Fall tends to bring about changes big and small, from transitions in the weather and the anticipation of holidays to wardrobe shifts and a growing preference for pumpkin spiced everything. And there’s nothing like the turn of seasons to make you want to hunker down at home—and maybe along with that, spruce up your space.
While interior design isn’t generally about fast-moving trends, there tend to be shifts toward certain styles and aesthetics based on the season and general mood of our lives and the world around us. Interior designer Tara Bernerd, who runs her eponymous interior architecture studio and is known for meticulously designing the spaces of cool hotels, houses and yachts would agree. “I’ve never really believed in trends, which, by their nature can be so transient, and instead I revere those designs that stand the test of time,” she says. “Having said this, I sense that without a doubt, interiors matter now more than ever before. The consequences of what we have been through over the past year and a half have put a real emphasis on our homes and our interior environment.”
Most recently, Bernerd designed the interiors of the newly opened Thompson Hollywood hotel, mixing the old school glamour of the neighborhood’s history with contemporary touches, rich textures and midcentury accent pieces. She finds inspiration in a vibrant array of sources that range from various eras to locales in vastly different time zones. “My influences come from architecture, film and indeed sometimes fashion,” she says. “The early palettes of Yves St. Laurent, the Bauhaus movement and mid-century furniture design are all constant sources of inspiration, as well as an intrigue in design emanating from Scandinavia and Brazil.”
We asked Bernerd to share her favorite interior design themes for creating a warm, inviting space this season. From textured accessories and splashes of color to sculptural shapes and verdant accents, here are the best furniture styles and decor items for a timelessly designed home.
Dashes Of Bold Color
Neutrals are nice, but there’s nothing like additions of color to inject some personality into a room. “I think we will see the use of color re-emerging and perhaps in a bold manner, which brings a real confidence to a room or a space,” says Bernerd. “[I’m] drawn to blocky, stronger colors that are somewhat monogamous to that color, so for example we may use a different shade of green and different textures, rather than going for a more rainbow inspired palette.”
A Timeless Accent Chair
Available in myriad colors, fabrics and wood finishes, this accent chair provides a great way to add a dose of color to an otherwise muted living room.
Added Texture For Visual Interest
“When using blocky colors, vary the shade of your chosen color and bring in different textures, mixing tweeds with velvets, linens with corduroy,” says Bernerd. Along with a fall-worthy hue, the subtle flange and soft velvet provide added texture to this copper-hued pillow. Pair it with similar colored pillows in different fabrics (as pictured above) for some layering oomph.
Besides adding depth and dimension to your space, this handwoven wool rug is just plain cozy—perfect for the cooler season.
Midcentury Styles As A Timeless Classic
“I have a passion for the midcentury because of its character and personality,” says Bernerd. “This can also be found in looking for interesting shapes or organic structure…in the form of furniture, such as over-scaled, chunky tufting.” She recommends finding vintage pieces and making them your own by re-covering the cushions or adding new varnish to a credenza, but there are also plenty of unique pieces to be found whether new or pre-loved.
The exaggerated tufting on this couch makes it that much more inviting, along with the on-trend cozy bouclé fabric (that happens to hold up nicely despite how delicate it looks). Plus, the included pillows add a fun, youthful touch to balance out the elevated look.
It’s never not a good idea to bring greenery indoors. “Planters, so typical of mid-century design, bring the feeling of arriving in a very glamorous oasis in the heart of the city,” says Bernerd.
Besides being a total statement piece, this industrial-inspired side table helps ground the look of even the most whimsical living room.
Statement Pieces On Display
Whether you’re a minimalist or collector, personal accents help make a home feel, well, like home. “For me, good design is all about layers and one of these important final layers is dressing the space,” says Bernerd. “[You can do this] by curating and displaying your favorite objects on your bookcase, credenza or coffee table.”
Everyday Shapes Made Larger Than Life
Just as you’d do with clothing for fall, thoughtful layering is key for sophisticated home design. “The key to dressing a bookcase is all about the mix of objects,” says Bernerd. “I like to mix books with vases, photo frames and bowls, or other objet d’art. Group the books together, three or four at a time, laying larger books flat on the shelf.”
Gold Accents In Various Sizes
“This is your moment to have fun and show off your most cherished pieces,” says Bernerd. Available in a set of five for endless tabletop mixing and matching options, these gilded bowls are like jewelry for your bookcase.
Colored Glass For Dressing Up Flowers
The elegant shape and hue of this mouth-blown vase makes it worthy of a spot on your shelf, whether filled with flowers or not.
Terrazzo Touches For An Industrial-Chic Aesthetic
“With our love of industrial finishes, terrazzo is something of a design theme that has been used in various forms throughout the hotel,” says Bernerd. “[It gives] the space a true sense of laid-back luxury.” Fortunately, you don’t need to renovate to incorporate this eye-catching material into your home—add it via lighting, furniture and accessories to juxtapose against softer, more feminine pieces.
Fun Yet Functional Lighting
The slightly enlarged terrazzo pattern gives this lamp an artful vibe that comes across whether with the soft, ambient lighting turned on or left off.
A Versatile Table
Organically speckled verrazzo is by nature very sturdy, so it makes sense that in furniture form it works just as easily both indoors and out, like this version from Anthropologie.