As we approach fall, we naturally turn our attention to our indoor spaces – the rooms where we’ll be hunkering down for much of winter. It’s important that these spaces make us feel cocooned, cozy and warm. To achieve this, they must be rich in texture, and material and glow with soothing lighting. But color is the real key to coziness.
‘The end of summer marks a distinct shift of focus between outdoor and indoor living and we are drawn towards colors that evoke warmth and comfort as we migrate inside,’ explains Anna Drummond, architect and designer at Melbourne-based, CoLAB Design Studio. ‘Where summer schemes are about experimenting with block color, the fall palette is more layered, tonal and textural.’
From russet reds and burgundy tones to moody, 70s browns, to decadent plum, your home can feel all the more cozy with a fresh lick of paint. To find the best five fall palettes out there, we’ve spoken to the paint experts who know a thing or two about seasonal decor.
1. Terracotta and pale pinks
Pale pink might not be your first thought when searching for that perfect cozy fall palette, but because of pink’s red undertones, it’s a color that naturally carries a lot of warmth.
What’s more, during the cooler months, the light in our homes changes. Using this change in natural light to our advantage, we can harness the power of pink and turn it into a color that feels warming and cozy.
Instead of bright spring sunshine, fall is a time of more shadow and contrast in the home, meaning the tone of your pink can really change and feel darker, removing any trace of that sugary tint.
Just be careful what type of pink you pick. Go for plaster shades of pink layered with earthy terracotta that has more of a brown tone, or pick a pink with a hint of grey for a darker tone. The great thing about a pink living room or bedroom is that it will work come summer too, feeling warming in winter but reminiscent of Mediterranean-style interiors with that terracotta look come the warmer months.
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2. Burnt orange and mustard yellow
Don’t be afraid of warm color schemes. By using invigorating and energizing oranges and yellows, you can bring the warmth that we crave indoors during fall and winter.
‘Oranges and reds are great as accent colors and warm design tones can bring a lot of vibrant, comforting energy into a room,’ says Judy Pickett of Design Lines Signature. ‘It is a relatively easy way to make your home feel welcoming and engaging at the same time. It also adds quite a bit of dimension as opposed to stark white or a more neutral color scheme.’
‘I think your main living areas are always ideal for warm color schemes: living rooms, family rooms, even media rooms. You spend a lot of time in these spaces and of course, want the areas to feel comfortable.
‘I also love warmer tones for intimate spaces like libraries or dens, where it really turns the room into a little jewel box of a space – a refuge within your own home.’
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3. Shades of brown
For more of a dark color scheme, don’t underestimate the power of brown paint in the home. The right type of brown can add warmth and dimension. Rooted in nature, it reminds us of the earth and mimics the color palette of trees during this time of the year.
‘An easy way to choose fall paint color palettes that work all year round is to look to nature,’ says Alexandra Coxon, interior designer at boutique studio, My Habitat Design. ‘I would invite you to explore the earthy tones that embody colors that reflect the cozy nature of the fall season, while providing year-round versatility.’
I love the 70s feel a palette of dark and chocolate browns can bring to a room. On the walls, it can feel bold yet elegant, and in the living room, a dark brown monochromatic color scheme paired with plenty of texture will be just the ticket to a cozy fall look.
Pair with vibrant, decorative pops orange pops of color to really embrace that 70s feel, but if you don’t want to go too mid/late century with your look, keep your browns at the lighter end of the spectrum. Think caramels, sandy tones, and beiges.
Mix your beige with a grey tone for something soothing – and a tone that would look great on the walls of a snug or bedroom.
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4. Warm greys
Grey can also work well for an autumnal palette and continues to look great on walls throughout the year. Look out for the grey shades with a brown tint, and pick greige tones instead of the greys that live on the cool side of the color wheel and feel formal and cold. ‘Greiges with warm undertones will also work year-round, as well as pairing beautifully with the orange tones of Autumn,’ says interiors expert, James Greenwood of paint brand Graham & Brown.
‘Soft warm greys can make a living room feel cozy and warm all year round,’ says Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs. ‘A greyish-brown color or ivory-gray scattered in a room can make a living room feel comforting and homey when you layer it throughout with pillows, drapery, rugs, and paint color.’ In this room by Jesse Parris-Lamb, the grey is complemented with an orange armchair and plum-colored rug.
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5. Plums and burgundies
Finally, for a darker, more sumptuous feel that feels like a big hug, go for a purple tone that combines a moody, inky blue with the warmth of red. ‘When I think of cozy, I think of deep rich colors like plums and chocolate,’ says Linda Hayslett.
‘Cozy is making you feel wrapped up inside during those cooler months. Using a chunky ivory throw on a soft gray upholstered bed against a deep purple living room wall will make the room feel like a nice cocoon that you won’t want to get out of,’ she adds.
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