Creating the Perfect Fall Space This Season

Famous for its pumpkin spice lattes and an emphasis on coziness, the fall season is often accompanied by a desire to give our living spaces an autumnal revamp. Given that fall holidays are rooted in belonging and inclusion, it makes sense that fall decorating can be a special way to bond with other people; however, it can also be a way to express one’s own style as a means of self-care.

The National Retail Federation predicts a total spending of $12.2. billion this year on Halloween products alone. This doesn’t even consider the amount of money spent on other holidays that take place during the season, such as Thanksgiving or Día de los Muertos, an annual Mexican celebration that honors loved ones that have passed.

Given the large expense that can accompany preparing for fall, college students trying to decorate their dorm or apartment may want to stick to smaller boutiques and thrift shops. Not only are you buying second-hand, which reduces your contribution to the landfills where you can find most decorations after only a couple of years, you’re also finding unique and aesthetic decor for a fraction of the price of the items found at big chains like Target and Walmart. Places such as TJ MAXX, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, and Marshall’s are also great places to check out for other fall knick-knacks, although they can be on the pricier side.

Micheal’s, a surprising hidden nook for fall decorations galore, has different themes and variations for those that are looking for an alternative Halloween look. Collections include Wicked Garden, Sweet & Spooky, Witches Lair, Electric Halloween, and Spooky Town. They even have plenty of DIY, or “do it yourself,” decor if you’re feeling a little creative this year.

Zoë Shvedov, a junior social work student, advised, “The Dollar Tree has the best prices, and it’s best to buy in the after season because things are cheaper.”

Bath & Body Works has some great fall decoration options that are visually appealing while also making your house smell like your living in Halloweentown. With special fall scents and designs, wallflower plugs, and candle holders, this store can equip you with decorations for every room of the house. Some of their Halloween scents include Vampire Blood, Moonlit Graveyard, Ghoul Friend, Midnight Spell, and Pumpkin Carving.

Victoria Ponce, a senior psychology student, commented, “Bath & Body Works is one of my go-to places for the fall to get some candles for around the house. Some of my favorite scents include Leaves, Mahogany Apple, and Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte.”

The brand has also launched a collection for Hispanic Heritage Month with Patty Hidalgo, a creator of Cuban and Spanish descent, which includes the scents Strawberry Pound Cake, Tiki Beach, Oceanside Palm, and Vetiver Glow.

We can’t forget the exterior of our living spaces. Whether you live in a dorm or apartment, there are ways you can spruce up your door or yard. Five Below and Dollar Tree are probably two of the best places to go if you live in a dorm and just want to spruce up your door with some cute fall stickers or a Halloween-themed door cover. You could also invest in a doormat to put outside your door for that extra fall feel.

If you live somewhere with your own yard, you can have a little more fun with the decorations. You could get some spooky statues or place Jack O’lanterns outside your house. You could also try to find thrifted lanterns or purchase orange, yellow, and red flowers—such as mums, hydrangeas, and roses—from Lowes or Home Depot if you want a cheap, green way to decorate and customize your home.

There’s also some interesting stores near campus you should check out if you want to support local businesses. Stop by Earth Spirit in Red Bank for crystals and tarot cards. A Time to Kiln, also located in Red Bank, hosts ceramic classes where you can create your own fall knick-knack. They also run paint classes, which can be a great opportunity to make a spooky painting while taking a break from the stress of the semester.

Decorating for fall can be a wonderful time to connect with your roommates or friends by creating new fall traditions you can share together. Whether this be an annual pumpkin carving event or a day where you pull out all the fall decor and get to decorating together. Decor is often an extension of one’s identity and can be a great way to foster creativity and growth for oneself and your relationships. Happy decorating!