Alison Miksch

A festive jump-start to our favorite season never hurt anybody, right? 

Summer always seems to be the houseguest that comes over without invitation and densely disregards all social cues that it’s time to go. In its final days of intolerable heat, it has overstayed its welcome. And yet, Southerners eagerly pull out their fall décor every year when kids head back to school, knowing full well that, for at least several more weekends, they’re going to be sitting in a pool of sweat in whichever SEC stadium so correlates with their upbringing. By transitioning out summery decorations and arrangements for warmer, cozier fall substitutes, it’s almost a vain attempt to shoo summer out the door with a few very tangible hints. Here, we’ve gathered a few quick and easy ideas for when it’s not quite time to set the table for Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s definitely time for summer to exit the stage:

Layer up.

Prep for cozy nights inside with lots of inviting layers. Add in rugs, throw pillows, and blankets around the house where there were none. (Or replace them with warmer, fuzzier, cold-weather alternatives.) Layer a well-worn oriental rug (or a cow hide!) atop a jute rug for subtle but impactful layered style. Swap out breezy pillows for cozy and warm-hued ones to subtly shift your home’s palette for the season. And the easiest “duh!” idea: snuggly blankets—everywhere.

Don’t forget the little textiles too.

Swap out hand towels, tea towels, table runners and even cocktail napkins for those that bring in warm autumn colors or playful motifs. (It’s a cocktail napkin. Live a little!)

Play up the porch.

Fall is container gardening’s big moment. Let them take center stage with brilliantly colorful arrangements and accompanying pumpkins.

WATCH: Fall Container Gardening With Grumpy

Update window boxes while you’re at it.

A new season, a new look. Give window boxes a refresh with kale, cabbages, mums, mini pumpkins, and the many other seasonal favorites.

Stop and smell the, well, candles.

Don’t forget the power of the olfactory sense. Not only will soft-glowing candles cozy up a room real quick, fall scents are by far the best. Think: apple cider, cinnamon chai, and everyone’s favorite…pumpkin spice.