San Francisco – I love you and your Indian summers but man do I miss a distinct Fall season like I used to experience when living in the Pacific Northwest. Leaves changing colors and crunching beneath my feet, brisk autumn air, misty mornings, and excuses to cozy up on the couch and marathon Netflix – speaking of Netflix marathons, have you guys seen Narcos?! Insanely good show. So maybe marathoning Netflix wasn’t the best example because I seem to make up excuses to do that wherever I live. I told you all of that to tell you this: I adore the fall because I associate it with feelings of cozy, warmth, love, gratitude, sweet tooth’s, and the occasional food baby (ies). It’s a time for sharing your home with loved ones, drinking mulled wine and playing an inappropriate game of Cards Against Humanity.

For me, the trigger to start making some fall decor updates to my home is when I spot the first pumpkin of the season available for purchase at the local grocery store. Those pumpkins aren’t going to buy themselves. I will say I am not one for ornate holiday decor – great if that’s for you, but it’s just not my thing. Probably some of the reason for that is because we have no place to store mass amounts of seasonal decor during the off seasons. I lean more towards making subtle updates to items already displayed in our home and like to keep things relatively simple.

This season I’ve found myself scaling back quite a bit and erring on the side of minimalist meets au naturale – sticking to a mostly neutral color palette with healthy doses of white, wood accents and pops of green from plant life. You also don’t need to spend a ton of money on holiday decor if you get a little creative and think outside of the box…or literally go outside. Look to nature to help you and use things like branches, stones, eucalyptus, feathers, wood slices for coasters, pumpkins, pinecones, etc. Take a look at some of my updates!


I simplified the entryway a bit by actually switching out the brown desk used as a console  with the white one above (similar here) which I was using for my work desk. This is such a tight space that the brown desk made it feel really cramped. The white on white helped to open things up a bit. I bought a large arrangement of eucalyptus at Safeway for about $4 and deconstructed it when I got home bunching it in different vases around the apartment. Instead of opting for orange pumpkins, since I don’t have any pumpkin orange anything in my home, I stuck with my color palette and opted for all white pumpkins.

Candles also mean “cozy” so I grouped together a bunch of pillar candles with different heights in that little cove and used two brass candlesticks for on top of the console. I pulled out my more “wintery” pillows and throws and stacked them in a wicker basket that I had lying around to add another level of cozy to the entryway.

Wood elements are a MUST for me this season – I can’t get enough reclaimed wood bowls, cool wood sculptures, stump tables, you name it. I felt that the entryway was seriously lacking warmth and interest so I took to a few local thrift shops and found that wood tray and some geodes, which kind of look like Matzo balls, to place on it. The only problem with the geodes is that I really want to know what’s inside of them and debate breaking them open to find out everyday. Should I do it?


That tray is probably one of my favorite wedding gifts. I don’t think it will ever get old or ever leave the coffee table. Changing up a few things that I keep on the tray is one of the easiest ways to add some subtle fall feelings to the room. I had the feathers lying around from a craft project I did last winter and decided to put them in a little glass jar. And why not add another little pumpkin while I’m at it?

That woven felt basket is one of my favorite West Elm purchases. I originally had it in the entryway to keep shoes in but decided adding a few pillows I had lying around to it would help cozy things up even more.


And, yes, more pumpkins and eucalyptus. I decided to get a little creative with those pumpkins and set them on top of some vintage brass candlesticks that I had. A pumpkin spice candle in it’s raw form, if you will.

What are you feelings towards holiday decor this year? Comment below!

Brett Foken