10 Autumn Home Design & Décor Trends

By Elaine Williamson, Elaine Williamson Designs

With temperatures reaching record highs throughout the U.S., thoughts of autumn seem but a woeful wish. The fall season evokes thoughts of home and hearth, as families and friends eagerly anticipate re-connecting with one another amid busy lives.

Of course, most want a home design and décor that will impress, and help de-compress, impending company – one with that autumn sensibility that exudes comfort and warmth … and duly stimulates the senses.

With this in mind, here are 10 top home design and décor trends for fall:


Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Deisgns

Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

1. Vintage accents. What’s old is new again. French-burlap is no longer just for sack-racing. This Earth-friendly fiber is being used for chic pillows imprinted with a vintage stamped design or even a family initial.

Accent chairs can also be seen covered in gray linen imprinted with vintage “document” script writing. Vintage couture lamps (and their replicas) are utter perfection this year, especially those with milk glass and natural material bases, drum shades, and antique brass finials.

Aged, color-washed wood accessories such as candlesticks, urns, and bowls are popular as oversized accessories to accent and update a time-worn look.

2. Wallpaper! With a decreasing demand for faux finishes and walls painted in solid primary colors, wallpaper is making a comeback in a big and decidedly fashionable way.

From bright and bold to subdued and elegant, today’s wallpapers are easy to apply and even easier to remove, making updating the seasonal look of a room easier than ever before. here are a seemingly endless number of choices from solids to patters, and everything in between.


Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

3. Timeless art. When shopping for items to occupy wall space, ditch the quick fix, “matchy-matchy” picture. Art doesn’t have to be expensive but it should certainly have meaning. Buy what you love. Mix mediums and styles. To add depth and character to your pieces, forego the glass cover that can be distracting and casts a glare that actually detracts from your interior design.

4. Elemental color. While neutrals have made a strong showing in design this year for primary design elements like walls and baseline furnishings, boldly colored accent pieces give a space visual interest and appeal.

Brightly colored and/or patterned pillows, rugs and other accessories will bring an otherwise bland space to life. Of course, these accessories can be readily transitioned to exude the spirit of a given season.

5. Space simplification. With a strong desire to ease and reprioritize our homes and lifestyles, de-cluttering — even with respect to editing down furnishings and accessories — is the best way to gain control of your surroundings and feel a refreshed sense of purpose.

It is very important to streamline not only the lines of your furniture, but the bulkiness as well. But, this does not mean giving up comfort for style. Many times we place too many items in a room by way of accessories, pillows, throw rugs, and family photos.

Pick and choose very carefully the most important items and then pare down from there. There is brilliance in restraint.

6. Rug rage. There has never been a more exciting time than now in the area rug industry. Whatever style, shape, and design you can imagine is within your reach.

Even if a space has wall-to-wall carpeting, place an area rug to establish a layered look and add depth and personality to a room and also tie in other disparate color components. A rug’s color palette and pattern can easily establish the desired style and tone of a season.


Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

7. Bed basics. Bedding has also changed this year. The pomp and circumstances of overstuffed pillows that seem to multiply in the night are out. Way out.

Exquisite, neutral colored linens are in, especially when paired with a luxurious top blanket and a clean lined duvet.

For those who desire more color that’s representative of fall or any other season, indulge in two medium sized pillows placed in front of each sham.



Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

Photo Credit: Elaine Williamson Designs

8. Pillow talk. Today’s pillow designs offer an array of textures, colors, shapes, sizes, and accents, and can completely transform a room’s aesthetic. Accordingly, pillows have become the ultimate interior design accessory, especially since they are so versatile.

Choose an assortment of pillows for the spring and summer and other set for the fall and winter. This is an easy way to seasonally transition a room in an easy and budget-friendly way.

Also, resist the urge to “karate chop” pillows to give them a center crease as this look is not style savvy.

9. Window treatments. While many love luscious fabrics, an overuse of material on your windows can quickly overpower an otherwise streamlined room. Linen panels are now very trendy since they beautifully outline and soften windows. This classic and timeless fabric is now available in a staggering array of colors to coordinate with any interior palette.

10. Brass. Yes, brass is back but a bit older and wiser. Antiqued brass and even antiqued gold have both made a large comeback on everything from drapery rods, to cocktail tables, to door and cabinet knobs to décor figurines.

The light reflecting surface of brass adds warmth, glow and movement to a space and, thus, is perfect in a room with a fireplace.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luxury interiors expert Elaine Williamson is the principal of Elaine Williamson Designs, a full service, award-winning firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial interior design. She may be reached online at www.ElaineWilliamsonDesigns.com, accessed on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/ewd-facebook, and followed on Twitter at “ElaineWDesigns”.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

More Posts - Website

  1. kathleen and Rick Boykin

    Loved this article, I have been trying to make changes in my home but struggle with a direction. This article was extremely helpful as much of the questions we have struggled with were addressed ! Saw Ms Williamson’s designs in Dallas Design Guide as well as her website, very talented.
    Thank you!
    The Boykin’s

  2. Judy Carlsson

    I am really surprised about wallpaper. As a realtor, I have recommended that wallpaper be removed as it dates the home. I am also surprised about brass being back in. This was an interesting article.

  3. Pam

    As an artist I LOVE that you promote it’s okay to hang art that doesn’t match the sofa. And, although I understand your reasoning for recommending forgoing a reflective glass covering, using a non-glare glass covering on that original watercolor, drawing or any artwork on paper you’ve fallen in love with, is also a viable option.

  4. Liz

    I love the darker, brighter wall colors. I know wall papers are coming back in style but I prefer the solid colors. Love the vintage accents idea.

  5. Great article! Rug and throw pillows can change the look of a room without too much effort and are truly affordable. If you have some great fabric that you love make your own throw pillows. Shop re-sale for rugs, lamps, chairs, etc.

    Think out of the box!

    Linda Kemp
    Licensed Real Estate Consultant
    Accredited Staging Professional and Design/Color Consultant

  6. “There is brilliance in restraint”. That sentence says it all! As an interior designer, I tell my clients that they may own a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean they have to DISPLAY everything they own! Edit, Edit Edit and switch it out!

    Rosanne Palazola

  7. monica good

    I just think this is the craziest thing ever.
    Do this, undo that, you can’t have that, get rid of that….
    what on earth!?
    Judy Carlsson said: I am really surprised about wallpaper. As a realtor, I have recommended that wallpaper be removed as it dates the home. I am also surprised about brass being back in. This was an interesting article.

    Homeowners across the nation trying to sell their houses want to do just that….sell their houses, not redecorate it. What is with the real estate industry dictating to people what they can and cannot have in their houses?
    When did color dictate anything about a house.
    My house is on the market right now. I’ve been told my house has no style. Yes, it does. My house says, you’re home….take your shoes off and relax. EVERY PERSON that walks into my house says the same thing: it’s always so comfortable here. I just want to curl up on the sofa and have a cup of tea….
    My style is called this: “welcome to my home, we’re glad you’re here.” To realtors my house says, get rid of that duncan phyfe table that belonged to your grandmother and modernize….why? why should I do that? I’m selling my house, not my style, not my life, and my lifestyle. No style? the style of my home is a custom built 2 story colonial. That my house…..my decor is my choice. what is it with people that they can’t see houses the way we did when we bought our first home. I have four pictures on my piano…I’ve been told I shouldn’t have family photos out because potential buyers can’t envision their family in the space. Give me a break. My son is in Iraq fighting for our country….and the real estate industry wants his picture down?
    I think HGTV and the real estate industry have lost their minds to be even suggesting to sellers replace art, furniture and bed coverings. What difference does it make? I’m selling the building!

  8. Monica,
    It is a fact that staged homes sell typically within 1-2 months, at the outside, versus the national average days on market of 90-120 days (longer in areas like AZ, NV, FL). Your friends and family OF COURSE are going to feel comfortable in your home — strangers (i.e. potential buyers) are a complete other story. Personal family photos make most people feel they are intruders in someone else’s home, making it more difficult to envision themselves living there. And indeed, you ARE selling a lifestyle when your home is on the market: your job is to make your home — now a product on the market, whether you like that or not — have mass appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. If you have outdated styles, patterns, wallpaper, even furniture, that is NOT the lifestyle today’s buyers are looking for. HGTV shows what is desired and popular today.
    In all likelihood, if you do not eliminate the personal taste elements of your home and update with trendier colors, slipcovers, and accessories, you will have to keep reducing the price on your home until you find someone able to envision your home as it COULD be and willing to do the work (i.e. pay the money) to a more current style. Do not be offended when you are told your house needs to be de-personalized, de-cluttered, and updated — how you live in your home and how you sell it are two different things, as Barb Schwarz, the founder of Staging, is fond of saying!

  9. Thaks to you I just found my autumn home design . I will speak about it on my blog deco and blog design

  10. Great post Melissa! Love the vintage stuff. Huge list of inspiration for me as I am about to work with mom to re-docorate the girls room this summer 🙂