5 Stylish Decorating Ideas That Easily Transition From Spooky To Cozy

The fall can be a highly enjoyable but crazy busy time. From back-to-school preparations to fall festivities like Halloween and harvest celebration, it's also a long season that doesn't necessarily end with Halloween. Since many retail outlets start the slow creep of the Christmas season into their aisles, it's sometimes hard to find perfect fall décor past October, even with a whole additional month before Thanksgiving. If you want to get the most out of your fall décor, it's good to be flexible and forward-thinking when it comes to plotting your seasonal elements, according to Sunnydaze Decor.

A great way to maximize fall is to start out with versatile, adaptable décor elements at the beginning of the fall, which can be customized for the stage of the season you find yourself in without any major overhaul and rearranging of pieces. This works in September when many people wait to start full-on Halloween décor until October, and after jack-o-lantern season is over in November. By switching out just a few elements, transitioning from spooky to cozy is both effortless and inexpensive.

1. Wreaths

Wreaths are a perfect customizable way to bring a lot of impact for little cost and effort. While pre-made and pre-decorated wreaths can be costly, buying a simple straw or branch wreath for the fall season is a perfect blank canvas for whatever your decorating needs. By securing a number of trimmings and accents for your wreath, you can change it out as much as you desire for each segment of the season. According to East Eleven, making your own décor adds a personal touch and is far more budget-friendly than buying new for each part of the season. Wreaths are great for front doors, porches, or anywhere in the home that needs a touch of autumn.

While early fall is perfect for late summer details like apples and sunflowers, you can easily transition to spooky season by adding skulls, bats, spiders, and ghosts. Add some light with LED candles and twinkle lights in holiday colors like black, orange, and purple, as well as other materials like burlap or webbing. When Halloween is over, you can strip it down or add or subtract as desired, including attractive fall foliage, white lights, berries, pinecones, and other elements perfect for a cozy Thanksgiving wreath.

2. Jars and lanterns

Glass jars, lanterns, and bell jars are perfect for adding décor elements all year long. This is particularly true in fall, which is almost three seasons in one — early autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Halloween décor can include using clear receptacles for things like skulls, bats, and candy, while they can easily transition to cozy by adding pine cones, leaves, fall florals, and other late autumnal elements. 

Look for glass lanterns that can accommodate orange or black pillar candles during Halloween that can be swapped for brown, cream, or gold candles in November. A Pumpkin & A Princess suggests adding spooky labels to jars and bottles. Apothecary jars and bottles evoke a mad scientist's lab when filled with twinkle lights for Halloween, but also are attractive holders for corn, berries, and seeds that evoke harvest season. Glass bowls are also versatile, making the perfect holders for caches of small skulls or plastic pumpkins, but can also hold fruit, gourds, and flowers later in the season.

3. Garlands

One of the easiest, high-impact ways to decorate your space each fall is trim and garlands. You can find inexpensive and free printable garlands each fall composed of ghosts, pumpkins, creepy crawlies, and witches. They are perfect for decking out open spaces like above sofas and fireplaces, along bookshelf ledges, and above places like arches or doors. Consider using other materials like spider webbing and another spooky garland on places like mantles and tabletops. According to Growing Up Gabel, you can also make adorable garlands using yarn and pipe cleaners.

After Halloween is over, you can swap these spookier garlands out for beautiful fall or harvest-themed ones. Multi-colored leaves, berries, pumpkins, corn husks, and burlap are cozy fall materials to use amidst other décor items for that finishing touch. You can trade bats and witch hats for turkeys and cornucopia shapes. Pinecones garlands are especially versatile since they can easily be transitioned into December décor. Add some evergreen, and you will have a perfect garland for Christmas without buying a new garland. 

4. Pumpkins

Pumpkins and gourds are another adaptable décor elements that suit every month in the fall. However, they're often difficult to find them quite as abundantly after the end of October as the month before. In addition, once pumpkins have been carved into and suffered a few frosty outdoor nights, they won't last much past Halloween. You can preserve the shelf-life of your pumpkins by creating your jack-o-lanterns on their surface, decorating only the outside of the pumpkin. 

Stickers and other adhesive face and decoration elements are superior to paint or ink in that they are removable, which means your pumpkins or gourds can safely return to their unmarred status on November 1st. You can buy printables or pre-made stickers, some of which can offer more options like color and texture. Plain black construction paper with glue is also an easy and affordable option and could be a fun activity with children. Cricuts and other vinyl cutters can create elaborate and intricate designs for pumpkins that far exceed hand-cut ones (via Two Little Birds Shop). You can also add other embellishments like beads, crystals, and googly eyes that are easily removable once jack-o-lantern season is over. 

5. Soft things

Many retailers are filled with pages and shelves of luscious throw pillows and blankets that are perfect for the fall seasons in all sorts of great colors, like orange, yellow, and brown. Some are holiday-themed and adorned with black cats, bats, and other spooky details. Others are more geared toward fall colors and textures, including leaves and general pumpkin imagery. You can also find cozy throw blankets in each variety made of knit, flannel, and sherpa, perfect for curling up on cold nights. 

If you have the funds and room to store both kinds, consider picking up some for each part of the season to switch out when appropriate. Or, choose pillows that can simply be turned around wherever they are placed to keep the spooky elements out of view when not needed. A great meet-in-the-middle solution is changeable pillow covers that fold flat and can be easily stored when not in use (via So Much Better With Age).