Dress your home for autumn

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We adapt our wardrobes to suit the changing seasons, and our homes should follow suit. Gabrielle Fagan reveals the key decor trends to ensure rooms are stylishly dressed for autumn

Autumn doesn’t just bring a change in temperature, it brings a change of mood for homes.

Chilly winds encourage our natural desire to hibernate and cosy-up indoors, but it’s still important for decor to dazzle.

This season, designers have taken a stroll through the British countryside and produced one of the most appealing looks – woodland, inspired by our flora and fauna.

This versatile trend can be interpreted to evoke a classic hunting lodge, or pared back to embrace an ultra-chic, rustic Scandi retreat.

If that’s too tame and you yearn to travel farther afield, there’s a retro-explorer look, evoked by classic mementoes like trunks and globes.

Alternatively, go East to embrace the colour, sensuality and pattern of the Orient, or simply celebrate luxury with textures like silk and velvet and metallics, especially bronze and gold.

“Our big trend this season is woodland,” says Sue Roberts, director of home at House of Fraser.

“Warm and homely, it combines wooden furniture with soft, autumnal patterns, and features owls, hedgehogs and other woodland creatures. It works in virtually any interior and is an easy way to update a room.”

Nature puts on its finest show at this time of year with glorious changes across our landscapes.

Follow the experts’ guide to the trends so that you can do the same at home and enjoy showing off your own seasonal decor transformations.

ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER

We’re inspired by looks from around the world, so it’s no surprise that there’s a trend which reflects our love of travel and exploring.

“Restoration is a traditional, antique-esque trend, featuring rich leathers and revival-style furniture. It has a relaxed feel and a masculine, gentleman’s club quality,” says Roberts.

Put your passport away and simply evoke the globetrotting mood by accessorising. Items like globes and leather-trimmed travel trunks make great focal points, Roberts suggests, as well as maps, which are featuring on fabrics as well as in framed prints.

:: TOP TIP: If that’s too macho for your taste, Roberts highlights an alternative: laid-back country elegance, featuring faded floral patterns, soft shades and distressed wooden furniture. For a more rustic take, enliven with woodland-themed accessories.

DOWN TO THE WIRE

We’re celebrating design and increasingly use our rooms to showcase striking pieces which speak volumes about our taste with their style and craftsmanship.

“The key trend that we anticipated as a design team for this season was the concept of ‘the drawn black line’, with products reflecting their absolute beginnings as hand-drawn sketches on paper,” says Polly Dickens, creative director at Habitat, known for its innovative contemporary looks.

“We’ve used a range of ultra-fine materials to achieve this drawn line effect using black rattan, wire and skinny metals.”

:: TOP TIP: An indigo palette is key for this season and beyond, says Dickens. “Intense cobalt and inky blues are making a transition from the fashion catwalk into interiors.”

COUNTRY COOL

Our love affair with all things Scandi, from their television dramas to their style, is still going strong.

A cool, neutral palette, with emphasis on pared-back design and interesting textures, are essential ingredients for this look.

“Nordic Folk is our interpretation and it brings a simple, homespun aesthetic with a timeless Scandinavian influence,” says Pam McDermott, head of home buying at Sainsbury’s.

“A clean, crisp palette of milky white, relaxing grey and icy blue is warmed with berry red, evoking the crispness of a wintry day.

“With block prints and paper-cut designs across textiles, home accessories and tableware, this relaxed look transforms rooms into cosy winter retreats.”

:: TOP TIP: Don’t feel confined to one trend, says McDermott. Embrace elements of others, including the quintessentially British hedgerow style, or indulge in glamour with metallics, like gold and burnished copper.

EASTERN INSPIRATION

Texture, colour and vivid pattern continue to make an impact as we become braver and more confident with our decor.

“One of the key trends this season is inspired by the Far East, with splashes of bright colour and print,” says Alice Duggan, head of home buying at Debenhams.

“The Butterfly Home collection, by designer Matthew Williamson, blends Japanese geometrics with authentic chinoiserie florals.

“To create this bold and highly decorative style for the home, include vibrant pieces, such as an embroidered fan or printed geisha cushion. For the bedroom, embrace Japanese inky hues with printed lotus flower bed linen, and accessorise with beautiful floral photo frames and trinket boxes.”

:: TOP TIP: Monochrome geometric patterns, a luxe combination of black and gold, and feminine florals with delicate butterfly detail, are also vying for decor attention this season, says Duggan.

MODERN LUXE

Hartfield sofa in amethyst velvet, £549, Schreiber Akari drinks cabinet, £299.99; butterfly cushion, £12.99, Homebase.

Comfort, sensual textures and unashamed luxury are never going to fall out of favour, and they’re particularly strong this season.

Our desire for cosseting rooms which are also glamorous, reflects our desire for homes that act as retreats from the harsh economic reality outside.

“Whenever I describe Anthology, our trend story, to people, I talk about the Victorian era and natural history, and I always think of films like Sherlock Holmes,” says Joanna Bolt, head of trends at Homebase.

“It’s a dark, moody look which creates a sense of vintage and nostalgia. Rich reds, deep purples and browns combine with luxurious fabrics such as velvet, leather and heavy knits.”

Enliven with quirky finishing touches, from a stag head ornament to a butterfly-print cushion, she suggests.

:: TOP TIP: Typography’s in fashion and features on fabrics and accessories from prints to cushions, says Bolt. Don’t overlook a feminine approach with subtle, muted florals, and oversized decorative mirrors.

[Top Image]

:: Linea restoration range Westminster leather sofa, £3,229; industrial trunk side table, £749; mini vintage globe, £25; Waltz armchair, £999; industrial coffee tale, £1,159, House of Fraser

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