7 Ways to Cozy Up Your Home for Fall

You’ve been living outside all summer but now, the days are shorter, a chill is in the morning air, and you find yourself inside your home for the first time in months.

According to Cindy Galvin, interior designer and owner of MAZE Home Store in Winnetka, this is the time of year that people see their home in a new light—literally.

“Light changes in the fall. You’re getting light filtered through the trees, as opposed to summer’s direct light. People will suddenly look around their home and say, `I need some color, I need … something!’” says Galvin. “I feel the same. It’s a nesting instinct.”

Fall is about putting away summer and getting ready for what’s ahead. That means less impromptu entertaining (drinks on the patio, anyone?) and more casual indoor meals. It’s time to change your kitchen countertop and island to reflect fall—placemats in a rich fabrics, hurricanes for flickering candles and a cozy area rug on the floor.

Carole Etienne, owner of Etienne Vintage Home & Lighting in Evanston, says sconces, oil lamps and candle holders are popular fall items.

“The light becomes colder in the fall, and sconces, with their candelabra bulbs, are cozy and warming,” she explains, “especially in a new construction home or condo, where the lighting can be cold.”

If you’ve travelled this summer, incorporate the ideas you’ve seen along the way. Can’t forget the feeling of the luxurious cashmere blanket folded at the end of your friend’s guest room bed? Now is the perfect time to buy one for your own home. Need a few more ideas? Try one of these suggestions:

Square melamine plates – Pretty enough to hang in your kitchen or display on a shelf. Set of four small plates, $25; set of four large plates, $35. MAZE Home Store, Winnetka.

Pillows in the colors of the season – Mustard, paprika and chocolate brown mimic the leaves on your maple tree. Reese pillow (shown in front), $49.95; Hayward pillows, $29.95 each. Crate & Barrel, Deerfield Town Center, The Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg, Northbrook Court Mall, and Old Orchard Mall, Skokie.

Dansk Jens Collection wooden salt and pepper mills look like miniature sculptures for your table. Crate & Barrel, $39.95 each.

Iron candlesticks decorated with grapes and leaves cozy up any dining table, and an antique china oil lamp flickers beautifully in the evening. Candlesticks, $139/set; lamp, $225. Etienne Vintage Home & Lighting, Evanston.

Espresso-colored croc tray – This serving tray looks equally fab on either a tufted ottoman or cocktail table. $58, MAZE Home Store, Winnetka.

Whiskey rocks – Yes it does! These clever ice-cube-shaped pieces of soapstone chill your favorite beverage without diluting the flavor. $22.50, MAZE Home Store, Winnetka.

Compass decanter with four glasses – Masculine, and just right for nights when a chill in the air makes Scotch on the rocks oh-so-appealing. $95/set, MAZE Home Store, Winnetka.