Living room fall decor ideas – 12 ways designers channel a snug vibe at home
Our living room fall decor ideas will make this most-used room feel like a warm, embracing hug
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Fall has arrived, and it's time to tune into our living room fall decor ideas. This is the season of yellow leaves, harvest, and palettes of gold, orange, red, and brown. The warmer weather is bidding us goodbye and the chillier times are setting in. If you are looking to inject some warmth into your home, we bring you inspiration, from fall flora, colors, accents, and, more to keep you snug for the rest of the year.
We spoke to a host of experts to suggest decor tips, and reno ideas to embrace this change of season. From natural fibers, layering, to experimenting with paint ideas and newer palettes, we have a collection of fantastic tips to accentuate your living room ideas.
Whip up a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up and read on.
Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she spoke to top experts to understand ways to cozy up the living room during this fall season.
12 living room fall decor ideas for a toasty time indoors
1. Choose warm tones of yellow, green or pink
A fall-inspired rich brown, yellow or warm green can be a great way to welcome the season. If you're unsure of how to work with these hues, perhaps choose the lightest color as a living room accent wall, and pepper shades in accessories. Of course, it will also help if the room gets plenty of natural light. If your room is light-deprived, paint just the lower third or half of the wall in the accent color, leaving the upper level and ceiling white or clad in a light neutral.
'Warm colors make things cozy,' says interior designer Natalie Tredgett (opens in new tab). 'In particularly layering, a lot of them work very well. Browns with yellows, oranges, and purples, and, reds with pinks come to mind. Using natural fibers also brings warmth such as wood, rattan, grasscloth, wool, and linen. It evokes nature, which soothes, reduces stress, and welcomes in the warmth.'
'As summer ends, we embrace the colors of fall,' says Joa Studholme, color curator at Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). 'Mother Nature is the perfect guide to the way we decorate. Refined greens are still super attractive in the home and greens like French Grey (opens in new tab) and Treron (opens in new tab)can be layered one upon another, or used in different parts of the house. Choose the lightest, French Grey in rooms you spend time in during the day and the richer Treron in rooms you retire to in the evening. These hues are incredibly flexible so let your mood dictate your choice to create a visual effect that you feel truly comfortable with.'
'Dead Salmon (opens in new tab) is another paint color to experiment with,' says Joa. 'It wraps rooms in warmth and a sense of well-being. Its dusty tone affects our emotional state and feels soothing and balancing. However, if you wish to create a special moment, embrace the unexpected and team it with dramatic Preference Red (opens in new tab) on a door or halfway up the wall.'
2. Add an organic touch with tactile wall paint finishes
Apart from the fact that Venetian plaster or limewash paint evoke the charm of old-world Europe, this centuries-old technique has a nuanced and warm touch to it. The depth of color and a burnished shine set it apart, and it is a great way to lend an organic touch to a space, especially if you want to cozy it up.
'Venetian and limewash walls are gaining traction in this season,' says Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem, founder of YSG Studio (opens in new tab). 'Venetian plaster creates an instantly worn-in, beautiful sheen that allows feature lighting and natural sunlight to pool across it, whilst lime wash surfaces have a matte depth like crushed velvet if you’re seeking a cocooning feeling in a room.'
3. Bring in tall plants to create an indoor-outdoor vibe
Going out for long picnics and walks may come down but you can still be connected to the outdoors with indoor trees and plants. Choose the tall varieties, that are a major plant trend for 2023. Create a cluster of interesting plant pots in a living room corner and add a refreshing touch to the interior.
Plants aside, bring in seasonal foliage too, for a warm autumn vibe.
'One easy way of adding the essence of autumn to your home is by adding accent pieces, especially those that bring the outside in, evoking feelings of nature and the leaves changing,' says Jess Martin, decoration expert at Ginger Ray (opens in new tab). 'Plumes of pampas grass and dried foliage are all over the agenda this autumn, offering a sense of grounding and calm whilst gently complementing the color scheme. Place small bunches throughout your home or for more of a centerpiece, weave into a wreath.'
Also, if you're not in the mood to run out to the florist, use wheat stalks and other amber waves of grain in vases for a quick low-cost arrangement.
4. Envelope your living room with seasonal scents
Gina Strain of Matalan (opens in new tab)says that scent-scaping is the way forward for pure comfort in the home. 'You can never underestimate the power of fragrance and enveloping your home in the perfect seasonal scents to create a cozy, autumnal feel,' says Gina. 'Smoke and leather, in the scent world, are intrinsically linked and are some of the oldest and most comforting scents known to man.'
'Use a reed diffuser placed higher up and in open spaces to make the most of airflow and fill the room with luxurious scents but keep out of direct sunlight to avoid the oils evaporating,' says Gina. 'Place candles sporadically around your room to add an extra burst of fragrance and create a particularly cozy atmosphere for the evening.'
5. Scaled up wallpapers prints can be cocooning
Large prints and deep colors have an inherent coziness to them, creating an enveloping feeling, giving the room a jewel box-like look. If you are looking for new living room wallpaper ideas and are in the middle of a reno, we suggest you embrace this new trend of scaling up with designs.
'Many of our clients in New York City are pushing us for more of a visual statement in their rooms,' says Jarret Yoshida (opens in new tab), a Brooklyn Brownstone designer. 'Wallpaper continues to get bolder and bolder, but I am steering them more and more to large abstract murals. Striking, without being specific, they make walls into a gorgeous backdrop that is, for me, a new 'paint' – encompassing, luxe, cozy and contemporary.'
6. Use multiple textures in the living room
It is the season to snuggle up with a good book and a fun Netflix show. For a cozy living room, layer up with blankets, lots of cushions, throws, and make naps an idyllic luxury that lasts long after summer is over.
'The key to autumn styling is layering; it is the best thing about the season changing and is a quick and easy way of cozying up your home,' says Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Blinds (opens in new tab)and 247 Curtains (opens in new tab). 'By layering accessories and textures you can transform your room and give it a new and inviting scheme for colder season. Consider using multiple textures by introducing sheepskins, faux fur or boucle in the form of blankets, and cushions.'
7. Unwind with a daybed
A daybed in the living room is a fantastic piece of furniture, great for reclining or leaning on to read, playing video games, or working on a laptop. With the colder days taking over, when all you want is laid-back luxury at home, there is no better piece than this.
If you don't want to invest in a fresh, new piece, consider upcycling an old bed hiding in your attic or garage. Find a local carpenter to fix the piece and use it as a charming addition to your living room. The daybed can be used as a second sofa or the primary seating as well. If you want your daybed to look more like a couch, you can add large sofa cushions on it to make it look more like a seater than a bed.
8. Snug up the underfoot with a woollen carpet
When we speak of layering, perhaps the most important element in softening the visuals and the environment of the interior are living room rugs. When you're always comfortable underfoot, you will feel at peace at home.
‘An oversized rug adds a cozy layer to a space,' says Suzie Lucas, principal designer at Lucas Interior (opens in new tab). 'When finalizing rug sizes, we are always careful to make sure that all furniture will sit comfortably on the rug.’
'You should think about what materials you want these luxury accessories to be in,' says Sam Hood, co-founder of AMARA (opens in new tab). 'Opt for shaggy rugs for a real sense of autumnal coziness. These fabrics will help to add layers of texture to your decor and break up any hard edges or surfaces with their soft lines. Not only that, the fluffy materials are perfect for making you feel cozier as the nights get colder.'
9. Color drench the room
Besides choosing a warm tone for your paint, consider how you plan to paint your living room, as this will affect how the space looks and how you feel inside it. Color drenching or painting the ceiling and walls the same color is one of the biggest paint trends currently and has staying power. Aside from the fact that it can create a visual illusion that can help with the dimensions of the room (it can give depth to a small room, or bring down the ceilings in a double or triple-height room), it also creates a wonderful feeling of coziness – of being enveloped.
'Rich, bold colors work best,' says Justyna Korczynska, color consultant at Crown (opens in new tab). 'If you feel brave you can go for a dark shade for a strong, dramatic effect, but it's better to avoid too bright shades, as they could become overpowering, especially in smaller spaces.'
'When using more than one color, choose shades with similar intensity,' says Justyna. 'Or you can use the same color in lighter and darker shades. When choosing furniture and accessories for a color-drenched room you can go two routes: Use similarly strong shades and rich patterns to add another layer of color to your room for a strong bold look, or go for bold saturated jewel greens and teals as they work very well for color drenching. Dark greys to near black and deep navy shades are also good choices.'
10. Add effective window treatments
Window treatments are an important piece of the design puzzle in any home. These not only complement a decor scheme but also are important for privacy, light, hiding awkward features, providing insulation, and more. With the winter setting in, while it is imperative to close and seal the windows, take modern window treatments from something that merely suffices to something that makes a statement.
Cellular shades, roller blinds, blackout curtains, shutters or stained glass can up the style factor of your living room while also ensuring you're happy and snug inside.
'If you only do one thing to help a living room look cozier, make it the window dressing,' says Andrew Griffiths, founder of A New Day (opens in new tab). 'Softening the light in a space and putting some warmth and texture between you and the outside world is so important to the look and feel of a cozy living space. I like to layer window treatments, so I use a sheer curtains or blinds for daytime privacy and light filtering, and use either curtains or blinds to frame a window, giving the option of covering the windows fully in the evening for a warm space.'
11. Cozy up with warm lighting
Yes, the sunshine-filled days are dwindling but that doesn't mean your home can't remind you of summer or warmth! Another important element to layering is lights, but ones that create an ambiance. In your living room, swap out the white lights with yellow LED bulbs. Also, make your home more colorful with smart lighting that looks good and can even cozy up the interiors.
Wall lights are an excellent option as they don't occupy floor or desk space. Choose plug-in sconces for quick installation in living room corners. Long pendants and paper lanterns when used with dimmers can create the perfect, pensive mood indoors, ideal for those lazy weekday evenings when all you want to do is curl up and watch TV.
And finally, no one can deny the charm of candles. The flickering flame sets just the right tone to unclutter your mind and calm frayed nerves. Consider scented candles or even LED ones that don't require supervision.
12. Don't forget to revive the fireplace
With fireplace season soon approaching, you might be thinking about updating the old one or building a new one. There are so many fireplace ideas that picking one can be challenging. After all, it is the most commanding element in any room it’s in. Perhaps add a slab of marble, granite, or another solid surface for a dramatic and minimalist aesthetic to your fireplace cladding. Copper is not only a beautiful facing choice but a conversation piece in any room. If you are longing to update your old red brick but are short on budget, paint it. Any color can work, but white works with so many different styles.
Remember to decorate the mantel above with flowers, vases, or candles as well. You could also personalize the space with a charming collection of dishes or pottery that is special to you.
What is popular for fall decorating?
When it comes to fall decor ideas, the colors that are currently trending are orange, red, and yellow, but these conventional hues aside, nature-inspired shades of pistachio greens and browns are taking over interiors as well. Curving furniture pieces that have an inherent softness to them are cozying up interiors a lot more. Chunky knitted blankets and decorative pillows with velvets will be big this fall season.
Another big trend is snug nooks with window seats or corners, outfitted with plaid throws, and soft cashmere and fur pillows. Dark and moody kitchens have been a trend for a while but will see a lot more love this fall and winter. Bold, large patterned wallpapers that tell a cultural story of its place of origin will take over homes.
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.
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