As we inch toward autumn and the leaves begin to turn, it’s tempting to bust out the old fall decor standbys and decorate just like you did last year—but there's so much more to this season than the standard hues of orange, red, and brown!
With a little help from some of our favorite design experts, we rounded up their best suggestions for autumnal hues that you might not have considered in your seasonal decor.
01 of 07
Shades of Green
While certain shades of green are more evocative of the early days of spring or the peak of summer, other tones are more autumnal than we might give them credit for. “A gentle green on the walls or threaded through the soft furnishings in the home is a great option,” Emma Sims Hilditch of Sims Hilditch says. “This, paired with neutral tones and natural wooden beams and flooring, makes a great autumnal combination.”
Sims Hilditch suggests pairing this pick with “artwork featuring autumnal flowers, or forage for seasonal greenery around your home to intensify the aesthetic.”
Ashley McCollum, Associate Color Marketing Manager of PPG Paints, agrees: “Soft or moody greens pair well year-round with fall colors. For a lighter, more neutral option, look no further than a gray-green like Olive Sprig. For a moodier, darker shade, try Night Watch, a deep jade green.”
02 of 07
A Bluish-Greenish Combo
Blues and greens work well on their own, but the expert color team at Benjamin Moore suggests somewhere in the middle, with green-blue hues. “Green-blue hued shades like Benjamin Moore’s Cedar Mountains and Wythe Blue give off unexpected fall vibes that’ll make you feel like you’re mountain-side,” they say.
Look no further than this modern bedroom by Alvin Wayne for proof that blue-green introduces coziness to any room. While the decor leans modern, the deep wall brings a solid weight to the room, maintaining a sense of relaxation and coziness.
03 of 07
Black (or Deep Navy)
While dramatically dark colors like navy and black can feel like a huge commitment, McCollum says that they’re “great options for bringing deep, rich, sophisticated autumn vibes into your home without looking like a pile of leaves.”
Try Cavalry for a classic, deep navy blue-grey that’s perfect for a dining room, or the bold and modern Black Magic. While it’s “very fitting for Halloween season and beyond,” you can test out your own boldness by starting in the kitchen and updating your cabinets with “this deep, dark black … for the ultimate sophisticated statement," McCollum says.
Take this gorgeous butler's pantry by Ashley Webb Interiors as inspiration: Paired with lighter countertops and floors, a deep color has just the right amount of moodiness for fall.
04 of 07
As Sims Hilditch points out, blue alone might not scream fall, but pair it correctly, and you have the instantly cozy effect required for cooler days and crisp nights.
Blue "on the walls and joinery of a room paired with purplish tones gently nod to the impending autumn and the changing scenery surrounding a home,” she says. “This, accompanied by textured or patterned materials for the soft furnishings, creates a decidedly autumnal feel. Plaid is a great choice here.”Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
McCollum says rich jewel tones are perfect for fall, and plum, in particular, can “create the warm and cozy atmosphere we all crave during the fall months.” Try PPG’s Gooseberry—“an elegant plum purple, perfect for a cozy family room [to set] the mood for all your Halloween movie marathons.”
06 of 07
Yellow or Gold
Erika Woelfel, the VP of Color & Creative Services for Behr, suggests “yellow tones with a soft touch of gold.”
“When trying to balance out a holiday or seasonal color palette, it is best to incorporate timeless colors to create an aesthetically pleasing appeal, no matter the season,” she says. This is why yellow tones work so well for autumn—they transition well, while also serving as a classic reminder of crisp autumn leaves. Try Behr’s own shades of Amber Autumn, Corn Stalk, Saffron Strands, or Cellini Gold.
“These colors work [particularly well] in the home office," Woelfel says. "Behr recommends freshening up your area with either soft hues to create a calm, tranquil space or trying brighter colors to keep you energized throughout your day. You don’t have to commit to painting all four walls, either. Something as simple as a backdrop behind your desk, bright trim, or accent pieces in the office will do the trick.”
If you're not lucky enough to have a home office, you can incorporate these colors everywhere, as Naked Kitchens proves in this colorful, playful kitchen. Tempered by the blue-green island and white countertop, yellow-gold tones feel perfectly autumnal here.
07 of 07
Warm Whites and Neutrals
The team at Benjamin Moore suggests starting from a neutral base and enhancing your room with autumnal accessories or fabrics. As long as you choose the right shade of neutral, that is.
Avoid anything too cool, and instead, opt for “warm whites and creamy neutrals to give your space a cozy feel that can be easily enhanced using colorful accents.” They specifically suggest their own White Wisp or Swiss Coffee, but anyone can take inspiration from this living room by Hannah Tyler, which has a minimalist approach warmed up by the creamy neutral walls and gold frames.
Whichever shade you choose, McCollum had one final word of advice before your launch into fall painting projects. “Complement these colors by using white or light natural wood elements in the space, avoiding dark woods and accents. [These] can make a space feel too dark and overly autumnal in the spring and summer months.”