In this post: Looking for fall decorating ideas to warm up your living spaces? Here are 12 tips for adding fall color to the living room.⇒
One of the things I most love about fall is the warm feeling it brings to the home.
The mere mention of fall brings a plethora of sensory delights to mind, like the sound of walking through crisp leaves, the taste of butternut squash soup, the cozy feeling of chunky knit sweaters and the aroma of pumpkin spice everything.
From plush textured fabrics to traditional autumnal imagery, fall is a season that’s hard to ignore.
Fall Decorating Ideas
But above all else, the season is most known for its own unique color palette, a cacophony of rich tones on the warm side of the color wheel, that are rarely used together in this way at any other time of year.
While I generally start my seasonal decorating in very neutral colors, as the season progresses I enjoy adding in richer tones. This can be done tastefully and with a light hand, as well as with a unique approach to avoid looking like a display at the local farm stand.
Here are 12 tips for adding fall color to the living room.
1. Fall Floral
When working with color, I often start with a floral arrangement, particularly if coordinating with patterns I’ll be using in the space (see below). A mistake I’ve occasionally made is selecting blooms that are too bright for the room’s palette, so I try to take care to use subdued fall tones.
I paired deep burgundy mums with soft peach and cream roses, using hints of fiery orange in upright branches that peek out above the blooms. Seeded eucalyptus lends a beautiful drape to the cluster and the white vintage ironstone pitcher acts as a unifying foundation.
2. Patterned Pillows
In my largely neutral rooms, I bring color in with accent decor. The easiest and most impactful way to do this is with an array of throw pillows. If you tell your story through the textiles you select and mirror that concept with your florals, you’re more than halfway there!
In this case, I opted for a surprising mix of animal print with floral, a favorite pairing I enjoy playing with. The floral sets the tone for the entire room, merging rich dark hues like claret and chocolate with softer neutrals to tamp down the effect. The result is a palette that’s luxuriantly seasonal, yet easy to live with at the same time.
The look is further softened by balancing the lush patterns with neutral linen.
3. Throw Blanket
A toasty throw blanket is a wonderful item to drape over a chair, or to wrap yourself up in on a chilly evening. It also provides an opportunity to punctuate a space with texture and color. Here, I’ve incorporated a lovely cinnamon throw, for a punch of fall ambiance, but you’ll notice the hue is a bit washed down.
I find using chalky colors is the key to maintaining refinement and sophistication when working with a broad palette. It also makes it easier to mix analogous colors that may not be an exact match. The idea is to leave an impression with similar tones, so that they harmonize rather than conform perfectly.
4. Mums in a Cast Iron Planter
Not just for the front porch, in the past few years I’ve been enjoying brining mums into the house. Here I popped a small russet mum into a vintage cast iron planter on an antiqued three drawer chest. The simple presentation reflects the mood set by the more complex floral on the center coffee table, and adds a bit of fall flair to this side of the room. Toss in a few baby boos for a subtle nod to the season.
5. Apples in Copper Vessels
The quintessential component in a fall palette, I’ve been enjoying the versatility of copper for quite some time. When paired with neutrals it adds a subtle gleam, but when mixed with deeper colors, its own red undertones can really be appreciated.
This charming shallow planter looks all the more lush when filled with a bounty of apples, although alternatively you can use pears, gourds or tiny pumpkins.
In this room, I feel, this is a pivotal piece that pulls the entire room together, acting as an anchor that connects the peach roses, the cinnamon throw and the floral pillows. Such a small piece with such a large role.
6. Assortment of Heirloom Pumpkins
In the corner of the living room, we keep an antique bookcase that’s the perfect height for a substantial vignette on top. This is an ideal spot to organize a display of pumpkins, and I’ve styled a grouping around a vintage bucket of seasonal branches.
Of course you can go with classic orange, but the more interesting pumpkins in both shape and color can be found at farm stands in pale warm colors. I’m a big fan of heirloom pumpkins and scatter them about all over the house.
7. Wine, Spirits and Pretty Goblets
A fresh way to decorate is to expand your thinking beyond traditional decor. Fall is a wonderful season to use food and drink in your vignettes. For the harvest season you might try sprinkling in vineyard imagery, from clusters of grapes to a vibrant bottle of wine. Amber goblets are a lovely complement to the dark elixir.
Likewise, a gorgeous crystal decanter filled with amber spirits, sits happily next to a tortoise shell old-fashioned tumbler.
8. Autumn Branches in a Copper Jug
The perfect marriage of two fall classics, you can’t beat the mix of fall branches tucked into a vibrant copper jug. These faux branches are incredibly lifelike and the lush eggplant tone pairs wonderfully with the warm and reflective metal.
I love to soften the corners of a large piece of furniture with a floor planter or standing vase, and this one does the job beautifully while adding a dose of seasonal color. Fall branches come in a range of hues, shapes and sizes which can readily define your autumn look, as the colors you mix tell a story all their own.
9. Dried Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas dry beautifully, adding a lovely touch to any arrangement. Here I have them overflowing from a distressed vase, but I really can’t get enough of them and use them all over the house.
Depending on the original color of your hydrangeas, the shades soften as they dry and yield some enchanting fall tones. As long as you handle them gently, you can use them year after year, and they are so simple to dry in place.
10. Cup of Tea on a Stack of Books
I’m always happy to display my teacups, and what better opportunity than relaxing with a book and a cup of tea? A steaming cup of tea says fall to me and it also suggests a note of tranquility.
Place atop a stack of vintage leather bound books, which themselves impart an autumnal aura with their richly worn bindings.
A cushion backdrop of animal print or tweed, along with other weighty textiles, forecast the quest for warmth that this season initiates.
11. Seasonal Candles
A huge fan of aromatic candles, I think any room can benefit by a few, but especially a composition of fall seasonal scents. On a pretty side table, I placed a copper candle along with an all time fave, a lavender honey candle in amber glass. Other options include the ubiquitous pumpkin spice, but also cinnamon, maple, fig and currant.
12. Wheat Stalks in a Wood Vase
Another bit of classic fall imagery is that of hay bales and hay stalks. The stalks look wonderful in a wood vessel, which complements the dry texture nicely without robbing it of its inherent warmth. Wheat stalks work as well, imparting the same flavor.
There are innumerable ways to add fall color to your home, but my favorites are the ones that celebrate the snug and homey intimacy of the season. Rich but softened color is my current mantra and a neutral base is the optimal way to showcase the palette. Play with these tones and enjoy this simple pleasures this season has to offer!
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