By Kate De Palma
When you think about harvest colors, you probably think about the colors of falling leaves — browns, reds, and oranges, perhaps with some yellow and green thrown in. All together, these colors are the perfect setting for your November décor and Thanksgiving tablescape. But if you’re a sucker for harvest colors, sweater weather, and everything else about fall, you may find it hard to make the transition from harvest décor to holiday décor. Sure, December is time for a whole new color scheme, but do you really have to get rid of all signs of orange, red, and brown just because they’re part of your harvest color palette? Of course not.
Before you get ready to put away all of your autumn décor until next November, let’s talk about how to decorate with harvest colors no matter what time of year it’s. This article is here to help, bringing you ideas on how to incorporate some of your favorite harvest colors into your design scheme year-round.
While orange accents are practically a necessity paired up with yellows and reds in harvest décor, it’s a color that tends to be neglected the rest of the year because people are scared of its intensity. Why not throw caution to the wind and feel free to let this bright color shine year-round?
Make orange your new accent color against cool grays, light browns, and tan, and bring it into the living room, kitchen, or anywhere you’re looking to foster an energetic, lively feel. Just keep the orange pieces small (throw pillows, dishes, artwork, etc.) because it’s true that this vibrant color can take over fast. If you’re worried about orange overload, mute it a bit by going for more of a burnt orange in your décor. With less yellow in it, this darker orange shade won’t overwhelm the eye and can, therefore, be used more freely with curtains, an accent wall or two, a sectional. Pair it up with a navy or dusty blue for an attractive, modern take on the more classic blue and white.
Brown may sound like a dull color to use in your design scheme when you don’t consider all of its shades and nuances, but it’s at the heart of harvest colors because it’s made up of all of them — reds, oranges, and even yellows. Like pretty much any other color, shades of brown (with delicious names like caramel, gingerbread, pecan, cinnamon, and chocolate) can vary dramatically. Plus, there are plenty of options when it comes to colors that go with brown.
So, as you expand on the brown in your home décor, consider whether you’d like a shade with plenty of red in it, like a sienna or chestnut, or one that’s more orange like a caramel or tawny. Caramel is particularly on trend right now thanks to its beautiful golden hues and undeniable warmth it brings to a room. Pair caramel with accent colors like terracotta (think a rich red-orange), platinum gray, and moss green. Or, keep the browns coming with a color scheme ranging from chocolate to a light tan. You’ll be amazed by what shades of brown can do you for you, and you’ll love the warmth and simplicity of keeping a room monochromatic for a change.
As you work to find somewhere to put away all of your fall decorations, why not think about thrifty ways to repurpose your fall décor and keep some storage space free? One of the places to do that’s with anything you have lying around that’s red.
Red is a super versatile color, especially around November and December when it can easily bridge the transition between harvest decorations and Christmas decorations. So don’t put away your red décor just yet — it’s a staple of both the classic holiday color palette as well as that rustic color scheme you’ve always wanted. Red linens and that basket you were using for autumn décor can be repurposed to create a winter tableau on your entry table or buffet. Or, embrace this passionate color further with larger pieces like curtains and bedspreads. Make red the star of the show against an easy palette of white, browns, and neutrals, or play it off sage green or steel gray for some extra drama.
If you really want to keep the harvest color scheme going year-round — perfect for anywhere you want a dash of rustic or a cabin color scheme — pair up a dark or burnt red with mustard yellow, taupe, and forest green. Now, who said you can’t decorate with autumn colors just because?
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kate De Palma