Tips for Transitioning from Summer to Fall

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We’ve been so comfy in our short-term house —with its amazing pool and beautiful outdoor spaces — that summer has just whizzed by. Since I’ve been riding the “lazy train,” summer has seemed more like a vacation than actual life. So you might be surprised to hear me say I’m looking forward to the change of seasons.

For some strange reason, I’m getting the feeling that the transition from summer to fall is going to be easy this year. We had a couple of cool mornings recently which made me feel like autumn was right around the corner, and I am just going to embrace it.

First, I packed up all my floral sundresses, strappy tops, and open-toe sandals. I used the Marie Kondo folding method, rolling it all up in a great under-bed storage bag. I managed to get my entire summer wardrobe into one bag — minus the shoes, of course — so I’ve got lots of room in my closet now. As a bonus, I can see everything, so it will be easy to find my favorites to pack if we suddenly freak out in January and have to run to Bora Bora.

Here’s my list of what I’m doing next.

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Get rid of the summer perennials.

They’re spent from all the heat, and it’s time to let them go. I’m not going to put out the autumn pots for a couple more weeks, because I’m just not ready for fall flowers yet. I’ll enjoy the last bit of green while I watch the leaves on the trees change.

Change table linens to fall colors.

Bright summer colors start to look a little silly when autumn rolls around. But I’m not shifting into Thanksgiving mode and going more formal. I’m just changing colors and starting to think about fall accents for centerpieces and place settings.

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Change the interior environment.

That means starting to work in throws (when the chill comes, I don’t want to be crawling around in the closets), and changing candles to more spicy, homier scents. I’ll also exchange the fresh flowers in my vases for fall branches.

Find a new flow.

I’m going to get off that summer “lazy train” and reset my priorities. I’ve been slacking a bit, using the move and the pool as excuses, but it’s time to get back to the things that are important to me. And maybe I’ll transition my outdoor lounge time into a time to learn something new.

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Start anticipating fall.

The cozy sweaters, the long walks in the cool breeze, drinking red wine by the fire… I can almost feel fall happening.

Keep summer in my soul.

I’ve developed lots of habits this summer, and while they might seem a bit on the indulgent side, they’re great for my outlook on life. I’m going to go to the farmers markets until they run out of produce, and I’ll keep reading great books, and spending time outdoors. Most of all, I’ll make time for fun — and see if I can’t extend this vacation feeling into all of next year.

What are you doing to get ready for fall? Tell me in the comments!


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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  • Mary,
    Spaulding Way in my inbox is like receiving a special little gift!
    Your blog is a visual treat as well as always being interesting and inspiring!
    Thank you!
    I also love to read and wonder if you would share
    the titles of some of your more recent favorite books. I have a upcoming
    trip to Africa and want to be prepared for the long, long flights.
    Sue