Decorating your home for the fall season
With the days growing colder, which tends to happen quicker than we're ready for, New Yorkers will trade their air conditioners for heavy blankets, their sun visors for wool-knit caps. But we'll also need to make some changes to our pads. Here are some tips from experts to give your home that warm hearth feeling that's perfect for fall.
Before fall decorating can begin, New Yorkers must first figure out where to store their summer gear, and usually in a limited space.
Betsy Helmuth, of Affordable Interior Design, recommends storing beach towels, bathing suits and other summery fabric items in suitcases, especially for those who hunker down and travel less over the winter.
Cumbersome objects, such as beach umbrellas and chairs, can be stowed under beds, as long as they don't disturb a room's feng shui, she said.
"You can put things under your bed if they give you restful sensations," she explained.
Helmuth added that items like summer rugs don't have to be stored, but instead can be layered under thicker, textured winter carpets.
"Rather than totally swapping out your old carpet, you can layer another carpet on top of it to get a rich, flush look," she said.
Patricia O'Shaughnessy, who owns an interior design company that carries her name, said that when New Yorkers design their homes, they should opt for furniture that can double as storage, which you can find at stores like Resource Furniture in midtown.
In addition, she recommends storing items as high as possible, on shelves just under the ceiling or at the top of closets.
One of the easiest ways to design a home for a specific season is with color.
O'Shaughnessy said orange and yellower shades of red are big right now.
Sumac, a pumpkin color from Pratt & Lambert Paints, is her favorite.
"It's very, very livable," she said of the paint. "It's a very delicious, wonderful pumpkin color."
Her favorite place to display the color is the dining room, she added.
"Paint is a really easy, economical way to transform a space," O'Shaughnessy said. "If people are willing to paint a section, even a wall, in their dining room or dining area, that can be a very cheap way to make a huge difference."
Helmuth said interior design takes its color cues from the fashion world.
"Buying a cool throw pillow in a hot color or a new lamp in a trendy color," such as oxblood, citron or navy -- deeper tones for the season -- is an easy way to change a room, she said.
Both designers recommend bringing the "outside in" for autumn, and opting for accessories with lots of texture.
They also said that switching out pictures in frames to seasonal photos of loved ones in a snowstorm or playing in a pile of leaves is an easy way to change a room.
O'Shaughnessy recommends putting branches (cleaned with mild detergent on a damp paper towel) in a tall vase to give a room a rustic feeling.
"Design dining rooms, dining areas and the accessories in the living room to something organic in feeling and bring the bittersweet and autumnal leaves indoors, in feeling," she said.
She also suggests changing out lampshades and mirrors to ones that look more rustic.
"Accessories such as lamps and mirrors can be the jewelry of the room," O'Shaughnessy said.
Helmuth is a supporter of putting birch logs in fireplaces, if you're a lucky New Yorker who has one, and placing candles with seasonal scents like pumpkin and cinnamon around a room instead.
"People are always wanting to be cozy and comfy," she said.
Another way to achieve that effect is by adding to a sofa a leather, suede, or other heavier-textured pillow, such as those available at Restoration Hardware in lower Manhattan, along with a chenille throw or warm blanket.
"Putting just one or two elements can just change the whole feel of a room, versus swapping out everything," she said.
For example, "fill the bowl on your table with seasonal apple or pomegranate ... in lieu of getting fresh flowers that are fun in the summer and spring."