Living in a small home doesn’t have to mean boring! These cozy fall cottage decor ideas will inspire and encourage you!
One of the things I’ve learned while living in a small cottage is how much easier life is! Downsizing or living with less stuff doesn’t have to mean your home is lacking or less than.
Much like our personal lives, our homes are a reflection of the inside. As I’ve spent the last two years healing from tragedy (my new YouTube channel is here) I’ve learned healing comes in many ways. Through counseling, wisdom from trusted friends, support from a community who loves me no matter what and a family grateful I’m still here.
How we feel about ourselves is reflected in our homes. When we feel good about ourselves and our lives our homes reflect this through the decor we choose and the way we decorate. I believe having a safe and beautiful home to live in is one of the most important ways I’ve found contentment after my divorce.
(The wreath on the front door is years old but I still love it. My pup Carson welcomes everyone in the neighborhood!)
Since fall is my most favorite season (Cool weather outfits and cozy cottages are my favorite things), I decorate because I WANT TO, not because I have to. My home brings me much joy and peace these days.
You can read my story about the separation and divorce and purchasing my sweet cottage all on my own. (Read my Simple Guide to Fall Cottage Decor.)
Small doesn’t have to mean boring.
When my husband and I divorced and I bought my little cottage I had to go through 30 years of living in my previous home. I ruthlessly gave away so many possessions and let them go without a second look. I only had 1000 sq. ft. in my new home and I had to make every space count!
My updated vintage card catalogue is a gorgeous way to organize all those necessities that need a home while still looking gorgeous!
I’ve been astonished the way the specific pieces I chose to keep create cottage country charm in such a simple way. It always thrills me when someone says they adore my home! I just know it’s 100% me, my loves, my favorite colors, my joy.
Use what you already have.
I preach this every day, all year long. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook I’m usually sharing yard sale or thrift store treasures. Even side of the road goodies may end up in my home!
I have purchased very little for my new home other than my friends building shelves in a few rooms. I’ve used end of the season sales to buy just a few things so my fall decorations don’t become stale or boring.
My card catalogue makeover is my prized possession in this room and I added a screen saver that’s perfect for setting the mood.
Think outside the box. Use neutral colors like white and black as a backdrop for more traditional autumn colors. If you like milk glass use a few pieces mixed in with other accessories.
Outdoor elements are perfect for fall.
I’ve spent most of my home improvement money on the back yard of my new home. It was truly a jungle and the source of much stress. The previous owner hadn’t done anything in the 15 years he lived here.
Several trees were taken down, the entire yard cleared and sprayed, the back fence fixed and after 10 months my dog Carson could finally roam free! Hallelujah!
All this is to say look around your own yard for things such as pine cones, branches and pretty greenery. Free is one of my most favorite words!
Here I’ve taken a simple metal leaf shaped tray and added both natural and fabric elements. Just a touch of fall and still so cute!
One of the changes I made in my front yard was taking down an enormous pampas grass plant. I got about halfway done and my good friends came and fought the plant the rest of the way! I saved some branches to remind me of the plant and to use in my fall cottage.
Anyone notice the dog bones in the hall? lol just real life here folks!
Textures are the best answer for that cozy fall look.
One of my favorite ways to add fall is through the warmth of throws of different colors. This chunky orange throw just feels like a breath of fall while the black and white buffalo check throw and pillow add a fun pattern.
I love using pillow covers as a way to add some variety to my home. Simple changes with a big impact!
You can even add texture to a simple tray and arrangement with the buffalo plaid fabric and straw pumpkins
I put a simple eucalyptus wreath with added cloth pumpkins around my diffuser and a $1 yard sale arrangement underneath.
Decide on a color scheme.
I wouldn’t say this is necessary for everyone, but thinking ahead to whether you want to use traditional colors or add in a more modern touch will help with your decorating.
I have two glass doors before you enter the main part of my home so I have some kind of decoration for both. This autumn sign fits right in with the bright cheerful colors of the season.
My home already displays my favorite colors of teal/aqua and coral/red. Fall colors fit right in and I’ve picked up a few items for the fall season that have a bit more blue in them to tie it all together.
The entrance to my home is an enclosed sunroom and I make sure a welcoming impression is made for all who enter. I could go through each room and compare the items to how they were used in my previous home and the way they’re still perfect for my new home.
I could go through each room and compare the items to how they were used in my previous home and the way they’re perfect for my new home. My home is neither fancy nor big but it’s well loved!
Don’t forget your dining area.
I have a tiny table that actually folds out but to be honest, I rarely use it when I have friends over for dinner. But I DO always keep it decorated because it just makes me happy!
When I moved I downsized about 1000 sq. ft. of belongings so I still have tablecloths, chargers and ways to decorate the table for each season. But since I’m just arranging a place setting for two I didn’t keep everything!
I did keep this homemade black and white buffalo check runner for my table. Goes perfect with the accents around my home.
You can see where my dining nook is and how close it is to the rest of the living room. There’s room to slide it over if we sit at the table but it’s pretty regardless!
It’s so easy just to pull a few things out and throw together a beautiful table. But these tips work for any size kitchen or dining area.
I found these gather plates and hand towels at the dollar store and just loved the mix of blue and orange. It may look tacky but I added the hand towels to the back of the chairs for the cute factor!
The wooden balls came from the dollar store as well and are perfect as a napkin ring.
I bought these fabric pumpkins at 80% off last year and you’ll find them in a couple different places. One of my favorite ways to change up my decor is gather items in a basket. This metal one is a favorite.
My two gather pictures hang in this nook all year as a reminder of all God has given me.
Another example of gathering various textured balls and pine cones, this time in a copper basket. This sits directly under my card catalogue since decorating on top would hide the tv.
Add your autumn decor to what you’re already using.
At my ranch house where I lived for 30 years I used to pack up all the things so I would have room for seasonal accessories. NO MORE! I just add seasonal decor to what’s already in my home.The open shelving with my cookbooks are also a place to add a few pumpkins or vintage pieces, along with my DIY stamped books.
On either side of the vintage sewing machine are black bottles with more of my pampas grass. You can tell I didn’t remove any of my basket organization. Just keepin’ it real!
My china hutch has been made over several times. I added this cheery wallpaper and since it’s so bright I only added a few touches of fall. I want to make sure the wallpaper shines so I keep it uncluttered as much as possible. (Read about my china hutch makeover here.)
You can peep the dollar store fall plates I love so much!
I use these yard sale frames all year round in my home but I just use my craft supplies and change up the scrapbook paper inside. Easy peasy!
But talk about imperfect! One of the frames doesn’t even have glass but I use it anyway. Letting go of perfection creates a home that is real and lived in by the people we love.
FAQs about fall cottage living
Cozy Fall Cottage Decor
- Small doesn’t have to mean boring.
- Use what you already have.
- Outdoor elements are perfect for fall.
- Textures are the best answer for that cozy fall look.
- Decide on a color scheme.
- Don’t forget your dining area.
- Add your autumn decor to what you’re already using.