Fall kitchen decor - how to change with the seasons for a cozy take on design

Fall kitchen decor is here to help us retreat into the comfort of our homes. Here's how to make your space feel in tune with the shifting seasons

copper kitchen with fall flower arrangement
(Image credit: Future)

Fall kitchen decor is the best thing about summer coming to an end. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are turning brown. Step outside and fall is most definitely in the air. And inevitably, as we transition from hazy late summer into crisp, cool autumn mornings, we retreat back inside our homes. 

Soon, the time will come when the weather will be too cold for alfresco dining and you stow away the barbecue for another winter. As we move indoors to dine, creating a modern kitchen that feels in tune with the seasons is so important at making us feel at home. 

While everyone longs for cozy interiors once fall is upon us, making a functional space like a kitchen feel warm and comfortable isn't as easy as throwing some blankets on the couch and a sheepskin rug by the bed. Designing a kitchen fit for fall requires a little bit more effort, but it's certainly possible.

Whether you're completely redesigning your kitchen or you just want to shake up your decor for a more cozy, wintery vibe, we've asked these experts their top tips on how to introduce the feeling of fall to your kitchen this season. So, light a cinnamon scented candle and grab a pumpkin spiced latte while you give their advice a read. 

Lilith headshot for bio
Lilith Hudson

Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She regularly shares articles with readers that detail simple ways to keep up-to-date with changing styles, and fall kitchens are no exception. For this piece, she spoke with leading kitchen designers to learn all there is to know about introducing seasonality to your interiors. 

1. Introduce soft, natural textures

A white kitchen with wooden floor and a soft woven patterned rug

(Image credit: Future)

Fall is a season associated with softness. It's a cosseting time that should be indulgent and comforting. The best way to achieve such a mood in a kitchen is by adding soft and natural textures, often where you'd least expect them.

For the purpose of practicality, kitchens typically have tiled or hardwood floors that are easy to clean, but there's no reason you can't introduce a kitchen rug. 'Opting for an on-trend rug in the middle of the room is also a great way to tie in a color palette and add a homely touch,' explains Sarah Savery-Smith, brand director, at kitchenware brand, ProCook

'When rugs are brought into the kitchen they can create a living room feel,' says Lizzie Beesley, head of design at Magnet. 'Laying a woven jute or sisal rug can really relax the feel of your kitchen and juxtapose a more modern theme.'

To keep stains and spillages to a minimum, add a runner between an island and your wall-mounted cabinets, ensuring it's a space where you're unlikely to be carrying foods or liquid. If you have a kitchen diner, a rug can add a taste of luxury when laid beneath your dining table, too. Just be sure to use a non-slip backing to avoid any accidents. 

Rugs aren't the only way to introduce a more homey feel to a kitchen. Sarah notes there a plenty of ways to embrace textiles in a kitchen, and they can help reinforce a color palette too. 'Hang suitably colored tea towels out in the open, whether that is on the oven door or hung on the wall to utilise space,' she says. 'If you have a table in your kitchen, be sure to dress it using deep-hued table linens and dining sets.'

2. Paint with warm and earthy tones

A large dark grey kitchen with an exposed brick wall

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Nothing says fall more than a beautiful earthy color palette of deep reds, oranges and dark browns. Dark warm hues are all the rage right now, but when it comes to the best rooms for earth tones, the kitchen is probably the last place you think of. However, embracing a fall color palette in your kitchen is one of the easiest ways for your kitchen to be in keeping with the seasons. 

'We're seeing rich, earthy shades such as mustard yellows, deep fuschias and even bolder grass greens coming into play in kitchens recently,' says Lizzie. 'Employing some of these more daring shades into a coordinating scheme in your kitchen can bring a sense of joy and playfulness to your space.' 

Dawn Filkins, head of creative at Smile Kitchens, is in agreement. 'Using deep and earthy tones in the kitchen is an extremely popular choice at the moment with many customers opting for dark green cabinetry,' she says. 'An uninterrupted run of dark color is striking and impactful in design, and lends an air of drama to the kitchen.'

For those looking for less of a commitment, Dawn suggests just painting a feature wall in your kitchen or upgrading your kitchen splashback with dark green, deep blue or earthy brown tiles. 

However you decide to embrace color, what's clear is that white, clinical kitchens are a thing of the past. Mor Krisher, head of design at Caesarstone, says color is the perfect way to adjust your home with the seasons. 'From autumnal rusty oranges and earthy reds to beiges and browns, these seasonal hues perfectly bring a touch of the outside in to connect us with nature and rejuvenate our homes,' he says. He also recommends keeping your countertops neutral so they'll easily pair with other hues.

3. Bring the outside in with organic decor and furnishings

A kitchen in a neutral color scheme with natural wooden cabinetry

(Image credit: Smile Kitchens)

From wooden kitchen cabinets to stone floor tiles, natural materials have a striking effect in our kitchens. Not only do they look beautifully neutral and understated, but they help bring an element of the outside in, helping to introduce a fall vibe in your kitchen.

'Wooden worktops are a great way to bring rustic, autumnal touches into the kitchen,' says Dawn from Smile Kitchens. 'Either opt to use all wood or create a statement island with a wooden worktop. If you want even more impact, you can choose wooden or wood effect cabinetry doors,' she says. 

If you want to incorporate wood finishes in a more subtle way without changing the overall design, she suggests using elements like wooden shelving, stools, or art pieces. 

Bo Hellberg of String Furniture has some expert advice when it comes to choosing the right wood for a fall effect. 'Rich walnuts and soothing oaks are a wonderful way to create a warming, cozy kitchen feel in a kitchen that's perfect for the autumnal months,' he says. 'These earthy tones are perfect for enriching a space and bringing in a calming feel to a home.'

Wood isn't the only way to add a touch of nature to your space. Tom Howley, owner of Tom Howley kitchens says incorporating plants into your space can help you feel closer to nature and add a more seasonal feel to the room. 'Fill windowsills with potted herbs, dress your mantle with seasonal foliage or place fresh flowers on your island to instantly lift your mood as you enter the room,' he advises. 

4. Use brassware for warmth

A dark blue kitchen with an island and brass accents

(Image credit: Smile Kitchens)

Brass accents can add a warm glow to any room that replicates the inviting flicker of an open fire. Brass kitchen ideas are a great way to add this comforting feel that's so synonymous with fall.

'Handles are a great, subtle, and budget-friendly way to introduce gold or brass into your kitchen,' says Dawn. 'If you want to make more of an impact, consider a matching sink and tap in brass or gold.' 

Other brassware accessories are a great way to incorporate metallic elements but with more flexibility. 'Look for vases, statues, or artwork,' Dawn advises. 'Another option would be to look at antique effect tiles or splashbacks which can add in a warm tone in a slightly less traditional way.'

Although typically traditional, Tom believes brass makes a great contemporary touch to a kitchen while also having the potential to tie in an entire color scheme. 'Brass finishes are an excellent way to draw attention to your cabinetry as well as adding warmth, especially when combined with a dark paint color,' he explains. 'The warm tones of the brass beautifully enhance blues and dark greens, helping to create a cohesive look.'

5. Create a kitchen book nook 

A kitchen reading nook bench with comfy brown and neutral cushions

(Image credit: Magnet)

Reading is the ultimate fall activity. There's nothing better than curling up under a soft blanket with a good book and a warm mug of cocoa. Although a bedroom or living room might be your first port of call, there's no reason why you can't create a cozy reading corner in your kitchen. 

'Creating a micro library or book nook within your kitchen design can work wonders for achieving ultimate autumnal coziness,' says Lizzie. 'In a lesser used corner of your kitchen space, install a few bookshelves and fill them with your favourite books.' 

Benches or corner chairs placed by a window make the perfect setting for a reading area. If you know a thing or two about storage solutions, you can even incorporate a book nook in the smallest of kitchens too. 

'For seating, install a set of kitchen drawer units to create a fully functional seating bench in your choice of styles and colors to coordinate with your kitchen cabinetry,' Lizzie says. 'Finish off with your fluffiest cushions on top and you'll have the perfect nook to escape into a book on a rainy fall afternoon.'

6. Don't forget the tableware 

A kitchen surface displaying various tableware, including wooden serving board and earthy coloured crockery

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

Your walls and cabinets might be the first places you turn to when designing a fall kitchen, but it's important not to overlook your dinnerware sets. Switch out your bright summer plates for more earthy toned ceramic tableware. 

'Utilise functional items such as utensils, storage items and chopping boards in suitably natural materials,' says Sarah from ProCook. 'Swap out everyday items such as utensil jars or fruit bowls that are typically made of glass or china for alternatives that are made from deep-hue acacia wood or light beech wood.' 

There are more ways to embrace the all-wood kitchen trend than you might believe. Think spoons and spatulas, bowls and even wooden shelving. Don't hide them away in drawers either. 'Keep wooden chopping boards of varying sizes and shapes out on display by propping them up against the countertop wall to cover sockets or wires,' Sarah advises. 

'This is great for easy accessibility and storage, while also providing a stylish element,' she adds. 'Alternatively, leave a butchers-block style chopping board out on the countertop at all times for convenient yet rustic touch.'

Stylish cookware can also be used to embrace an on-trend fall interior in any kitchen without overwhelming the space. 'Invest in some deep-toned cookware, such as a cast iron casserole dish that can take centre-stage and add a pop of color,' says Sarah. 'Whether it’s left on the hob in prime position or added to some open shelving, they're a great way to add a stylish yet functional element to a kitchen and the perfect fall cooking accessory.'

7. Add a dash of paprika

modern kitchen ideas terracotta island

(Image credit: Colombo and Serboli Architecture)

Our editor, Pip Rich, recently called paprika as 2023's biggest color trend, and it's perfect to start using now in your fall kitchen decor. A little more orange than terracotta, a little spicer than brown, it's adds a real pumpkin spice kick to your home.

'The great thing about paprika is that you don't have to go all out,' Pip says. 'It can easily be introduced with some linens, a new plate or two, some tiles as a backsplash. I love how convivial it feels, ideal for kitchen for fall.' 

That said, you could of course go all out, like this super-modern project. Fall isn't holding back, so why should you?

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.