Nature’s bounty inspires fall interiors

Courtesy of ARA Content

The warm tones of the autumn harvest provide an inspiring palette for home decor by bringing seasonal beauty in from the fields. This transforms your indoor haven from one resonating light summer frivolity to something a little richer with more depth.

Fall thrives on all things rustic and natural—so it’s no wonder a home enhanced by a backdrop of deep brown, gold, green and purple reflects the season’s warmth. Nothing says fall more definitively than a cozy room designed in a diverse palette of warm, nature-inspired hues.

“A fall-based color palette offers some of the most enticing and exciting variety of colors to work with,” says Donna Schroeder, color marketing and design manager for Martin-Senour Paints. “It’s truly an unexpected integration of color, and each shade adds depth and character that you’ll appreciate as you ready your home for the cold winter months ahead.”

Paint, in general, is a savvy, cost-effective way to transform your interior from the light, airy summer palette to autumn’s bolder, warmer hues. A simple change of wall colors lends a completely different feel. For example, hues found in Martin-Senour’s fall color palette include Goldenrod Gold, Truffles Brown, Pine Smoke and Cubicle Clay.

“These colors work together to create a unified feel within your home,” Schroeder says. “Set off gold walls with rich wood furniture and patterned upholstery interweaving the season’s rich, truffle-based brown and clay tones. Or, let it pop by mixing it with a timeless neutral, such as this season’s workhorse—gray. And don’t stop with the walls. Consider using these paint hues to refresh tired furniture, too.”

While the pairing of blue and brown remains popular, designers have mined a new combination of colors for fall interiors: green and brown. Blending nature’s two most prevalent colors, this sophisticated, yet accessible, combination plays well in a variety of interior rooms and settings.

While color is critically important, don’t forget, in any painting project, true success lies in the initial legwork and the tools you use to get the job done. Make sure you properly prepare your walls before painting. You’ll be glad you did.

Repair any holes or cracks, sanding the spackle smooth. Wash the walls to remove any debris or grime, then prime with a quality latex primer to provide the best possible canvas for your new palette.

The quality of tools you use also is important. A poorly-constructed brush or roller cover can make a great color look terrible when it’s applied. Selecting the right brush and roller is crucial. Cheap brushes can lose bristles and spread paint unevenly.

“The challenge is that most paint brushes may look the same on the outside; but it’s the materials and the way the brush is constructed that count,” says Mark Ksiezyk, senior product manager for Purdy Applicators. “The same holds true for roller covers. Look for one crafted of high-quality, lint-free material. And, remember, the nap of the cover should match the texture of the surface you are painting.”

Armed with a palette of rich, autumn-inspired hues, a high-quality wall paint, the right applicators and a sense of creativity, you’ll easily be able to reinvigorate your home into a vibrant reflection of the harvest season. As Schroeder notes, “Paint truly is the perfect seasonal reinvention solution.”

For more autumn decor ideas, visit

From the Aug. 19-25, 2009 issue

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