Decorating for fall can be tricky if you don’t want your home to be covered in light up jack-o-lanterns, plastic skeletons, or paper turkeys. It can also be challenging to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on decorations! One of my goals when decorating my home for any season is to avoid anything tacky that could be purchased at a big box store. I want my home to feel cozy, warm, moody, rustic, and a little bit old-fashioned. In order to achieve this look, I rely heavily on antique pieces, natural elements, color, and lighting. In this blog I am going to share my best tips for rustic, vintage-inspired fall decor so that you too can cultivate a slow and simple approach to this otherwise fast and cluttered season.
Hop on Pinterest and start a board to solidify your style. I love to type in a few adjectives that fit the mood I am going for and see what Pinterest has in mind for me! For the board below, I searched “rustic moody fall decor”. Feel free to check out my Pinterest for styling inspiration!
Once you design your mood board, decide what elements you want to focus on to bring autumn into your home. Below I have listed out a few of my favorite elements for rustic fall decor and a few tips to bringing the look into your home.
Elements I like to incorporate
Incorporating natural elements is so easy during this season. Pinecones, branches, acorns, leaves, florals, and more are very abundant for free in your backyard or a nearby park! Adding these elements will give a rustic texture to your home.
- I like to gather a few perfect pinecones at the end of each season and store them for next year so I don’t have to wait for mid fall to decorate with them.
- Check out what flowers are blooming naturally in your neighborhood in late September or early October for next year’s planting inspiration.
Copper is one of my favorite elements to use this autumn. Besides the warm, rich color, copper provides both a vintage yet rustic feeling to any room. I love to bring out my copper tea kettles this time of year, hang copper bowls in my kitchen, and play with stacking copper trays. When you add this metal to any of the elements listed, it instantly gives a warm, cozy, inviting feeling to a home.
look for copper any time you are at an estate sale or antique store. I have found all of my copper this way for very inexpensive.
Is another metal that feels even more rustic than copper. Because it is an alloy of copper and zinc, brass has the warm tones of copper without being as loud. This metal is excellent to use as an accent piece to compliment other more statement elements.
All of my brass is either second-hand or family heirloom. I would highly recommend asking your grandmother or great-aunts if they have any brass in their attic they aren’t using. You can also easily find brass at antique stores and garage sales.
Beeswax candles are the ultimate rustic fall decor, in my opinion. The humble beeswax candle provides light, ambiance, scent, and home-spun charm to any space. I like to use these candles on my dining room table year-round, but with the addition of the other autumnal elements listed, they suddenly scream fall.
- I like to buy my beeswax candles in bulk from a monastery that handmakes them. That way I know they are high quality, handmade, and supporting local monastics.
- You can grab several different shapes and sizes of beeswax candles for lots of visual variety and styling options.
Of course, we cannot discuss autumnal decor without bringing up pumpkins! The best way to incorporate pumpkins in a rustic, artful way is to choose a color palette. I generally steer away from anything bright orange and instead gravitate towards soft salmons, creamy greens, dark burnt oranges, etc. I also like to find pumpkins and gourds which appear more agrarian and home-grown. Think organic shapes, blemishes, and tones. This helps my pumpkins to seamlessly blend instead of clash with my other decor.
- If you can, grow your own! I am growing mini gourds this year and they have been so easy. Most squash varieties grow like weeds, so you can have your own rustic pumpkins for much less.
- If you are purchasing pumpkins, buy as many as you can right before halloween. I like to do this because I love having fresh pumpkins all the way through Thanksgiving and I can usually find them on sale towards the end of October.
Another one of my all-time favorite elements is this homespun, textured fabric. I love to break out my favorite linen napkins and runners this time of year because they make everything feel more cozy and rustic.
- If you can, sew your own linen pieces. I love to find linen fabric at the thrift store and repurpose it to become napkins, aprons, table clothes, and curtains in muted fall tones. We also love our Anthropologie linen napkins which come in so many different beautiful colors.
Wood, especially firewood, is a very in-season element for fall. Stacks of firewood by the back door or wood burning stove evoke memories of cool evenings and warm light. If you haven’t already, I would recommend gathering firewood and kindling to arrange in beautiful ways throughout your home.
- Add kindling to a ceramic crock to bring in the element of wood but with a small footprint.
- Forage for beautiful, knotty, branches to place in vases or on your mantelpiece.
Books are one of my favorite items to decorate with every season. They can be stacked, displayed, propped, or arranged in many ways to incorporate a vintage rustic mood in your home. I also love to use cookbooks to inspire my autumnal baking.
- Flip through some of your most beautiful cookbooks to find a page with fall colors or mood that suits your style.
- Grab one of these book stands to display your favorite pages. These are also extremely useful for keeping cookbooks open as you follow a recipe.