1. Find some foliage: Going on a nature walk in the woods or by a creek with a pair of sheers and collecting some nice foliage to display is both free and easy. Branches of golden or rust colored leaves abound in the area, along with foliage containing colorful berries. If you’re worried about bringing the outside indoors, artfully tie your foliage at the end with twine into a spray and hang it on your front door.
2. Flower power: Consider containers of fall-colored arrangements from local grocery stores and nurseries. My favorite is the chrysanthemum; they come quite large (great for a front or back patio) and stay pretty for about 4-6 weeks, which is usually ends up to be right after Thanksgiving. Hardy mums are also extremely popular, colorful, and are easy to find this time of year, with a great price point.
3. Liven it up with new linens: Changing your table linens, or even just the placemats, can create a seasonal space in one place you frequent every day: the kitchen or dining room table. Eye-catching fall patterns and color can bring an added splash of color and add to the festive fall vibe.
4. Hoard some gourds: Add a pop of fall-color with a little display of gourds. Gourds come in a wide variety of textures, colors, and patterns and are a great, affordable decorating element. You can even incorporate some petite, or even regular-sized pumpkins into the mix!
5. Scents of the Season: Consider adding some seasonal candles around your apartment in scents of pumpkin, cinnamon, or a woodsy/leaf scent. You can even incorporate the candles into a centerpiece to be displayed on your dining room or kitchen table, using artificial leaf/pine cone/berry arrangements from your local craft store or "big box" store. Also, diffusers make a great candle alternative that can fill your apartment with fall scents.
Even on a budget, you can have your apartment looking festive for the upcoming fall season, with just a little creativity!