Design Lesson

Designers' favourite fall trends

Designers' favourite fall trends Author: Style At Home

Design Lesson

Designers' favourite fall trends

As the summer comes to an end, we are given another excuse to redecorate our homes. It’s time to ditch the beach-style accessories and bring the outdoors in for autumn. As the weather cools off, we tend to want a warm and comfortable space without sacrificing style. You can achieve this fall look by keeping up to date on this year's trends, such as warm metals, bold hues and textured wallpaper. 10 Canadian interior designers help get us inspired by sharing which fall trends they are most excited about this season.

1 Corray Classen-Harapiak, Bliss Interiors, Winnipeg, MB.
“The one trend that has had me excited for a while now is wallpaper! Heading into the fall season, most of my designs will include wallpaper. Whether a bold, colourful print in the foyer to welcome guests or a more subtle print in the master bedroom, wallpaper instantly transforms a space and infuses personality without too much of a commitment.”

2 Victoria McKenney, Enviable Designs, Vancouver, BC.
“At the moment, we are really excited about the move towards using large prints on the floor, in the form of bold rugs and carpets. The huge range of colours and patterns allow us to really dictate what direction the aesthetic becomes. As well, wallpaper is always a big trend but we are seeing a much more subtle take - tone on tone palettes and textures which is different from the loud graphic patterns in the past. I think this will appeal to a wider range of homeowners. We hope to use these new wallpaper trends by bringing back natural textures and tones into the house. Moving into fall, we are looking to capture a little of the outdoors back inside with us, through the use of these new textures and soft palettes - bedrooms and living rooms would be perfect for this application.”

Lead image courtesy of Pottery Barn.

3 Jennifer Brouwer, Brouwer Design (Markham, ON)
“I am loving the additional embellishments you’re seeing in both fashion and home. Utilizing plain and textured fabrics, then enhancing them with pretty decor accents and details in a pattern or as an edge. YUM! A few key projects we are wrapping right now have several varying textures and embellishments.

When you work with a designer as part of your building and construction team, it generally means you strive for "unique" individualized characteristics that are not mainstream. We live to capture your lifestyle; therefore, the items and concepts we specify are individualized to you. We are in the midst of a wine room design, which includes a backsplash encased in glass. Each cork was part of a collection of wines, tasted with their family during travels abroad. We utilized a purpose or function, a memory, and a way to define a collection in a sensible, and stunning way. Stay tuned – it’s going to be a great one!”

4 Shelley Kirsch, Shelley Kirsch Interior Design and Decoration (Toronto, ON)

“The use of rough-hewn materials against more polished surfaces is a trend worth exploring. Different treatments of woods are gaining popularity, like cerused oak for furniture or smoked, wide-planked oak for flooring. Using heated stone or tile floors in lieu of hardwood or broadloom is gaining popularity. I am applying rough-hewn plaster on walls in a family room with modern Italian furniture and lighting. Honed limestone with stainless detailing will be used to face the fireplace juxtaposed with smoked and oiled, wide-planked oak flooring.”


5 Christine Labate, LUX Design Inc. (Toronto ON)
“Fall promises some exciting design trends that can be used in any interior.  Warm neutral palettes remain popular with the addition of bold pops of colour like stunning navy blues and emerald greens. Layered colour, pattern and texture are also big for the fall. We love creating an inspired material palette with several complimentary patterns, textures and colours all working together in a space to create visual interest.

Eclectic statement lighting is also an emerging trend we are very excited about – this fall is all about mixing lighting styles in the same room and finding that one perfect statement piece to create a focal point. Recently, one of our designers visited a home with a den that needed some updating. The existing space had outdated wood paneling on the walls and a large white washed millwork piece. The design plan for modernizing this space will include painting out the existing wall paneling in a soft grey/white, as well as the millwork unit in a variation of this colour. The interior inserts of the millwork piece will be painted out a bold navy blue colour to compliment the grey walls and create an interesting focal point. In the seating area, a warm grey sectional will be featured with navy blue, grey and red accent cushions. Careful attention will be paid to layering and mixing textures and patterns for the accent cushions and textiles for the sectional. The seating area will be grounded by a natural cowhide rug layered on top of a textured sisal chenille rug. Lighting will be a mix of eclectic wall sconces, floor and table lamps. Natural accessories such as birch logs around the fireplace will also be used as décor pieces.”  

6 Joan Balsam-Clark, All About Interiors Inc. (Kingsville, ON)
“Anticipating the arrival of cooler fall days, "cozying up" a room by adding decor accessories really reflects the changing environment outside; such as adding throws and cushions in the still popular Pantone colour of the year, Tangerine, to the Minimalist/Simplicity Styles. Replacing the bright summer colours, yellows, golds, greys and various shades of brown also work very well together as fall colours.

Introducing bold or large geometric printed wallpaper or a textured wallpaper is also a popular trend seen in the fall. Adding a punch of colour, wallpaper or anything from the outdoors gives your home personality. After a summer of crashing waves washing driftwood up to the beaches it's always nice to bring summer memoires into the house for the fall season. I've recently introduced drift wood centerpieces, which are also fun and easy DIY projects into homes as well as turned water-logged stumps into coffee tables, giving your home a bit of the outdoor character, which nicely compliments fall colours as well as being a great conversation starter.”

7 Elizabeth Metcalfe, Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design Inc. (Toronto, ON)
"Using colour with confidence is huge. It's not enough to use a strong colour as a trim or accent. Be courageous, be bold. We're working on a living room with deep teal walls, bookcases and a diamond tufted velvet sofa creating a luxurious colour-filled jewel box. Just remember it's important to add reflective surfaces and metals to give it a lift!"

8 Lucie Pitt, Versa Style Design (Montreal, QC)
"I love the 2012 colour trends such as chartreuse, deep purples and the rich tangerines because they transition so well into autumn. Typically in fall decorating we tend to lean towards cozy cocooning and want to feel hugged when we enter a room, so if you want to integrate purple, try to go with a deep eggplant instead of "Barney" purple. Sometimes just changing up those Kelly green throw cushions for Chartreuse ones will bring the mood from fresh and vibrant to warm and inviting. Because we have less natural light, go ahead and add a few deep orange candles to your coffee table or fireplace mantle and USE THEM!

Just remember to stick with your style when accessorizing! During the fall season, clients make the mistake of just buying because it looks good in the store display, but you have to ask yourself if a cottage-style berry wreath will look as great over your modern minimalist fireplace. If you have a sophisticated or paired back design, try to stick with glass, silver or chrome finishes. If you have a cottage, global or vintage style opt for basket weaves, knit cushions, and richly textured vases or lamps."9 Laura Stein, Laura Stein Interiors (Toronto, ON)
“One of the places I like to look for cues on trends is the world of fashion. This fall we're seeing a lot of bright, vibrant colours, especially primaries, in striking geometric patterns and colour blocking. Usually colours tend to get darker and moodier in the fall, so seeing all the strong colours this year is exciting. I typically avoid the trendiest trends in favour of more enduring, timeless design, but fantastic colour always looks fabulous, as long as you don't go overboard. I'm working on a family room right now with a backdrop of neutral earth tones, but we're layering in an eclectic mix of pattern in azure blue, bright green and white. The strong colours contrast and patterns make the space feel fresh and energized.

I also love all the warm metals we're seeing just about everywhere. They started coming back as accents a year or two ago, but now they are being used for everything from furniture to plumbing fixtures. Gold is now the new silver. I'm crazy about the patina of antiqued brass. It has such a rich, sophisticated look and goes as well with contemporary pieces as it does with antiques. I'm using it in all sorts of projects, from light fixtures, to living room tables, to bathroom faucets. In one living room I'm using it as an accent on a contemporary acrylic table and in the bathroom I'm pairing it with gorgeous white marble and antique reproduction vanities.”

10 LeAnne Bunnell, Elle Design (Calgary, AB)
“The introduction of a softer version of brass brings warmth and new level of eclecticism to interiors that have been dominated by chrome and polished nickel. I'm in the midst of designing a home where we are using soft champagne brass plumbing fixtures and dark hardware on other fixed elements. We have some black metal light fixtures going in and I'm really excited to see the lack of rigidity and character this brings to the palette.

It's so nice not to have to talk clients into mixing patterns this season!  From bold graphics to bright florals, we are seeing pattern on everything from wallpaper to lamps to large-scale furniture pieces. Use a little or use a lot… I love it. We are designing a client's living room and dining room using floral, chevron, trellis and Moroccan patterns. All in one room.

At Elle Design we always look for ways to make our clients' interiors special and unique. One way we do this, and we are seeing a lot more of, is custom touches to existing pieces. From recovering Grandma's chair in an unexpected fabric to using bold paint to reinvent a family heirloom cabinet for toy storage (rescued from a basement storage space), it's all in the name of making the old new, just for you.”
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Design Lesson

Designers' favourite fall trends