How to Create a Cozy Fall Ambience in Your Home—Without All the Pumpkin Spice Candles

Unsure of what you want your fall to smell like? Steve points out that there are certain types of fragrances and scent notes proven to aid in bolstering a warm and relaxing ambiance. “Specifically, warm, woody, amber scents help people slow down and relax,” he emphasizes. Meanwhile, Jordan Soderholm, cofounder and chief growth officer of Ranger Station, usually leans toward scents that are deeper and more complex during this time of year. “Just like the layers that we put on to keep us warm, these more complex layers in scent can help warm up the space you’re in,” he adds. (Another great place to start is with their Stick Season candle, created in collaboration with musician Noah Kahan, because it smells like the state of Vermont, or “like your favorite flannel, friends around a campfire sipping whiskey, and fresh pine,” according to Steve.)

Diptyque Feu de Bois (Fire Wood) Large Scented Candle

Into The Forest Scented Candle

Night Blooming Jasmine & Damask Rose Candle

Le Labo Pin 12 Classic Candle

Incorporate lighting with an autumn glow

Lighting is arguably the most important element of creating a cozy fall ambience. In her fall ambience videos, Autumn makes sure to incorporate “lots of glowy amber lighting”—she also insists that fall lighting should always be “buttery and rich.” To create lighting decor inspired by her beautiful virtual spaces, you want to start by amping up your lighting with autumnal glows. Bryan Johnson, CEO of Shades of Light, recommends “light bulbs with a lower temperature around 2500 to 2700 Kelvin to throw off a nice warm glow.” You could also add a natural linen shade to help diffuse the ambient light to avoid overwhelming the room with austere brightness.

Beyond these simple approaches, another way to increase the mood lighting for your fall decor is to lean into the so-called “season of sticks.” If you draw a sense of fall coziness from the beauty of nature laid bare (think trees losing their leaves), incorporate organic materials like wood pieces and stone, Bryan advises. He also suggests choosing fixtures that mimic nature like the Naturally Superior Twig Chandelier and bring “natural elements and sense of whimsy.” The brand also incorporates finishes like warm brass or natural wood to “really lean into the ‘cozy’ vibe.” While not turned on, the material making up the lighting should also be “a harmonious blend of deep, rich colors,” like forest green, royal blue, and earthy browns, combined with metallic accents. (Bryan’s personal pick is the Copper Onion Dome Pendant.) There’s no better time to check out those sconces that have been sitting in your cart for months!

Oxidized Solid Copper Pendant Light, Dome Ceiling Light

Rodan Hammered Brass Metal Dome Pendant Light

Tate Metal Task Floor Lamp

Nelson Saucer Pendant Lamp

Kai Avent-deLeon’s minimal living room is layered with cozy textures that warm up the space.

Photo: Chris Mottalini

Swap in textures that warm up the room

As crisper autumn air breezes through our homes this time of year, many of us subconsciously yearn for the gentle touch of thick cashmere materials around the house. According to Autumn, people seek out her ambience videos “because they’re craving a nicer, warmer, cozier setting than the one they have in real life.” While we can easily remedy the situation by covering ourselves in oversized quilts and chunky throw blankets, another less obvious way is to create an equally warm and inviting atmosphere for gathering at the table, where hard surfaces can feel even colder as we transition into fall.

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