7 Ways to Add Seasonal Warmth

With the holidays come gatherings with family and friends and the occasional overnight guest. Keep your home cozy for all to enjoy with a few simple touches that warm up your home for fall and easily transition into winter.

1. Set the tone with a welcome mat
Such a quick update can have a big impact. A festive door mat will make your guests feel welcome the second they step foot in your home. Plus, it adds a little cheer to your day as you come and go. If you have a big porch, pump up the color with a larger indoor/outdoor rug in a seasonal hue.

2. Spice it up with seasonal colors

For an instant warming effect, infuse every room with the rich colors of harvest. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to introduce a warm palette of oranges, golds, browns and reds is to replace your summer pillows. If you have a small stockpile of inserts, invest in extra pillow covers. Table runners, vases and quilts are other simple ways to introduce seasonal colors.

3. Create a cozy feel with layers and texture

Warm up wood floors with a wool rug or throw area rugs over a summer seagrass to define seating areas. For added comfort, bring out extra throw pillows in velvet or chenille, and place a thick nubby throw over the sofa. Switch out light shades for darker fabric shades with rich texture.

Hanging heavy floor-length curtains over existing blinds or sheers can help keep out drafts. And layering quilts over lightweight bedding or switching to a duvet will keep you and your guests warm and cozy.

4. Bring the beauty and bounty of the outside in

During fall and winter the best accents come from nature. Need inspiration? Take a walk outside or visit your local flower shop. For a traditional centerpiece, create your own cornucopia: fill a basket or serving bowl with mini pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn.

Colorful fall leaf branches, berries or wheat in an antique pitcher make beautiful arrangements for the dining room table or entry hall console. For bright pops of color, arrange citrus fruits with cuts of greenery on a platter or mantel. And fill apothecary jars with pinecones, acorns and dried leaves for an easy seasonal touch in any room.

5. Add ambient lighting with candles

Candles exude warmth and are an absolute must when entertaining a crowd. Group different heights and sizes together and unify the look by using the same type of candleholder. Metallics and clear glass candleholders are hot right now. And if you like the look but hate the mess of wax, try battery-operated candles.

6. Make the fireplace the focal point

There’s nothing better than a hot crackling fire on a cold winter’s night. Now’s the perfect time to rearrange furniture to create a comfy conversation area around the fireplace. One of our favorite looks is two wing chairs flanking the fireplace and angled slightly toward each other.

7. Switch out wall décor

Like clockwork every fall we change the artwork around the office to something more appropriate for the season. You can do this at home, too. Select wall décor that has an obvious seasonal motif or palette. Or, simply switch out light or bright colors for artwork that is richer in color and texture.

For a more personal touch, hang a collage of seasonal family photos from past vacations and holidays. Use the same frame design or color for a more unified presentation.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.