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Design Recipes: Fall decorating tips

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Fall is undoubtedly one of the most colorful times of the year. It is when gardens planted in spring become bountiful and colorful fall harvests, when the leaves begin to change and when you may also want to change over your decor to warmer colors.

When it comes to decorating, I prefer timeless over trendy, but there are some currently on trend colors you may want to incorporate into your home.

Fall color trends: One of the biggest trends I am seeing this year is a push toward less traditional color palettes. Instead of traditional brown and orange, the trend is more toward unexpected yet appropriate colors such as red, deep yellow and greens paired with charcoal or even black as opposed to brown. Colors such as red, yellow and green (which have a lot of yellow-based undertones) provide a warm, cozy and inviting feel, while charcoal and black are wonderful neutrals.

Trendy patterns: I think it is still fair to say florals are out and big, bold graphics are still in. Chevron still rules and is perhaps one of my favorite current trends. Mixing a chevron pattern into your decor can help add instant interest and a touch of glam and elegance.

On the other side of the spectrum, the more traditional end of decor is plaid. While plaids are often a fashionable way to welcome fall, playful plaids seem to be taking center stage. Beyond traditional color combinations such as navy and red or black, look for plaids involving unexpected pops of color such as hot pink, lime green or even purple.

Shopping tips: Keep in mind you should purchase with the goal of extending your decor beyond just one season. If you are on a budget, the best way to do this is to purchase what I call “foundation” pieces. These are pieces you can use for years to come.


■Do buy seasonal items that can serve as “foundation” pieces for your decor.

■Do purchase seasonal items in unexpected color combinations. This will help allow you to enjoy them beyond just one season.

■Do purchase high quality decor items.

■Do look for unusual conversation pieces to invigorate and enliven your decor.

■Do consider incorporating the season into your decor using accent pieces such as toss pillows and throws.


■Don’t buy super season-specific items for fall. While they may be appealing once placed in the clearance bin, these tend to be items that simply take up storage space for the rest of the year.

■Don’t buy seasonal items you don’t expect to actually use. When you purchase an item, envisioning where you will use it in your home will help ensure it will be enjoyed, as opposed to becoming an item you’ll never use.

■Don’t buy seasonal items in colors that aren’t part of your current decor.

■Don’t buy seasonal artwork. The shelf life is too short for it to make sense for most consumers.

■Don’t go overboard with seasonal decor. Your home shouldn’t look like a retail shop.