The best fall decor and tacky decor to skip: Interior Designer

Interior designer Ashley Childers told Insider she “allows nature to guide seasonal decor” by using natural colors and textures for fall.
Valentinrosanov/Getty Images; Oksana Nazarchuk M/Getty Images

  • Interior designer Ashley Childers shared her favorite fall decor pieces, and which ones to skip.
  • “I see people going overboard with fake things: fake pumpkins, fake plants, fake everything,” she said.
  • Natural wreaths and cozy woolen blankets will make the interior of your home elevated and cozy.

The arrival of fall means pulling out pumpkins, moody fall colors, and cozy pillows and blankets.

However, while some fall decor can make your home feel warm, uplifting, and inviting, others can drain your space of energy and border on tacky.

“A lot of times, I feel like holiday decor is separate from the aesthetic of the actual home you live in. It should be cohesive, in my opinion,” Ashley Childers, an interior decorator and home furniture and accessories designer based in Arkansas, told Insider.

“On the other end of the spectrum, I see a lot of people with a very curated style who feel like they can’t decorate for the holidays because they don’t want it to be corny or cheesy,” she said. “If you want to decorate for the holidays, you can do it in a beautiful way.”

Here are five great fall decor you can add to your home, and three tacky decor to skip, according to Childers.

Let nature guide the colors you incorporate into your fall home decor.

A living room with neutral decor accents.
Ashley Childers

“I really like to let nature guide seasonal decor,” Childers, who has worked in the design industry for 13 years and in interior design for six, told Insider. “So, we always lean into beautiful wheats and burnt oranges, burgundies, sage greens, and even into deep, beautiful forest greens.”

“All those warm, rich colors you think of when you think fall are what I love to see in fall decor,” she continued. “I just believe that if you let nature guide you, you’ll never make a mistake.”

Swapping out your fall decor with a wool blanket can add texture to your space.

Bed with comfortable knitted blanket and pillows.
New Africa/Shutterstock

“A really beautiful wool blanket is a symbol of fall, in my opinion,” Childers said. “It can truly be a capsule piece for your home no matter the season.”

In her home, Childers said she often changes her blankets from season to season.

“I love the fall and winter seasons the most because the texture gets so moist and comfortable. So my recommendation and advice is to always choose natural fibers if possible,” she said. “With throws and blankets, we usually go for beautiful linens and wool, and things made from organic cotton. Anything like that will stand the test of time and be a really good investment piece for your home.”

For a sophisticated look, use more natural, organic-looking flowers indoors.

A vase made of natural materials on the table.
Ashley Childers

Childers said that when it comes to dropping centerpieces or wreaths into her home decor designs, she often uses dried plants for a more organic feel.

“I think it’s organic and obviously beautiful, and there’s no such thing as a real plant or a real potpourri or a flower or anything like that,” she said.

For example, grapevine wreaths and more architectural wreaths made from sticks, branches, wheat and other materials found naturally outside are often used.

Pillows made from organic materials are another great addition to fall home decor.

A pile of autumn pillows and blankets.
Cavan Images/Getty Images

“We always choose natural fibers — whether it’s bouquet, beautiful linen or gorgeous Dupioni silk,” Childers said. “Anything like that just adds a layer of texture. And then, if you add that warm fall color, it’s going to add a layer of comfort to your home.”

Using real pumpkins and gourds can also elevate your home’s exterior and interior decor.

Colorful pumpkins and flowers are displayed on the stairs leading to an old brownstone in New York City during the fall.
James Andrews/Getty Images

Although real pumpkins or plants inside or on the outside of your home can bring energy into a space, though, they’re less lasting longer than fake decor pieces, Childers said.

“I think keeping nature and beauty indoors or outdoors is perfect for the fall season,” she said.

Childers said the biggest mistake people make when decorating their homes for fall is overusing fake pumpkins, leaves and plants.

House decorated for Halloween.
Valentinrosanov/Getty Images

“Fake pumpkins, fake plants, fake everything, in my opinion, drains energy from the space,” she said.

Childers added that she lives in Arkansas and realizes that many people want to start decorating early — even when it’s still time very It’s hot outside – so real pumpkins, flowers and other live decorations won’t be practical.

“I would say maybe opt for dried branches, dried leaves, dried berries, those types of things you can still get early in the season,” Childers said.

Busy patterns and bright colors can also tend to be cheesy, and are not the most calming choices for your living space.

A plaid sign that says “Hello Fall” and an orange sofa with a yellow pillow.
Christine Prahl/Shutterstock; Pixelshot/Shutterstock

Many of the traditional fall colors you’ll find in home and craft stores are “harsh,” Childers said, and make it difficult to create a calm, soothing environment in your home.

“It doesn’t occur naturally. You see artificial pumpkins and things in the craft store and you say, ‘I don’t know if that’s a color that exists in nature.’ I’m not sure about that.’” Sticking to natural colors like taupe, sage green and forest green can be more subdued than bright orange and black, Childers said.

Colored ribbon is another old trend that can make your fall decor look tacky.

White pumpkin tied with a brown bow.
Stephanie Fry/Shutterstock

“If that’s your style, go for it,” Childers said. “I would say that probably wouldn’t give you a high-end look. So with us, our style is a little more in that regard. We don’t usually go for an orange, yellow, and black plaid stripe.”

However, Childers said there are no strict rules about what works and what doesn’t in a home, and that people should experiment with what brings them happiness.

A woman hangs electric lights decorated with pumpkins.
Arman Zinniev/Getty Images

“If you bring something in and it’s not sarcastic, it probably won’t work,” Childers said. “You have to try things. It’s okay if something doesn’t work. It’s your home. It’s your laboratory. You have to try and see what you want.”

Childers also said she likes to change up her seasonal decor from year to year and try new decor pieces and trends.

“It’s easy to add pieces like blankets and pillows that give you a chance to bring a new feel to your space, without having to invest in new furniture or lamps or something like that,” she said.

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