Fall decor tips that have noth­ing to do with pump­kins

Texarkana Gazette - - FEATURES - By Cindy Dampier

Driv­ing down a city al­ley the other day, a flash of fur caught my eye. Nope, it wasn’t an­other chim­panzee-sized rat. It was a for­merly prized pos­ses­sion: a faux Moroc­can Beni Ou­rain-style rug, pale and shaggy with a dark di­a­mond pat­tern, a once-bold ac­cent that had im­bued its owner’s apart­ment with of-the-mo­ment style. Un­til that mo­ment passed. Or the dog had one ac­ci­dent too many.

What­ever the rea­son, all trends must pass, and fall is a time when we look around and re­assess the house we are about to cozy up in for the fore­see­able fu­ture. (When is spring, any­way?) That’s when we no­tice the art­work we still haven’t hung, the pil­lows that aren’t quite the color they used to be or the rug that’s no longer as chic as we thought it was.

This is why, DIY dec­o­ra­tors, de­sign­ers wisely ad­vise us against trends: “I ac­tu­ally try to steer clear of trends,” says Chicago de­signer Sum­mer Thorn­ton. “They’re more likely to look dated in a few years.” Still, if you’re ready for a fall up­date this year, Thorn­ton and fel­low Chicago de­signer Amy Kartheiser weighed in on some of the fresh ideas that are float­ing around right now.

Try a mel­low yel­low. Terra cotta is poised to take over from ‘mil­len­nial’ pink as the color of the mo­ment, but soft yel­low might be a bet­ter bet for an ac­cent color that looks cool now and has stay­ing power.

“Sure, some col­ors be­come wildly overused and pop­u­lar,” says Thorn­ton. “But I think any color can feel fresh if it is used in a new way, be­cause it’s more about the com­bi­na­tion of col­ors and how they work to­gether than any sin­gle color.”

Yel­low can mix with terra cotta or add a spark to blues. “I don’t like bright, sunny yel­low,” says Kartheiser, “but I love golden yel­low. It’s very warm and cozy, and it also gets into that brass color that you see ev­ery­where. There’s some­thing com­fort­ing about it. Ev­ery­thing comes around,” says Kartheiser, “and I just feel that it’s a color that’s come around.”

Get into (post­mod­ern) shape. Geo­met­ric shapes have been a huge de­sign trend for sev­eral years, but it’s time for a twist. The ab­stract art of the 1980s is in­flu­enc­ing ev­ery­thing from fab­ric and wall­pa­per prints to me­tal wall sculp­tures to so­fas with curved backs. “I’m pulling el­e­ments and in­spi­ra­tion from the late 1800s up through the 1980s and ev­ery­thing in be­tween,” says Thorn­ton. “I think peo­ple are branch­ing out more and pulling from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.”

Go wall­pa­per-crazy. And speak­ing of the ’80s: “The wallpapers of the ’80s are com­ing back,” says Kartheiser. “We had wall­pa­per in ev­ery sin­gle room grow­ing up.” The de­sign world, she says, has been bring­ing that idea back, and it’s catch­ing fire.

Hang a por­trait. Whether you have your own pri­vate Lou­vre or just a care­fully cho­sen piece or two, con­sider adding a por­trait to your mix of art­work. “I think there’s some­thing about peo­ple’s faces that en­gages you or draws you in,” says Kartheiser. “Think about Mona Lisa— how many peo­ple have talked about that por­trait of this woman?” The un­veil­ing of the of­fi­cial por­traits of Michelle and Barack Obama ear­lier this year sparked even more in­ter­est in the art form, she says.

Tri­bune News Ser­vice

■ Want a fresh look in the liv­ing room? Curved so­fas are hot this fall.

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