Summer to Fall Transitional Decor Ideas

September means it’s time for fall decorating.  I’m not quite ready to go full-on fall with pumpkins, mums, and gourds in my decor but I am ready to shift from summer decor to fall.  Today I’m sharing a few ideas for Summer to Fall Transitional Decor.

Ideas for transitioning decor from summer to fall.

I’m sharing my ideas along with a talented group of bloggers for a Transitioning from Summer to Fall Blog Hop.  This tour is organized by my friend Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home.  I love Amber’s gorgeous old home and how she decorates it so beautifully with vintage style.

Transitioning from Summer to Fall Blog Hop

If you are visiting from Petite Haus, welcome!  Angelina’s late summer decorating tips are sure to give everyone some ideas to use in their home.

Summer to Fall Transitional Decor Ideas

I love fall decor and each year I look forward to decorating my home for the season.  I’ll soon unpack my fall totes and get busy switching my decor over to fall but for now I’ve added a few subtle touches of fall in my formal living room.  I hope that my ideas will inspire you as you transition your home’s decor from summer to fall.

Idea One – Hydrangeas

In my neck of the woods Hydrangea has finished blooming but has naturally dried on the plant.  I snipped blooms from my Hydrangea to use for the early fall coffee table vignette that I recently shared and also to use in my living room for an early fall mantel.

Living room decorated for late summer/early fall

I used Hydrangea on the mantel and also on the fireplace hearth.

Mantel decorated for early fall with Hydrangea and brown glass bottles.

The Hydrangea on the mantel are arranged in florist vases that I saved.  Another variety of Hydrangea fill a basket on the hearth.

On the other side of the room dried Hydrangea are displayed in an antique crock on an antique radio that a relative turned into a storage box.  My winter gloves and hats are stored here.

The sheet music is WWI era and belonged to my grandmother’s cousin who lived in and whose father built the 1913 home that my mother restored.  The piano that my grandmother’s cousin used to play this sheet music is back in its original home.  My mother played the same piano as a girl as did I.

1960's stereo console with an antique radio and collection of WWI sheet music

The 1960’s stereo console was my dad’s.

Ideas Two – Brown Glass

Mantel decorated for early fall with Hydrangea and brown glass bottles.

When decorating for fall, I tend to use rust, orange, yellow, and brown.  To give my mantel a fallish feel, I used vintage brown bottles.

Mantel decorated for early fall with Hydrangea and brown glass bottles.

I love the contrast of the brown bottles with the green of the Hydrangea.  My mother gave these two bottles to me.  The smaller bottle is a bleach bottle and the larger I’m guessing originally held vinegar or bleach.

Mantel decorated for early fall with Hydrangea and brown glass bottles.

On the right side of the mantel is another Fleecy White bleach bottle and another brown jug.  The jug was in a box of liquor bottles that my neighbor had at the end of his driveway to give away, so perhaps it was a liquor bottle.  Someone was happy if that big jug was full of liquor.

 Idea Three – Pottery

In the 1970’s and 80’s my grandmother collected pottery.  She used some of it in her kitchen and my guess is that she used some of her collection for flower arrangements. 

Vintage pottery used in an early fall vignette

I inherited her collection and gave some of it to my good friend, Suzanne, who collects pottery.  I don’t have a place to display it and Suzanne does, so I figured that it would be better for it to be displayed and loved rather than sit on a shelf in my basement.

Vintage pottery used in an early fall vignette

The large lidded piece is marked Pitts ’77.  I remember this piece sitting on a lazy Susan in the middle of my grandmother’s kitchen table.  Suzanne bought the smaller piece for me at a pottery show that she attends in North Carolina every spring.

Label on the back of an antique photo

When my grandmother moved to a retirement home, I was given a lot of her things.  The rule was if you wanted a piece of furniture, you may also have to take what was in the drawers whether you wanted it or not.  I believe that is how I acquired this picture of a woman that I’ve never met.

My grandmother labeled many of her things so that we would know the history behind them.  Aunt Fannie raised my grandmother and this woman, Teresa Branch, was her dear friend.  My Aunt Nancy probably has the child flat silver that Teresa gave my grandmother.  

Vintage pottery used in an early fall vignette

I used another piece of Granny’s pottery on a table between the two wing chairs in front of my fireplace.

The round covered dish is marked “Pitts ’85”.  The smaller dish is another pottery show gift from Suzanne.  It’s perfect for holding rings on my dresser.  The copper candle holder was a 50th birthday gift from a good friend.  

Idea Four – Use Pillows and Throws

Throw pillow with late summer colors

Pillows are an easy way to decorate for the season.  I made these pillow covers to use on our recently renovated sunroom but moved them into the living room to replace the pastel pillows that were in this spot for early fall.  The colors in this fabric are perfect for this time of year.

A throw over the chair adds a touch of cozy to the room.

Idea Five – Decorate with What is in Season

Antique chest decorated with an apple theme for early fall

It’s apple season and I can’t wait to get to a local orchard to get some fresh apples to enjoy.  Since it’s apple season, I decorated the chest in my living room with an apple theme.

Apple themed late summer/early fall vignette

The apple on the left is a McCoy piece.  

Apple themed late summer/early fall vignette

The apples in this thrift shop wooden pedestal bowl that I made over are faux but from a distance they look real enough.

Apple themed late summer/early fall vignette

This apple vignette is also good for this time of year as I associate apples with school and it’s back to school time.

Apple themed late summer/early fall vignette

Since I’m a former teacher, I had a few apple pieces from my teaching days to use for this display.  The silver apple was a gift from a student long ago and the marble apple was a retirement gift.

Idea Six – Decorate with Seasonal Sports Memorabilia

Vintage football vignette

Fall is football time, so to celebrate the start of football, I created a football vignette on the table to the right of the mantel.  Every year I decorate a corner of my family room with a vintage Virginia Tech theme.  These items are usually a part of that display.

The 1940’s puzzle was my dad’s and the football helmet and football man were my grandfather’s.

My grandfather was born in 1908, so my guess is that the football man is about 100 years old.  He made the stand that holds football man, probably so that he could be displayed at a museum where my grandmother loaned things to display. 

Vintage football vignette with a 1940's football puzzle, 100 year old football toy, and a vintage football helmet

The helmet was also my granddad’s.  Granddaddy played football for Roanoke College and this helmet is either from his college days or from when he coached football in the 1930’s at William Byrd High School.  My grandmother donated granddaddy’s football knickers to the Vinton historical society.  One of these days I need to visit there to see them.

Last Look

My summer to fall transitional decor will be enjoyed for a short while and then I’ll switch it out to pure fall.  

Pin It!

Summer to fall decorating ideas

Please pin this post to remember for later.  Pinning also helps others to find my work on Pinterest.

Next on the tour is Michelle from Thistle Key Lane.  Michelle is sharing transitioning from summer to fall kitchen ideas and I can’t wait to read her post.

I hope you enjoy all of the summer ideas shared today on this Transitioning from Summer to Fall Blog Hop.  Click on the links below to visit each blogger participating in today’s tour.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Many pretty touches for early fall. My home is filled with dried hydrangea right now. I can never have to many for fall. You have many wonderful family pieces in your decor. Makes it extra special to have family to remember.

    Enjoy your Monday


  2. Paula, I treasure your history behind your items as much as I do the items themselves! As an antiques dealer, there’s a bit of provenance envy in how you are able to use so many things handed down in your home, whereas mine are mostly acquired through estate sales, auctions, etc.
    Your football vignette is adorable (Mr. P. is a Hokie alum – post grad), love your Grandaddy’s helmet especially. The cotton throw and pillows are definitely two of the things I enjoy most this time of year, as the nights and mornings are cooler. Your living room really gives a seasonal vibe with its color scheme. Very pretty.

  3. Oh my word, Paula, I don’t even know where to start with all these fabulous treasures. I’m pretty sure you should be a prop stylist because you have so many goodies. The way you mix heirloom pieces into your decorating no matter what the season is always my favorite thing about your posts. I can’t wait to see more! Hugs, CoCo

  4. Paula, I am always in awe of all the family treasures you have in your possession! You have so many pretty and meaningful pieces and you have displayed them so beautifully! My football loving boys would definitely love that helmet. And you can’t go wrong with hydrangeas! Loved your tour!

  5. Paula,
    Decorating with treasures handed down from family members creates such a cozy home filled with love. I enjoyed hearing the stories associated with each of your things. And, I love your round table that looks navy in the living room.

    Happy Fall,


  6. I always love stepping back in time with your posts, Paula! I love those pillows, and they look fabulous with those lovely blue curtains. It really looks like a perfect fall transition. Your pottery is wonderful too. We have a long time family friend who makes her own pottery and has a kiln. I always thought that was the coolest thing. Pinning!

  7. Paula, I always enjoy seeing your vintage treasures and I adore the simple elegance of your mantel! Happy almost fall! Blessings, Cecilia@ My Thrift Store Addiction

  8. It’s all beautiful! It’s wonderful to have some heirloom things passed down from family. I too love brown bottles this time of year. I have placed the smaller bottles from my collection on my mug rack bought from Décor Steals.

  9. Hello Paula,

    It’s my first time visiting your lovely blog and I am so glad I found you through this blog hop. You have such a charming and elegant home! I am smitten by your pretty living room and all of the heirlooms that make it unique and cozy. I love that each piece has a history and that you displayed them so proudly. That is so touching!!

    I too love decorating with hydrangeas from my garden. The amber bottles are the perfect addition!!! Great decorating tips.

    It was fun joining you on this fall blog hop!!


  10. Paula I love your 5 ideas for transitioning for the season. I really don’t have that many items that I had handed down. I love to hear about yours. Very lovely items. I hope you have a great Thursday.

  11. Love hearing about your family pieces, and the pottery is amazing! The brown glass bottles are a great find, so funny about finding some at the end of the neighbor’s driveway. Now I’m on the hunt to find a few more for a display!

  12. Paula you pull out all the amazing vintage treasures for every post! That football man and helmet has me giddy…seriously great pieces! Of course I love the stories you share behind everything. I think your living room looks perfect right now. Love the pillows, the blue curtains and mantel… like September blue skies with just a touch of autumnal color, just like in nature.

    The old picture is looks lovely paired with the pottery pieces. I also adore the brown bottles with the clear vases and simple hydrangeas on the mantel. It’s beautiful!

    Thanks so much for joining the hop. Happy September!

  13. Paula, you have a love for family pieces just as I do, and of course they mean so much more when you know the history. Love all your dried hydrangea stems. hope ours will do better next year, so I can have dried hydrangeas in the fall. Their delicate petals are just so pretty.

  14. Paula, I always love to hear the stories behind all your wonderful heirloom pieces. To have your grandfather’s football helmet is really precious, and I love how you have it displayed. Your house is looking great for early September!

  15. I absolutely love the bright colored pillows on your wing backs, Paula! They coordinate beautifully with your bird prints. Yes, hydrangeas are so wonderful to use this time of year; I love their mossy green color!

  16. Hi Paula!
    This is so pretty – as usual! You have so many beautiful heirlooms. I love how your grandmother labeled items with notes about them. It’s so cool that you and your mother learned to play on the same piano. I can only imagine how the 1913 home she restored looks. I’m sure it’s lovely!
    >>> KIm

  17. Everything looks beautiful! Wow I remember a lot of theses things, I have a lot of the Pitts pottery also. I love it! I got mine from Estelle Woodbury, the Pitts were her cousins. She was always going there to get pottery pieces!

    1. Thank you so much for solving the Pitts pottery mystery! I tried to look it up and didn’t find any information. One of these days I would love to come visit you and see your pottery and other treasures.


  18. What a beautiful home you have! Love that you use your family heirlooms in your decor! It makes your house interesting and original and there is not a lot of that out there anymore. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Everything looks just lovely, my friend! I especially love the amber glass and hydrangeas! Perfect on the mantle!

    1. Thank you, Julie! Even though it isn’t fall officially, I’m enjoying making it look that way inside my home.


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  21. What lovely ideas and ways you have incorporated a hint at the changing seasons through your home. I really like the unique idea of displaying season sports items in your home! That vintage football helmet is amazing! It is always a joy to see what you have been doing!

  22. I love these tips! Your transition for fall is so subtle and not too on-the-nose. I especially love the brown bottles with green hydrangeas and your sweet family heirlooms. Now, I’m starting to look around and see how I can incorporate seasonal changes like this! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Such a helpful post–in my view, now’s the time to transition to fall, not to jump straight to Halloween! I love the way you use beautiful historical elements in your decor.

    Thank you for joining the Grace at Home party, Paul. I’m featuring you this week!

  25. I love the idea of sunflowers for transitioning to fall decorations. I’m out looking for some now!! Thank you for sharing at My Big Fat Menopausal Life’s Share the Wealth Link party! Have an awesome weekend.

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