Leaves changing color. Temperatures dropping. The taste of cider and the smell of cinnamon. No season evokes comfort and coziness quite like Fall.

If you collect antiques and heirlooms, the start of Autumn offers an excellent opportunity to change the look of your home or office. Here are easy, fun ideas for decorating with antiques in the Fall:

Gather Decorations

First, you’ll want to gather up all of your Fall-themed antiques and vintage collectibles. While Halloween-related items are popular, you can also find a variety of collectibles related to the season itself.

Decorative Pumpkins

Decorative pumpkins have been popular since the early 1900s. Most vintage and antique pumpkins are made from either metal or clay. If it’s made from plastic, it’s probably not collectable.

Tin pumpkin decorations could potentially indicate the item is an antique. From 1900 until about the 1930s, Halloween was mainly celebrated by adults. The most valuable Halloween antiques are typically from this era.


Yellowware is another popular antique frequently used for Fall decorations. They’re a type of ceramic made from yellow-hued clay. They were an incredibly popular type of kitchenware until the 1940s, which is when Pyrex entered and eventually dominated the market.

They originated in 18th Century Scotland, but even pieces made in the late 1940s can be considered antiques. Dating yellowware isn’t always easy, which is why pieces with a verified potter’s mark typically fetch up to 30% higher prices than unmarked ones.

Due to the glaze, you don’t want to eat off any yellowware dishes. But they look great when hung on a wall or propped up in a corner on a counter. They combine traditional fall colors with an earthen, handmade artistry.

Statement Pieces

A statement piece is an eye-catching antique or heirloom that helps set the overall tone for a room. Because it’s often large, it’s usually also functional. Some popular examples of statement pieces include antique tables, chairs, and couches.

If you’re limited on space, consider hanging a fruit drying rack on your wall. Especially popular in Old World France, they’re large, wooden, oval-shaped racks originally used to dry fruit. For an added dash of style, place a twig wreath in the center of the rack.

Accent Pieces

Aside from statement pieces, you’ll also want to place accent pieces throughout the room, which add small, subtle touches of Fall.

Consider pressing leaves and mounting them in antique frames. It’s an easy and affordable way to bring some natural beauty indoors.

Halloween-themed accent pieces are another option. After all, some of the first mass-produced Halloween items were decorations for house parties. For the ultimate in authenticity, you’ll want items made by Dennison Manufacturing, the most popular manufacturer of Halloween décor from 1909 through the 1940s.

Group Similar Items

Do you have a collection of small collectibles, such as miniature ceramics or figurines? Instead of placing them throughout your home, consider grouping them together. It maximizes the visual impact.

This design strategy works well all year long. You can display figurines for Christmas, Halloween, and other holidays.

How Do I Know if My Antiques are Valuable?

Aside from adding seasonal cheer, your antique decorations might be rare and possibly valuable. Determining the value of an heirloom or collectible isn’t always easy for an amateur, but certain clues can help point you in the right direction.

You want to look for any manufacturing marks. Glassware, pottery, jewelry, furniture, and many other handcrafted items will typically have some type of signature or symbol identifying who made it. Typically, the mark will be in some out-of-the-way spot, such as underneath the item.

It’s important to note that online research will only take you so far. To determine an item’s true, real-worth value, you’ll need to have it appraised by a professional. A professional appraiser is someone with extensive knowledge of a wide variety of collectibles, heirlooms, and antiques.

How to Find a Professional Antique Appraiser

When selecting a professional appraiser to evaluate your items, consider the following factors:

  • Experience – Learning the intricacies of collectible items takes time. Generally, your want a professional appraiser who has been in business for at least ten years.
  • Professional Membership – The appraiser should be a member of a national appraisal organization such as the International Society of Appraisers.
  • Location – You want an appraiser who lives near your city, so they can conduct an in-person inspection of your items.

Many appraisers offer online appraisals. You can email digital images of the antique or other item to the appraiser, who will then provide an estimated value. While it’s an easy way to learn the approximate worth of an item, an online appraisal isn’t accepted for any legal or financial purpose.

If you want to insure the item, list it as a charitable donation on your taxes, or sell it at an auction, you’ll need an appraisal that follows the guidelines established by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, an organization created by Congress that sets appraisal standards. USPAP regulations require that appraisals are conducted in person, which is why hiring someone local is often so important.

Final Thoughts

Add a touch of Fall to your home by decorating with antiques and collectibles. Old-fashioned Halloween party favors, ceramics, and pressed leaves are just some of the fun ways you can help bring the season to life.

While you’re out hunting for items to display, keep your eye out for any hidden treasures. If you suspect you’ve found something valuable, contact a professional antique appraiser to learn more. Your Fall decoration might turn out to be an unexpected financial windfall.