How to Bring the Beautiful Colors of Fall into Your Home

The transition from summer to fall is as much a change of attitude as it is one of appearances. School and other activities re-start. The air becomes cooler and crisper, and Mother Nature brings out her vibrant palette of deep golds, burnished coppers, yellows and rusty reds. Most people just can't help feeling both invigorated and comforted by the predictable changes. Why leave all those lovely colors outside? Why not bring them indoors and enjoy them throughout the house?

Adding temporary fall colors to your home is especially easy if you already have a neutral theme going on inside, but you can incorporate a touch of autumn into almost any color scheme. Bring in some faux greenery such as forest green leaves, golden gourds, orange pumpkins, multi-colored flowers, bushes, vines and interesting branches with bright-red berries. A colorful bouquet in the foyer will welcome visitors and immediately convey the friendly ambiance of your home. Perch other autumn arrangements on the fireplace mantle, on high furniture, on side tables or even in light fixtures. How about a creative fall centerpiece for your dining-room table? For the kitchen, put out bowls of mini-pumpkins, charming little gourds, fresh vegetables, oranges and lush red apples. Don't forget to hang a welcoming fall wreath on your front door. Buy a pre-made one or design your own from artificial flowers, fruit, pine cones or any other variety of nature's bounty.

This is the perfect time to pull out a cozy throw for the sofa or your favorite reading chair. Some pillows in solid cranberry red, velvety gold, rich chocolate and deep green will provide supporting accents. If your decor allows, add a pillow or two in one of the familiar autumn patterns. You may want to consider temporarily replacing some of your wall art with more seasonal pictures and artwork displays. A well-placed piece can bring fall's unique charm into a room in a moment. Don't forget to change out your candles. It's time for the reds and oranges to replace the summer pinks and whites. Switching your breezy summer draperies to heavier, textured curtains in fall colors will also add warmth to any room.

In addition to the tradition of fall house cleaning, this time of year lends itself to fresh painting and more permanent interior decorating. Without the heat of summer or the frigid temperatures of winter, you can open your windows while you work your magic with your paintbrush. The popular decorating colors for 2012 are great matches for fall decorating themes. Grays, browns and blends of these two colors are the current favorite shades. Consider the rich old-world effect of dark-brown leather furniture against charcoal walls with warm-red, soft-gold or cheery-orange accents. Peacock blue wakes up a brown-gray decor that could appear a bit tired or dull. Benjamin Moore offers a unique "Firenze" color that is reminiscent of Venetian plaster. This softened raspberry, when paired with weathered orange and lavender accents creates a newer version of autumnal beauty.

Fall is the perfect time to redress your home and yard for cooler weather. Warm colors will "cozy-up" your home psychologically and permit you to keep the thermostat down a little longer. Whether you make temporary changes or more permanent ones, enjoy the wonderful palette that this season provides. Let its reds and greens carry you right on into the holiday season. You'll have a head start on everyone else.