Fall is more than just a season it's a state of mind.
Autumn provides a calm, soothing respite between the busy vacations and excursions of summer and the hustle and bustle soon to come with the holidays.
So it's no wonder people want to turn their attention to a little cocooning this time of year and revamp their surroundings with the colors, textures and aromas of fall.
If you're ready for a seasonal update, there are plenty of places to gather your wares. Fall décor has been on the shelves for a few weeks just about everywhere and at every price point. You can find items at specialty home and gift stores like those in McHenry Village, at retailers such as Pier One and Cost Plus, at any of the region's craft shops and at chains like Target and Wal-Mart.
Changing the season inside your home can be a minimal move or on a grander scale, depending on just how fall-icious you want to go. Here are a few tips for updating your interiors with the season:
Change out the little things: An autumnal update can be as easy as switching out your regular candles with ones in the season's colors and warm aromas. Using orange, brown and yellow tapers, votives or pillars in place of the blue or green or whatever you usually have out is a quick, inexpensive fall fix.
Buying scented candles to burn also gives your home an instant warmth and hominess; the aromas of pumpkin, spice and apples are just a few of the options available.
Bring nature inside: Once the leaves turn, you might find some of your fall décor free and on the ground. Gather up the prettiest of the leaves off your trees and use them in glass containers or scattered across a tablescape. Also in nature's bounty and available at your neighborhood supermarket are items such as gourds, pumpkins and unshelled walnuts.
Use nature, but not naturally: Of course, those fallen leaves are going to dry up pretty quickly. And you have a bit of a wait in the Central Valley before they actually turn. Another option is to shop around the myriad synthetic foliage offerings sold in stores from high-end decorator shops to inexpensive craft purveyors. Faux berries, pumpkins and the like also are available to use now and autumns into the future.
Find a focal point: Rather than go crazy with fall all over a room, pick a spot to really dress up, such as a mantel or dining room table. You can use a runner in browns or golds or spread fall foliage across as a base. Add height with specific items an on-trend tall owl, for instance and then tuck in pumpkins, gourds and such to fill in the space.
At Portico, owner Sarah Grover said some customers will bring in a picture of their mantel and ask for guidance in decorating it with items available in the store.
Once a focal area is decorated, stick to smaller accents and subtler touches elsewhere in the room.
Add a quiet touch of texture: Switch out your regular pillows with new ones in fall colors and heavier fabrics that suggest the season. Add a chunky throw in the same palette across a sofa, chair or ottoman.
Don't fear the bling: A lot of the latest decorative options available now include metallics, glitter and sequins. Add a few of the blingier decorative items, but don't overdo on the flash.
Keep the outdoors outside: Don't overlook the first place guests will see when they visit the front porch. Here's a chance to really keep nature natural, displaying pumpkins of varying girth and height, maybe even using hay bales as support. And, add a fresh fall wreath to the door.