Fall Interior Design Report


I hesitate to call them trends, as that can be a negative notion to some, a sign of instant obsolescence. What’s streaming through cyberspace and still in the showrooms on the one hand leads us to believe that we’ll continue to have animal horns on our walls, fragments of architectural carvings above our doorways and on the coffee table, and industrial steampunk clocks above our mantels. These virtual and real catalogs are straining for ideas. 

Reality is far more serene, sensible and subdued. With a refined eye to enduring style, we see gray as the new neutral and brown as the new black. Some of the recent riot of colors settle down to off-colors like orange gone to soft pomegranate, magenta to grayed lavender and a keen eye for white in its many guises. As in fashion, black and white is always a classic, blue into navy forever a favorite. Bright hues function as interior accents.

Designers and manufacturers have been looking to fashion runways for some time. Lighting continues to emulate jewelry. Ringed table bases look like an armful of bangles. Chandeliers fall in necklace-like links. New textiles reflect what’s been on the runways, mixing prints in a mad Prada kind of way.

Digital art allows drawings to show up on textiles for fashion and furniture, as in René Gruau illustrations on Zinc Textiles or Zandra Rhodes’ last collection of dresses printed with illustrations from her sketchbooks.

Designers are in love with the earth, the outdoors, the colors of powdered sand and slate, the richness of precious metals and the clarity of crystals. The legs for chairs and case goods are more likely to be mid-century chunky than 18th century gazelle-like. New designs favor bronze and burnished surfaces, copper instead of gold.

Architects continue to design furniture, while nearly all fashion designers are creating home collections, including Ralph Rucci, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta. 

Surrounding all of this, the most satisfying influence is the sensitivity and detail gleaned from the natural world.

There is still a trend toward lots of silk [for carpets] and designs with vertical striations. My new hand-knotted and woven wool/silk carpets, inspired by nature, create an arid textural sensation through the design and construction. 
— STEPHANIE ODEGARD, Creative Director/President, Stephanie Odegard Collection


Heavy Tuscan is tired! There’s a return to handcrafted furniture and fabrics that are intricate, visually light and created with love. Color pops when used against a grounded neutral background. Putty is always a winner. 
— KEVIN C. HALL, Senior Interior Designer, Kris Lajeskie Design Group


The trend for fall is cozy comfort and layering. I dress homes the way I dress myself: with layers and bits of artifacts mixed with the new. This way, home interiors always are personal and forever chic. 
— PAUL SCOTT SILVERA, Founder, Scout

It’s all about the mountains for the fall. Rich colors and textures are making a big comeback. Pops of color are in to break up the monotony of too many neutrals. I’m doing another collection for Palecek called Aspen, and it’s lodge inspired. My fabric collection for Kravet, out next year, also is heavily mountain inspired. 
— JEFFREY ALAN MARKS, One of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Decorators” and author of The Meaning of Home

It’s easier to dress my table than myself.
My table never has a bad hair day. I’ve been obsessed for current seasons with developing complex color combinations that result in a color you can’t actually pinpoint. It works in almost any environment. Table dressing is a way to express yourself and is best when it can reflect the mood of your room interior. I get to provide the best of both worlds with my Chilewich product line, a rug below the table and placemats on top. 
— SANDY CHILEWICH, Founder/Creative Director, Chilewich Sultan

People are becoming ever more design conscious, with access to high-quality products. In both fashion and interiors, we are looking at objects and shapes in a different way. There is a blurring of lines with sheer fabrics, layering of sheer over solids, laser-cut felt layered with sheer fabric, laser-cut leather layered with lace or crochet. Jewelry and furniture lines are blurred, combining the unexpected, as in a rough wood table embedded with crystals or a modern table inlaid with malachite as in the 1960s furniture of Ado Chale. Black and white still are prevalent in fashion and interiors, as are ecru and soft taupe, all accented with bright color. 
— ROBIN WILSON CARRIER, Robin Wilson Interior Design

I look at fashion first and where the economy is going. For fall, I see rich color and copper accents. I see an update of patterns like hound’s-tooth used for upholstery in a contemporary way. Random-width floorboards are popular. New composite materials are look-alikes for old materials. A mix of patterns looks new. I think wallpaper is very hot and a great way to redesign a room. 
— MOLLY PROUL, Founder, MMP Home


Fashion inspires interior trends. The colors of the catwalk transfer to the walls of the home. Our colors are often rooted in history, but we also take inspiration from trends in decorating. Both Yellowcake and St. Giles [see “Hot Finds & Cool Stuff” in the September issue of SDH/GL] fit the color-blocking neon trend from fashion and home; but with a hint of black, they retain the Farrow & Ball signature look. Grays continue to be the dominant neutral, suited to urban living and contemporary styling. We’ve added popular cooler, bluer grays and Gustavian grays, driven by the trend for Scandinavian-style interiors for contemporary living. Our color card only ever contains 132 colors. When new ones are added, older ones are retired. We always keep our neutrals and color families, so the card is easy to use. Our color experts use information from consultants, showrooms, customers and long-term decorating trends to develop new colors. 
— SARAH COLE, Creative Director, Farrow & Ball 


More often than not, interior trends follow what’s happening on the runway. This season is not an exception. Emerald green is stronger than ever in the creative industry. Pair it with other jewel tones, such as garnet, amethyst and sapphire. You can go bold with it as a dominant color in a room or as little accents — perhaps a malachite box or a pillow — and it looks good all year round. Hound’s-tooth and other suiting fabrics have always been a favorite of mine. It’s a big trend this fall,
and they always bring a tailored look to any interior. 
— NATHAN TURNER, designer and author of Nathan Turner’s American Style 


I am the Queen of White, so it is hard to see the future color palette. I like white or rich, creamy-colored baths; and I love stone with an active surface. My personal favorite colors for both fashion and home are ones I call mysterious or hard to identify — ones that are green or gray, taupe or gray, blue or gray. Natural materials are suitable for any room in the house. Stone is mysterious and magical, each a unique piece of art. In the bath, I see a renewed interest in beautiful and authentic finishes for fittings and other metal accessories. Mixing finishes on fittings, lights and other objects gives a bath personality. In both the bath and kitchen, I love to layer and mix materials, textures and finishes. It elevates a space and creates a personal look. 
— BARBARA SALLICK, Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Design, Waterworks

Design trends mirror fashion. Black and white is always right. Classic print fabrics are updated with bold color. Textured fabrics and leather provide comfort and durability on upholstered goods. Warm colors are seen for walls. Metal and metallic finishes are the choice for hardware and accessories. LED lighting is at the forefront for aging stylishly and for its sustainability. 
— LYNN MORRIS, Senior Designer, Touch of Tradition

I am not a trend follower. I believe in taking the classics and looking for them from new points of view — new colors, new scale and added cool details. When I look at the market and what is presented, I always aim for the best quality and proportion, as well as finish. For fall, look for bringing back brass, handmade items, dressmaker details and color! 
— ALESSANDRA BRANCA, Fabric designer for Schumacher

Leather makes a comeback, enhanced with metallic finishes. Traditional ribbed and ruffled details are seen in upholstered furniture and window treatments. Old meets new in a dynamic statement of renewable, recycled and twisted interpretations of alternative interior design that crosses multiple generations. Think “design for life.” — BEPPIE MOSTERT, President, Living Design Interiors

Living green walls are a big trend. They are the ideal design for aging in place. It brings the garden up to an accessible level for elderly individuals. Use them on
interior or exterior walls. Plants improve air quality and reduce stress. 
— DALE MONDAY KOLINS, Owner, Design Directions

Photo caption: Nanimarquina’s Earth rug of hand-spun jute is from the Natural 2013 Collection. 

Fall Interior Design Report by Phyllis Van Doren

Categories: Home Design