Decorating Inspired by Fall Colors
Let the brilliant reds, yellows, oranges, and browns of fall color your home year-round. Use the hues to build the perfect autumn-inspired color palette.
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Fall's array of colors ranges from crimson to camel, and hues often appear side by side in nature. Apply the same logic to your home for a space that is inspired by the season. Here, warm beige colors the furniture, and spice orange and brick red are introduced on accent pillows, throw blankets, and mantel accessories. Attributes from nature, such as the leaf accents and wood flooring, continue the fall theme.
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Natural and relaxed are hallmarks of rustic fall decor. Creamy taupes, like the colors in this dining room, create a fresh take on the style. A symphony of natural materials -- a Belgian oak trestle table, rattan chairs, and a linen-covered banquette -- combines in the space to create snug texture. Bring in a small burst of robust color with seasonal foliage.
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The colors of fall connote comfort, warmth, and welcome. Look to falling, turning leaves for palette inspiration. In this bathroom, the golden yellow of maple leaves colors the walls, wrapping the room in a monochromatic blanket of glowing warmth. Complement the use of fall hues with rich textures and wood tones to complete the look.
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Make neutral feel new for fall by layering with warm accents. In this gray living room, ash gray on walls creates a cool backdrop that shifts with the changing autumn light. Warm iron gray in metals and fabrics adds depth, while wisps of blue and rays of saffron come in through art and accessories. A shapely armchair contrasts a rough-hewn coffee table, ornate stone lamps, and soft white muslin curtains with black forged-iron hardware. Antique pieces bring even more warmth and patina.
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More to Love
Pull together a room by repeating a color scheme on different accents and furnishings. In this bedroom, a vibrant orange hue appears on the accent pillows, on the artwork, on a side table, and as the fabric trim on the upholstered armchairs. Repeating a scheme creates a sense of continuity and cohesiveness.
Tips for Decorating with Warm Colors
Warm colors convey a cozy, welcoming vibe. See how to create a warm fall color scheme that can be applied to all aspects of a room.
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Some Like it Hot
For a burst of fall energy, consider a bright pumpkin-orange for kitchen cabinetry. The juicy hue ups the fun factor in a neutral kitchen; well-placed hits of red -- orange's neighbor on the color wheel -- create a comforting analogous scheme. Black enhances the fall color scheme and grounds the autumnal look.
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Wrapped in Red
When adding color to a neutral room, the key to success is repetition. Autumnal red accents are strategically placed in this cozy white living room to keep the eye moving around the space. While one red accent may have seemed out of place, positioning red accents against different neutral backdrops (the chair, walls, and floor) creates a balanced look.
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Connect an open floor plan by sprinkling similar fall-inspired hues throughout. A rich persimmon linen dresses this round dining table and links to orange, yellow, and red dishware showcased on open shelving in the nearby kitchen.
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If you're craving coziness, shades of brown deliver. The earthy tone pairs well with fall colors like red and yellow and looks cozy when accented with plenty of patterns and textures. In this bedroom, taupe walls partner with red and gray bedding with paisley, stripes, and graphic prints. A salvaged barnwood headboard contributes rustic texture.
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Beautiful in Beige
Brown is the go-to neutral for the fall season. It can sway gray for a crisp look, or it can veer into yellow for a cozy look. Here, butterscotch-brown walls envelop the room in a comfy sheath of color. The yellow-tinted hue coordinates with the blue-gray built-in banquette and contrasts the autumn-inspired orange accents.
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Warmth of Red
Fall-inspired decor encompasses both color and texture. The deep burgundy red accents, including plush velvet pillows, a garden stool side table, and mantel accessories, enhance this living room's neutrality. Natural wood featured on the ceiling trim, windows, and mantel keep the room warm and cozy.
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Work of Art
Use artwork to introduce fall color into your space. Look at the hues you're already using and search for a piece that features the autumnal equivalent of that color. The red-orange featured in this painting picks up on the shades on the sofa pillows and the natural tones of a wood coffee table.
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Make a bold fall color palette work by varying both the textures and color values. To prevent this bedroom from appearing monochromatic, color values range from the bright orange pillowcases and lamps to the quieter curtains and even more muted walls and flooring. Textural diversity keeps the orange palette balanced.
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Creamy taupe woodwork instantly warms up this fall-fresh family room. A splash of golden yellow showcases an artful display of children's books, while orange-red Eames chairs and an overscale pattern on the sofa carry fall color throughout the space.
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For inexpensive fall style, look to thrift store finds and flea market treasures. In this rustic living room, a coffee table from a garage sale and a worn wooden map anchor a sea of autumn-color pillows. Other inexpensive accents, like a lamp shade and vintage coffee table books, showcase vibrant red and yellow hues.
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Give fall color schemes a dose of glamour by including shiny metallics, glossy finishes, and sophisticated prints. While fall tends to bear a casual vibe, it takes an uptown approach in this living room thanks to the mirrors above the sofa, shapely lamps, and zebra-print pillows. Pops of pumpkin orange carry the fall look, as do the mocha-brown walls.
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When the foundation of a room is rustic, fall hues are a natural fit for the color scheme. In this living room, crimson reds and wheat yellows reverberate against the stone fireplace and rough-hewn beams and trusses across the ceiling. For a subdued take on a fall look that will hold its own year-round, opt for using a more subtle shade on the largest blocks of colors, such as upholstered pieces or the walls. Here, a soft yellow paint was used to ground the room in a neutral color.
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While fall usually conjures a rainbow of yellows, reds, and oranges, aubergine can be incorporated into the palette for an unexpected twist. The saturated shade of purple provides a cool contrast to fall's trademark warm hues. And because aubergine is such a strong color, it creates a cozy atmosphere when paired with a rust red or golden yellow.
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If there is one fall hue you just can’t get enough of, use it as a striking accent in a room. Paint an accent wall in the hue, buy one upholstered chair starring the color, or paint a set of dining room chairs in your chosen color. In this autumnal dining room, an apple red makes a statement on traditional dining room chairs. The color picks up a hue from the area rug, creating a seamless look. An orange throw tossed over the bench completes the fall look, but it could be easily swapped out for a blue one that matches the rug during the nonfall seasons.
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Applying the same color to different textures within a space creates a supple look, especially when the hue is as rich as this chocolate brown. A smooth accent wall, carved-wood headboard, leather ottomans, and graphic area rug all showcase the same brown color, but because it is applied to different surfaces, it takes on different qualities -- all of which add dimension to the bedroom.
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Take a Hint
Subtly update a muted color palette with an equally muted fall hue. This room's gray and sea-glass green color scheme receives an autumnal update with the addition of dusty pumpkin-orange accents. The warm color contrasts the cool tones of the room while blending into the established serene scheme.
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Fall Flower Inspiration
Use popular fall flowers, such as mums, as a starting point for a fall-based color scheme. Match the vibrant tones to colors on a paint chip card, then use the lighter shades on the card as the basis for your room’s color scheme. The result will be a season-inspired room, rather than a season-specific space. In this cozy bedroom, the color on the walls is a toned-down version of an orange mum, and the hue is used in stronger intensities on the accessories to create a balanced color scheme that's vibrant and soft.
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Let existing elements determine the right fall color to use in your room. The red of the brick framing the stove alcove in this space is mimicked in the accessories and furnishings. By repeating the red hue, the surround becomes more integrated into the room, as it is no longer the only red accent in a sea of white.
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Temper the sensation of pumpkin orange with doses of substantial materials. Fall's iconic orange is paired with a visually striking marble fireplace, slate gray hearth, and creamy white wainscoting to create a look that is more Tuscan than Halloween -- sure to endure throughout the year, rather than during just one season.
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Certain species of leaves gradually change from green to yellow. That in-between shade of yellow-green has a fall air without being too seasonal. Here, it pairs well with warm wood and stone finishes, and a red-and-oatmeal striped rug adds an additional pop of color.
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Bittersweet berries are easily recognized by their flaming orange-red color, and the hue is just as eye-catching when used in decorating. Here, dining room chairs upholstered in a fiery orange fabric stand in contrast to the rest of the room's subtle features. A terra-cotta orange floor bridges the gap between the neutral and knockout features of the room.
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Brown tones bridge the gap between rustic and chic. Here, a honey hue colors hefty beams and a knotty wood door, while chocolate brown makes a splash on the headboard. A furry throw draped across the end of the bed adds a layer of cozy fall comfort to a space that speaks to both the woodsy and sophisticated characteristics of the room.
Next Slideshow 1-Hour Fall Crafts
1-Hour Fall CraftsWith so many holidays around the corner, fall is the perfect time to do some extra decorating. If you're short on time, try one of our one-hour fall crafts. The easy projects will spruce up your home without stealing an entire afternoon.Begin Slideshow »