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Spring cleaning gets all the hype, but a fall refresh is equally important. The changing of the seasons is always a good time to bring new energy into your space, and that is especially true when the weather gets chillier. As you’re easing your fall clothes into the rotation and packing your summer sundresses into storage bins, don’t forget to spruce up your home or apartment. There’s still plenty of time to revitalize your living area by adding tasteful elements of fall.

Creating an autumnal mood in your house doesn’t need to rely on tchotchkes and potpourri. Fall aesthetics should center around warm colors and cinnamon-filled scents. To execute a fall refresh in your home or apartment, let the season inspire you without suffocating your living space in autumnal hues. Here’s how you can give your home or apartment a fall refresh this year.

Start with a deep clean

The least appealing part of your fall refresh, of course, involves scrubbing the summer residue from your home. Out with the ocean-scented candles, the sun-drenched dried flowers, and the sand that found its way into the floorboards after your Hamptons weekend. This isn’t just about cleaning the window sills and the cook top in the kitchen. It’s about removing all the sleepy summer artifacts that pile up unintentionally. Summer moves at a different pace from fall, but there are plenty of ways to keep your home relaxed with a feeling that sets it apart from the August heat.

Sage your living space

Invite new energy into your home while ridding your space of anything that’s been dragging you down. Burning sage has a spiritual connotation, which you can lean into by wafting the sage from room to room on an auspicious evening—like the summer solstice, the full moon, or the first of the month. You, of course, don’t have to tap into the spirituality of the exercise, and can just think of it as a positive way to bring a clean slate to your home during a new season.

Stock up on your fall cocktail essentials

Put the Aperol away, and bring the whiskey front and center on the bar cart for an old fashioned or hot toddy—and keep some cider on hand for spiced rum cider. Pick up some craft pumpkin beer, and maybe even some rosemary for an earthy take on martinis.

Create comfort with high-quality fall scents

Move away from the fruity florals and toward the rich, smoky, caramelized flavors of fall. If you have a reed diffuser in the bathroom, exchange citrus oil for a sandalwood fragrance. Cultivate warmth in your house with this Teakwood and Tobacco P.F. Candle Co. soy candle ($20), which looks (and smells) rustic and perfect for October.

Paint a bold-colored accent wall

To combat the monotony of winter colors, try something that’s a touch more vibrant than your color palette. An orange or bright red might be going too far—don’t get derailed by holiday colors that have a short shelf life. Instead, try a burnt red or a mauve accent wall in your living room. In general, painting—whether you bring in a professional or DIY it—is an easy way to spruce up your space and appreciate it with a new perspective. You can also try a navy-and-white printed wallpaper opposite your light mauve wall.

Create a fall-accessories display in your closet

There's no season that does accessories quite like fall. Whether you’ve recently treated yourself to a brand-new SWIMS Boston duffle ($260) for your fall weekend getaways, or you found a vintage leather jacket that you’ve been waiting to trot out, pull your fall essentials to the front of your closet. If you have a walk-in closet, display your autumnal fixtures in a designated corner. If you’re working with a smaller space, use the door of your closet and hooks to create an easy-access wall of your best fall finds.

Choose a new accent furniture piece

First, look around your house and choose the room that most obviously needs some love. Maybe it’s the den that no one uses because there’s a better television upstairs or maybe it’s your guest room that doesn’t get great light. Choose a staple from a style you’ve always wanted to try out—perhaps a mid-century modern piece that can cultivate a chic aesthetic and make you actually want to spend time in this once-forgotten nook.

Display a fall cookbook on the coffee table—and actually make use of it.

Fall flavors are a way to bring the season to life in your home. While it may not be slow cooker season just yet, it’s finally time to make use of your oven again—and the seasonal produce lends itself to savory recipes like apple-glazed pork chops and curried pumpkin soup.

Host an intimate fall soiree to celebrate the fruits of your labor

If you’ve recently discovered a must-share cocktail or pie recipe, make it a small, elegant-but-cozy dinner party. It’s the ideal time to show off your accessories wall, your refurbished nook, and your new-and-improved accent wall—while enveloping your guests in the scents and flavors of fall.


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