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The Survivor’s Guide to Pinterest Fall Decor

Admit it. We won’t judge. You’ve fallen victim to the Pinterest trap, haven’t you? You start out thinking, “I need a turkey recipe for Thanksgiving dinner” and the next thing you know, you emerge blinking in your now-dark living room three hours later. You’ve got a dozen tabs open, six new boards (four public and two private), dilated pupils, and not a single thought about your small Thanksgiving get-together. While three hours of your life are gone and you still don’t know how to cook a turkey, the good news is that there’s hope: you can have a Pinterest-esque home and still manage to be a functioning, balanced human being.

  1. Minimize. Clean up, straighten up, and consider discarding or donating the clutter. Most of the beautiful rooms you’ve been envying online have less stuff in them than you realize. Hide your overflowing stacks of DVDs, put your shoes away instead of kicking them off, and hang up your coats in the closet, not on the arm of the couch. The first step to sprucing up is paring down.
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  3. Focus your efforts. Having a house that’s decorated for fall doesn’t mean having a harvest-hued version of everything in your home. After you straighten up the room, sit down on the couch and look around for a minute. What area of the room demands the most visual attention? That’s where you’ll get the most bang for your buck with your fall décor efforts. Don’t worry about making every inch of the room harvest-themed, just choose two or three areas that draw the eye and go from there.
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  1. Create an atmosphere. Fall décor isn’t just throw pillows and pumpkins. If you really want to make your guests feel cozy, go for the nose! Keep a small pot of spices simmering on the stove, or light a few scented candles each evening. Don’t worry if your house looks like a disaster zone–if it smells like pumpkin pie or gingerbread, nobody will care.
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Use what you have. As you browse Pinterest, look for design elements that you can mimic with things you already have around the house. Keep an eye on your local thrift shop or dollar store so you know what supplies you can get for almost nothing. Fall home décor overlaps heavily with Halloween, so put your pumpkins and leftover supplies to work! You can go from “spooky” to “cozy” with just a few minor tweaks and adjustments.


If your home doesn’t look like a Pinterest paradise after all this, don’t panic. You’ve got a warm home where your family and friends can gather, and you can’t replicate that with any Pinterest DIY project. Just don’t forget to take the turkey out of the oven!

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