8 Genius Ways to Organize Your Kitchen


8 Genius Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

Clear out the clutter and tidy up your kitchen with tips from our friends at HomeAdvisor

The following is a guest post from Andrea Davis of HomeAdvisor

The kitchen is one of the most difficult places in the home to keep clean and organized. Between your dishes, utensils and cooking appliances, you have lots of oddly shaped and bulky items to store. If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the stuff in your kitchen, or maybe just need a more efficient way of storing and organizing, consider these genius ways to tidy up your kitchen.

#1 Group Similar Items Together

Grouping items together according to their use is a sensible way to organize your kitchen. Categorizing similar items makes it easier for you and your guests to find things quickly.

#2 Use Baskets to Store Commonly Used Items

Searching for commonly used kitchen items is frustrating. Rather than storing them in random cabinets, use a simple wicker basket to corral and hold popular items. It looks nicer than just stacking utensils on the counter and it’s more organized than stashing them in available cabinets.

#3 Install Slide-Out Pantry Drawers

There’s nothing worse than having to pull everything out of a drawer or cabinet to reach something you’re looking for. Rather than shuffling with all of that mess, install slide-out pantry drawers or cabinets. Now, when you need a spice or are looking for specific dry goods, you can slide the entire cabinet out.

#4 Use Open Shelving

There’s nothing wrong with showing off some of the items you own, like your formal dinnerware or antique teapots. The only challenge you’ll face is keeping it all straight and tidy on your shelves. Installing an open shelving solution will help you organize everyday kitchen items and bring an open, airy energy to your kitchen. As an added benefit, you won’t have to open drawers and doors to find the items you’re looking for.

#5 Explore Alternative Storage

Traditional kitchen storage is great, but sometimes alternatives are just as functional. Consider storing extra kitchen items in wooden crates, baskets and other containers. Do you have a movable kitchen island with space underneath? Use woven baskets to hold your plates and bowls below.

#6 Don’t Waste Space

If you’re struggling to find space to organize all of your cutlery, plates and other utensils, consider high-shelf storage. Remember to only store rarely used items, like your fine china or fondue pot, on high shelves.

#7 Cut Down When Necessary

The kitchen is one of the most popular places in the home to display knick-knacks. If your assortment of collectibles has outgrown your space, the easiest way to organize is to eliminate what you can’t put out on display. This cuts down on clutter and opens up the visuals of your kitchen.


These are just a few simple ways to improve the organization of your kitchen. Now you can enjoy less frustrating meal preparation and less overwhelming visuals.

Read This Post Before Raking Up Those Fall Leaves


Bring the beauty of fall into your home with these easy DIY decor projects.

Ahh Fall Foliage…so beautiful but also SO messy!

For those who live in parts of the world that get to experience fall foliage you can relate to the love/hate relationship that comes with the turn of the season. On one hand the beauty of the changing leaves is something we look forward to with the first cool breeze that returns each year. On the other, cleaning up our yards seems like a never ending task. Before you break out your rake and drag that pile of leaves to your curb check out some creative ways you can add the beauty of fall to your home with these DIY leaf decor projects.

Throw Pillows | Butiksofie

This DIY project is so incredibly affordable and allows you to create gorgeous one of a kind fall decor that is subtle yet spectacular. Learn How Here

Leaf Bowl | diyncraftpriscilla

This autumnal bowl brings nature into your home and provides the perfect place for small treats (like Halloween candy). Watch Below

Leaf CoastersConfessionsofahomeschooler

This project is an awesome one to do with children and makes a great hostess gift for any fall house parties you are attending. Learn how here

Leaf Wreath | DIYMood

Treat yourself to a warm welcome home from the moment you walk in the door with a dried leaf wreath (I know you are impressed with my rhyming skills :) ) Watch Below.

Framed Pressed Leaves |witandwhistle

Swapping out pictures is a great way to keep your home decor fresh and this project will give you beautiful decor that you can bring back each year. Learn how here

So there you have it, five fall projects that will leaf any auntumn fan happy at home. Happy Fall Y’all!

Everything You Love About Fall at Home


Everything You Love About Fall at Home

If you’re looking for more reasons to fall in love with fall at home, check out this round-up of our favorite Blue Matter highlights for this fabulous season.

Fall at home is all about cozy nights around the dinner table, afternoons of playing in the fallen leaves, and mornings taking in the crisp autumn air. If you’re looking for more reasons to fall in love with fall at home, check out this round-up of our favorite Blue Matter highlights for this fabulous season.

Did you know there was a right way to rake leaves? Now you do.

Thinking about listing your home in October? Why the Fall Selling Season is Better than You Think

How to Turn Autumn Leaves into Home Decor

Heating bills. Halloween candy. Fallen leaves!  25 Thoughts Homeowners Have During Fall

We could go on forever, but here are 7 Reasons to be Happy it’s Fall.

How to Use your Senses to Transition your Home from Summer to Fall.

Don’t cry because summer’s over.  Instead, turn your summer place into an autumn oasis.

What if there was a gutter cleaning robot?

Surprising Real Estate Trends


Surprising Real Estate Trends that Will Shape the Way You Buy and Sell a Home

When buying or selling a house, one of the first questions that come to mind is either “What do I want in a house?” or “What do buyers want in my house?” The answer to either question may have a surprising link to generational real estate trends.

When buying or selling a house, one of the first questions that come to mind is either “What do I want in a house?” or “What do buyers want in my house?” Though it can be hard to differentiate between wants and needs in real estate, the answer to either question may have a surprising link to generational real estate trends.

The Data

According to data on home buyer and seller generational trends released by theNational Association of Realtors, Millennials (those born between 1982 and 2000) continue to comprise the largest contingent of homebuyers, holding 35 percent of the market. Although Millennials are the largest contingent of homebuyers, they spend less time saving for a down payment and have the largest level of educational debt than their home-buying counterparts. The next largest contingent, at 26 percent of the market, is made up of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1981). These buyers have had a bit more time to pay down student debt, save for a down payment, or gain some equity in their current home — which can provide clues about home buying trends based on age.


Millennials are more likely to look for a bargain, with affordability trumping almost every other housing need, and it is one of the major reasons Millennials are flocking to the suburbs, as opposed to urban areas. When selling, that means appealing to the Millennial set that will be looking for walkability, transport links, and neutral spaces to put their stamp on. If buying, especially for the first time, Millennials are more likely to compromise on the size and age of a home before they compromise on price, which provides ample opportunity to build equity through a renovation before moving on to a larger home in the future.

Generation X

Gen Xers, on the other hand, are more likely to move to obtain a larger home for their growing families. When selling, this means playing up livable space in a home and demonstrating how it can support a growing family. Items to focus on are the main living spaces such as the kitchen, living areas, and bathrooms. Proximity to good schools and transportation routes are also good qualities to play up. Gen Xers are also more likely to stay in their homes for a longer period than the Millennial set — meaning Xers are more likely to compromise on price to get the right neighborhood or location.

Baby Boomers

If you’re wondering where the Baby Boomers fit in, it may surprise you to know that the Millennials have recently surpassed Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation, and this demographic shift is reflected in their share of the real estate market. With many Boomers still in the workforce, the real estate trends for this group have been split in two: younger Boomers (born between 1956 and 1964) and older Boomers (born between 1946 and 1955). They have a market share of 16 percent and 15 percent of the market respectively. What makes this generation unique is that they are the ones most likely to move the furthest, obtaining a smaller home and relocating closer to family and friends, and they are willing to pay for the location they want.

The Bottom Line

Across all buying groups, environmentally friendly features ranked as incredibly important, and nearly all generational groups from 30 to 90 began their real estate search online — something potential home sellers should be aware of when preparing their home for sale. No matter who your target market is when selling your home, presenting a neutral space, playing up the local amenities, and including lots of pictures in an online listing will remain critical in a successful sale.


Is Solar Power a Bright Idea for Your Home?

Reduced utility bills. A greener lifestyle. Tax incentives. These are just a few reasons why some homeowners are opting to switch to solar power. But, is it right for your home?

Reduced utility bills. A greener lifestyle. Tax incentives.  These are just a few reasons why some homeowners are opting to switch to solar power.  But, what is it right for your home? We asked Sunrun, the largest dedicated residential solar company in the U.S. to answer 5 frequently asked questions about solar power to help you weigh the pros and cons.

1. Why solar power? What benefits does a homeowner see from switching to solar power?

The biggest benefit homeowners receive from going solar is saving money on their electric bills. Sunrun customers save 20%* on their bills and are able to lock in those rates for 20 years. In addition to saving money, homeowners who go solar are benefiting the environment and their local community by reducing the need for their utility provider to produce energy with fossil fuels. It is far more efficient for a utility to get clean solar electricity produced off the roof of someone’s home than it is to bring in power from electricity generation plants miles away.

2. How much does installing solar panels on a standard home cost? And will solar power pay for itself?

Sunrun’s most popular product is BrightSave®, a solar lease that allows a homeowner to get solar installed for little to zero down. Whether you go with a monthly orprepaid solar lease you can start saving immediately, without the hassle of ownership. There is no waiting for the system to pay for itself, you start saving the moment the system is turned on.

3. How does the weather affect solar power? For instance, what happens if it’s a cloudy or snowy day? Do solar panels still generate energy?

You’re hitting on one of the key areas a homeowner should pay attention to when determining whether going solar is right for their home. Sunrun guarantees energy production** for our customers rain or shine. If after 12 months your solar system falls short of your production guarantee Sunrun will cut you a check for the difference.

4. What incentives are available to homeowners to switch to solar?

On a Federal level homeowners who own their solar PV system qualify for anInvestment Tax Credit of 30%, while many state and local governments also offer incentives to go solar. Sunrun does all the work for homeowners, handling all the paperwork involved in obtaining the incentives you would qualify for and maximizes them to their full advantage when determining the final system cost.

5. Will solar panels increase the value of my home?

It depends on a few factors, such as whether you own the solar array on your roof or not. For homeowner-owned systems, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Lab recently found that home buyers are typically willing to pay a $15,000 premium for homes with an installed solar array.

Regardless, residential solar is a fast-growing trend and more and more home buyers are looking for homes where they know their energy bills will be low. So any home solar solution will help make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Sunrun also guarantees our systems will transfer to the home’s new owner. We have a dedicated team of transfer specialists who make transferring a home between seller and buyer hassle-free.

Have a question about solar power that isn’t answered here? Tweet @sunrun and use the hashtag #SolarRealEstate.


  • *Estimated savings based on a projected annual utility rate increase of 3.16% over the life of the system. Actual savings will vary. Savings depends on several factors, including product type, system production, geography, weather, shade, electricity usage, full utilization of the 30% solar Investment Tax Credit by the system owner, and utility rate structures and rate increases. Analysis based on customers who enrolled with Sunrun between October 15, 2014 and October 15, 2015. See www.sunrun.com/save20 for details.
  • **Sunrun guarantees 100% of the guaranteed output during the initial term of the agreement for BrightSave Prepaid and 95% for BrightSave Monthly Lease. Please see https://www.sunrun.com/why-sunrun/your-guarantee for details.

To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist


To-Dos: Your October Home Checklist

Clean up fallen leaves and branches and get your home ready for more time spent indoors.

Houzz Contributor, Laura Gaskill

The leaves are falling, the farmer’s markets are bustling and the cozy comforts of home beckon — it must be October. Make the most of this month’s bountiful harvest, get some exercise raking leaves in the brisk air and button down your house in preparation for winter. Then sit back, relax and warm your hands around a mug of hot apple cider. Fall is here.

Connor Homes - The Dorothea Harwell House

1. Rake leaves. To make quicker work of collecting leaves from a large lawn, rake the fallen foliage onto a large plastic tarp. Then bag it or add it to your compost pile.

2. Trim dead tree limbs. Dead limbs are more likely to fall during winter storms, making them a potential safety hazard. Have an arborist inspect and trim large trees.

3. If you haven’t already, clean gutters and downspouts. Wait until most of the leaves have fallen to schedule a rain gutter cleaning. Inspect gutters and downspouts for cracks and loose parts and make repairs as needed.

It’s Time to Clean Your Gutters — Here’s How

Leschi Remodel

4. Neaten up the mudroom. The back-to-school (and work) flurry can leave the mudroom looking as if a hurricane hit it. Take some time to regain sanity — sort through papers and put away stray summer items and extra coats. Clean the floors and invest in a new doormat if needed. Keep a recycling basket near the entrance to make sorting mail and school papers easier, and dedicate a tote or bin for items that need to be returned (like library books).

Mudrooms That Really Clean Up


5. Keep seasonal decorating low-key with natural finds. Pumpkins and gourds, fresh heirloom apples, quinces, pomegranates, figs and fall foliage all make wonderfully simple decor.

Bring in cut branches from your yard, stop by a pick-your-own farm or scoop up fall’s bounty at a farm stand.

Browse the Houzz fall decorating page

Stackyard House

6. Maintain your wood stove or fireplace. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, it’s essential for safety that you have it serviced before lighting the first fire of the season. If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment to have your chimney inspected and, if necessary, cleaned.

Farmhouse Yellow

7. Check safety devices. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house and replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on the kitchen fire extinguisher and replace it if needed.

2015 Kosair Children

8. Start a gift list. It may seem like the holidays are a long way off — but that’s why it pays to start getting organized now. Start a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year. Then, as ideas strike, jot them down on your list. You can also use your list to keep track of a holiday gifting budget. And if you want to make any gifts by hand, October is a great time to get started — handmade gifts always seem to take longer to make than expected.

Alderwood Landscape

9. Cover or store outdoor furniture and grills. If you plan to leave your patio furniture or grill outside through the fall and winter, cover them well and stow them beneath an overhang that will protect them from rain and snow. Even if you live in a mild climate, covering your grill between uses is a good idea to protect the finish.

Cherry Street Residence

10. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses for winter. Disconnect, drain and roll hoses before storing them for the winter. Shut off the water supply to exterior faucets to prevent frozen pipes.

Tell us: What’s on your to-do list this October?

5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for the Fall Selling Season

Traditional brick colonial dressed up for fall with colorful mums and harvest gourds

5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for the Fall Selling Season

Sellers looking to get the best price know that curb appeal plays a huge role in making the sale, even in the fall when the leaves begin to fade. Here are five simple ways to make the most of what fall has to offer and boost your curb appeal.

Sellers looking to get the best price know that curb appeal plays a huge role in getting buyers through the door. Once the flowers fade and the temperature drops, however, it can be easy to overlook your outdoor space altogether. Here are five simple ways to make the most of what fall has to offer and give your home the edge it needs for a quick sale.

1. Improve Your Entry

With every potential buyer passing through your front door, your entryway is critical to a good first impression. Cleaning the door, sweeping the stoop, and ridding the area of dirt and cobwebs can be enough to improve the overall look of your home, but for maximum impact, lay a new doormat and replace or paint any rusted or corroded hardware, mailboxes, or light fixtures. If you’re feeling adventurous, painting your front door a different shade can be a great selling feature that can be done in an afternoon.

Traditional brick colonial dressed up for fall with colorful mums and harvest gourds

2. Let the Light Shine

While the outdoors is the natural habitat for all manner of insects, they don’t need to reside in your outdoor light fixtures. Dirty lights and windows will not only reduce your nighttime curb appeal but can also affect how much natural light makes it through to the inside of your home. A thorough cleaning of light fixtures and windows will boost the overall impression buyers have of your home and can affect their impression of the rest of the home. For added impact, place inexpensive solar lights along the border of any gardens or walkways to illuminate your yard at night.

3. Love Your Landscape

Given that landscaping can amount for up to 15 percent of a home’s value, keeping your yard in tip-top shape is more important in the fall than ever. Fall colors and cascading leaves may provide a romantic vision, but may leave a potential buyer focusing on how much raking they will have to do. When seasonal plants fade away, be sure to cut back the dead growth and ensure your yard is regularly raked. Even if your yard doesn’t require frequent mowing, be sure to edge walkways with a straight-edge for a clean-cut look, and add some quick color by placing pots of seasonal plants in gardens and on porches.

Raking fall leaves with rake

4. Whisk the Water Away

The fall tends to bring increased precipitation, which can be a deal-breaker for buyers if they feel water penetration will be a problem. To prevent pooling water, be sure the grading around the foundation slopes away from the house and use downspout extenders, if necessary, to move water out into the yard. Clean the gutters regularly, and take a good walk around your home after a heavy rain to identify any problem areas that may allow water into the house, like door and window caulking.

5. Don’t Overdo the Decor

Finally, while the bounty of fall can be used to enhance the beauty of your home, be wary of overdoing the decor. Too many Halloween decorations, for example, can easily detract from the beauty of your home. Try instead for colorful mums, gourds, and pumpkins in a variety of colors and sizes that can provide earthy variety without overdoing it.

Regardless of the weather, the fall is still a hot time to sell a home, and can be an incredible opportunity to make a lucrative sale. Keep in mind that most buyers will either view your home online or drive by before making a decision to visit, so a sharp curb appeal can help keep your home above the competition.

5 Walk-Through Surprises and How to Avoid Them


5 Walk-Through Surprises and How to Avoid Them

A house may look one way when it is decorated and furnished, but once vacated, bumps and bruises may show that could cause a wrench in the closing. Here are five common issues that arise during a walk-through and how to handle them.

The following is a guest post from Cara Ameer, an agent with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

You’ve survived the inspection and loan approval process. You are almost to the closing table and ready to sign on the dotted line, but before you arrive, there is one last hurdle to climb known as “the walkthrough.” Whether you are a buyer or seller, this process can be nerve-wracking – as a buyer, you may be thinking: Will the house will still look how I thought it did? Will everything be empty and in good condition? And as a seller, you could be worried whether the buyer will be satisfied with what they see, and what if they raise concerns?

First, it is important to understand what a walkthrough is as well as its purpose.

A walkthrough is when a buyer walks through the property either the day prior or on the way to closing to ensure all is in substantially the same condition as it was before.

You may think this is a quick process that should take no more than 10-15 minutes at the most, but it is the buyer’s last look at the house before making what is likely the single largest purchase in their life. They will be closely scrutinizing everything. Additionally, because in all likelihood this is their first time seeing the house completely empty, this could raise some issues not previously seen.

A house may look one way when it is decorated and furnished, but once vacated, bumps and bruises may show that could cause a wrench in the closing. Here are five common issues that arise during a walkthrough and how to handle them:

1. Flooring – discolorations on wood or carpet. This happens as a result of furniture and rug placement over long periods of time, coupled with sunlight that could cause fading or discoloration of the exposed flooring around it. The buyer doesn’t initially see this, as a seller’s belongings are never moved for showings or inspections. Consequently, on a walkthrough of a vacant house, this could result in visibly noticeable variations in the floor finish as well stains, particularly on carpet. As a seller, you may have forgotten about some stains that are on the carpet where furniture and/or area rugs have sat on top of it for years.


Before putting your house on the market, check any areas of your home that have had furniture and/or rugs sitting on top of floor surfaces. If there is discoloration, consult with a wood flooring specialist on how to address, call in carpet cleaners or consider possibly replacing/repairing the flooring in question before going on the market. Note any issues upfront to establish condition at the time the home goes on the market to a buyer and on a seller’s disclosure so as to avoid any surprises later on.


2. Walls — Once the artwork and flat screen TVs comes down, the walls are often left with nail holes, brackets and possibly discoloration where objects were previously hung. While it may seem premature when an offer is received to even think about dismantling the house, discuss with your agent a plan for “spackle management” when finalizing contract terms. Better to deal with this upfront vs. trying to figure out what to do right before closing because nothing was mentioned in the contract. Setting realistic expectations at the outset as to what you as a seller will do, such as spackling, will hopefully avoid a buyer’s request for you to repaint walls entirely. It may be that the buyer likes the existing placement for artwork and your television and will want these areas left as you had them.

3. Leftovers – While these are always appreciated after a good Sunday dinner, your left over house stuff is not always wanted or needed by the buyer of your home. Moving always brings a “don’t know what to do with pile.” It may be a stray chair, file cabinet, old lawn hose or other various odds and ends. Don’t assume the new owner will be glad to have these items. Check with the buyer first, if they don’t want them, play it safe and have them removed BEFORE the final walkthrough.

4. Garbage – Speaking of removal, don’t leave garbage cans full of trash for the new owner to take out. The buyer has enough to deal with as far as coordinating movers, getting utilities turned on, waiting for the cable guy and all that goes along with setting up a new home. This is usually a surprise not discovered until the walkthrough or their first trip to the house as the new owner. A pile of trash either in the garage or on the driveway is not a closing gift that should be left behind.

moving boxes

5. Mover Damage – With a moving crew transporting furniture and boxes out of your house, the opportunity exists for unintended damage to occur. Drywall dings, nicks, scratches or gauges can be left, often not discovered until a buyer does their walkthrough, or of course right after they go to the house after closing. Once the movers are finished, do your own “move-out” walkthrough with them to check for any damage. Discuss with your movers ahead of time the plan for handling any damage and have a trusted repair person on standby to take care of any issues should they occur.

5 Fantastic Kitchen Staging Ideas for Fall


5 Fantastic Kitchen Staging Ideas for Fall

Wow fall homebuyers with these easy staging ideas from HomeAdvisor

Selling your home in the fall means adding small seasonal elements to make your home feel warm and welcoming. And, what better place to do that than in the kitchen? Here are some ideas to help you make your kitchen — and your home — appeal to fall homebuyers:

Fall counter decor

You should always keep the countertops nearly clear when potential homebuyers are walking through. In fact, you should keep it down to about two to three essentials if you’re living there from day to day. For the fall season, you can add small elements like placemats, fruit and leaf decor (window drapings, vase, etc.).

“Fall odors”

The smell of leaves, apple pie, pumpkin and cinnamon evoke the cozy feelings of fall. Candles are nice and actually baking something “fall-like” before a showing is a sure way to make potential buyers feel more at home during a showing.

Colors of fall

Depending on the current condition of your home, you might consider a fresh coat of paint. What color you decide to use may or may not be influenced by the season. While you should always lean towards neutral colors, you might consider accent walls or cabinets in browns or dark tones of red or green if you think they would work. The cost to paint an interior room is about $380, though prices will vary depending on the size of the room.

Bringing nature in

If there are windows in the kitchen, make sure to keep them clean. Depending on the weather outside during a showing, you might open them and let the fresh air in. It helps to create a flow between nature outside and the atmosphere you’re trying to create in the kitchen. If your budget allows, you might also accent the windows with fall-like window treatments to create an even easier flow. If you don’t have these treatments, a professional home stager can sometimes find them for a reasonable price.

Natural lighting elements

Lighting is an essential element of home staging, no matter the season. In fall, in particular, it’s all about enhancing the twilight or sunset and complementing of all the fall colors. For lighting in your kitchen, consider accent and track lighting. Or, you could install recessed lighting on a dimmer switch, which will allow you to control the brightness of the kitchen to complement the mood outside.

10 Home Decor Accessories Worth Buying for Fall and Beyond


10 Home Decor Accessories Worth Buying for Fall and Beyond

These 10 versatile pieces make great building blocks for a cozy and festive seasonal look.

houzz logo

Houzz contributer, Laura Gaskill

Tweaking your decor each season can be a great way to keep your home feeling current and satisfy your urge to nest, without blowing your budget on big-ticket items. The problem? Each year retailers roll out tons of new seasonally inspired decor that begs to be brought home — and loading up on too much season-specific stuff is a sure way to blow your budget and overstuff your storage.

To strike the right balance, aim to build up an arsenal of go-to pieces that feel special yet can work in several different ways throughout the year, then use free and found natural objects, and inexpensive seasonal produce, to round out the different looks. The following 10 versatile pieces make great building blocks for a cozy and festive seasonal look.

1. Shiny gold stools. They can be used as seats or side tables; they are small, portable and easily stashed; and they fancy up any room. Gold looks especially festive, feels rich in fall and winter and has a sunshiny quality that makes it work in summer to boot — what more could you ask for?

South Charlotte House Family Room

2. Amber glass vessels. Vintage or new glass bottles with an amber hue look beautiful in a sunny window, lined up on a mantel or perched on a console. Clear apothecary jars are useful to have on hand too, but the great thing about colored glass containers is that they look beautiful even when empty. Of course, they look splendid filled with fall leaves or flowers, too.

Laura Zindel

3. A faux-fur throw. It’s warm and cozy, and makes any seat or bed you toss it on look incredibly luxurious. Spend enough to get a faux fur that feels really plush and has a natural-looking color; cheaper versions will fall apart over time, but a good one will hold up for many years.

Mill Valley, CA

4. Colorful accent dishes. Build a stable of solid-hued workhorse dishes in white, plus some in one or two accent colors so you can change things up. A good rule of thumb is to stick with white dinner plates but bring in fun colors and patterns with the serving pieces, bowls and salad and dessert plates.

Orange is a good hue for all of fall, from Halloween to Thanksgiving, while mint green and yellow work from spring through summer. Metallics work year-round but look especially festive around the holidays.

Fall Decor

5. Gleaming accessories. Gold and silver objects are a natural choice (see the shiny gold stools above), but the shades in between are even more versatile — think shimmering platinum, bronze and rose gold.

These subtly shimmery hues fit right in with fall leaves and acorns, look glamorous around the holidays and echo the sheen of seashells in summer. Try them with a cluster of vases, candlesticks, bowls or trays.

Willow Glen Residence

6. Fresh artwork. Your home has a finite number of walls, but does that mean you must limit yourself to the same artwork year-round? No way!

Pick up fresh artwork as you find it, without worrying if you currently have a place to hang it. At the beginning of each new season, you can simply swap out art on a few walls for a completely different look.

Parkway Kitchen

7. A tall container for branches. Having a really tall cylinder vase on hand is essential for filling with colorful foliage in the fall and budding branches in the spring, You may want to pick up a few of these — a shorter version, like the one shown here, is perfect for a tabletop; a taller vessel can be placed on the floor.

Laight Street Loft

8. Fluffy towels. A set of fresh bath towels in a seasonal palette you love is a relatively inexpensive treat, and will make a huge difference in the way your bathroom looks and feels. Try mixing and matching a solid hue with a fun pattern, as shown here. Bonus: Rotating at least some of your bath and hand towels seasonally can help reduce wear, so they’ll stay fluffy longer.

Farm Fresh Interior

9. Pillow covers. Once you have built up a nice stash of pillow covers that fit the inserts for your sofa and bed, it’s easy to give your rooms a quick makeover. Keep an eye out for sales throughout the year to find the best deal. Here are a few ideas for not-strictly-seasonal pillow covers to consider adding to your stash:

  • Burlap feed sack: great for a rustic fall and winter look, but can be used year-round
  • Sparkly, metallic hues: perfect for a festive feel
  • Velvet in rich jewel tones: for cold fall and winter nights
  • Golden yellow: can be mixed with seasonal oranges and reds in the fall, but also feels fresh in spring and summer.
Basement Development

10. Small rugs. If you have basic natural-fiber rugs or neutral carpeting, one great way to create a new look in the fall is by layering your rugs. A small Oriental rug or Moroccan-style wool rug instantly makes any space feel warmer and cozier, and goes with practically anything. Keep a few rolled up in the closet and bring them out when your feet feel like they could use a little extra TLC.


Tell us: What is your favorite way to update your home for the season?

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