By

10 Things to Do Now for a Cozier, Happier Fall Home

Fall is here! It’s time for crackling fires, good books and cozy gatherings around the table with friends. Check these 10 to-dos off your list to enjoy this glorious season to its fullest.

Fall Mantel
The Lily Pad Cottage

1. Decorate the mantel. A few simple touches are all it takes to bring your mantel into the current season. Place a cluster of pumpkins or gourds on one end, and balance the arrangement with a few candles on the other end. Odd numbered groupings look the most natural, so aim to include three, five, or seven items on each side.

2. Load up your to-be-read list with great titles. Fall is one of the best times of year to curl up with a good book, so be sure you’re stocked up on titles you can’t wait to dive into. Three home-related books I’m looking forward to reading this fall include Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith, Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon, and Homebody by Joanna Gaines.

3. Stock up on candles. What’s cozier than the warm flicker of real candlelight? Stock up on your favorite candles so you always have something on hand throughout the season. Choose one or two in a scent you love, but keep the rest unscented to avoid your home smelling like a Yankee Candle shop.

Get Ready for Fall
The Lily Pad Cottage | Domino | House & Home | House & Home

4. Make room in your coat closet. Fall and winter are seasons when you might find yourself entertaining more often than usual. Do yourself a favor and make some room in your coat closet now, so guests have a spot to hang their coats and bags.

5. Get your chimney cleaned. Creosote from old fires builds up over time inside chimneys, and can potentially cause a house fire if it’s not cleaned out. So if you have a wood-burning fireplace, getting a pro to clean and inspect it every year is essential — make the call and set up an appointment before you light that first crackling fire.

6. Choose a signature hot drink. Having something hot and delicious to offer party guests and drop-in visitors is a delight. Choose a favorite hot drink and make it your signature, simply by keeping the ingredients needed in stock in your fridge or pantry. A few favorites to consider for fall include chai tea lattes, hot spiced apple cider, mexican hot chocolate and mulled wine.

Fall Dining
House & Home

7. Set a pretty table. If you know you’ll be entertaining this fall, take some of the stress out of preparing by doing a table setting test-run now. Pull out all of your linens, silverware, and special glasses, and make note of anything you’re missing. For a special touch on the day of the party, consider adding one simple natural element to each place setting. Take a cue from the table shown here and set a pear on each plate and a sprig of greenery and berries in a shot glass. Then pile up foraged pine cones in a pretty bowl, light a few candles and let the complements roll in.

8. Make a master list of go-to fall recipes. If you find it challenging to get weeknight dinners on the table, you are not alone. Make things a bit easier by sitting down with a hot mug of tea on a weekend with all of your favorite cookbooks and recipe sites pulled up, and take the time to create a master list of favorite fall recipes. Beside the name of each recipe, simply note down where to find it (i.e., page number in cookbook or website url) and whether you’ve made it before. Then, when it’s time to plant the week’s menus, pull out your list and start picking.

9. Organize the spices. Are your spices a jumbled mess? If so, make organizing the spices a mini-project and commit to getting it done in one go. Check expiration dates and toss out spices that have been gathering dust for years, wipe bottles clean, and neatly place back on the shelf or spice rack. Your future holiday cooking self will thank you!

Fall Bedroom
House & Home

10. Swap out bedding + rugs for something cozier. Climbing into a cozy bed at the end of a long day is one of life’s great simple pleasures. Make sure your experience is as warm and comfy as can be by swapping out cooler summer bedding with soft, warm layers in rich, autumnal hues — think flannel sheets, sumptuous velvet pillows, and cozy wool and knit blankets.

Replace a tired old rug for something cozy and warm that you can sink your toes into; my vote goes for something soft in a fall-inspired color palette. My top four favs are below — any one of these beautiful rugs would look right at home in a cozy living room or dining room throughout fall and winter.

Cozy Rugs for Fall

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): United Weavers Monaco St Martin in garnet; Oriental Weavers Andorra in blue; Oriental Weavers Andorra in red and gold; Kaleen Helena in paprika, linen, steel blue and mushroom.

For more fall-inspired rugs, shop all of our new fall rug arrivals.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

By

Tips for Decorating With Vintage Finds

With bright blue skies and crisp air, fall weekends are perfect for antiques hunting trips. Even if you don’t find anything to buy, browsing vintage shops, flea markets, and antique fairs makes for a fun and satisfying day trip — and of course, if you do find a treasure, so much the better! Read on for a few favorite pieces to keep on your radar, how to decorate with them, and what to look for when inspecting vintage furniture and decor. Happy antiquing!

Design Sponge
Design Sponge

Consider your needs: When you need something specific for your home, it’s easy to overlook vintage and antiques. After all, shopping for brand-new items in your local big box store is usually quicker (and more of a sure bet). But taking the extra time to shop for something that has stood the test of time is worth the effort — vintage goods are usually well made, long-lasting, and elegant. A few practical finds to look for in vintage shops and flea markets include cast iron cookware, wooden spoons, drafting tables, desk chairs, wall hooks, and all sorts of cabinets.

Domino
Domino Magazine

Where to shop: Local vintage and antique shops are fun to pop into, but if you’re looking for a full-immersion experience, it’s worth seeking out a big antique fair in your region. Antique fairs bring together many individual sellers into one (often outdoor) space. Vendors go all-out with beautifully styled vignettes that can help you imagine how you might use some of the pieces in your own home. Plus there are usually stands selling food and drinks for when you need a break! A few of the best fairs across the country include:

Holly Marder
Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle

Master the mix: A mix of old and new makes a house feel more like a well-loved and lived-in home, so don’t stress about whether your vintage and antique pieces will “go” with the newer items in your space. Pair vintage bentwood chairs with a modern tulip-shaped table; use an antique glass cabinet to hold your bath towels; or put a vintage credenza to work in the living room as a media console for your flat screen TV.

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess

Start a collection: If you love browsing flea markets and fairs, starting a collection can be a great way to focus your shopping efforts. And of course, displaying a cherished collection in one spot can make a beautiful focal point in your home. Just remember that when it comes to collecting, small and curated is often more impactful than large and unruly. Here are a few ideas for fun vintage items that look great in collections:

  • Rainbow-colored glassware

  • Vintage globes

  • Midcentury pottery

  • Vintage oil portraits

  • Typewriters

Rip & Tan
Rip & Tan

Look for quality: Before you make a purchase, be sure to take your time inspecting the vintage piece from all angles. Look for wood that’s smooth and blemish-free; drawers that slide open easily; and sturdy, comfortable chairs. If a dealer claims the piece was made by a known designer (and has raised the price accordingly), check the underside or back of furniture for a maker’s mark. But the most important question to ask yourself is, “do I love it?” As with people, a few imperfections just add character.

Rug pairings: What could go better with your antique and vintage finds than a gorgeous one-of-a-kind rug? Each of the rugs shown featured here is either handwoven or hand-knotted, and the rich hues would go perfectly with all sorts of vintage treasures.

One of a kind rugs

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Bokara Rug Company Semi-Antique Turkish Kazak in blue; Solo Rugs Tribal in orange; Solo Rugs Suzani in purple; Solo Rugs Tribal in red.

For more one-of-a-kind options, shop all of our one-of-a-kind rugs.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

By

Cozy Fall Pillows

One of the easiest ways to get your home in a fall mood is by swapping out summery cushions for fall pillows in rich hues and interesting textures, and layering on plush throws. For 2018 I’m noticing a softer, more elegant take on fall coziness: think plum, cocoa, shimmering copper, and a bit of super-fluffy faux fur or sheepskin

Ave Styles
Ave Styles

Make a cozy first impression: Kick off the fall vibes as soon as you step through the door with a textured throw, pillow, and rug in warm, neutral hues. Pair up natural wood pieces plus a shiny accent for a can’t-miss look.

Lindsay Letters
Lindsay Letters

Consider color: When you’re planning your fall decor, it can be helpful to gather a few items on a table first, to see how they go together. Pick a soft blanket and layer on artwork, items from nature, and any decor you would like to use. Use your phone to snap a photo of your items together and refer to it while you’re out shopping to find pieces that coordinate.

Glitter Guide
Lujo Living
via Glitter Guide

Play up texture: If you’re going for a neutral or low-key color palette, but it’s looking a bit flat, you could probably use more texture. Aim for a mix of at least three different textures for a rich fall look. A few of my favorite textures for fall decorating include velvet, faux sheepskin, faux fur, nubby linen, woven items, copper, brass, and sisal.

Julie Banner
Julie Blanner

It’s not all pumpkin and spice: Not a fan of pumpkin orange and maple leaf red? No worries. Try a rich plum as your main hue instead, and pair it with linen and cream. It’s elegant, current, and classic.

Fall Pillows

Fall pillow shopping guide: 1. Jaipur Rugs En Casa by Luli Sanchez pillow 2. Surya Beth Lacefield Kilim pillow 3. Surya Southwest Pillows Charming Cut Out 4. Jaipur Rugs Shimmer Pillow 5. Surya Southwest Dip Dyed Pillow 6. Jaipur Rugs Cosmic Pillow by Nikki Chu 7. Surya Southwest Pillows Trail 8. Surya Southwest Pillows Zig Zag Delight.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

By

Stylish Houseplants for a Happier Home

Houseplants are having a serious design moment and with good reason! Living plants help purify the air, add personality to your abode, and can even make your space look bigger. Inspiration and tips for curating your own personal houseplant collection are ahead.

Old Brand New
Old Brand New

Plants add oxygen to the air and increase our connection with nature, making them a great choice for the home office. To keep your actual desk clear, position potted plants on floating shelves above and around your work area as shown here. A setup like this is surprisingly budget-friendly to put together because you can use itty bitty plants — and those are much cheaper than the big guys. Intersperse a few shiny objects, like a glass terrarium and a metallic vase, to make the whole arrangement pop.

Plant Style FP via Decor8
Plant Style
by Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal via Decor8

Have an unused fireplace? Fill it with plants! Play up texture by selecting pots in a range of materials, from woven baskets to hand-thrown ceramics. And don’t forget to position a few small potted plants on the mantle — trailing varieties work especially well here.

Jungalow-zebra-plant
Jungalow

One of the best parts of bringing in more houseplants is choosing cute planters to put them in. Scoop up anything that catches your eye, from handmade Etsy finds to vintage pots at yard sales. Pots and planters with faces on them make a fun addition — tuck one in among your plain pots to perk things up. And don’t be afraid to buy the pots before you have plants to put in them. You can always swing by a nursery (or even Trader Joe’s) to buy a plant, but if you bring a plant home and don’t have a pot, that’s a problem!

AD
Architectural Digest

To make your plants into a focal point, take a cue from this space and paint a dramatic backdrop to play up the greenery. Bold, rich colors really sing in a plant-filled space, so consider deep green, turquoise, or even black. Give your plants some height by using wall-mounted and hanging planters, and setting a few pots on tables and pedestals, or lined up on bookshelves.

Plant Styling Book via Decor8
Plant Style
by Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal via Decor8

If you have trouble remembering to water your plants, set an alarm on your phone to help you out. And to keep your plants really happy, take a few extra minutes each time you water to dust large leaves with a rag and trim back any overgrown bits with sharp scissors. Once you start adding plants to your home, I think you’ll find that they are the finishing touch you didn’t even realize you were missing.

Botanical Rugs

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Oriental Weavers Tommy Bahama Atrium in green and ivory; Kaleen Sea Isle in green; Liora Manne Capri Palm Leaf in blue; KAS Catalina Island Breeze in green and blue.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

Top