Have you ever noticed that fall shows up when you aren’t even looking for it?

Yesterday I went to the dollar store and checked out with a cart full of dish detergent, cans of potato soup, packages of tortillas and a handful of Fourth of July clearance flags.  Pushing my cart up to the front of the store, I hummed to myself and thought about the soup I was going to make and the dishes I was going to wash and the flags I was going to unfurl.

Suddenly, without notice—there it was.

An entire basket of white chocolate pumpkin candy.

I know, right?  I couldn’t believe it.  Pumpkins?  In August?  What is the world as we know coming to?  I stared at the pumpkin candy in righteous indignation.  I looked it up and looked it down with my summer tan and my sparkling flip flops and my patriotic cart.

And then?

I did what any self-respecting individual would do when faced with white chocolate holiday treats in the middle of the summer solistice.

I put it in my cart.

Here are 10 easy fall decorating ideas that go better with chocolate.

1. A little orange is your friend

Normally orange and I don’t run in the same circles.

It doesn’t go well with my skin tone and it’s really bold and it makes a statement when it shows up.  But for fall?  It’s perfect.  This entire display was only $8.99 courtesy of your local produce department and my attic.

The key to making this work?  The color orange and three sizes of pumpkins.  Add little pumpkins next to medium size pumpkins next to larger pumpkins.

Then let the orange do all the talking.

2.  Look for texture

Pumpkin texture is so 2017.  It’s everywhere.  It’s like pumpkin makers are working overtime to think up the most incredible things to make pumpkins from.

I found straw pumpkins and jute pumpkins and toile pumpkins and galvanized metal pumpkins and wood pumpkins.   You don’t need a lot, but a little texture makes the rest of your decorating so much smoother.

(total aside—it was subtle and you may have missed it, but that was a texture joke).

3.  Fill a container with pumpkins

You know all those pumpkins that you bought at the dollar store that stare at you every year in reproach that you don’t ever display them anymore because they’re not as cute as your new texture pumpkins (brown and green pumpkin in the front of this picture I’m looking at you)?

Here’s a solution.

Group them all together in an over-sized container—like a tool box or basket or tray.  When you put them all together, it’s like a pumpkin miracle.

They somehow all get cuter and you have a fun display for free.

4.  Add in an unexpected color

For years, I’ve decorated for fall with neutrals.

It just seems like the season for it with all the hay and straw and dried hydrangea.  And then?  I added a little blue and white into the scene and it just popped.

It’s like fall—but a little happier.

5.  Don’t forget the cotton

I’m not sure when I first found cotton, but I’m so thankful I did.

There’s something about a little cotton—in a wreath or mixed in with twigs from the yard or just grouped together in a vase on a side table that makes a display a little more fall.

I’ve seen cotton stems everywhere—or you could make your own with sticks, cotton balls and pieces of pine cone.

6.  Make your own fall

Speaking of making cotton—there are so many easy fall decorating ideas you can make on your own.

Like these pine cone acorns.

Or this book page wreath.

Or these simple letter blocks.

7.  Create an easy centerpiece

Do NOT over think your centerpiece.

Here’s a simple idea.  Start with a burlap runner.  Mix in faux greenery, like this bay leaf runner and these ever green stems with a few magnolia cuttings.  Then tuck in pumpkins and a few pine cones.

Let fall do the rest.

I hope you enjoyed a little fall with your day.

I hope you were inspired and encouraged and full of joy and ready to dust your pine cones off.

And now?

Please excuse me.  I have to go eat some pumpkins. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Love your displays but I'm not read for fall yet. I'm squeezing every last drop of summer right down to September 22! I probably won't decorate for fall until the end of September or October 1. I'm just stubborn that way. I'm always so sad to say goodbye to summer. Did buy a new pair of fall boots that should be delivered today! Fall is beautiful but summer's are way to short in Michigan!

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Amen! Another Michigander here who is all about soaking up every moment of summer. Although, I have to say ... we have gorgeous autumns here in the mitten.

    2. Image for Laura @ The Tiny House Farm Laura @ The Tiny House Farm

      I just wanted to say that I agree with you Sandy....wanting to hold on to summer...but this year it has been so HOT in the California Bay area that I am sooooo ready for fall this year. All the beautiful pumpkin pictures have my mind churning and longing for the cooler days ahead! Of course I still love summer!

  2. Image for Jolene Jolene

    Your posts and ability to laugh at yourself continue to delight me. Yes, buy the chocolate, do not overthink your centerpieces, and group Dollar Store gourds and pumpkins together ant they can be cute! These are some of the things I will take away from your post. Here's another trick I saw a craftsman doing at a fall festival. His booth had the most exquisite arrangements using faux apples, oranges, gourds and the like. He took a little bit of dark stain to the faux fruit and rubbed in on, and rubbed the excess off. It took the too bright coloring of some faux fruit down a notch and also added another layer of shading. I have done this and have been very happy with the results. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Image for Vicki S Vicki S

    Well all you Michiganders - I live on the West coast of central Florida and we have to use the calendar to tell us the seasons! Since it feels like summer 10 months out of the year - I have a short window to decorate for fall....Usually put out a few fall decorations, wreaths etc early Sept through Thanksgiving and then a month and a week or two for Christmas décor. I enjoy looking at the fall décor I see showing up on the blogs this week - but so not ready to put it out - even that décor won't make it feel any less like summer!!!!! Enjoy the blog as always!

  4. Image for Eileen Eileen

    Loved this post! I love autumn more than any other season and am ready to drag out my 50plus pumpkins way too soon.

  5. Image for Lynda Lynda

    Love all your ideas! Fall is my very favorite season. I love the colors, the smells, the food etc. etc. I always look forward to it especially after a long, hot summer. I am planning a trip to the dollar store tomorrow. I can't wait to see what my store has for fall. :-)

  6. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I know what you mean about orange and about how its perfect for Fall. That's the only time it shows up in my home too LOL. Last year, on my daily walk, I gathered yellow and brown fall foliage to display. It was beautiful. However. This year I will be scouring it more closely for bugs. Last year, I inadvertently invited a few unwanted guests into my home...

  7. Image for Diane Amick Diane Amick

    Where have you been all my blog following days?? Just started following you and LOVE your posts. I AM an orange girl....def an accent in my home. You have no idea how much fun the holidays are using orange, teal, bronze and chartreuse in decorations and gift wrap. No standard red-green for me. Northern Virginia has been hot hot hot last few weeks, Really looking forward to a cool down and fall.

  8. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

    I have to tell you I wa so excited when I saw the title and realized you were doing a fall post! Now I'm not the only one who's thinking fall!!!! I know it's still early but this week in North Carolina it's been cooler temps than normal and I swear there's a slight "nip" in the air at night! So my brain has moved towards fall, it's my favorite season of all! Already thinking about decor and imagining pulling out all my fall bins from the attic and getting to redecorate! Thanks for the tips and for a dose of pumpkin this morning!!

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    AWWWW....(Me and ) The Michiganders are on the block today!!! :) Even though I live elsewhere, my heart is in the Mitten...Smitten mitten. As usual, your pictures distracted me from most of the story....what can I say...I LOVE pictures. :) I agree with everyone~ enjoy summer...hope it lasts until November and then I'll be ready for the beautiful hues of fall....HA.... February is my hardest month to get through here in gray Pittsburgh....anyone else have a month that (it seems) the weather IS ONLY gray EVERY.DAY. and you can't wait to hurry through that one???

  10. Image for Diane Diane

    Ditto.... I stand with my fellow Michiganders. ;) When it comes to spring and summer... I soak up every minute of their goodness. Looking at stick trees for 6 months of the year is agony. Spring takes forever to get here so I absolutely must soak up all the goodness of this time of year. I'm already struggling with the sun going down earlier and the bright flowers of late summer filling the farmers stands at the markets... I have a sense of impending doom... winter. LOL I know... but it's real. All that being said... I love living in the mitten state with all the gorgeous seasons. p.s. did I miss seeing those white chocolate pumpkins?

  11. Image for Mary Mary

    Always enjoy your blog and was especially happy to see your fall post with some great inspiration! For me, fall starts on Labor Day! It is such a beautiful season and I want to savor every moment (and all my lovely fall decor) as long as I can. By the way, my local Hobby Lobby was completely decked out for fall AND Christmas before July 4th!!!! Now that is way too early, even for me!

  12. Image for Jill Jill

    Did you seriously just do a fall decorating post? TOO SOON! Haha! I'm still in mermaid and seashell mode. But cute ideas anyway

  13. Image for Ann Ann

    Hobby Lobby has had fall and Christmas stuff out since June. Too early if you ask me, but no one asked. HA! I'm in SE Tennessee and I'm ready for fall or for at least some cooler temps.

  14. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Oh how I love your wooden pumpkin, the straw and jute ones too! Where did you find them? NOT that I need anymore pumpkins:) Have a beautiful weekend. I am not ready for Fall yet but wish it would cool off a LITTLE!! It is so hot here in July and the beginning of August. I'll be complaining about the cold though so I better enjoy this!!!

  15. Image for laura {not a trophy wife} laura {not a trophy wife}

    love, love, love! I got the biggest score from Pottery Barn in January! Those metal pumpkins. They are huge. I bought 2 and opened one box because the boxes were flat and I was wondering how a pumpkin could fit in a 2" width (or is it height) box. Okay, .... sidenote: I wish I wrote my posts like I write my comments. So free falling or free willing..... oh and i loved your "around the barn." I mix up those expressions constantly... like "never kick a horse with a gift in his mouth." anyway.... I am holding off on fall until September 1 after we take my first born baby boy to college in Minneapolis. sniff. sniff.

  16. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Orange? Orange and I are at opposite ends of the universe. And never the twain shall meet! LOL Except...maybe a tiny bit peeking out for fall! I looooooove fall! My favorite. Your pictures are wonderful! Truly inviting for fall. I always love seeing fall decorating. Thank you for this appeteaser! :D

  17. Image for Amanda Amanda

    I know how you feel about fall encroaching on your summer. I feel that same way every year Christmas encroaches on my fall! I live for fall savoring every last pumpkin spice flavor taste of it. Since we are having a fall weather snap here in western pa this weekend I am getting my harvest décor out and starting to sprinkle the glorious fall décor around. Thanks for sharing this post.

  18. Image for Laura @ The Tiny House Farm Laura @ The Tiny House Farm

    Each photo I saw came with an oooo and an Ahhh. So beautiful!! I love the simplicity of the pumpkins with a bit of greenery. All of your ideas make me long for fall to come. We have some wire baskets from our store that I think I'm going to use to incorporate some of your ideas. As always...beautiful photos!

  19. Image for Heather Heather

    I know you have been asked a ka-billion times, but I need to know what the background color on the first china hutch in this post is called, pleased I'm old and forgetful, thanks you're the best. It's sort of a taupey, mushroomy color, love it. I've decided to do the plate rail on the side of my refrigerator enclosure, I think it would be spectatular. Love you Karianne, Heather

  20. Image for Dee Dee

    So much inspiration, l knew l should have bought the wire wreath at the dollar store today! Acorns are genius, your photos are so gorgeous, you write like I'm your best friend, yep..l think you're amazing!


    KariAnne, you never cease to amaze me with all your lovely decor ideas! I love the fall time! Here, in Canada, it's such a beautiful time of the year with all the color! I bring out the Fall decor in September! Blessings!

  22. Image for Beth Beth

    Love the pops of blue with the pumpkins - need to turn that one plate up correctly - trees don't grow sideways. LOL Love your blog, have the same dishes or I wouldn't have noticed.

  23. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Hey Sweet Friend......always enjoy your posts, but especially loved this one about fall decorating! Fall is my favorite season, and though I'm probably in the minority, I'm counting down the days until it arrives! Thanks for all of your great tips.....loved seeing all of the pictures, too! Blessings.....

  24. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    We planted cotton this year! Hopefully I'll have some to decorate with. I looooove fall!!! Can't wait for cooler temps and love fall colors.

  25. Image for Kate Kate

    Love the decor and YES I'm so ready for Fall! I live in the south and it has been horrible these last few weeks! Thanks for the inspiration! ❤️

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