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Autumn decorating rustic living room industrial design ideas

Autumn Decorating Do’s and Don’ts: Texture, Pattern and Scents

A few weeks back, I showcased the colour trends that are big in Autumn decorating for 2016. In this post, we’re taking a look at the textures, patterns and scents you can rock in your home now that the weather is getting cooler (and Lordy am I elated that summer has come to an end!).

A lot goes into making a room feel ‘complete’. You’ll often hear industry types – myself included – bang on about changing up your colours from season to season, but we can’t overlook the other important elements. Texture, pattern and scent all play a huge part in making a room feel moody and autumnal, so they’re important components to think about at this time of year.

Last week I wrote a post on why you should redecorate each season, and the ideas in this post will expand on that concept. Because the textures, patterns and scents you rocked in summer won’t necessarily work in autumn and winter. So let me take you on the journey, tell you what I rock in my own home, and give you some ideas for yours.

Autumn decorating rustic living room industrial design ideas

Autumn / Winter Textures

The more varying textures you have in your home, the more welcoming, cosy and cocooning it will feel. In summer, it’s not so important to make your interior feel that rich and inviting, because you spend more time outdoors knocking back a few Savvy B’s in the sun (or is that just me?).

In Autumn, though, we move indoors, we flick the kettle on (or crack open a shiraz), and spend more time on the couch. And when we do this, we need to change up some of the textures. The first thing I do is bring out the throws and cushions in faux furs and thick knits. These materials instantly add warmth and a sense of sumptuousness.

Velvet is another great material to bring out in Autumn, especially in a warm tone like maroon or mustard yellow. And when it comes to tassels and other embellishments, you can never have enough. These smaller details feel right at home in an Autumn setting, so don’t be afraid of adding some more ‘bells and whistles’ to the scene.

Outside of sofa dressing, look to plush rugs (if you’ve got the guts to rock a shag, do it!) and don’t be afraid to bring in leather, rustic and battered woods, aged terracotta pots, warm metallics like brass and tinted glassware.

You can see from the imagery in this post (courtesy of H&M), that combining soft and hard elements can be done successfully if you focus on getting the balance between the two correct.

“I don’t want to come into your home in Autumn and see a pineapple pattern anywhere. I’ll do a surprise visit with no notice, so don’t let me catch you”.

Leather armchair with faux fur throw on The Life Creative Autumn Decorating

Autumn / Winter Patterns

It’s probably not as huge a priority as changing up your textures, but there are definitely patterns that look distinctly summery and those that are less so. For example, I don’t want to come into your home in Autumn and see a pineapple pattern anywhere. I’ll do a surprise visit with no notice, so don’t let me catch you. I’ve discussed this on the blog before 😉

The same goes for bolder, more geometric prints and anything that feels completely tropical like a palm leaf motif or an anchor. I know that some will say you can make any scheme timeless, but there’s really nothing warm and inviting about a white, red and blue nautical artwork (in my humble opinion).

I like an Autumn space to feel somewhat calmer, which means that bright, bold and visually jarring patterns are laid to rest until Spring arrives. That’s not to say you can’t sit a patterned cushion on your sofa against a block colour, but I trust you know what I mean when I say that you just have to be careful here.

In Autumn, I look to softer, floral patterns in tones of pink, purple, brown, grey, or warm yellow. They feel rich and lively, but they don’t whack you across the face the moment you walk in the door.

Rustic candelabra and candles Autumn decorating ideas on The Life Creative

Autumn / Winter Scents

Scent plays a huge role in creating mood. More than people think. For me, I treat the scents in my home like I treat my colognes; some are made for summer/day, others more winter/evening.

For example, the thought of walking into a room in Autumn that smells of coconut and lime is positively bonkers if you ask me. At my house, Autumn is all about cracking out scents that are more more musky, earthy, rich and spicy. I’ll pop some imagery below with a list of which candle types I love to rock in Autumn, so you can get an idea of what I mean.

I recently wrote a post admitting to owning 39 scented candle varieties at home, so trust me when I say that every one has a part to play in my home throughout the year 😉

Of course, if candles present some fire danger (small kids and pets might make them problematic), you can use diffusers around the house as an alternative. I have three in my home at the moment (in addition to the 39 candles, which is kind of hilarious the more I think about it), and they are divine too. I just put mine up high so the cats can’t get to them and knock them over.

My favourite candle scents to burn in Autumn

Australian Candle Brands Scented Candles for Autumn on The Life Creative

Top Row:
Honey & Glow Beeswax Statement Candle
Love Ludie Alpha Candle
Zen Moments Apple Crumble Candle

Bottom Row:
Tanda Modern French Vanilla Bourbon Candle
Sassy Soy Vanilla Candle
Cinque Candle Co Brown Sugar & Fig Candle

How do you approach Autumn decorating? Do you have favourite scents or textures you use in the cooler months? Drop a comment below and share. I’d love to hear from you!


Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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