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Don’t fall into these 6 trendy decor traps this fall

Avoid these fall decor mistakes when you start seasonal decorating

Fall decor with a blue vase
Maya Kruchankova / Shutterstock

As you begin decorating your home for fall, you’ll likely start perusing Pinterest and Instagram to find the trendiest design styles for your home. Be aware, however, that every year there are always a few kitschy trends that definitely miss the mark. From an overload of pumpkin-themed textiles to outdated fall trends from 2014 (plaid is long past its heyday), there are several fall decor trends popping up on social media that aren’t necessarily the most stylish.

To make sure you don’t bring in elements that will make your home look more gimmicky than festive, decorate with a light hand and opt for a more modern approach to your seasonal decor. To help you navigate these decor woes, here are our recommendations of what to avoid, so you don’t “fall” into these classic fall decor mistakes.

Thanksgiving decor pumpkins and candles
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Using pumpkins as your sole decoration

Fall is the harvest season for a reason — it’s full of colorful produce like gourds, apples, sweet potatoes, and, of course, pumpkins. While no autumnal decor is complete without a pumpkin or two, many homeowners often end up going overboard, resulting in a pumpkin theme, not a fall one.

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Decorating with mostly pumpkins will leave your rooms looking overcrowded and repetitive. This isn’t to say that you can’t use them, but instead of investing in pumpkin-themed curtains, runners, plates, and wall art, choose a select few areas where you can add this icon to your design. Consider displaying a pumpkin centerpiece with a sleek red tablecloth. Or, you can hang some pumpkin lanterns and save the themed napkins and plates for another year. By incorporating neutrals and solid colors, these fall squashes will pop, not fade into the background.

woman holding pumpkin decor on kitchen table
Alliance Images / Shutterstock

Sticking to the traditional color palette

Break away from the mold this year and diverge from the traditional color scheme. Sticking with the classic red, yellow, and orange tones can get pretty boring, so shake things up and add in some lesser-used autumnal hues.

For a more sophisticated and mature style, use pastels, soft creams, whites, and blush pinks. Instead of covering the home in loud and bold tones, pull back on the intense pigment in favor of paler colors. Use reds, yellow, and greens sparingly by bringing these colors into your throw pillows and blankets, tableware, and decorations.

If you love the bright colors of fall, you can keep in these strong elements but infuse them with more wintry colors like deeper burgundies, forest green, ivory, and metallics like gold or bronze.

Fall pumpkin decor and flowers on stairs
KlavdiyaV / Shutterstock

Going overboard on natural elements

Bringing the outdoors in can make your interior reflective of the changing of the seasons. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get carried away. Rather than including pumpkins, gourds, leaves, twigs, and hay everywhere, try to keep these natural elements contained and used sparingly.

A few twigs in a jar beside some miniature pumpkins is a great way to bring in natural elements without creating a small forest in the living room. You can also create a fall wreath for your front door or decorate your dining table with some colorful leaves inside clear vases. Opt for the “less is more” approach, and you’ll avoid going crazy with the woodsy decor.

Fall mantle decor leaves and sign.
Kristen Prahl / Shutterstock

Focusing on holidays rather than the season itself

For those who are extremely festive, the fall and winter is the most fun time of year, as every month there’s a new holiday to decorate for. However, if you’d rather pick a decorative style and stick with it all through the season, pull back on holiday-specific statement pieces.

Instead, stick with one big overarching fall theme and pick small aspects from the holidays that aren’t too literal. Instead of brooms and pumpkins for Halloween, incorporate moodier colors, like black and purple, in the place settings, throw pillows, and wall art. Create a spooky vibe without being overly literal by adding faux Edison bulbs, blood-red roses, and tall, slender drinking glasses.

fall outdoor furniture with plaid blankets and pillows
Stephanie Frey / Shutterstock

Using too much plaid

Plaid is one of the most popular patterns in the fall, covering flannel jackets, throw blankets, and table settings. But after many years of being front and center, this fad is quickly becoming an overused cliché. You don’t have to say goodbye to this print for good, but make sure it isn’t front and center by introducing patterns, natural materials, faux leather or fur, and arm-knit blankets to your design.

fall kitchen countertop decor with pumpkin
nastya_ph / Shutterstock

Over-cluttering your home with decor

A mistake many homeowners make when decorating for fall is adding their autumnal decor to their existing design rather than replacing key elements. During the summer, you likely have some staple pieces around your home to adorn the space. Stylish coffee table books, a few ceramic pieces on the fireplace mantle, or simple, neutral throw blankets on the sofa make great decorations during the main part of the year. However, as you begin decorating for fall, it’s best to remove these items in favor of your autumnal decor rather than layering the new season on top of the old one.

If you attempt to keep your existing decor while adding more fall pieces to the space, you may find that the room suddenly becomes heavy and overwhelming. So, instead, try removing existing decor and replacing it with a fall variant. For example, place that neutral throw blanket in storage and put a cozy orange throw in its place. Or, remove ceramics, potted plants, and small knick-knacks from the fireplace mantle to make room for your pumpkins and fall garland. Keep your decorum light by replacing items rather than stacking them or adding too many pieces to the design.

Decorating the interior of your home for fall is a beautiful way to reflect the changing of the seasons, bringing the colors, textures, and aromas of the great outdoors right into your living room. That being said, your home shouldn’t look like a party supply store, so try to move away from overused, cliche fall decorations. Take inspiration from the classics and use them to develop your own decorative point of view. There is something almost magical about diverging from the traditional route towards a style that is more unique and innovative.

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Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
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