Designing with Fall’s Hottest Colors

   |   In Decorating Tips and Tricks, Interior Design Trends, Seasonal Design   |   20 October 2013, 21.57   |   comments: 0

Every year, consumers are presented with several different colors purported to be the year’s hottest hues. There’s the Pantone Color of the Year, the shades seen at international furniture shows in Milan, New York City and elsewhere, and then there’s those colors considered trendy for a single season. Now that San Diego is in the midst of a beautiful autumn, we’d like to share some of those colors we’ve seen trending online that lend themselves perfectly to adding fall flair to your home or office.

2013 Design Report for Fall

Have you ever noticed? Trends in fashion follow interior design trends (or vice versa). There’s a reason for this, as written in an earlier blog post. So if you like what you saw on the runways for fall 2013 (tactile fabrics, deep, moody shades, a return to classic style), you’ll love what’s in store for home furnishings.

This fall, organic design is huge. So it just makes sense that the majority of trending colors find their origins in nature. Emerald green and midnight blue, fiery red and muted orange, deep eggplant and luscious berry – all of these hues signal the change of season. Take a cue from nature – and fashion – to update your living and working space for the fall.

Using a Light Hand to Add Fall Color

Chances are you don’t really want to effect a permanent change in your home or office space; you just want little bits and pieces of seasonal color to change the mood from summer to autumn.


This year, Pantone announced its Color of the Year to be emerald. This is a much clearer, crisper tone than the mossy or olive-toned greens usually associated with fall. Emerald is also a great color to keep around in small doses throughout the holidays and on into the following spring. Let this be your contrasting color, not a main color, against a neutral palette for best effect. Drapes, pillows, a lamp or even a vase like this / that incorporates healthy doses of emerald green really liven up a living room. A rug of modern design that incorporates swathes of emerald or a single chest or console with green-painted panels are cool additions to a bedroom or study.

Not sure if you like the bright green of emerald? How about the yellow-toned Linden Green or mossy Lichen Green from Pantone? These hues more closely resemble the color of seaweed and avocado leaves found naturally along the San Diego shoreline – the perfect counterpart for the pumpkin and rust tones of fall. It also pairs nicely with eggplant and picks up the lighter greens from fresh flower arrangements. Look how lovely this type of green hue looks against a backdrop of dark gray in an area rug.


The blue of fall, 2013, isn’t timid and isn’t muddied by gray tones. It’s a deep marine that echoes the hues of the deep ocean viewed from many San Diego picture windows. This deep, true blue pairs beautifully with white during the summer but during the autumn months, it’s a beautiful addition to warm wood furnishings via lamps, vases or natural prints on the walls of your office or living room. Throw pillows or a reupholstered headboard of vivid marine blue bring the outdoors into your bedroom easily. Or, how about using these beautiful, faceted blue table as nightstand? 


A deep, red-toned purple is a very warm and comforting color. As the temperatures lower and the ocean breezes bring a damper-than-normal chill to the air, an eggplant- or berry-hued throw, velvety ottoman or tall crystal vase with seasonal blooms brings warmth to any room. When it comes to furnishings, purple is one of those colors that pairs best with the right fabric. Select a tweedy, nubby or otherwise tactile fabric to turn a purple piece of furniture cozy and inviting while still looking great in a contemporary styled room that uses a lot of white, black, taupe or gray.


Fiery red and pumpkin orange are warm colors that pair great with fall décor. A spicy chili red doesn’t just look good on a plate, it’s a lovely addition to a neutral, contemporary space to add small pops of color via stools, accessories or artwork. This swag lamp in red is perfect in a kitchen or dining area. A toned-down orange (last year’s hot hue) is ideal for a large piece of upholstered furniture, such as a sofa or chair. It is particularly nice in leather but also works well as part of a modern pattern, to provide small doses of this sometimes strong shade. How about adding an accent table in a shocking shade of orange  for a burst of autumn in any room?

Red and orange don’t need to overtly portray the holidays by being paired with green. Try using a marine or turquoise blue or even yellow, instead, for a more updated color pairing.
Refreshing your home’s palette to coordinate with the season is a wonderful and easy way to update its style. There’s no need to be afraid of color in a contemporary living space; just use it sparingly for the best effect – and one that is economical to change along with the seasons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Font Resize