Fall Home Trends 2021 – Transition Through Halloween

This lovely Jo-Ann Fabrics tablescape incorporates many of 2021’s autumn trends: burnished metals, woods, creamy pumpkins, grayed leaves and muted plaids

Are you interested in home decor? I don’t have a big budget but I like adding touches to my home that make it feel updated.

If you can’t afford to change your whole decor, you could think about these colors and texures in throws, pillows, paint color, candle jars, table linens, or accent pieces.

A style that blends into the holidays…

If you love the restful and easy-going look that is in style this fall, you could also think about making your transition fall decor blend into your Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Christmas decorating. You could definitely take these trends through the winter holidays: natural accents like greenery and pinecones, creamy pumpkins, soft plaids, velvet furnishings, warm woods, soft metallic sheens. Less glitz; more simplicity. Monochromatic Christmas trees with fewer decorations in muted, earth tones will be big this year. The brilliant deep sapphire/navy colors appearing on walls and accent pieces (and clothing) this fall is also making an appearance on 2021 trendy trees with a deep blue decorating theme.

Home design reflects our emotions and stage of life 

I feel like the comforting, nostalgic themes so apparent in home design this fall are a response to the world-wide trauma we have been experiencing. Is it a coincidence that after the corona virus, young people are gravitating to styles that remind them of their grandparents?  This casual style is also a reflection of the stay-at-home conditions many of us experienced — working, studying and playing at home. People’s attitudes about global warming and the environment are also big influences on this look — where you see pieces that look like they were repurposed from other items or used instead of purchased new (although much of it is actually new). Eclectic, recycled and simple, homey looks tend to have a resurgence in times of economic difficulty.  The irony is to achieve this look, you actually have to spend some serious money! Or…do you?

DIY this style for less!

Don’t have any money? Some of these looks are DIY. Drive around and see what people throw out on the curb (like porch furniture).  Cruise around older, established neighborhoods with larger single family homes on a Sunday afternoon or right before trash day and you might snag yourself a free coffee table or bookcase.

For example, velvet furnishings, especially sofas and chairs, are very big now. And yes, a velvet chair is awesome in the fall and winter, but do you want it around forever? Maybe not. Take the Drew Barrymore velvet chair pictured below. Do you love it? Well, that costs over $400. Now, those tube chairs were everywhere (Ikea). You might have one. Or you can buy a new one at Walmart for $100 that is microfiber. Then, you  can get a velvet slip cover for a tube chair in that SAME shade for about $25 at Walmart.

There are lots of ways to get this style for less.  You can find great deals on furniture at estate sales, Good Will, Craigs List, yard sales and Facebook Marketplace and the Buy Nothing groups on Facebook.

A collection of treasures to be had from Facebook Marketplace

Or look by a dumpster in your apartment complex! I have a gorgeous, carved wooden dresser in my room that I rescued from the trash, my dining room chairs also were rescued from there, and my dining room table was a freebie on the Buy Nothing Facebook group. My sister repainted a long, 70 era chest of drawers and uses it as a buffet in her dining room; she stores linens and cutlery in the drawers and it looks fantastic. The great thing about these pieces is that they typically have “good bones.”  They are sturdy pieces made with wood and nails, not MDF and glue. And the rattan and wicker ones are typically not that heavy, so they may be easy to transport. These vintage pieces hold up well to every day use and respond favorably to a little refinishing. Mixing style eras, fixing up used furniture and updating pieces with paint or wallpaper are just some ways to achieve on-trend look for less money.

My point is — high end retailers are basically creating that recycled look — for $400 – $500 dollars — when you can often find free furniture and tchochkes. With a little clean-up,  fabric recovering or paint, you can recreate someone else’s trashed item into an amazing and on trend piece. Here are some trends to look for online/in stores or create yourself…

Drew Barrymore’s quirky home designs for Wal-Mart sell out quickly. They feature arty, feminine, “one-of-a-kind-but-it-actually-isn’t,” “look-what-I-found!” style (like the formally attired dog painting). The rattan pendant light is $69 and the the velvet side chair is $418.

Look for simplified, feminine designs with nostalgic or crafty touches, like old framed needlepoint art, applique, crochet throw blankets, quilts, chenille bed spreads, pottery, filmy white window sheers, and anything that looks vintage and is hand painted (like the tole black tray I gleefully rescued from the side of the trash this summer). These store-bought items you see at Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters and other high end stores look like you scored some one-of-a-kind finds at a rural yard sale or antique store. There is a definite boho vibe to this look that is less ” purple mandala” and more “cozy flea market” in Santa Fe colors.

This Fall 2021 Crate & Barrell kid’s room incorporates lots of fun, fall touches and spicy colors. The green wood chest of drawers is on point. And check out that yellow telephone!

Matchy-matchy furniture, bedding and lamps are out. In the Crate & Barrel bedroom above, you can see that the bed, side table and chest of drawers are inspired from distinctly different time periods.  The look is more casual and eclectic. What keeps these rooms from looking like a yard sale is minimizing clutter and keeping the styles simple and clean looking, with complementary or monochromatic, sophisticated color schemes — and VERY selectively choosing the right era pieces (and very few) — more 1970s.

This velvety lamp with in sage green with warm gold metallic accents and a nature-themed shade (sold separately) in spicy fall colors embodies many 2021 fall trends (Anthropologie).

A muted, soft grayed color palette: this October’s orange is a soft terra cotta, black has been replaced by pearly light gray, white is now cream, green is featured in shades from light sage to olive, the rose pink is pale and dusty, the black and white buffalo plaid of last year is gone and replaced with light gray and spicy tone plaids. There is the surprise of deep, saphhire blue in little touches like vases, glass pumpkins and candle jars.

Textiles include throwback-era favorites, like chenille (bedspreads), raffia, rope, burlap, canvas, crochet, pottery, leather and velvet.

Woods are very big this fall with an emphasis on reclaimed woods, natural looks and stains, sometimes in combinations of colors.

This reclaimed wood wall hanging from Brixon Geometric is sold on Etsy.

Rattan, caning, wicker and bamboo and other woven touches are still popular as incorporated in light fixtures, side tables, coffee tables, plant stands, and side boards.

Metallics look burnished, hammered or antiqued: golds and brasses and some silver. I’m seeing this color that’s not quite copper, brass or gold — but more like a blend of those tones. Not as pink as rose gold, but definitely warm. Like — a brassy gold?

The small scale and gold finish of these metal baskets make them on trend for this fall into winter. Display them on your open, wooden shelves in your kitchen. Line with a tea towel and put some apple or pumpkin muffins in them! Affordable, too! Dollar Tree ($1/each).

Wallpaper. Here is a selection from Drew Barrymore’s collection, Wal-Mart. Highly patterned wallpaper like this is great for accenting the walls of smaller spaces, like the inside of a walk-in closet or a powder room, or even the interior of a bookcase or cabinet. Notice the on-trend color of blue in the lamp and the rattan table. Paint colors for walls this fall are in earth tones — notably green in grayed tones, like sage and rosemary.

Natural touches are in. The look is plants, plants, plants. Not a fan of indoor plants but that’s what you see in the photos: lots and lots of plants. Even the kitchen cabinets are painted green in herbal colors (like sage and rosemary).  Not wild about dried flowers but they are making a small resurgence as is everything else 70s. Wall paper in wild florals and leafy motifs. Everywhere green leaves. Succulents are not as big this fall but still around.

Who needs cabinets? People are taking cues from tiny homes and going with open shelves. Kitchen subway tiles are getting replaced by more boho, colorful backsplashes — and lots o’ plants! There is clutter here but the uniform size/scale and colors of items make the shelves look neat and organized.

Accessories… Include the afore-mentioned plants, pottery, ceramics, squat, small round glass jars and vases, as well as patterned area rugs for those wood floors. The half-dipped look is still in, now in earth toned paints (pretty easy to achieve that DIY). The scale of these pieces is pretty small.  The look should be 70s but not 30s or 40s. This is not shabby chic or farmhouse. What else I’m seeing: a pre-digital sensibility to add that quirky, nostalgic flair: turntables and vinyl records, stacks of books, mid-game chess set displays, analog clocks and rotary telephones.

Check out Michael’s Craft stores accessories in warm fall colors – feather pillow, jars, bowls, dried flowers, wall accents.

Did you see any trend that spoke to you? What will you try this fall?

About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. Her blogs include Autumn in Virginia, Cool Yule Blog and You Can't Make This Stuff Up, among others. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.
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