With nods to nostalgia, exotic motifs and tailored contemporary looks, the fall season in decor has lots to inspire home decorators.
A warm palette of garnet, plum, sapphire, olive, chocolate, mustard and cream mixes with soft yet textural fabrics and muted metallics as our focus moves back indoors.
Apparently, we are all supposed to be making butter and putting up jam this fall; many retailers showed kits with the makings for farm table goodies.
Williams-Sonoma had kits for making cheese and butter, along with pretty wooden molds. Expanding their Agrarian line beyond the popular chicken coop, the retailer now has an old-school cider and wine press, and a grain mill, should you feel compelled to try your hand at flour making. There were Mason jars, lengths of colored twine and paper tags for gifting.
West Elm showed several different table garden kits, and even a Mason jar cocktail shaker.
Gingham, potato prints and buffalo checks; rough linen, burlap and cotton homespun textiles; earthy, rustic ceramics; chunky knitted pillow covers and throws; and galvanized-metal storage containers were all part of home retailers' fall previews.
Distressed and salvaged wood furniture and forged iron accessories also are part of this look, so watch for affordable examples if it appeals. Grandin Road has mirrors and wall hooks made of old yardsticks. Pottery Barn has the Conner collection of reclaimed pine tables with limestone tops, and the Olivia bench with a weathered blue finish. Here too: candle holders fashioned out of old whiskey barrels and olive oil crates.
Rejuvenation Lighting is reproducing O.C. White's foundry-made task lighting from the late 1800s, in both table and floor lamps. Southern Lights' spare, utilitarian bronze pendants with Edison bulbs are vintage-inspired but have a modern edge, with bright red cording.
Tufted furniture and mirrored, lacquered furnishings evoke the elan of a turn-of-the-century French apartment, or maybe old Hollywood glamour.
Arhaus' curvy Club Apartment sofa fits the bill. West Elm's silvery, glass-covered keepsake boxes do too; you'll find substantially sized, etched, mercury-glass light fixtures here as well.
Bernhardt has the low-profile Lotus coffee table, Balboa media console and Gustav dining table, all in lustrous polished steel.
At BlissLivingHome, you'll find coquettish, gold, antique-lace-trimmed sheets, as well as little pillows made of tufted lavender silk, sequins or saucy black lace mesh.
Faux furs return this winter at many retailers. PB Teen and PB Kids will be stocking cozy faux fur sleeping bags, throws and neck pillows in animal prints.
Menswear fabrics cover many of this fall's upholstered pieces. Crate & Barrel has the Donegal chair in a tweedy plaid, and Tux in houndstooth wool; the Savino ottoman and sectional comes in an Italian suiting stripe. Masters of None offers houndstooth and argyle bamboo bar coasters -- indeed, barware in general is a strong trend. Beer making kits, pilsner glasses, bar carts and all the cocktail accouterments were ubiquitous at fall previews in New York.
Mid-century stays strong
If you haven't bought your `60s-style walnut sideboard yet because you're worried about the longevity of this trend, fret not. Mid-century Modern isn't going anywhere for a while.
Retailers showed a deep commitment to the style, in both furniture and accessories. You can find original and faux versions of many iconic designs, such as the Noguchi amoeba-shaped glass and wood table, Eames' walnut and leather chairs, and Saarinen tulip dining tables, at Allmodern.com and Room and Board.
Furniture maker Porky Hefer of Cape Town, South Africa, has done a great group of turned-wood pendant fixtures modeled after children's spinning tops. The shapes echo those found in mid-century design, and they'd look great hung in multiples over a tailored wool sofa (West Elm).
The hues of the era -- olive, almond, chocolate, orange -- show up in soft furnishings, including throw pillows and curtains. But they're particularly striking in outsize art glass and ceramics, which you'll see lots of this season. The Blenko Glass Company, an icon of the `50s and `60s, is partnering with Rejuvenation this fall on a line of retro glass lamps. Pottery Barn has the hefty Clift wine jug table lamps; Crate & Barrel's got a new collection of reactive-finish and lacquered vases.
Orange, tomato, egg yolk, aqua, ebony and snow white -- some of the hues that define the crisp, often edgy graphic modern style. CB2 sets the tone with their bright orange and yellow steel home-office pieces, modern art rugs, and array of accent pillows. The Sakano, Snake and Shift pillows punch things up with bold graphics; so does the Crystal runner rug, with a multihued kaleidoscope pattern.
Chevrons, polka dots, ikat and broad stripes have carried over from spring and summer. Crate & Barrel's Alston and Olin collection of textiles features gold and graphite stripes on ivory backgrounds. Ikea's fall preview showed oversize polka-dot felt rugs in hot pink and lime, and cheerful red-and-white-dotted bedding,
At Design Within Reach, Eames' iconic molded plastic Eiffel chair comes in some new colors, including red, sky blue and sparrow, a soft charcoal that's one of the season's most on-trend hues.
Typography also has staying power as a decorative element in both accessories and wall art. Grandin Road has something a little different: cubbies in the shape of numbers and arrows.
The artisan communities of Asia and Africa continue to be prolific sources of decor, as affection for global style stays strong among retailers this season. India takes a star turn; watch for pierced and hammered metal objects, as well as silks embellished and printed with elephants, tigers and other ethnic motifs.
PB Teen and Urban Outfitters' colorful medallion, ikat and suzani textiles look fresh from the bazaar.
Zimbabwean Tonga baskets, Kuba cloth benches and Cape Town textured ceramics are part of West Elm's collaboration with South African designers.
Pier One and World Market have carved wall art and basketry.
Kilim-covered accessories such as pillows and coffee tables are less costly ways to add global elements; Safavieh makes an interesting trunk clad in a Southwest-style kilim.