Home And Decor Trends Fall And Winter 2011/2012

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It almost feels like a shame to even think about fall when there is still a little bit left of summer, but as much as I want it to be summer forever, the change of seasons is around the corner and before we know it, we’ll be curling up in front of the fire with a glass of red wine while the snow is blowing sideways outside the windows (that doesn’t sound so bad, actually).

Trend forecasters are always working several seasons ahead, and the trends for home decor and accessories for this autumn were “decided” on quite a while back. There are slight variations depending on where in the world you live, but there are also a striking number of similarities. Muted colors, natural materials, handmade and only buying what you actually need seems to be a common thread everywhere.


The big name when it comes to color is of course Pantone, and their home colors for this fall definitely have that warm, cozy and soft feel.

I love the muted green, deep burgundy and pale pink in this palette. The fashion colors (women’s on the left and men’s to the right)

are equally appealing, and just as suitable for the home if you ask me. I have seen teal being named one of the top decor colors this fall again and again, and the burnt sienna and cedar are definitely in line with what’s forecasted in Europe.

Here are some of the early fall catalogs I’ve received recently; check out the colors – spot on, aren’t they?


At Formex (the largest fair for Nordic design, held twice a year), the fall trend is called “Cozy Minimalism”; it is influenced by Nordic and Japanese design, and the focus is on the beauty in handicrafts and natural materials. They theorize that with all the conflicts and natural disasters happening around the world, we seek comfort in a cozy home that provides warmth, balance, companionship, and harmony.

Pure, natural, tactile materials such as wood, leather, wool, suede, terra cotta are in, as is a modern retro look with restrained, masculine and minimalistic decor. Colors include earth tones, warm shades of red and “vegetable-inspired” hues, with copper as the most popular accent color. Fall patterns are tartan, tweed, stripes (including chevron) and ethnic motifs.

Here in the US, the trend is a little bit less austere and we will see plenty of embellishments such as beading, tassels, and feathers (which are also popular in jewelry this fall).


The trend forecasters at Heimtextil (the largest international trade fair for home textiles, heldin Germany once a year) have divided up the trends into four categories:

Sobriety – where the keywords are longevity, quality, significance and sustainability.
Sub-categories include serenity, new school, classic modernity and minimalist luxury.

Sounds good, but what does it mean? It’s their way of saying that we want handcrafted,authentic quality products in a clean and simple design that we can make an emotional connection with.

Mix-Mash – Global know-how, craftsmanship, innovation, functionality.
Sub-categories: Experimental, cultural hybrid, technicraft, treasure and trash

In this category, we are turning old into new, inspired by ethnic patterns and designs from all over the world. Artistic designs are blended with cultural heritage and local craftsmanship.

Utility – Simplicity, purity, accessibility, modesty
Sub-categories: Makeshift, utility lux, workwear, industrial accents

A response to the excess of both information and products, the financial crisis, and natural disasters. We are no longer buying things we don’t need; we are looking for fundamental, handmade, solid, authentic and timeless objects created from pure materials without unnecessary waste.

Wilderness – Self-reliance, sustainability, traditional crafts, individualist, imperfection
Sub-categories: Untamed nature, primitive raw, nature’s harvest, folk tales

The Wilderness trend sounds like Scandinavia to me. 🙂 A renewed interest in old (sometimes forgotten) crafts, natural and simple shapes, items made from untreated natural materials

Photos: Heimtextil

Sköna Hem

And finally, Sköna Hem, my favorite Swedish home and decor magazine, also lists four key trends:

Flora and Fauna – bringing nature indoors through fabrics, wall decor, or the real thing, colors inspired by nature

Simple and Natural – classic furniture styles, natural materials (wool, wood, linen, etc.), clean and bright colors

Headstrong Excellence – odd title, but this trend is my favorite (also see my post on decorating with free souvenirs). Eccentric mixes of old and new, items in varying styles, all in warm color tones, lots of personal items (souvenirs, collections, art, etc.)

Stark Functionality – industrial-inspired, functional furniture, stark, monochrome colors, minimalistic interiors with only a few carefully selected decor items, no unnecessary “fluff”

Sounds like it’s time to go dig through all my boxes with inherited Scandinavian stuff (all of which I like very much but haven’t made space for yet) and try a few new craft projects. How fun! 🙂


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