Cooler temperatures, an overcast sky that appears to threaten rain at every hour, and the return of our favourite prime-time TV shows—there’s no better time of year to stay firmly planted indoors than fall. So it’s worth sprucing up your home to ensure a season of comfortable lounging, no-fuss get-togethers, and—let’s face it—shameless Netflix binging. Not sure where to start? Let autumn’s hottest trends—straight from some of the city’s design insiders—guide you in your stylish revamp.
Although a scaled-back, minimalist approach remains popular for both decorating and decluttering the home, this fall might prove more is more. “Opulence in furnishings, accessories, and wall colour—it’s all in,” says Joshua Pettinato, stylist and visual sales merchandiser at Vancouver’s Mint Interiors. Think bold patterns, lush textures, and dark, moody colours like deep navy, emerald, and grey that you can incorporate through luxe décor, textiles, and even wallpaper. Gold—especially when paired with white marble—is also a central colour to keep in mind.
But don’t feel like you need to change up your aesthetic completely to embrace the lavish look. “Start with a neutral foundation and pick your statement pieces depending on what opulence might mean for you,” advises Pettinato, who stresses that “quality is cheaper in the long run”—whether that means a grand velvet sofa or a few handmade pottery pieces.
Taking a page from the bell-bottoms and suede looks hitting runways is perhaps fall’s biggest throwback trend. But rest assured—it’s not the orange shag rugs and all-over linoleum of decades past. “We’re still seeing a lot of industrial and midcentury modern, but it’s starting to mix with the ’70s for a more bohemian-glam style,” explains Tanya McLean, interior designer and owner of Mango Design Co., over the phone. “The result is a well-travelled, eclectic look.”
Case in point: rocker Lenny Kravitz’s collaboration with Chicago-based furniture retailer CB2, one of McLean’s favourite lines of late. Each piece in the ’70s-inspired collection—from the curvy, two-toned side tables to the plush, patterned rugs—is as edgy as it is earthy. The key, however, is in their makeup: a mix of wools, woods, and leathers that keeps the trend from being too done-up. “Look for those elements pertinent to the era, but opt for more natural tones and fabrics for a laid-back feel,” McLean suggests.
Cozy up your space for the cooler temperatures ahead with warm metallics and woods. “Gold, copper, and bronze are huge—especially in accessories,” shares Sara Samieian, co-owner and general manager of the Vancouver-based Moe’s Home Collection. She notes that floor and table lamps in brushed metals have been particularly hot lately, given that buyers tend to gravitate toward chic lighting options in order to combat autumn’s darker days.
In terms of wood, Samieian sees a combination of richer tones coming back in style. In a phone interview, she says that furnishings made from dark woods in rustic brown and grey stains have become extremely popular, as have sofas and chairs upholstered in caramel-tobacco-hued leather. “People are really drawn to it, so we’ve expanded that line quite a bit,” she says, referring to Moe’s own collection of vintage-leather furnishings.
Not quite ready to let go of summer’s greener, decidedly more bloom-filled pastures? There’s a solution. “Bring the outside in,” Pettinato says. “Fill your home with greenery and nature. Big potted plants are definitely going to be a trend.” If you’re not ready for the commitment of plant parenthood, you can opt for a low-maintenance cactus or air plant, which should provide as much life and interest to your space as their more moisture-dependent counterparts.
Or, you can go a slightly different route with natural stones. “Crystals and minerals are really, really huge for fall,” Pettinato says. Pyrite—also known as fool’s gold—and unfinished quartz crystals, for example, can be displayed on your coffee table or mantel, or even as part of a nature-inspired centrepiece with a few fallen branches and candles. “We’re also seeing a lot of people use them as hardware on sideboards and cabinets,” he adds.