Spice Up Your Space


Go beyond traditional autumn décor.

SpiceUpSpaceFreshening your décor for fall? Before you break out the garlands of dried leaves and baskets of dried gourds, consider going in a different direction this year. Here, interior designer Chet Pourciau explains how to incorporate on-trend colors, patterns and other design elements for a fall look that will have you racing home to snuggle up in your space.

Instead of relying on conventional fall hues like pumpkin, cinnamon, chestnut and other tasty hues, add a juicy splash of unexpected color to your scheme. “The 2014 Pantone Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid, which is a beautiful plummy-purple,” Pourciau says. “It’s more of an accent color, not a main color.”

Pantone’s fall 2014 color is Cypress Green, a muted but powerful tone that evokes an evergreen forest. “It’s one of those transitional colors that can lend itself to so many different periods and design aesthetics,” Pourciau says. “With dark green, when you pair it with a lighter color like the Color of the Year, they work really brilliantly together.”

To avoid investing heavily in a color you “might not love by next year,” Pourciau suggests adding color with small accent pieces, like area rugs, blankets and pillows. “Pillows are the easiest way to transition any type of home décor, giving it that new, fresh feeling,” he says. “For fall, you can do a little more — change the sheets on your bed, and the towels in your bathroom. Spend as little as possible, but get the biggest bang for your buck.”

Despite our subtropical climate, New Orleans, like so many other cities, is in the midst of a love affair with freestanding fireplaces. These statement pieces are a gorgeous, but costly way to create a family hearth.

Pourciau suggests playing with color instead. In particular, jewel tones like sapphire, ruby, emerald and topaz, are another way to add visual excitement while still maintaining the welcoming warmth essential to fall furnishings. “They’re just daring and dramatic at the same time,” Pourciau says, noting that while at market this year, he spotted these colors making an appearance on lacquered furniture. “It takes a really special person with a really special house to pull that off,” he says.

Another lower-cost option is a simple light bulb change. Edison-style bulbs, named for (who else?) Thomas Edison, reveal intricate, decorative filaments and offer a warm, coppery glow. “The inside is where the really beautiful, dramatic part of it is,” Pourciau says. “It has that warm light to it, but, at the same time, it’s cool to the touch and it doesn’t burn as much electricity.”


Wait, what? Though plaid or houndstooth may seem a more natural pattern for autumn, florals and other summer- or spring-inspired fabrics can make a graceful transition to fall.

The key to nailing this trend is correct coloring. “You can get away with doing anything in certain periods, depending on the color that you use,” Pourciau says. “You definitely don’t want to do something bright. You want to do something dark: a black, navy or indigo print.”