The Best Colors for Fall Décor

Finally, we are waking up to fall in the air. Early morning walks call for a light jacket, my boots are suddenly a fashion option, and there’s a feeling that a bit of frost isn’t too far away. That means it’s time for our décor to wake up to fall, as well.

I was at Designers Gallery this week (it’s a professionals-only store, but by all means visit if you design for a living), where I was looking at fabrics for some clients. I kept pulling pieces that reminded me of fall. For most people, a “fall fabric” is mostly a matter of fabric content, things that are high in wool, cashmere, chenille, and leather — heavy fabrics that are snuggly and comforting against the chill. And while that’s a big part of it, it’s color that speaks to me.

Though I sometimes decry the overuse of neutrals in design (make a statement, people!), I’m fine with it as long as the complete design complements it. Stark whites have to be warmed up to keep them from feeling like museum spaces, but all the grays we see in interiors these days can swing springish or fallish depending on how you dress them up.

Here are some colors to look for:

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Autumn Leaves:

These are the classic fall colors — oranges, golds, and browns. They’re perfect through Thanksgiving all over the house, and then pair perfectly with the dark woods and leather books of a reading room or office the rest of the year.

Cranberry and Burgundy:

When you want a red for brightness, don’t think of a stop sign. These two colors remind us of harvest time, but they’re also wonderful throughout the Christmas season and winter. And the color will pair perfectly with the red wine you are serving at holiday dinners.

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Camel and Straw:

These are browns, but on the lighter, yellower end of the spectrum. Just looking at them makes me feel like I'm snuggled up in a camel-hair coat and a Burberry scarf. These colors have the advantage of adding lightness to a room, and they’ll accentuate warm honey tones in any wood you put them near.

Aubergine and Plum:

Purple isn’t generally considered a fall color, but these dark versions with brownish undertones go so well with the warm tones that I always keep them in my arsenal. They are sophisticated colors that can dress up your autumnal décor — and keep your house from looking like a hayride — and they transition easily into spring decorating.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be pulling out my favorite cashmere throw — it’s a gorgeous sienna, a warm brown color — and curling up on the sofa while I wait for the leaves to start falling.


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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