Color combinations to inspire your fall

Take Mother Nature's cues for trendiest hues

Who would mix shades of orange and purple to decorate a home for fall?

Anyone who thinks like Andrea Vollf, an interior designer in Schaumburg, and takes cues from nature.

Asked to come up with a great color combination for autumn decor, Vollf produced purple, light green and golds to lighten a fall bouquet that starts with orange tones.

Those rich colors that make our homes warm and cozy are especially appreciated this time of year.

And colors appropriate to fall are in vogue, said Jeff Hester, vice president of Hester Painting & Decorating in Skokie.

Of course you're not going to paint your home for every season, but you can start with neutrals that Hester likes such as Benjamin Moore's Natural Wicker, a very light beige, for rooms where you seek serenity and relaxation, say bedrooms and family rooms. He prefers this color with a light wash or glaze of brown or a linen finish for depth, but says it works great on its own.

In rooms where you want a livelier feel foyers, kitchens or play rooms Hester has used Benjamin Moore's deeper maple syrup, which he describes as the orangish brown of pumpkin pie. He envisions this with a wash of gold in a foyer or powder room.

And then there's the dining room, where drama is popular. Hester suggests a wine color, such as Benjamin Moore's merlot. Washing it with a little gold fleck adds elegance.

Many people will be happy sticking with a palette of grays, browns and creams. But maybe you want more. Maybe you want to toss in some hues that keep your room lively throughout the long winter ahead.

Flowers, pillows, throws, candles and even a new chair can bring a lot of interest and seasonal change to your decor.

Painted furniture, whether an Early American antique with a warm red or mustard or the bright, wild and exotic works of MacKenzie-Childs and local artists like Petrine Svoboda of Glen Ellyn can add the perfect punches of color, says Lee Marks of Glen Ellyn. Marks and his wife, Judy, are founders of the Country Folk Art Festival, held each spring and fall in St. Charles.

Jeff Hester of Hester Painting & Decorating likes a neutral background perked up with colorful accessories. Courtesy Hester Painting & Decorating
If purple and orange tones look this fantastic in nature, try them in your home, says Andrea Vollf, an interior designer from Schaumburg. Courtesy Andrea Vollf Interiors
Orange in all its tones is a popular color for autumn. Courtesy Hester Painting & Decorating
Slate, terra cotta and mustard make the Tawny chair from Arhaus perfect for fall. It’s on sale for $1,500 at and can be seen at stores in Oak Brook and South Barrington. Courtesy Arhaus
This powder room demonstrates the importance of touches of black, especially when using bold colors. Courtesy Hester Painting & Decorating
  This display by Kaufman shows fall colors that can contribute to your palette. TANIT JARUSAN/
  Kaufman added bold colors of fall to a neutral foyer in this Lisle home. TANIT JARUSAN/
  Joan Kaufman, an interior designer from Naperville, chose a wine sectional and a copper metallic finish over the camel base of the walls of this great room in this Lisle home. She also had the tapestry above the fireplace made from a custom upholstery fabric whose many colors include ginger, copper, pomegranate and verdigris green. TANIT JARUSAN/
Vollf’s suggestions for this autumn were inspired by nature’s own colorful combinations. Courtesy Andrea Vollf Interiors
Find the right green, and it will work with fall colors. Courtesy Hester Painting & Decorating