Ah, autumn. The season of pumpkin spice, apple-picking, and the sound of beautifully changing foliage crunching satisfyingly under your feet. It’s also a time spent predominantly indoors, thanks to Vancouver’s typically wet forecasts—so it’s worth sprucing up your pad before you pass the next few months snuggled up on your couch with a full Netflix queue at the ready, right?
Ahead of their appearance at this year’s Vancouver Fall Home Show, which takes place from Thursday to Sunday (October 18 to 21) at the Vancouver Convention Centre’s West building, three of the country’s top interior designers—Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan of Cottage Life’s soon-to-premiere Great Canadian Cottages and Sarah Gallop, founder of the Vancouver-based Sarah Gallop Design Inc.—share with the Straight the home trends that will be big for fall so you can revamp your crib accordingly.
If rapidly dipping temperatures already have you missing weekends spent lounging lakeside or at the cabin, fret not: it’s easy to re-create the look and feel of the low-key summer getaway at home. Hell, you don’t even have to own—or have access to—a wooded abode to get in on the trend. “Cottaging—and the whole look that goes with it—is no longer the exclusive preserve of people who actually have a cottage or live in a cottage,” says Ryan, speaking by phone alongside McAllister. “And that rustic cottage look with a touch of industrial modern is being used by so many people in urban platforms as well, so in cities, in condos and tiny homes, and whatever.”
Ryan says the laid-back lodge is all about black metals, rich toffee-hued woods, and touches of glass. To keep your space from feeling too kitschy, try incorporating the theme through accent furnishings and décor like live-edge shelving systems, handmade ceramics, and table lamps with wooden or glass bases that are wrapped with rope—“anything that kind of introduces this rustic lumber/wood look via small accessories,” adds Ryan.
Neutrals like cream, white, and grey may be popular for their versatility, but this autumn, strong and deliciously vibrant jewel tones are in. These include rich amethysts, deep violets, and rouges that are appearing everywhere from the bedroom to the kitchen and bath. “In virtually every home store we go to…we’re seeing tons of these colours in bedding, in cushions, in throws, in table runners, in napkins and napery,” notes Ryan.
If saturated hues aren’t your thing, Ryan recommends wading into the trend with a lilac—a soft shade that’s light enough to pass as a neutral but still provides a vibrant pop. “A good introduction to the brighter, warmer colours is to kind of meet halfway with lilac,” he says.
Switching your pillow covers, drapery, and accents is an inexpensive way to ride the trend, Gallop tells the Straight by phone, though don’t be afraid to go bold with more permanent pieces if you’re tackling a larger-scale reno. “In our bigger projects, we’re definitely seeing more colour in more fixed elements like kitchen cabinetry, bathroom cabinetry, or more built-in millwork pieces,” she says. “But that’s not going to work for everybody.”
Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking, but for fall, the print adds a welcome warmth that helps combat the season’s dark, dreary days. However, we’re not talkin’ the sweet, dainty blooms found on your grandma’s porcelain tea set. “When you think of floral from a few years ago—and even back into the ’80s—you often think of florals on a white background or a pale pink background or very, very pale blue background,” says Ryan. “The florals that are in at the moment are very dramatic, rich berry colours.”
Think bushels of moody roses depicted against a black backdrop or plants tinted in shades like jade, mustard, and teal atop a decidedly masculine grey. Swapping out your bedding or installing a vivid piece of floral art is an easy way to dip your toe in the trend, though Ryan also recommends rethinking your tableware. “Maybe you already have a white crockery set, white dishes,” he says, “but you can buy a charger with a floral print on it, or maybe a side plate with a floral print. And these can be interplayed with the white dishes you’ve already got.”
Forget the generic chrome-on-chrome look—for fall, it’s all about changing up the metal fixtures, hardware, and accents in a room to achieve a funkier, more eclectic scheme. “People are branching out a little more with these warmer tones and mixing,” says Gallop. “So maybe they’re doing brass and gold and black accents all in one room, so it’s less of one thing throughout.”
Consider replacing your bathroom or kitchen faucet with a matte-black or shining rose-gold counterpart, or replacing basic cabinet handles with gilded or copper options. Mixing metals in tableware, glassware, and decorative accents also works. Black metals pair particularly well with brass, notes Gallop, with black nickel being a hot pick as of late. You can also combine rose-gold pendant lights with silver or graphite-iron bar stools or install a sculptural gold chandelier above a black metal coffee table. In fact, when it comes to lighting, the more dramatic, the better, says Gallop: “It’s a great look because it’s not so matchy-matchy.”
All about you
According to McAllister, the biggest trend this fall has nothing to do with paint chips or the newest products hitting sales floors: it’s you—and a return to what the designer calls “nesting over investing”. “I think people are beginning to look at their homes for what they’re actually intended for, and that is they’re places where you can be the best,” he says. “Your home should bring out the best in you—you should be your happiest, safest, your best self in that space. And that comes from having a house that’s beautiful, that’s functional, and above all, having a house that’s personal.”
In other words, while Pinterest posts and interior-design shots on Instagram may be great for inspiration—and, indeed, for ideas that will help maintain or boost the value of your home—it’s important that you inject some of yourself in your space. This can happen through something as simple as the introduction of meaningful art. “Art is such a personal thing,” says McAllister. “You don’t even need to be into ‘classic’ art—you can be into film posters, you can be into anime, you can be into anything at all.”