Okay, it may not be cooling down in reality but it’s certainly heading into autumn for design trends. No one can be expected to redo their home four times a year but as usual, a change of season can inspire one or two changes or purchases that fall in line with the weather. There are plenty of holdovers from the yearly forecast (metallics, grey, mixing and matching) but a few new ideas are springing up.
“For fall/winter this year we’re focused on lots of neutrals — beiges, tans, greys, and charcoals, with bright accessories to add a pop of colour,” says Kate Babington, managing director of TREE. “Neutrals are a great palette for the cooler months — warm and cosy, they get you in the mood to snuggle up on a soft sofa with a cup of hot tea.” She’s not alone. Various shades of grey (we could say 50 but we won’t) are gaining traction as an alternative to white or even beige, and are popular for the way they make colours pop. That’s important, as jewel-y blues, purples, pinks and greens and bold patterns and prints — among them tartan — are definitely in.
“Patterns are still incredibly popular, the use of bright and fantastic patterns. [They’re] everywhere in wallpapers, upholstery fabrics and furniture. Even the once conservative neutral rooms are now often decorated with neutral-coloured patterns to add extra detail and flair,” says The Room Studio decorator and founder Maayan Schwartz. “We are also still seeing a strong trend of mixing and matching patterns but this season they will be mixed in a more cohesive way by using a similar colour palette.”
Speaking of mixing and matching. Juxtaposing contrasting style is also finding its way into homes globally, like mixing antique furniture with modern, or mid-century design with French country. Velvet is “a luxurious and rich fabric that brings about a cosy and warm feeling for the colder times ahead,” notes Schwartz. It also contrasts nicely with almost every material in the home. Indigo Living CEO John McLennan has taken most of those elements and built the season’s looks around them. Indigo’s Zen Modern is rooted in greys with flashes of colour and natural woods, while the London-influenced urban motif mixes styles.
Metallics are sticking around, but gold is starting to gain more traction. McLennan puts a lot of stock in gold for the shop’s LA Glam look, where Schwartz likes swapping out stainless for brass. And notably on the design radar for this season is modesty. Folksy, low-key accents — called “granny chic” in some circles — are a recurring theme. Think knits, crafty-style accessories and, well, whatever you may have found in granny’s house (you can still skip the doilies). The eternally “in” natural wood fits in with that too. “Wood is always in season, of course, but it’s especially great for fall and winter as it brings a natural warmth to the colder days, and evokes images of family and friends gathered around the table enjoying a delicious meal,” says Babington. And bespoke, singular pieces are bigger than ever. “We’re seeing a flair for the exotic and unknown in decoration. More and more people are looking to decorate their homes in a unique and quirky way and are looking for that one look or piece that no one else has,” says Schwartz. “Along this line is the trend for introducing elements of travel and adventure in the home through the use of collectibles, antiques and exotic looking patterns and art work.” Time to haul out that shot you took in the Amazon all those years ago.