Embrace autumn with festive home design ideas that are as stylish as they are faithful to their inspiration.
Autumn’s attributes are as iconic as they are beloved, from cool breezes and amber leaves to delicious flavors like cinnamon and maple. It’s no surprise, then, that the fall months invite home design choices that reflect their natural imagery.
You can make elegant selections that not only add impressive style to every room but also accurately reflect the arboreal beauty of this temperate season. Follow this guide to update your entire home for autumn and embrace natural concepts that you may want to keep long after the final leaves drop.
Warm autumn hues
Fall is possibly best known for its dramatic colors, so bring these famous hues home and use them in modern ways. Explore sophisticated blends of traditional fall colors muted with neutral undertones like gray that mature them, such as maroon and forest green rather than their primary counterparts. Natural wood tones are perfect complements to these fall hues, as are warm metal fixtures and decor in copper and gold. Each room needs light neutrals to retain a sense of visual calm, so consider a seasonally complementary shade like a very light tan for balance. Dark accents, such as genuine walnut end tables, can round out a room for a complete palette.
You can choose to redecorate or paint rooms in these seasonal colors or simply hunt for festive decor. Pay attention to how colors might clash with one another, though. Review the overall color palette of every room before you make your fall decor choices. You can purchase a color wheel from your local hardware store or find one online to craft visually pleasing color combinations.
Touches of nature
Anyone who appreciates crisp orange leaves and dropping acorns will understand the appeal of bringing natural foliage indoors. Luckily, fall offers many options for decor. Chrysanthemums and marigolds are alight with bright blooms this time of year, and colorful twigs may drop within footsteps of your front door.
The key to contemporary natural decor is confining them in some way, such as within a frame, container, or border. This can make otherwise messy objects appear neat and curated. Place a branch of preserved yellow leaves inside a framed shadow box, and display it atop a sideboard or hutch. Drape olive branches within the borders of a dining room table runner, then scatter found objects like acorns throughout for a rustic yet fashionable setting. As for those adorable varieties of multicolored pumpkins, display them on a serving tray or lay them at angles in a long centerpiece bowl.
Festive and refined
To modernize your fall decor, make artistic or even avant-garde choices with your seasonal accents. One of the most popular examples of this is decorative pumpkins painted in unnatural colors like black or made of surprising materials like glass. Cornucopias have also historically been popular fall centerpieces, but choosing one in unusual colors and unexpected materials makes for an art-forward abode.
If you’re artistic, you could even craft your own seasonal trimmings. For example, you could paint a canvas with an abstract leaf pattern using the colors in your home for inspiration. Frame and hang your works to legitimize them, and your guests may ask where you acquired these inspiring pieces. You can also paint decorative accents like pottery, jewelry boxes, and candlesticks in seasonal yet stylish colors.
One of fall’s most anticipated holidays tends to err on the side of busy, chaotic decor. If you’d prefer to achieve elegance throughout October rather than imitate a haunted house, design with the intention of gothic-yet-glamorous neatness.
Despite their garishness, Halloween colors have elegant and refined potential; it all depends on how you use them. Start by assessing the dominant color palette of each room. For bright and airy rooms, decorate with black, silver, and shades of dark gray, each of which adds visual balance. For darker, more mature rooms, consider brightening them up with flairs of orange, red, and bronze. If you prefer to be subtle with your decor, simply swapping out throws, pillows, vases, and other accents for ones in classic Halloween colors will do the trick.
Take inspiration from one of the holiday’s most elegant and storied references—historic Victorian manors—and shop for decor that’s vintage and refined while still festive. Examples include chic candelabras, eye-catching gilded wall mirrors, crimson drapes, and vases of black roses. If you’d prefer a modern take on Halloween, select classic favorites like jack-o’-lanterns and bats in surprising colors and materials.
Cozy fabrics and upholstery
As fall progresses, temperatures may settle somewhere between comfortable and chilly depending on where you reside. If you can host outdoors, embrace autumn aesthetics on your porch, patio, deck, or poolside by adorning them with warm fabrics like throw blankets, pillows, and rugs. Indoor patterns like plaid work nicely outdoors, too, as do sophisticated colors like eggplant, olive green, and mustard. Decorating these spaces for fall can seamlessly blend your indoor and outdoor decorative concepts.
If you live in a region where emblazoned autumn leaves and ripe pumpkins are foreign imagery, adjusting your outdoor color palette is a worthy substitution for fall views. Decorate your outdoor dining, accent, and cocktail tables with native plants that grow in fall colors. For example, orange canna flowers and yellow yucca are vibrant yet hardy in warm climates. Top it off with decorative lights, such as candles, fairy lights, and lanterns in an autumn palette, to add an elegant touch.
When you’re decorating with fall foliage that betrays your area code, though, confine these accents to the indoors, where decor like red leaves and cornucopias will be less jarring. However, no one could blame you for throwing your arms around autumn. It’s one of the most comfortable seasons and offers limitless design potential—no matter where you live.