Bright days and brisk nights, Autumn brings a welcome change after the summer. Bring the brilliant colors of the season indoors with these decorating ideas from Nina Cooke John, architect and interior designer with New York City-based Frame Design Lab.
Welcome the season at your front door
Embrace the colors of nature by adding fall decorations at your front door. You can begin with a small nod to the season by adding a wreath made of harvest berries or dried foliage to your front door, or celebrate the varying shades of orange, red, yellow, purple, green, blue, and black of autumn with a full display on your porch: Arrange magenta mums, green and white ornamental cabbage plants, and pumpkins of any color on your porch steps or next to an evergreen plant on a porch table for an eye-catching welcome.
Pick a focal point
Before you go nuts with fall decorations indoors, select a single focal point in your house for a moment of “wow.” This can be your dining table, mantle, or foyer table—whatever spot will give you the most bang for your buck, whether you expect lots of visitors or spend lots of time with family and friends around a fire. Once you’ve selected your ideal location, create a lush autumn scene. Vary color and texture using dried plants and foliage, pine cones, gourds, and acorns. Consider the scale of the room and surface. For a dining table, spread your centerpiece across the length, include tall twigs for height at a foyer table or on the floor beside the mantle, or let your arrangement drape around and down a mantle by including an autumn garland. Mix in non-seasonal items that you love to display throughout the year—candlesticks, framed pictures, or family heirlooms—to make the arrangement uniquely yours.
Spread small arrangements throughout the house
For a more subtle approach, create small vignettes of fall decorations throughout the house. Painted pumpkins, acorns, and candlesticks nestled among books on a bookshelf or a small vase of flowers of saturated color beside a bowl of mini pine cones in the bathroom are easy ways to pay tribute to the fall. Include live plants in these groupings—houseplants or ones that you’ve brought in from the cold. “As the seasons' change and the temperature begins to drop, I’m always looking for ways to bring the outside in,” says Anna Burke of Anna Burke Interiors in New York City. “Decorating with potted ficus trees or planted ferns is a great way to infuse your home with vibrant greens.” As a bonus, these houseplants will clean the air for better health.
Bring in new textures
Just as you trade a linen suit for wool, your house can also use an autumn wardrobe swap. “Fall is a great time to switch out linen throw pillows with materials like mohair, velvet, wool or even fur,” says Jenny Vorhoff of Studio Riga in New York City. “I also love to add extra throws around the house. If the palette works, use fall foliage as color inspiration for these accessories.” Burke also loves a “pillow refresh” for fall. “Add a couple of new pillows in umber or olive silk velvet. These warm tones are the perfect contrast to neutral upholstery and will last you through all the seasons,” she says. Adding throw pillows is one of those budget-friendly upgrades that make a home look expensive.