Pumpkin decor and plaid prints aren't the only ways to dress your home for autumn. These trendy fall ideas give an unexpected update to seasonal decor.

By Jessica Bennett
Updated August 28, 2020
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Fall typically brings to mind a few classic decor items: grinning Jack-o'-lanterns, plaid throw blankets draped across sofas, wreaths crafted from vibrant leaves. These traditional fall decorating ideas are perennial favorites, but we're always looking for unique ways to spruce up our homes for the season. And adding festive touches to our living spaces feels even more important than ever this year. "Since getting together physically will prove challenging, I think we will focus a lot more on decor and holiday decorating and creating festive backdrops for our inevitable virtual gatherings," says Florida-based designer Dawn Hamilton. To help refresh your home for the season ahead, we talked to a few designers about the 2020 fall home trends they're most excited about.

Werner Straube

1. Rich, Saturated Colors

Orange, red, and yellow are the conventional fall colors, but designers are increasingly turning to richer, moodier hues to create unexpected color combinations. Molly Kidd of Oregon-based design firm Light and Dwell names rust, olive green, and navy as some of her favorite shades for the season, while Alison Giese, an interior designer based in northern Virginia, suggests what she calls "muddy jewel colors," such as eggplant or mustard yellow. Although these colors might not be classically fall, they feel appropriate for the season when used in deeper shades with warm undertones.

If you prefer to decorate with the classic autumnal colors you see outdoors, experiment by mixing one or two of these saturated shades into your palette. Layer in a few pillows in a jewel-tone blue or line your dining room table with a green runner to set off orange and yellow decor. You can also lighten up darker colors with a bit of shine. "Precious metal tones, including rose gold, are very popular now and are a great complement to more earthy elements," Hamilton says.

Adam Albright

2. Festive Outdoor Decor

During this time of social distancing, you can expect to see more outdoor fall displays that can be viewed from afar. For example, Houston interior designer Mary Patton says she's seen homes incorporate orange Christmas lights into their fall outdoor decor and plans to try this in her own yard. "It's a cheery look in this weird time and will work from October until it's time to decorate for Christmas," she says. For a fall-theme front entryway, Patton suggests gathering a variety of colorful pumpkins and gourds to create a cascading effect down the porch steps or walkway. "If you don't carve them, they last a long time," she says.

Werner Straube

3. Fuzzy Fabrics

As the weather turns colder, cozy fabrics are a fall decor must-have. Swap out summery lightweight textiles for fabrics that are "thicker, nubbier, fuzzier, and fluffier," says Giese. Consider how you can swap out or layer in throw blankets, pillows, window treatments, and upholstered furniture with a softer touch and more visual weight. Kidd suggests fabrics with an extra-cozy texture such as sherpa, velvet, leather, and cashmere.

Kritsada Panichgul

4. Natural Fall Arrangements

The great outdoors can provide some of the best inspiration for your fall decorating. "I always recommend bringing in natural elements from outside as arrangements," Kidd says. "The outdoors set the tone for the season's color palette." Gather natural elements from your own yard to place inside vases, weave into a garland, or create a fall centerpiece for your table. Natural grasses, tree branches, and pinecones are easy to find and offer an abundance of fall decorating possibilities. Giese suggests clipping branches with changing leaves for added color.

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