Whether you’re helping sellers stage their home for fall buyers or just want to update a space, Interior Marketing Group Staging Director Christina Slater has all of the best tips for a seasonal makeover.

It’s that time of year when everyone’s returning from vacation and getting back into the regular routine. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to have the “same-old, same-old” home decor.

Whether you’re helping sellers stage their home for fall buyers or just want to update your own space, Interior Marketing Group Staging Director Christina Slater has all of the best tips for a seasonal makeover.

Slater has divided her fall trends into five categories. Check out her best tips for changing up your spaces.

Back to school

As you gear up for the new school year, put the focus on accents with an emphasis on playfulness and fun.

Interior Marketing Group

Slater’s back to school favorites include the following:

  • Chalkboard walls can come in any color, not just black. Blend your favorite colors with chalkboard paint, then use your chalkboard wall for grocery lists, school schedules, and more. Having a fun color allows your chalkboard wall to work for any time of year.
  • “We are obsessed with skateboard shelves — we do two or three in a row,” Slater said. “Get brackets from Ikea, spray paint the skateboards fun colors (or keep the natural pine), and stack kids books or little jars of colored pencils on top, or hang them in the mud room, and leave lunches on top. They’re exciting and playful, yet temporary — the skateboards aren’t even drilled in so you can still use them.”
  • “Peel-and-stick wallpaper in funky patterns is great for youth rooms, media rooms or powder rooms. When you get sick of a pattern, you peel it off and put a new one on. Safari themes, stripes, polka dots — they’re trendy and changeable.”

Autumn colors

Navy, chartreuse and rust scream fall and look fresh, according to Slater.

“Pillows are super easy for bringing in new colors. Keep your foundation neutral — white, gray, or oatmeal — then throw on and change pillows according to seasons and trends. Keep things interchangeable so that you can update your look for every season.”

You can also bring in new colors with throws on sofas and beds.

Cozy feels

Add texture with rich fabrics. Mohair, velvet, faux fur and knit textures read “cozy” and autumn, while linens and cottons are more summer textures. Use them at the foot of a bed or in the living room for a cozy, warm feeling.

“Giant knit blankets are still in — the chunkier the knit the better,” Slater said. “We love alpaca throws — they’re super seasonal and we use them in the fall/winter months. Alpaca pelts measuring around 36-inches-by-15-inches at the end of the bed or draped over a chair changes the whole look. We love the natural colors like oatmeal, linen or gray. The texture is what makes it seasonal.”

Seasonal swaps

“When it comes to staging we use fake plants so that they stay healthy-looking for potential buyers,” Slater said. “Of course, we love live plants — a succulent or banana leaf is something that can work all year. Giant oversized banana leaves provide a pop of green, and the feeling of life is so nice when you walk into a home. Florals feel more limited and seasonal, so we try to stay away from them in autumn.”

“Even in accessories you could have a bowl of acorns on your coffee table or orange and yellow leaves,” Slater said. IMG’s designers are really loving bare branches arranged in glass-blown vases.

“What would be really beautiful is a cool blue or orange vase with over-the-top, large, sculptural branches,“ Slater said.

Set the mood

Shorter days and cooling weather require that “cozy by the fire” feeling. Add dark-colored decor, wood accents, or trade sheer and linen curtains for heavier fabrics.

Here are some of Slater’s favorite decorative elements for fall.

  • Even if there’s no fireplace, a wicker basket of firewood makes you feel campfire-cozy.
  • When it comes to decorative accents, people either go overboard or go too minimal. For staging, the look needs to be universally appealing. “We create a good balance of adding accessories and accents — two pillows and a throw on a sofa, a coffee table with a stack of books, a vase, and one gold or sculptured accessory. It needs to be livable but balanced — not overdone, not too minimal.”
  • Gunmetal and brass tones are on-trend this year. “We’ve been seeing a lot of black accents with gunmetal this year. Natural finish pine wood with the gunmetal creates an organic, natural feel that’s really trending this year.”
  • Bouclé is a textured fabric made with yarn so it looks “pilly,” super-cozy and super-textured. “We’ve been seeing it on furniture like accent chairs, sofas and pillows. It’s really natural — everything in the design world is becoming more natural and organic feeling.”

According to Slater, design changes about every seven years. “I feel like we went from gold with crazy colors to rose gold and now the emphasis on environmentalism has brought in this natural, minimal, outdoorsy feel. It’s cozy, homey and really something that works for all seasons.”

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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