From fall to festive, how to transition your home decor to meet the season

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Is it still fall or have we already fallen into the holiday season?

The fun part is, it’s essentially up to you – especially when it comes to decorating your home.

“There are really no rules,” said Karli Strain, Montgomery’s visual merchandiser, trend specialist and buyer.

“I know some people who like to have their Christmas decorations up as long as possible, and others who are still enjoying their pumpkins.”

The first thing to note, though: Halloween is over, “so it’s time to get rid of the carved pumpkins and put away the spiders and the spooky-season stuff,” Strain said.

“Just keep out the pumpkins – there are all sorts of velvet stuffed pumpkins that are great for tabletop decorating, as well as glass ones – but just leave the fall colors and maybe do some pine sprays to start transitioning into Christmas and give a little more wintery vibe.”

Montgomery’s has many accessories to enhance your fall home design.

“The color schemes right now in general are rusts, dark greens, beige tones, warm tones. They’re all very popular and look great for fall,” Strain said. “We’ve got pillows, we’ve got vases in those colors that feel warm and inviting, and we have tons of natural sprays made with wheat grass and other flora, which are super popular this time of year to decorate.”

If you’re hosting this Thanksgiving, “I would keep it very fall-themed and Thanksgiving-feeling because I think that’s what the season calls for, and after that, you can go all into Christmas,” she said.

Not feeling like making a big leap toward December with your decor? Strain suggests easing into the season by adding some greens or lit trees without ornaments to start to transition your home.

“I always put trees up as soon as possible after Thanksgiving and then wait a little bit to put up the decorated tree with glitzy ornaments,” she said.

Here are more of her holiday decorating tips:

Bring on the light

Shorter, cooler days definitely demand a little extra light in the home.

“Lots of warm light is key,” Strain said.

“Maybe add some extra lamps, extra candles. Christmas lights can be used for that in various ways, including on your fireplace. With the darkness coming so quickly, it’s nice to have warm light in the house. LED lights have come a long way. It’s not just an icy blue tone. You can pick the color you want, which is great.”

Decorate in stages

While the candles and bare trees can make an early appearance, Strain suggests spreading out your holiday decorating.

Your nutcracker collection or Santa-themed decor? Bring them out as Dec. 25 approaches, and put them away shortly after Christmas.

“And then, you can transition back to just lit trees with no ornaments and lots of candles and pine sprays, bowls on tabletops,” Strain said.

“You can use rust and a more neutral green, but really color schemes for Christmas are all over the place. I also like just gold – it’s absolutely classic and will never go out of style.”

Fluff it up

Pro tip: Most garlands or greenery aren’t ready for prime time right out of the box.

“Fluff your garlands, fluff your greenery, fluff your trees,” Strain said. “If you buy something from a store, it’s not good to go. You have to fluff it to make it look more natural. You can make even an inexpensive garland look great if you fluff it and put a ton of light in it and add some sprays or picks for volume.”

A lot of greenery can be skimpy, so don’t be afraid to wrap two together.

And don’t forget: Refreshing some furniture or even accessories can give you a new look just in time for holiday hosting or relaxation at home.