Decorating for Fall
Written by: Alisha McDarris
With the changing of the seasons comes a change in the air, in people’s moods and perspectives, and in color. Boxes come out of the closet or down from the attic with sweaters and dusty décor that has been stored safely away since this time last year. it is time to swap daisies with autumn leaves and the vibrant hues of summer with the subdued tones that accompany cooler weather.
Many will make room for seasonally-inspired centerpieces and knick-knacks, laying out table runners and hand towels to usher in the season. However, there is more to decorating for fall than store-bought miscellany. There is an art to maintaining the comfort and style of your home throughout the changing of the seasons. Interior Designer Jim Chappelow, design consultant at Loft Home in Austin, has been designing interiors for more than fifteen years and provided advice for making the seasonal switch tastefully.
Decorating for fall is a whole different challenge than everyday design and décor. Of course, the core design rules of spacing and groupings stay the same, but everything else is a matter of personal preference. Taste and practicality should still be important factors because according to Chappelow, livability is key to good design, and that includes keeping the clutter in the closet and only putting out items that serve a purpose.
A Professional’s Tips for Fall Décor
Keep it simple. Instead of setting out the same seasonal décor from years past, try playing with simple things like color, texture, and natural elements. The natural, dark colors of fall, such as moss greens and browns, go a long way toward creating an autumnal atmosphere; textures like woven baskets, knits, and wood do the same.
Swap out the pillows. One of the easiest ways to seasonally update a home, according to Chappelow, is by swapping out pillows on couches or chairs. Replace your current selections with ones that display the dark, warm tones of the season: perhaps deep red, burnt orange, and goldenrod. This works brilliantly with neutral furniture, an easy canvas for frequent or quick décor updates and changes.
Use throws to cozy up a room. Chappelow said, “You’re going to want something warm to snuggle up in.” Instantly add a cozy feel to a living room by placing blankets or throws in those same fall colors over the back of the sofa, on the chaise lounge, or across an armchair. It may not get as cold in Texas as in other parts of the country, but many still associate fall with a chill in the air. Blankets offer comfort and warmth to battle the seasonal weather. They also add layers of interest and texture to a room, but more importantly, throws provide an excuse to curl up next to someone you love with a cup of coffee and a bowl of caramel corn.
Bring the outdoors inside. Another easy and stylish trick is to use natural elements to bring the outdoors in. A few organic touches convey a sense of fall whether they are in the living room or on the front porch. Simple items are often sufficient, such as pine cones placed along an entryway table or twigs in a vase that might usually be occupied by colorful flowers. Baskets, stacked wood by the fireplace, and even cross cuts of wood used as pedestals can create a striking seasonal feel while serving a purpose.
Consider seasonal artwork. As for the walls, it is hardly imperative that artwork be changed for the season, but if you are open to a temporary statement piece in the dining room or living area, Chappelow recommended simplicity. A three-dimensional piece or grouping of pieces that are easy to swap in and out is ideal. One of his favorites is a trio of abstract works resembling leaves and designed to insinuate subtle movement. A burnished iron that features bronze and brass hues fits perfectly with fall. “It creates a whole new feel to the space,” Chappelow said, especially when replacing a bright, summery piece of art.
Again, keep it simple. According to Chappelow, the one absolute to remember when redecorating for a season is that less is more. It is easy to overdo it when every seasonal box you open is filled with last fall’s forgotten treasures, all wonderful things to display, but in the end create clutter. Instead of buying bags and boxes of inexpensive objects that scream “fall,” invest in a few statement pieces that celebrate the season in a more subdued, sophisticated manner. A good rule of thumb: edit. If you always put the wreath, scarecrow, or place mats out, forgo them this year. Instead, let a few standout articles shine and guests will likely notice.
Redecorating for fall does not have to involve a heap of a hodgepodge; it can be as sensible, practical, and beautiful as your home is at any time of year. But if the perfect piece or artful touch eludes you, call on a professional who can happily aid you in designing your perfect space for fall, summer, spring, or winter.