Prep Your House For Fall in 7 Easy Steps

Sweater weather is right around the corner, but before you cozy up in front of the fire with your steamy–or spiked–beverage of choice, you’ll need to prep your home for the coming season. The changing of the seasons is a big transition for your house, both inside and out. That means tackling a few crucial tasks, from yard work to light HVAC maintenance. We’ll be totally upfront–not all these tasks are fun. That’s why we put together a handy list to help you check ‘em off so you can get back to enjoying the fall festivities. 

Clean your gutters

Gutters are pretty unfussy in terms of maintenance, but they do need a little TLC at the end of summer. Leaves, grass clippings, and rodents have a tendency to set up shop in your gutters during warm weather. This leads to clogs, which creates problems like leaky gutters and flooding. Fast forward to winter, and clogged gutters can even lead to dreaded ice dams. Cleaning your gutters ensures they’re clear and unobstructed for the cold weather ahead. 

You can also spring for a gutter cover to stop leaves from blowing into your gutter. No more rickety ladders or dirty gutter cleaning jobs! 

Pack up your outdoor furniture

Nothing takes the cheery gleam off summer furniture quite like a relentless freeze and thaw cycle. It doesn’t matter if the label boldly claims it can withstand hurricane-like conditions. Freezing temperatures, ice, and bitter winds will take their inevitable toll on even the sturdiest pieces. A waterproof furniture cover like this one by Enzeno will help take the edge off the worst of the winter weather. Even better is a nice, dry storage space like a garage or shed. Your furniture will thank you! 

Patch up any cracks in your driveway

You know those tiny cracks in your driveway? The ones you only see when you kneel down to tie your shoelaces? Ice has a way of getting into those little, barely-there cracks and making them…big. Way bigger, given enough time. That’s why it’s important to patch up any little cracks in the pavement before freezing weather comes your way. Pop a little concrete crack sealer over it and call it a day!   

Drain your outdoor faucets

As the balmy rays of summer fade into fall, you’ll find yourself packing up the sprinkler and kiddy pool. Don’t forget to disconnect the garden hose from the outdoor spigot and allow excess water to drain. This is an easy step to forget, but the oversight can be disastrous for your plumbing–like, exploding pipes disastrous. 

Check your windows for drafts

Feel a cold breeze near certain windows or doors? It’s not your imagination. Drafty windows account for up to 30% of energy used in the home, according to the US Department of Energy. That means higher bills, a bigger carbon footprint, and a stressed-out furnace. Luckily, this is an easy fix with the right supplies. Weatherstripping and window film are affordable and DIY-friendly. For a more permanent (and visually appealing) solution, you can spring for a nice set of insulated curtains

Freshen up HVAC air filters

There’s nothing like coming home on a cold winter day and taking a deep breath of…ice-cold air. Psyche! That’s no fun at all. Changing your air filter every couple months will keep your HVAC system running smoothly all winter long. A fresh filter also seriously improves your home’s air quality and lowers your heating bills. It’s a win-win! And if you want to take your environmental stewardship to the next level, you can invest in a reusable air filter. These flexible filters are made of a sturdy mesh and are tough enough to last for years. 

Replace your batteries

No, this isn’t a tongue-in-cheek reference to getting caffeinated on pumpkin spice lattes, although you can accomplish this task with one in hand. All of your home’s battery-powered systems, like the thermostat, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors will need a fresh pair of batteries for fall. Even if your device is hard-wired to your home’s electrical system, fresh batteries will keep these life-saving devices running during a power outage. 

What other steps do you do to prep your home for fall? Let us know in the comments! 

Fall 2020’s Top Design Trends

Fall is in full swing, and seasonal design trends are popping up like bats in a lightning-struck bell tower. Too dark? Well, it’s been kind of a dark year. Maybe that’s why this fall’s looks are trending towards bright, airy, and simple. In a year filled with darkness and uncertainty, people are understandably turning their homes into calm, comforting oases where they can ride out the storm. 

Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of Fall 2020’s hottest interior design trends:

Dried grasses 

This fall, it’s all about natural fibers: wicker, rattan, clay, linen. Dried grasses are also entering the mix and make a perfect down-to-earth accent. Wheat, pampas grass, and cattails are all neutral colored grasses that complement the muted, earthy palette that’s so popular this season.

You can find lots of beautiful dried grasses on Etsy, but they’re fairly fragile–if you’re looking for something more robust, you may want to splurge for artificial grass (Michaels has a good selection).

 

Floral wallpaper

Floral wallpapers are still flourishing this season, busily seeding plain walls with their vibrant foliage. Although wallpaper has been out for some time, the recent love of plant-print fabrics (and plants in general) combined with a zeal for all-things vintage has created fertile ground for a major comeback.

If you’re not quite ready to surrender your walls to mother nature, you can experiment with peel and stick wall coverings; they’re non-permanent and easy to peel off. Perfect for the changing seasons!

Rattan

Drag your rattan patio furniture inside–it’s not just for the outdoors anymore! Rattan furniture is making a big resurgence this fall: couches, armchairs, coffee tables, and matching end tables are just some of the many rattan items you’ll see this season.

If you’re not keen on replacing your entire living room with rattan, you can still get your fix with accessories like a rattan mirror or tea tray. Budget-savvy shoppers should be able to scoop up some great vintage rattan pieces for a steal at resale shops or eBay. 

We also like this Rattan Wicker Sofa Chair and Round Coffee Table by PHI VILLA.

Layered lighting 

Many of us will be stuck at home this fall–working, studying, hosting socially distant gatherings, or simply biding our time until spring. An unintended consequence of social distancing is that our homes are becoming multi-functional spaces where we work, relax, and socialize–sometimes all in the same room!

Having different lighting options–a.k.a. layered lighting–gives you the flexibility to create the right atmosphere for any number of activities. Task lighting, like desk lamps or pendant lights, is great for getting work or chores done. Once you’re wrapped up for the day, you can switch to mood lighting with a chandelier or even light a few scented candles to relax.

(To learn more about different types of lighting and how to use them, check out this post

Canopy beds

The towering silhouette of a canopy bed is unmistakable, which is perhaps why it’s gaining such popularity during the year’s most visually dramatic season. And as bedroom designs trend towards becoming lighter and breezier, a large canopy bed can create a perfect “anchor” point in an otherwise airy space. 

An understated canopy bed like the Raina Queen Canopy Bed by LexMod is perfect as a stand-alone piece or dressed up with earth tone linens.

Vintage decor 

It feels wrong to say that vintage is “back” since it never really went away, but it’s definitely experiencing a popularity surge this season. Thanks to the brutally tumultuous year we’ve experienced, many people are seeking the comfort offered by vintage items. To put it simply, they remind us of a simpler time!

If you’re not comfortable going thrifting this season (which is totally understandable), you can putt a vintage twist on some of your existing accessories by applying a patina finish or pairing it with some of those lovely pampas grasses.

Fall 2020’s Design Trends: Key Takeaways 

Despite this season’s many distinct trends, one thing is certain: it’s all about comfort. From cozy textures to ambient lighting, people are reinvisioning their living spaces to comfortably accommodate both work and leisure.

And remember: you don’t have to totally remodel your home to achieve the look. A few candles, comfy pillows, or dried grasses are more than enough to immerse yourself in this season’s interior design trends without leaving you bankrupt for the holidays.