How to Decorate for Different Seasons Without all the Money and Hassle

I love changing my decor for the seasons. It means that every four months, I have an excuse to go and be create and create something new out of my apartment space. I think the love of it comes from helping my mom decorate for every season–she has a whole bin of decor for every season (well, more than one bin for Christmas). I particularly loved how she would change the mantel. The only trouble is that I don’t have a lot of money or space to spend on buy a whole new set of decorations four times a year. I’m lucky if I can afford two small boxes for all my decorating! I also don’t have a fireplace or mantel.

So instead, I’ve created a system that relies on a core group of decorations and locations, and a rotating set of candles and other things that fit around this core. And I reuse the same items in different ways for different seasons. I use our awesome and cheap entertainment center as my mantel or main decorating space. For example, here is this autumn’s decorations:

This is the top of my entertainment center, where I usually trade out seasonal decor

The Base

In the picture above, the Van Gogh print, books, white candle holder, and clear terrarium work together as my base. My rotational group includes the candles, what goes inside the terrarium, and other decor that I place around these things (this season I took a more minimalistic approach, so that’s not quite relevant here).

The Candles

I use orange candles in autumn, green candles in spring, and white candles in summer and winter. I got the candle pedestal for my wedding. It is, of course, from Pottery Barn. I love how it gives more height to the overall look; however, I think I might need to find another white element to place around the terrarium to balance out the colors (since there isn’t any other pure white on there this season).

Pottery Barn Candle Pedestal

The Terrarium

Every season varies what the terrarium will hold. I’ve used antique globe ornaments, moss and a bird’s nest, and now whole nuts. I got the idea from something I saw about roasted acorns and this picture on Pinterest that used coffee beans:

Image via Style Me Pretty

I actually set these nuts out last winter in a bowl with a nutcracker, so I didn’t have to buy any acorns or risk a bug-infested house picking my own acorns from the tree outside (I thought about it, but I’ve had bad experiences with that. Particularly an ant-infested dorm room). Here’s my version:

Terrarium with Mixed Nuts

I’m really happy with it. Here’s another:

And here’s a picture of the entertainment center as a whole. It really gives the room a center, and I love that we decided t oput old books on the shelf for an antique look:

What are some of your staple fall decorations?


2 comments on “How to Decorate for Different Seasons Without all the Money and Hassle

  1. Amber Mae says:

    This year I created a banner with scrapbook paper saying GIVE THANKS. You see it first thing when you walk in the house. A constant reminder to me of what my attitude should be all year. In the fall, I like to use a lot of candles with spice scents. I don’t have to light them to have a faint baking smell throughout the house!

    • alanagbirky says:

      I’ve been thinking about some sort of fall banner, too! I thought it would look great over our big window. And I JUST pulled out some fall-scented candles to put by the front door. What I really want is a fireplace-scented candle–nothing too overpowering, but just a hint to smell.

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