10 Reasons Why Fall is (Secretly) the Best Season
The last day of summer can't come soon enough, IMO.
Don’t get me wrong, summer is great in many ways, but between the record heat and never-ending beach traffic, I’m ready to trade my swim trunks in for a warm, cozy sweater. If you’re like me and ready to wave goodbye to the dog days of summer, check out my 10 favorite things about fall.
Easily my favorite thing about fall is the array of color leaves turn as cool weather settles in. The golden yellows, vibrant oranges and fiery reds light up entire forests, and some destinations attract thousands of visitors during this time of year. Check out these fabulous photos of fall foliage from HGTV fans, and you’ll be daydreaming of October in no time.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
I admit, the pumpkin-flavored-everything craze has gotten out of hand lately, but the PSL remains one of my favorite cold-weather beverages. Instead of waiting in line at that popular coffee chain, though, make your own PSL at home with this recipe (misspelled name on the cup not included) and enjoy the taste of fall whenever you want.
Patio + Fire Pit
Who wants to have dinner on the patio or sit around the fire pit when the heat index is 110 degrees? Certainly not me. Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of your outdoor space and serve dinner on the patio or hang out with friends and family around the fire pit.
Refresh Your Exterior
Updating your home's exterior paint can be intimidating, but there's a quick way to simplify it. When choosing new colors, remember that a color scheme consisting of three or four coordinating hues works well for most exteriors. Given this home's lack of ornate detail, three shades of earthy greens are used on the siding, trim and doors.
Modernize Your Planters
When coordinating an autumnal color scheme, think outside the box. Modern, black planters can be used year round, and cranberry-red flowering annuals are an easy way to add a touch of fall flair. When mixed together, black, dark green and cranberry red create a bold palette that is appropriate but unexpected for fall.
Add Ambience With Edison Bulbs
Bring a touch of vintage charm to your entry by replacing standard bulbs with Edison bulbs in outdoor light fixtures. Although Edison bulbs are more costly, they add warmth and create ambience. Once the holiday season is over, simply replace the Edison bulbs with standard ones.
Swap Out Your Welcome Mat
Small changes can make a big impact, especially in small spaces. Consider changing up your porch's welcome mat each season for a fresh look. In keeping with the warm gray tones of this porch's outdoor decor, a graphic lattice-patterned mat is swapped in.
Give House Numbers a New Look
Refresh the Look of Your Pergola
A common issue faced by homeowners with wooden pergolas is maintenance. When pergolas are stained, they require yearly or biyearly re-staining or resealing; however, if you paint a pergola in the same tones as your home's exterior, it creates a more cohesive look and requires much less maintenance.
Bring in Breezy Draperies
One of the quickest and most effective ways to spruce up an outdoor living space is by adding lightweight drapery panels. Here, the hard lines of the pergola are softened with charcoal drapes that make the porch feel more cozy while also separating it from the nearby grilling deck.
Fall means football. And whether you follow college or the pros, everyone can agree that a good tailgate is the best way to prep for the big game. Now, everyone has their go-to recipes, but there’s always room to add more food if you ask me. Check out these 12 recipes that are so good they’ll even bring opposing fans together.
Rustic Chic Tailgate
As football season kicks off, it’s a great time to start planning a fun tailgate for your family and friends. Pack up the car with delicious, crowd-pleasing drinks and treats, and gather some blankets and games for a chic, vintage-inspired party you'll remember for years to come.
Trail Mix To Go
Set up a trail mix bar area with all the toppings — we used granola, yogurt-covered raisins, dried cranberries, dried bananas and chocolate chips, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Pack it in clear plastic bags tied with some jute thread, and place them into a container — like this galvanized metal tool caddy — for easy transport.
Walking Tacos Recipe
Make taco meat ahead of time (or grab some fresh off the grill), and pack it up with the rest of your fixings. Not only are walking tacos delicious and filling, but they’re easy to take as you head to the stadium to watch the game.
Make This: Walking Tacos Recipe
DIY Bar Setup
Two thrifted shelves serve as the bar area. A portable over-the-door hook holds bottle openers and other cocktail tools. For decor, cut several strands of yarn and string across the top of the car or make this easy tissue tassel garland in your favorite team's colors.
Apple Cider Punch Recipe
Apples are at their peak of freshness during fall, so they're the perfect big-batch cocktail for your tailgate party. Serve in small plastic bottles for easy transport and consumption.
Make This: Apple Cider Punch
Fall Sangria Recipe
Update your favorite summer beverage with some fall fruits. Bring a big batch of sangria in a jar, and serve individual portions using cups in a muffin tin.
Make This: Fall Sangria Recipe
Label Food Items
Save yourself a ton of time explaining what each platter is by marking your mobile culinary creations with moss, toothpicks and tiny paper flags. Here, guests can easily find what they're looking for thanks to the flags and bold green tone of the moss.
Makeshift Lawn Jenga Set
No need to haul heavy wood pieces to your tailgate — make your own Jenga set with shipping boxes covered in wrapping paper in your favorite team's colors.
Make This: DIY Lawn Jenga
No-Sew Pillow Cover
Support your favorite team with no-sew pillow covers. These pillows double as extra padding for your seat at the tailgate and as a cushion while enjoying the game at the stadium.
Make This: No-Sew Team Pillow
Tailgate Survivial Kit
As the party comes to a close and you and your guests head inside the stadium, give everyone their own tailgate survival kit packed with cold soda, sunscreen, trail mix, napkins and moist towelettes. The kit will also come in handy when the game is over and your squad heads back to the truck for an after-game celebration.
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Station for Kids
Be sure to help the littlest trick-or-treaters get the right amount of goodies. Designate someone to man this Halloween trick-or-treat station so that there are enough treats to go around.
Believe it or not, Americans spend billions on Halloween every year. From fun costumes to tasty treats, there’s no limit to the effort some will go to celebrate. My trick-or-treating days are long gone, but I still enjoy carving pumpkins, putting up spooky decorations around the house and even mixing a Halloween cocktail (or two).
You're Being Watched
Keep an eye on trick-or-treaters with a googly-eyed wreath. To make it, pick up two to three bags of white Ping-Pong balls online or at a sports store. Use hot glue to attach them, in layers, to a foam wreath form with hot glue. Once all visible parts of the wreath form have been covered, attach small and large googly eyes. Tip: It's best to hang the wreath with a door hanger, rather than wrapping ribbon around, so the layers of Ping-Pong balls remain undisturbed.
Upcycle Hardware Essentials
Bright orange tow rope makes it a snap to craft a cheery orange wreath you can display from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Just swap out the saying on the mini pumpkins for an easy holiday update. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.
Rock a Skeletal Style
Give a plastic skeleton a fresh take on the afterlife as a minimalist wreath. Disassemble the skeleton by removing the thread, wire or string used to hold the pieces together. Next, attach bones to a wire wreath form using craft wire, overlapping and interlacing the bones. As a creepy finishing touch, wire the skull to the wreath's bottom so its sockets are approximately eye-level with trick-or-treaters.
Proceed With Caution
Danger ahead! Put caution tape to decorative use as a yellow-and-black crime scene wreath. Pick up a roll of caution tape from your local hardware store and a foam wreath form at the craft store. Wrap the caution tape around the form, ensuring the letters face out. Use strong tape or straight pins to secure the end of the tape to the wreath's back. Complete the look with a caution tape bow.
Be Fashion Forward
Wrap chevron fabric around a foam wreath form to craft this trendy wreath that will add a big graphic punch to your front door, living room, kitchen or anywhere. Learn how to make the bat garland.
Get Caught in the Web
Picture frames as wreaths? Sure, why not! Grab an old picture frame from a flea market or garage sale and update it with spray paint in a bold color. Next, remove the glass and artwork. Use string or yarn to create the spiraling look of a spider web then attach the web to the frame's back side with double-sided tape.
Mini "Pumpkin" Wreath
Although the tiny orange shapes covering this wreath look like diminutive pumpkins, they're actually putka pods. A great stand-in for mini pumpkins, the dried organic seed pods don't deteriorate, so your wreath can be displayed year after year. Get crafting to make your own.
Welcome Halloween guests with a friendly, furry monster wreath. To craft it, you'll need one yard of black faux fur, small balls in assorted colors and 8-10 sets of plastic vampire teeth. Cover a foam wreath form with the faux fur, securing the ends with strong tape or T-pins. Attach the balls and vampire teeth to the fur with hot glue. Finally, use black and white paint pens to add a slit pupil to each of the eyes.
Create a soft and swirly serpent wreath with yarn and bendable toy snakes. First, cover a foam wreath form entirely with black yarn. Next, gather three to five bendable, cloth-covered toy snakes (plastic and rubber snakes work too), wrapping them tightly around the form. Be sure to position their heads in different directions to give the wreath a sense of motion.
All Chained Up
Embrace a bit of the macabre with an iron shackle wreath. Search online or at local antique/thrift stores for authentic iron or steel shackles. Pick up a twig or grapevine wreath from the craft store, then wrap and drape the chain around it. Adorn the wreath with a faux black crow or raven for an added eerie touch.
Give arachnophobes the heebie-jeebies with a spider's nest wreath made with bunched gauze, ribbon and plastic spiders. First, loosely wrap a spool of pure white medical gauze (or cheesecloth) around a foam wreath form until completely covered. Next, attach a few plastic spiders to one side of the wreath with craft or hot glue. Hang the wreath with a black velvet bow looped through the top. For an added gruesome touch, glue on a pair of skeletal hands.
Add a little battitude to your front door with this wreath. To craft it, you'll need a foam wreath form, charcoal-gray yarn, black craft foam, black ribbon, floral wire and a hot glue gun. First, wrap the foam wreath form with yarn, ensuring that none of the foam shows through. Next, print this bat template in various sizes and trace the pattern onto black foam, cutting out the shapes with scissors. Poke a small hole through the top of each bat with floral wire then wire bats onto wreath, positioning them so they look like they're in flight. Finally, wrap black ribbon around the top of wreath for hanging.
When I was a kid I always looked forward to going back to school (even if I didn’t say so out loud). Whether I was boarding the big yellow bus or driving to campus, I always looked forward to meeting new people and learning new things. To help those headed back to class this fall, we have a special Back to School section with tips to help you stay organized and display some of your personal style at the same time.
Locker #1: Neon Dreams
For those who can’t get enough color in their life, this bright, cheerful locker design is for you. The trick to making your locker colorful without going overboard is to pick one main color. For example, we used 60 percent teal decor, while the remaining 40 percent was balanced with other bright hues. This will add a cohesive yet fun look to any drab locker.
DIY Pencil Boxes
These pen and cell phone storage containers were upcycled from food boxes. The pen cup was a granola bar box, and the cell phone holder was a spaghetti box. You can personalize these to any size and shape that you need for all of your school supplies.
Make It: Cut any cardboard box into the size you need, then cover it with patterned paper. (It’s just like wrapping a present with one end open.) Glue a magnet onto the back.
Locker #2: Monochromatic Style
For the student who prefers modern minimalism, this chic black-and-white locker is full of DIY ideas to increase your productivity and organization. It's easy to shop for because anything that's black or white will coordinate with this look. A bunch of white binders, black notebooks and a few patterns here and there will perfectly pull this style together.
Locker #3: Chic Metallics
Make yourself smile every time you open your locker by decorating it with gold and silver accessories that are practical and super cool. And no metallic locker is complete without disco balls! Removable adhesive hooks will easily and quickly hang two disco balls from the ceiling of your locker.
Mini Cork Boards
Take a regular piece of corkboard and cut it into small squares. Use double-stick tape to attach the cork board to the inside of your locker. Pin notes from friends and assignment reminders. It’s even better when you use fun, metallic push pins. Plus, a few push pins can double as hooks for keys.
If the pumpkin spice latte isn’t doing it for you and you need a little bit of an extra kick, these cocktails will warm your hands on a cool evening. Plus, they taste delicious!
Apple picking is kind of a big deal in the fall. Entire weekends are planned around going to the local orchard, and that’s because autumn apples are absolutely delicious. There are countless recipes that call for apples. But instead of making a traditional apple pie, try something a little different this year.
Spice Up the Guest Room
If cooler fall weather also means hosting weekend guests, swap out lightweight summer bedding for heavier linens in rich fall shades, like pumpkin, russet or gold, as design diva Candice Olsen did here. Changing just a few key pieces is an easy way to refresh a bedroom's look, plus your guests will appreciate bunking in such a well-appointed and cozy room.
When it comes to a color palette, fall wins hands down (sorry, spring). The foliage I mentioned earlier is a must-see, but what if you want to bring those colors inside your home in a stylish way? Well, you’re in luck. Discover new ways to use fall's trending colors.
Choose Your Own Color Adventure
Cooler fall days are the perfect time to refresh your home with new colors. So, to go bold or not to go bold? The choice is yours. Read on to discover some of our favorite ways to use the freshest hues, from warm neutrals to cool, saturated shades. Design by Candice Olson
If You Like Neutrals, Try: Cognac
If You Like Neutrals, Try: Bright White
Take a cue from Scandinavian design: Greet cooler temperatures and shorter days with a coat of fresh white paint. Adding white on the walls or the ceiling will reflect the available light around your space, taking advantage of every last ray of sunshine. Design by Robert and Cortney Novogratz
If You Like Neutrals, Try: Aluminum Gray
This warm, inviting shade of gray featured on Pantone's fall color report is reminiscent of weathered barn wood. Pair it with reds, yellows and shades of gray for a fall-perfect combination. Design by Jordan Iverson
If You Like Cheery Pastels, Try: Misted Yellow
A muted, softer shade of summer-favorite bright yellow, this slightly green color featured in Pantone's fall color report is a cheerful addition to a kitchen, dining room or living room. Design by Patty Malone
If You Like Bold, Saturated Colors, Try: Aurora Red
Walking the line just between orange and red, this color is evocative of an autumn maple leaf. Pair it with more shades you'll spot on the fall landscape — think deep reds, yellows and gray-browns — for a can't-miss seasonal update. Design by Greta Goss
If You Like Bold, Saturated Colors, Try: Bright Cobalt
This color is cool and bright all at once. Another color featured on Pantone's fall fashion color report, this shade is a natural with its color-wheel opposite, orange. A dose of white balances the saturated mix. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn
If Your Like Dark, Moody Hues, Try: Cypress Green
As the fall leaves fade, adding a green hue on the walls can evoke a feeling of nature inside the house. Pantone's cypress green pairs well with the year's trendy purple shades; it is equally harmonious with earthy colors like brown and gray. As seen in HGTV Urban Oasis 2011.
If Your Like Dark, Moody Hues, Try: Royal Blue
Extend the summer trend towards blue interiors with this fresh fall shade. A bit brighter than traditional navy, Pantone's royal blue adds vibrancy to fall walls. Balance the dark wall color with light wood tones and white accessories. Design by Emily Henderson
If You Like Traditional Fall Hues, Try: Fire Engine Red
If You Like Traditional Fall Hues, Try: Burnt Orange
Burnt orange looks fresh for fall when paired with yellow-green artwork, a navy throw and metallic accents. Design by BAMO, Inc.
When fall arrives that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and what’s the best thing about Thanksgiving? Some say turkey but it’s really all about the desserts. Cakes and pies line the table, and it’s almost too much to handle…almost. If you’re like me and can’t wait for the first piece of pumpkin pie to be served, check out these 35 irresistible fall dessert recipes and start planning your menu today.
Pomegranate Blood Orange Tiramisu
Take advantage of in-season blood oranges to make this irresistible dessert that's sure to impress your dinner guests. Sweet-tart oranges and pomegranates pair perfectly with creamy mascarpone cheese. Get the recipe.
Champagne-Glazed Fruit Tarts
These bite-size nibbles are the perfect light ending to a heavy meal. Glaze the mini tarts with leftover Champagne or sparkling wine for a sweet finishing touch. Get the recipe.
This Italian trifle layers coffee-soaked ladyfingers with a rich mascarpone custard. Marsala wine, Grand Marnier and Kahlua give this traditional confection a sophisticated twist. Get the recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips
We promise: You can't eat just one. Super-crunchy, salty, kettle-fried potato chips are the perfect canvas for a thick coating of chocolate. A thin layer of caramel and chopped nuts ensures this treat will satisfy all your cravings at once. Get the recipe.
Savory hints of ginger and rosemary add an unexpected flavor to this fresh and fruity dessert while the homemade nut crust is the just-right crunchy contrast to the smooth pastry cream. Get the recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Madeleines
These traditional French cookies are the just-right treat to serve at any fall get-together. They're also the not-too-sweet complement to a cup of tea and party of one. Get the recipe.
Lemon Curd Tart
Tangy lemon curd combined with fresh whipped cream, a homemade pie crust and gorgeous berries make this tart one for the record books. The pie crust is super easy to make, so don't fear. And the lemon curd filling will have you licking the bowl. Get the recipe.
Cranberry Bliss Dacquoise Recipe
This impressive, towering dessert combines the flavors of cranberries and almonds with a decadent white chocolate mousse layered between homemade meringues. Make the components ahead of time and assemble just before serving to really wow your guests. Get the recipe.
Maple Nut Toffee
Take the traditional taste of toffee up a notch with the addition of real maple syrup. Topped with a layer of semisweet chocolate, it's hard to resist snacking on just one more piece. Get the recipe.
Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe
This iced cookie recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic cake. Best of all, you can spread the homemade cream cheese icing on top of each cookie or layer them to create a sandwich cookie. Get the recipe.
Pecan Pie Tartlets
Pecan pie is a can't-miss treat. Our twist turns them into mini hand-held tartlets, perfect for treating your guests to a dessert buffet or serving after a large meal when just a few bites are all you need. Get the recipe.
The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe
The pilgrims were onto something — dense, spicy pumpkin pie is a tried-and-true crowd pleaser. Our recipe adds a dash of sea salt to bring out the pumpkin's mild sweetness. Get the recipe.