How to Refresh Your Rooms for Autumn
Design by Caroline Brackett. Photography by Dustin Peck.
While the warm weather months have their charms, the coziness of home during the chillier seasons always makes the arrival of fall feel welcome. As we begin contemplating post-Labor Day transformations to our interiors, we checked in with a few interior designers across the country for advice on how to add a sophisticated fall vibe to our spaces. Here, they share recommendations for everything from creating a pretty autumnal color palette to natural pieces that will add warmth and texture.
Warm up your wall color. When it comes to transforming a room, one should never underestimate the power of paint. To create an autumnal feel, Caroline Brackett, principal designer at Caroline Brackett Studio of Design in Greenville, South Carolina, suggests considering hues like chocolate brown and oxblood red to bring the colors of fall inside. “Even deep aubergine would be beautiful in a bedroom or powder room to make it feel like fall without stepping outside,” she says.
Play up your existing palette. According to Marie Flanigan, owner of Marie Flanigan Interiors in Houston, Texas, letting your current décor guide you can lead to a beautiful and sophisticated fall look. “If you have greens throughout your home, lean into using deeper hues of those same tones. Do you tend to veer toward grey? Incorporate warmer shades of grey to mix up your palette,” she advises, noting that these richer tones can carry you into the holidays.
Design by Marie Flanigan. Photography courtesy of Marie Flanigan.
Look to nature for longevity. “When it comes to fall décor, I love to start in late August or early September,” Flanigan says. “My goal is to always give the décor a longer shelf life so that it can stay up through Thanksgiving.” To create a design that you won’t soon tire of, she recommends opting for natural elements in your fall landscapes. Think pinecones foraged from your yard, branches, feathers, and fruit and florals that you can mix in and refresh.
Design by James Studio Residential Interiors. Photography by Jessica Delaney.
Layer in rich tones. “This is the season to swap out pillows and accessories for deeper, richer tones in color,” Jaime Moore, owner and lead designer at James Studio Interiors in Hingham, Massachusetts, says. She favors olive green and oxblood, as well as rich wood shades, deep burl, and chocolate tones, and assures that even if your home is decorated in coastal colors, such a blues, greys, and whites, the darker shades can be incorporated without feeling a disconnection. “These layers of color help to make everything feel cozy,” she says.
Rotate your artwork. Sarah Moore, interior designer and owner at Sarah Catherine Design in Birmingham, Alabama, recommends changing out your artwork with the seasons. “I love the look of layering art, using a smaller piece of art propped—rather than hung—in front of another larger piece or a mirror,” she says, adding, “It’s easy to swap the layered pieces out as the seasons change because you won’t be adding any additional holes to your walls.” Likewise, Jamie Moore likes to change out the photography she displays in her home for works that are a bit moodier during the colder months.
Design by Sarah Catherine Design. Photography courtesy of Sarah Catherine Design.
Add seasonal sophistication with accessories. To add a subtle seasonal vibe, Brackett suggests adding more baskets, stocking up on firewood, and putting out coffee table books and other items that reflect colors found in nature in the fall, such as goldenrod yellow, orange, and eucalyptus green. Meanwhile, Sarah Moore recommends experimenting with patterns that are evocative of menswear in pillows, throws, and bedding, such as herringbone, windowpane, and plaid.
Incorporate throws. During the fall and winter months, everyone appreciates having a plush throw at arm’s length. Brackett likes to start on the porch, slinging them over rocking chairs, and then brings them inside, draping them on the backs of chairs and sofas and of course, at the foot of the bed. Options abound; Sarah Moore gravitates toward pretty herringbone patterns, preferring the Monhegan throw from Brahms Mount for both the quality and color selection, while every fall, Flanigan swaps out her thin, summertime throw for a more substantial, chunky knit blanket. “This simple swap can instantly elevate the feel of a room,” she explains.
Don’t forget about fragrance. Scent can have a big impact on a space, says Jaime Moore. “Especially in the fall and winter, a scent that’s heavier and richer just makes you feel cozy and like you want to curl up with a good glass of wine in front of the fire,” she says. Currently, her favorite candles that evoke autumn are the Nest Pumpkin Chai, Diptyque’s Feu De Bois, and Hotel Lobby’s Paris Nuit candle. Pop into your local boutiques and home decor stores to sniff out your favorite seasonal options.
TSG Tip 402 from Marie Flanigan, owner of Marie Flanigan Interiors in Houston, Texas; Sarah Moore, interior designer and owner at Sarah Catherine Design in Birmingham, Alabama; Caroline Brackett, principal designer at Caroline Brackett Studio of Design in Greenville, South Carolina; and Jaime Moore, owner and lead designer at James Studio Interiors in Hingham, Massachusetts. Marie Flanigan Interiors appears in The Scout Guide Houston. Sarah Catherine Design appears in The Scout Guide Birmingham. Caroline Brackett Studio appears in The Scout Guide Greenville. James Studio Interiors appears in The Scout Guide Nantucket.