Hello November.

Nice to meet you.

I’m so all about you right now.  There’s something about November first that says hot chocolate and marshmallows and plaid blankets and pinecones and pine branches and chilly days and snowflakes and the wonderful, incredible indisputable fact that the holidays are just around the corner.  I want to get out the Christmas lights and turn on the Hallmark channel and pack up the pumpkins for another year.

But here’s the thing.


It’s still fall.

It’s like I have one foot in fall and one foot in Christmas.  How do I ease my pumpkins out and my fir branches in?  How do I stop drinking pumpkin spice latte and start drinking peppermint mocha?

How do I get my feet to come together?

Here are some of my favorite ways to transition decor from fall to Christmas.

1. Wreath

Decorating for me always starts and ends at the front door.

In November, I typically take down my fall wreath and add more of a winter wreath to the front door.  I make it more winter and less Christmas.  This is just an inexpensive wreath that I found at a discount store.  It was super affordable.  All I did to make it extra special was to wire in fresh magnolia.

The cold weather helps keep the magnolia fresh for several weeks.

And then?

When Christmas gets here, I replace it with an evergreen wreath.

2.  Lanterns

Here’s one of my best transitional pieces.


I put a picture of my fall lanterns and then my Christmas lanterns.

Around the first week of November, I phase out the pumpkins.

I clean out all the stuff the pumpkins leave behind and get them ready for winter.

Sometimes I tie on a white bow with a sprig of greenery.

I’ve used boxwood in the past because it’s not too Christmasy and still has a little bit of fall with it, too.

3. Centerpieces

Here’s my centerpiece transitioning from fall to Christmas.

I start off with pumpkins.

And more pumpkins with pumpkins on top.

Then I transition out some of the pumpkins for pinecones.

Then I transition to ribbon and ornaments right before Christmas.

DO NOT over think your centerpiece.


Just start off with a big dough bowl or tool box or long rectangular container.  Something you can fill.  Add in pumpkins and greenery and pinecones.  Take out the pumpkins.  Leave the greenery and pinecones.  Then later add ribbon and ornaments.

4. Throws

Nothing is easier to help make the transition from fall to Christmas than a throw.

I start with fluffy, textured throws for fall.

Those stay with me through winter.

Plaids and faux fur throws and neutral, chunky woven throws are tossed over chairs and put in baskets and folded up on stools.

Right before Christmas, I add in a few brightly colored plaids to layer in a little holiday cheer.

5. Pillows

I mostly keep my pillows neutral.

When fall starts, I put away the lighter fabrics and pattern and bring out the textured and woven pillows.

And because I do that—see the pillow transition from fall to Christmas?

It’s literally all of THE SAME PILLOWS.

The key is keeping everything textured and simple and then right around December, adding in one or two statement pillows like this snowflake.

6. Display

Sometimes it’s all about changing out a few pieces.

Here’s the hutch from fall to Christmas.

The white plates are the same.

All I did for fall was add a few pumpkins.

Then transitioning into Christmas, I took away the pumpkins and added a few trees.

Then in December I amped up the trees with reindeer.

7. Pinecones

And lastly?

The simplest way to transition from fall to Christmas to winter?



Or some facimile thereof.

There’s an entire category of pinecones and their friends that make the journey with you through the transition.

Here are some of my favorite transitioning friends:

Pinecones (obvi)






Velvet ribbon

Paper leaves

White dishes

You got this friends.


All you need to go from this….

…to this.

Is a little imagination.

A little texture.

A little transitional decor.

And a few pinecones and some of their friends. 🙂

PS  A GIANT thank you for all the ideas yesterday.

You all are BRILLIANT.


I never would have thought about making the needlepoint into a pillow and I just might try that.

If I’m brave enough. 🙂


  1. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I love all of these ideas Karianne! I love just swapping out a few key pieces rather than redecorating your whole house...who has time to do that? Now I need to go get some pinecones. Nancy

  2. Image for Cindy Vojanec (formerly Brown) Cindy Vojanec (formerly Brown)

    Hi, Karianne! It is this time of year that I truly hate living in Florida. (along with most of the other part of the year! HA) Just the mention of hot chocolate and fleece has sweat pouring off of me! Alas, only a few more years until retirement and I can move to have seasons once again after 40 years in Florida. Circumstances have prevented a prior move but it is my goal! All of your ideas are, as always, wonderful, and I wish you a very happy Fall and Christmas seasons!

  3. Image for Laura Laura

    Leaving for Italy for daughter’s belated graduation gift and CPA license). My sister ( who I brought to Haven 2017) flew out from Knoxville to “ babysit” dog and youngest son. And now all I can think about at the airport is if I should forward this to tricia to get my house prepped for Christmas! Happy November! Laura in CO

  4. Image for Shannon Gryszkiewicz Shannon Gryszkiewicz

    Thank you so much for that Karianne!!! I am sooooo tired of reading about people decorating for Christmas ..... and that’s their choice and I’m truly not judging!!!! I just love fall and I love to see my Thanksgiving table decorated for fall !!! I too use pine ones and fir branches along with my collection of mostly white pumpkins..... although I’m loving the little tin pumpkins I’m finding!!!! 😊 I literally breathed a big sigh of relief after reading your post tho...... so again.... thank you!!! ☺️👍🏻

  5. Image for Maureen Provost Ryan Maureen Provost Ryan

    I am so glad you seized upon the needlepoint pillow idea -- I thought that was the standout idea among all of the good ideas contributed. I hope you follow that lead! Dying to see the result!

  6. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Great ideas! Especially since I don't have room to store too many seasonal things to change out. It's also great when you have pine cones in your yard!:)

  7. Image for RW RW

    Good transition ideas; clever. We will not look at Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. Too early for me. Some of ya'll just started pumpkins way too early... and are already tired of them. Let's celebrate Thanksgiving, not with Black Friday shopping madness, but with family and friends.

  8. Image for Erna Martin Erna Martin

    Congratulations! Hallmark Channels, Home and Family show featured a diy plate rack inspired by Thistlewood Farms this morning. In my book you have officially arrived. I was so excited they were featuring a project from someone’s blog that I love reading!

  9. Image for Jan Jan

    Hi, I have a beautiful hand crafted and carved bench that came to the US with my grandmother from Norway when she was an 18 year old coming to join her husband to begin their new life in this country. I now have it to cherish. My mother made a piece of needlepoint to cover the bench and it so reminded me of the piece you found framed. I didn’t write yesterday as I thought you wanted to leave it as a framed piece. When you said someone suggested a pillow I had to tell you of my vision of a cherished bench cover to leave as a cherished keepsake to your kids. It would be so beautiful. This bench has lived in many rooms in different homes we’ve had all over the country. We are now retired in Florida and it’s a special piece in our bedroom. It will someday go to one of our 3 kids....hmm which one-I’ll let them decide.

  10. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I've never really "transitioned" before, except to put the fall bin with pumpkins in it away as I'm going to the basement to pull up the Christmas bins! LOL! I might just experiment with this idea . . . Although the view outside my windows is just now full-on fall! Beautiful ideas from a beautiful lady!! Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Of all the writers I know, I think you could write an amazing novel!

  11. Image for June Gerstner June Gerstner

    Because my husband and I go to the tropics every year in December, EVERYTHING has to be done for Christmas by December 1st. I also do Thanksgiving for my family. So everything is pandemonium...put away/pack up anything speaking of Fall, decorate the house and three trees, make and mail all cards and long distance presents, and buy and wrap all those being delivered locally. If Christmas wasn't my favorite holiday of the entire year, I'd probably go crazy. Instead, I just put on some holiday music and dance my way thru the house (sometimes I even pick up my little Yorkie and dance with her!). I can't wait!!!!!!!!!

  12. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    We are taking the Halloween decorations down over the week end. The Thanksgiving decorations will soon be up. Marilyn

  13. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    I think we are all feeling stressed this year and are yearning for some peace and simplicity. Personally I am skipping some of my time consuming traditions and looking forward a more natural approach with lots of greens ,holly berries,pinecones and white Amaryllis. Last year I did a very formal ,styled tree but this year I may just have lots of little white lights and frosted balls.

  14. Image for Peg Peg

    Not having an abundance of storage for seasonal decorations, I love using real pumpkins (they go out to the squirrels after Thanksgiving), leaves, acorns, tree branches, pine cones and pine boughs! Plus, just about all of them are free it gets you outside for a scavenger hunt of sorts!! Love, love!!! xoxoxo

  15. Image for Michael @ CraftyDad.com Michael @ CraftyDad.com

    Great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I was just telling my wife last night that we should put up our Christmas tree. She gave me a blank stare. : ) I know it's a bit too early, but I'm just in the mood to make this Holiday season as long as possible. Is that crazy? Ha! Probably. Thanks again for your inspiration. And great story-telling. And beautiful photography.

  16. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I love everything about your blog, I have looked everywhere for the birch bark Christmas trees. Can you tell me where I can purchase these?

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