How to freshen up your home for the fall, according to a luxury hotel designer?

Fall tends to bring about changes big and small, from transitions in the weather and anticipation of holidays to changes of clothes and a growing preference for anything pumpkin. And there’s nothing like the change of seasons to make you want to linger at home — and maybe brighten up your space, too.

While interior design is generally not about fast-moving trends, there are usually shifts towards certain styles and aesthetics based on the season and the 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, homes and yachts, would agree. “I’ve never really believed in trends, which by their very nature can be so ephemeral, and instead I revere those designs that stand the test of time,” she says. “Having said this, I feel that interiors matter now more than ever. The impact of what we’ve been through over the past year and a half has put a real emphasis on our homes and our indoor environment.

Recently, Bernerd designed the interior of the Thompson Hollywood hotel, mixing the old-fashioned glamor of the neighborhood’s history with contemporary touches, rich textures and mid-century accent pieces. She finds inspiration in a vibrant array of sources ranging from different eras to locations in vastly different time zones. “My influences come from architecture, film and sometimes even fashion,” she says. “Yves St. Laurent’s early palettes, the Bauhaus movement, and mid-century furniture design are all constant sources of inspiration, as well as design intrigue drawn from Scandinavia and Brazil.”

We asked Bernerd to share her favorite interior themes for creating a warm, inviting space this season. From textured accessories and pops of color to sculptural shapes and green accents, here are the best furniture styles and decor items for a timelessly designed home.

Stripes of bold color

Neutrals are beautiful, but there’s nothing like adding color to bring some personality to a room. “I think we’re going to see the use of color resurface and maybe in a bold way, which gives a real confidence to a room or a space,” Bernerd says. “[I’m] gravitated to blocky, stronger colors that are slightly monogamous for that color, so for example we can use a different shade of green and different textures, rather than going for a more rainbow-inspired palette.”

A timeless accent chair

Available in a myriad of colors, fabrics and wood finishes, this accent chair offers a great way to add a dose of color to an otherwise muted living room.

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Texture added for visual interest

“If you’re using block colors, vary the shade of your chosen color and apply different textures, mixing tweed with velvet and linen with corduroy,” says Bernerd. Along with an autumn-worthy hue, the subtle flange and soft velvet add texture to this copper-colored cushion. Pair it with pillows of the same color in different fabrics (as pictured above) for some layering.


Monogamous Color Block

As well as adding depth and dimension to your space, this handwoven wool rug is simply cozy – perfect for the cooler season.


Midcentury styles as a timeless classic

“I have a passion for mid-century because of the character and personality,” Bernerd says. “This can also be found when looking for interesting shapes or organic structures … in the form of furniture, such as overscaled, coarse tufting.” She recommends seeking out vintage pieces and making them your own by re-covering the cushions or adding new varnish to a dresser, but there are plenty of unique pieces to be found, new or previously loved.

Chunky Tufting

The exaggerated tuft on this sofa makes it much more inviting, along with the trendy, cozy bouclé fabric (which just happens to stay beautiful despite how delicate it looks). Plus, the included cushions add a fun, youthful touch to balance out the lofty look.


Architectural Planters

Bringing greenery indoors is never a good idea. “Planters, so typical of mid-century design, make you feel like you’ve arrived in a very glamorous oasis in the heart of the city,” says Bernerd.


Industrial edge

Besides being a total statement piece, this industrial-inspired side table helps ground even the most whimsical living room.


Statement pieces on display

Whether you’re a minimalist or a collector, personal touches 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,” Bernerd says. “[You can do this] by curating your favorite objects and displaying them on your bookcase, sideboard or coffee table.”

Everyday shapes made bigger than life

Just as you would with fall clothing, thoughtful layering is essential for sophisticated home design. “The key to dressing a bookcase has everything to do with the mix of objects,” Bernerd says. “I like to mix books with vases, picture frames and bowls, or other art objects. Group the books together, three or four at a time, and lay larger books flat on the shelf.”


Gold accents in different sizes

“Now is your time to have fun and show off your most cherished pieces,” Bernerd says. Available in a set of five for endless table top mixing and matching, these gold-plated bowls are like jewelry for your bookcase.


Colored glass for flower dressing

The elegant shape and shade of this mouth-blown vase makes it worthy of a spot on your shelf, whether or not filled with flowers.


Terrazzo touches for an industrial-chic aesthetic

“With our love for industrial finishes, terrazzo is a kind of design theme that has been used in various forms throughout the hotel,” says Bernerd. “[It gives] the space a real sense of laid-back luxury.” Fortunately, you don’t have to renovate to incorporate this striking material into your home – add it through lighting, furniture and accessories to contrast with softer, more feminine pieces.

Nice but functional lighting

The slightly enlarged terrazzo pattern gives this lamp an artistic atmosphere that comes across whether the soft mood lighting is on or off.


A versatile table

Organic speckled verrazzo is naturally very sturdy, so it makes sense that it would work just as easily in furniture form both indoors and out, like this version from Anthropologie.

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