LED candles or investing in an electric fireplace. It will give you the look and appeal of a fire without the hassle of burning wood indoors. Candles that are scented with pumpkin spice, apples, leaves, or other baked goods are perfect for giving your house that wonderful fall aroma. Baking delicious treats is also a great way to get your home smelling good, not to mention fall treats are scrumptious, especially when they're made with fresh apples and pumpkins!

Adirondack chair on the patio decorated for fall

Don’t Forget to Decorate Outside

Be sure to update your porch and patio furniture from summer to fall with new red, yellow, or orange outdoor cushions, blankets, and lighting. Let the leaves fall on the patio table and add a few small pumpkins for a natural touch and add a plaid blanket to each patio chair or sofa for extra warmth on cold nights. Fall is a great time to enjoy moments around the fire pit with family and friends, so decorating your patio will add a cozier feeling to your outdoor fun. Try rearranging your patio furniture in a way that is comfortable for lounging. Add some beautiful mums in neutral-toned planters to the front porch, pumpkins of all sizes on the steps, and a gorgeous gourd and leaf wreath to the front door to welcome guests. Corn stalks and hay bales instantly add a rustic touch to any porch. Place a welcome mat with fall themes in front of the door to complete your outdoor fall decor. As summer plants die, replace them with vibrant fall plants to add seasonal charm to your garden beds, flower beds, and walkways.

How to Transition Your Decor for Halloween 

After you’ve decorated your home for fall, changing all your decorations to fit the spooky themes of Halloween can seem exhausting. Luckily, there are easy ways to decorate for both fall and Halloween at the same time without overdoing the scarier themes of Halloween. Decorate for fall while incorporating small hints of Halloween by using the tips outlined below. A few days before Halloween add in your themed decor like inflatable monsters, skull torches, and metal statues to give your outdoor space a chilling look for the spooky holiday.


The bright orange color of pumpkins is perfect for fall and Halloween. Place pumpkins on the front step to create an inviting appearance. Use pre-lit pumpkins for longer lasting decorations, both inside and outside, or carve faces in real pumpkins for a traditional Halloween accent. Use LED candles or string lights to illuminate jack-o’-lanterns with an eerie glow.

pumpkins and string lights with black blanket

Black and Orange Accents

Use black lanterns, twig trees, and flowers in black vases to incorporate a touch of Halloween anywhere. Fill a black lantern with orange and white pumpkins for a charming accent perfect for Halloween. 

Colorful Lighting

An easy way to decorate for Halloween is by incorporating shadows and different lighting into your displays. Wrap purple, green, red, orange, black, or blue string lights on porch railings and trees or weave it between pumpkins on pathways to add an ominous touch outside. Use flood or path lights to create shadows against large decorations. Place colored string lights in clear vases or anywhere in your home for a haunted look indoors.

Lighted Pathways

Line your walkway with glowing jack-o’-lanterns, colored pathway lights, string lights, or lanterns on shepherd hooks to light the way for trick-or-treaters and guests. Not only does this make it safer, but it also is an easy way to add more shadows and light to your holiday displays.

When to Take Down Halloween Decorations

Like fall decorations, you can decide when it’s the right time to dismantle your Halloween decor. A good rule of thumb is to have all Halloween-themed decorations put away by the second week in November so you have time to update your decor for Thanksgiving. However, some homeowner’s associations have specific rules about when decorations should be put away for the season, so it’s best to check with yours to abide by any neighborhood rules.

How to Transition Your Decor for Thanksgiving

After your Halloween decorations have been taken down, you may want to replace some things with accents that highlight the season of giving. Thankfully, fall and Thanksgiving share the same color palette, making decorating for both events at the same time simple. 

 Thanksgiving table set with pumpkins and dishes

Fall decorations usually capture the colors, coziness, and ambiance of autumn, while Thanksgiving decorations focus more on the harvest, turkeys, and giving thanks. Choose decorations that follow these themes to create a balance of fall and Thanksgiving. Metal or wooden signs with sayings like “Blessed”, “Thankful”, or “Welcome” are quick and easy accents to add to a front porch, living room, or dining room. Decorate your dining table and home with pumpkins, gourds, leaves, and pinecones. Cornucopias are perfect for displaying harvest foods, including apples, pumpkins, gourds, and corn. Add corn stalks and husks to your porch for a traditional accent. 

To learn how to decorate for Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time, check out our blog for helpful tips so you can smoothly transition your decor through the seasons.

 fall pillows on couch with pumpkins on coffee table

Fall is a lovely time of year, full of colors and changes. It’s easy to see why so many people love this time of year and enjoy decorating for the holidays that come along with fall. Let us know if you found any of these ideas helpful, and leave some decorating ideas of your own in the comments below. Happy decorating! 


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