Well. There has been a plot twist in the Emily Henderson bio-pic: I might be getting into orange and chickens (?). I’m more of a cream, mustard, maroon and gold fall decor fan. But this year, Target challenged my anti-orange ethos with their rather beautiful and welcoming new fall collections. Hope you are excited because it’s good and making me ready. Plus, I’m a mountain gal now with a soft spot for rustic coziness. So today, I am going to show you step by step how you can make your home have that welcoming rustic but modern cozy look we are actually craving this time of year. Grab a hot tea and let’s see how I used and fell hard for what Target is serving up this fall…
Start With Your Front Door
I like to think that any good seasonal or holiday decor starts outside. This way your neighbors know you mean celebratory business and you get to feel the festive spirit embrace you every time you get to your front door (also, EVERYONE has a front door, whether you live in a smaller apartment or a stand-alone home). So let’s get into my tips for creating a happy but simple seasonal front door moment.
1. Use a variety of faux gourds. Real gourds are, of course, great, but if you want to start early, you’ll want to avoid the inevitable great pumpkin melt/rot. You can use these from September until the Christmas lights go up. No need to wait for Halloween season to roll around. Plus, you can use them year after year because a classic gourd will never go out of style. So mix them up with different colors, shapes and sizes to create a lovely front door styled moment. You can also always mix in some real pumpkins and squashes for a super authentic feel (though these are actually great and convincing).
2. Go for a delicate wreath. Using a delicate wreath instead of a huge and overpowering one is A. a bit more modern (even if it’s more on the traditional side…it’ll feel more updated) and B. you can “go for it” with the color without feeling like it’s too much. This one is a bright orange and yet it’s not too orange because it’s visually delicate. I would avoid using orange on a red door or a brown door, but on white or gray, it’s a lot chicer. Plus, that awesome matte black wreath hook is super pretty and won’t force you to make a hole in your door. Great option for renters, too.
3. Use a festive (but not too holiday) doormat. Probably the easiest way to add in color and texture to your entry is a doormat. So why not go for it by adding in a very cute, autumn toned doormat like the one we used in the below photo? I love how it says fall without screaming fall.
You have seen my all-out Halloween kid-friendly decor in the past but for something a little more “cool” rather than “kid,” we decorated this doorway for you to get your spooky on in a welcoming, modern way.
1. Halloween calls for orange (just not too much). It’s undeniable that orange is just a part of Halloween decor, even if I’ve been resistant myself, so I say lean into it. If I can, you can. And these faux orange pumpkins are pretty cute. The fact that they are purposefully simple avoids the over the top look. I love how they’re more squat and chunky. Then to visually balance the look, sprinkle the orange love around. We used that colorful wreath (which can stay out through Thanksgiving because it’s more general “fall”) and the fun Halloween sign. Just the right amount of orange so everyone is happy.
2. Keep it playful. This is a fun holiday so don’t take yourself or decor too seriously. We used that colorful wreath to add pattern and some other colors, the very welcoming doormat to tie in the black color and lastly the Halloween sign for some straight-up Halloween goodness. Another unexpected way to bring up the mood is a live plant. The texture of the potted plant adds depth and lightens what would otherwise be a more serious Halloween look.
3. Use black accents to keep it modern. Black and modern are basically synonymous. Black is also synonymous with Halloween, so having the right amount of black accents will not only keep things cool and grounded but will also feel festive. The black pumpkin is simple and perfect. But those lanterns are probably my favorite. Can you even handle that leather handle?? It’s so good. Plus, they will last you all year long. Bonus. 🙂
Show Off Your Festive Serveware
This is one of my favorite vignettes because not only does it feature my favorite cabinet (I own the larger version and look how awesome the wood grain of the back panel looks??) but it’s the perfect example of how you can mix classic fall decor with more modern accents. SIDE NOTE: I THINK I’M INTO CHICKENS NOW. It feels fresh and cozy (welcoming? nostalgic?) all at the same time. Here are my tips for achieving it in your home.
1. Chickens can be modern…in moderation. Okay, when I saw the chicken pitcher, I was determined to make it chic. We’ll call it a chicken challenge. We mixed it with simpler pieces to elevate it. I would love to have a fall-themed party with a couple of these chickens and shock my friends. I don’t think it works in every home, but in this house (a friend’s lake house that we rented out for the shoot), it works.
2. A simple festive color palette keeps it fresh. It’s always a good and safe bet to start with a neutral staple like we did here with off-white. Then pepper in other colors to add dimension. We used orange, mustard and red as the main accents colors (very fall) then sprinkled in a few others for depth. Plus, don’t forget the gold to “modern it up” and add a festive feel.
3. Use texture instead of pattern. Texture is your best friend with a fairly neutral color palette. The dinnerware, faux wreath, linens and woodgrain in the cabinet all help to make this vignette visually super dynamic.
Now I want to talk more about a few of my favorite pieces. Number one is that wreath. The color is so lovely and warm and it looks expensive. And because it’s not TOO fall-y, you can use it all season long (throw some string lights on that baby through the new year), year after year. Plus, adding in a wreath in general is one of my favorite tricks for “seasonalizing” any space, specifically smaller rooms where too much “stuff” would give you clutter body and be overwhelming. The plates are playful and add a dose of seasonal decor and color. Then the white covered pumpkins dishes are festive while still being quiet and neutral so it doesn’t feel like a pumpkin patch. Plus, they are food safe which means they are cute AND functional (I’m getting those…all the seasonal soups I can serve in them!).
Set Up A Table Everyone Can’t Wait To Sit At
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Meal gatherings are the core of the holidays and it starts full steam ahead in the fall. We wanted this tablescape to feel happy but modern (are you sensing a theme?) and I feel like we accomplished that. I kind of can’t get over how good it all is. Here’s how we did it.
1. Simple but contrasting color palette. We kept the real colors neutral but grounded. The natural light-toned linens, handmade cream dinnerware and metallic accents contrast beautifully with the hits of black (candlestick holders, napkins and chairs). Then for a natural greenery element, we used that killer magnolia garland.
2. Mood lighting is your friend. Mood lighting is important people so don’t be afraid of it. Accent lighting adds warmth and these mercury glass pumpkins come already packed with string lights and give off the prettiest glow. I’m absolutely buying these for Thanksgiving. All you need is a battery and you are ready to set the holiday mood. And let’s not forget about the importance of candlelight. I love love these candlestick holders which you may recognize from the cabinet vignette because they come in black and gold, in three different sized. They are the perfect blend of modern and traditional and their shape adds a nice variety to the overall design.
3. Metallics make for a festive table. Wanna get festive? Then throw some shine on that table. Aside from those lit pumpkins, I love the gold flatware, gold-accented water glasses (plastic and kid-friendly) and that sweet little gold salt and pepper shaker set. All of those really add a cozy sparkle.
4. Varied heights keep things interesting. With ANY tablescape you’re creating, including seasonally-focused ones, you want to create interest by bringing in varying heights. Here we accomplished that with the short and tall candlesticks and the two sizes of pumpkins. This keeps your eye moving across the table and feels more organic (and less stiff).
Here are a couple more shots so you can get a better idea of what the table looks like. I want to have a special callout for that woven table runner. It’s oversized and versatile for any time of year and helps dress down the glam. Five thumbs up to Target on this guy. Then the magnolia garland is another festive but versatile decor piece that made the table come alive. It really pops off the table runner in the best way. You can use it on your staircase, mantle or anywhere else your garland hanging dreams take you. Then if you wanted to tone down the metallic, you could use the same flatware in matte black. Same overall look but with a hint more contrast.
Cozy Chair Corners Were Invented For Fall
Fall is a time for getting cozy, reading a book and this corner looks like just the place I want to do that in. First of all, it has my favorite Target chair, and we paired it with some pretty beautiful accents. Let’s discuss the how and why…
1. Use anchor piece to choose color palette. We took this colorful rug and used it as the “anchor piece” to draw our color palette from. This way, it was super easy choosing all the other accents pieces because they just needed to be within the same color palette. But to keep things from feeling too matchy-matchy, we threw in that dark green throw for a pop of color and brass task lamp to visually brighten the space.
2. Cozy is king. It’s true. All I want is to feel cozy and be wrapped up in a soft blanket with a mug in my hand this time of year. This one is a faux mohair piece of heaven. It’s super soft and has that great, long fringe to make for a pretty styled moment when not being used to keep warm.
3. Mix and match style. You know I like to mix it up when it comes to pairing pieces of furniture. So to do that, we paired that beautiful traditional chair with a live edge side table. They contrast each other in style and tone (modern traditional and the other organic) but work perfectly within the overall color palette.
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Is that the same awesome chair but styled far less “sit and read a book” and more “knit and meditate“? BUT still of course, cozy. I’ll walk you through the whole exciting process. 🙂
1. Use anchor piece to choose color palette. Okay, same technique but different rug/anchor piece. This was meant to be a “happy fall” look so we pulled the warm tones from it and left the dark contrasting color in the rug. Had we added in that darker tone in the textiles, the whole look would have felt less light and airy which was our goal for this one.
2. Cozy is king. It should always be and textiles/texture are how you do that. That throw (both are the same in different colors) is heavy but soft and looks good whichever way you throw it on a chair. Then we like the tonal look so we added that great round knit pillow for texture and shape variation. PS that pillow is super soft and makes you want to smash your face against it.
3. Get your visual texture on. Aside from the textiles serving up the texture, that very pretty basket and gold framed art piece add another layer of texture that can’t help but to make your eyes happy. Plus, if you want a cool textured looking side table, just stack all of your old magazines. I’m only half-joking. 🙂
Make It Fun For The Kids
I truly didn’t predict that I would be a seasonal decorator (for all seasons), it all happened when I had kids. All you moms know what I’m talking about. So indulging in the more playful and fantasy decor is my secret (or not so secret) favorite thing to do. Here’s how I do it so we all love it.
1. Pattern makes it playful. Patterns are fun and add instant dimension. The same rules always apply when dealing with pattern combos. Keep the color palette consistent and vary the pattern scales. Here, we have the large scale plaid pumpkin, medium scale feathered wreath (which we might recall from one of the “front door” scenarios up top…SO VERSATILE) and smaller-scale houndstooth pumpkin as the big three. Then, we sprinkled in a fun variety of other patterns for lots of visual interest.
2. Cute storage makes everyone happy. I love love the storage in this photo because it’s textured and not too kid. That woven basket tray is so pretty in person and confirms my devotion to all trays. Then that little white and tan leather bin is soft, simple and I own A LOT of them because that’s how great they are.
3. Break the rules. Use toys as decor, because why not? I also am here to say again that it is FINE to turn your books around for Halloween or seasonal decorating. This helps to tone down the visual chaos when you already have a bunch of fun decor happening. and it looks kinda spooky. Don’t worry, once the holidays are over you can turn them back so everyone will know how well-read you are. 🙂
Also, when it comes to kid decor, it’s a no brainer that it should actually be kid-friendly and not, say slice their head open. All of these pumpkins and toys are cute, lightweight AND soft. Plus, they’re all on the smaller side, so they’re easy to store if you don’t have a ton of space but want to have fun and start creating some yearly traditions with your kiddos.
Gather Around A Festive But Simple Fireplace
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We kept the fireplace a little more neutral and simple, with only a few but impactful seasonal pieces. Especially if you are a BIG holiday decorating type, you want to pick your big moments. If you don’t, you run the risk of your home looking like holiday on steroids which if that’s your intention, great. If not then go lighter, both with decor and color, on areas that don’t need it. Let’s get into the hows and whys of this very sweet fireplace.
1. Magnolia leaves are VERY versatile and awesome. I think the magnolia leaf trend is here, although I’ve always been into it. They are graphic, create depth and yet are deceivingly simple. The leaves are gold on the underside which automatically makes it feel just the right amount festive. BUT not so festive that you couldn’t keep it up all year long.
2. Neutral can be festive. Yes, it can and I will tell you how—it’s all about texture. All the pumpkins have pattern but in a neutral color palette, the broom is full of texture and the perfect unexpected accent piece of the fall and lastly, we have the leather on my new favorite lantern. All neutral but all contributing factors to a visually dynamic and modern fall mantel.
3. Pieces that have longevity are the best choice. I touched on this in the other two tips but basically, every piece in this photo is neutral and modern enough that you could use them for years to come (aka classic not trendy). And on top of that, the wreath, candlesticks and lantern don’t even need to be packed away because they are great for any time of year. It’s kind of a no brainer but buying staple pieces that are year-round and then having smaller seasonal pieces will save you $$$ in the future (and head space). That probably sounds good to everyone.
Texture Is The Name Of The Fall Game
This is my favorite vignette. Every piece is full of texture (sorry, the piano is not from Target) and keeps my eyes bouncing around from one thing to the next (that’s what you want when you are styling). This space somehow feels airy and cozy at the same time.
1. Fall can be a little boho, too. Holiday decorating is not owned by any one style. If you are a boho person then you deserve as much of a seasonal home as a modern traditional person. What is awesome about this year is that Target has you covered. The key to boho is layering and neutral natural texture/materials. The braided rattan pumpkins, the wooden stool (stylist hack #1: it’s really a side table), the woven stick vase and bone framed mirror are all in that category.
2. Texture makes the design world go ’round. I think the largest take away in this whole post is TEXTURE, but I digress. THOSE PUMPKINS are so good. We all wanted them. They are such a lovely neutral with all the personality of a happy fall season. Mirrors are great in any room because they bounce light around and make a room feel bigger. The mirror was an unexpected gem. It looks expensive, adds quiet texture and is an awesome shape.
3. Neutral works best with some contrast. I love a light-toned room but what make a space come alive is contrast and dimension. To achieve that here, we added in what is actually a burnt orange table runner (stylist hack #2: we folded it in half to work on the depth of the piano) and used that cute orange pumpkin. Then for the big contrast, we cut down some small tree branches for that dramatic vase moment. The space would still be pretty without the branches but boy does it make a visual impact…and it’s free decor. 🙂
Now, I don’t know about you but I am once again very impressed with Target’s ability to make some of the best decor on the market…especially the seasonal lines, and so affordable. AND their ability to challenge my orange issues (there was a lot of orange in those photos if you didn’t notice) and win. So with that said, cozy, happy and modern are what most of us are looking for this fall and good news—it’s all at our local favorite retailer. 🙂 I would also suggest you get those leather handled lanterns before they are sold out. Happy decorating and don’t forget your chickens. 🙂
You can find all the links to the products in the Get the Looks, or shop by vignette on Target.com here:
Emily’s Outfit Details (All Target):
***photography by Sara Ligorria-Tramp, art direction by me, styling by Emily Bowser
1. Large Pumpkin Serving Bowl | 2. Pumpkin Dinner Bowl | 3. Blue Napkins | 4. Brass Candlesticks | 5. Wreath | 6. Cabinet | 7. Rooster Pitcher | 8. Gather Platter | 9. Pumpkin Appetizer Plates | 10. Accent Rug | 11. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, by Samin Nosrat | 12. Magnolia Table, by Joanna Gaines | 13. Well+Good: 100 Healthy Recipes + Expert Advice for Better Living, by Alexia Brue & Melisse Gelula | 14. Oval Bakeware Set | 15. Table Runner | 16. Table Cloth | 17. Artificial Magnolia Leaves | 18. Medium Lit Metallic Glass Pumpkin | 19. Small Lit Metallic Glass Pumpkin | 20. Dinnerware Set | 21. Black Candlesticks | 22. Dining Chair | 23. Wine Glass | 24. Decanter | 25. Gold Flatware | 26. Black Beverage Napkin | 27. Fall Double Old Fashion Glass | 28. Pumpkin Salt and Pepper Shakers
1. Harvest Scarecrow Figure | 2. Harvest Sitting Raccoon Figure | 3. Woven Tray | 4. Papier-Maché Pumpkin Orange | 5. Papier-Mâché Pumpkin White/Gray | 6. Papier-Mâché Pumpkin White | 7. Papier-Mâché Gourd Yellow | 8. Artificial Fall Bud Wreath | 9. Wreath Hook | 10. Accent Rug | 11. Small Bookshelf | 12. Harvest Sitting Owl Figure | 13. Woven Bin | 14. Toy Truck | 15. Mini Fabric Pumpkins | 16. Houndstooth Fabric Pumpkin | 17. Fabric Bird | 18. Plaid Fabric Pumpkin | 19. Wood Accent Table | 20. Vase | 21. Accent Mirror | 22. Medium Braided Natural Pumpkin | 23. Large Braided Natural Pumpkin | 24. Small Twisted Natural Pumpkin | 25. Decorative Broom | 26. Magnolia Wreath | 27. Harvest Wood Slice Decorative Wreath | 28. Doormat | 29. 14″ Halloween Pumpkin | 30. 7.5″ Medium Pumpkin | 31. Mini Halloween Pumpkin | 32. Black Halloween Pumpkin | 33. Black Candlesticks | 34. Cream Fabric Pumpkin | 35. Leather Handle Lantern
1. Faux Mohair Grid Throw Blanket | 2. Tweed Lumbar Pillow with Faux Leather Piping | 3. Slippers | 4. Mug | 5. 2 AM Thoughts, by Makenzie Campbell | 6. Live Edge Coffee Table | 7. Cheswold Wingback Chair | 8. Floor Task Lamp | 9. Lumbertown Persian Border Rug | 10. 12×24 Floral Line Drawing | 11. Cheswold Wingback Chair | 12. Accent Rug | 13. Rose Throw Blanket | 14. Throw Pillow | 15. Cream Throw Blanket | 16. Basket
***This post is in partnership with Target but all thoughts are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to support this business.