How to spruce up your home for fall, according to a luxury hotel designer

Fall tends to bring changes big and small, from weather transitions and holiday anticipation to wardrobe changes and a growing preference for all things pumpkin spice. And nothing like the change of seasons to make you want to settle in your home and perhaps at the same time, beautify your space.

Although interior design is not generally about fast changing trends, there is a tendency to shift towards certain styles and aesthetics depending on the season and the general mood of our lives and the world around us. Interior designer Tara Bernerd, who runs her eponymous interior design studio and is known for meticulously designing the spaces of hotels, homes and cool yachts would agree. “I’ve never really believed in trends, which by their nature can be so fleeting, and instead revere those designs that stand the test of time,” she says. “Having said that, I feel that without a doubt, interiors matter more than ever. The aftermath of what we’ve been through over the past year and a half has put a real strain on our homes and our indoor environment.

Recently, Bernerd designed the interiors of the Hotel Thompson Hollywood, blending the old-school glamor of the neighborhood’s history with contemporary touches, rich textures, and mid-century accent pieces. She finds her inspiration in a dynamic array of sources ranging from different eras to places in very different time zones. “My influences come from architecture, cinema and sometimes even fashion,” she says. “Early Yves St. Laurent palettes, the Bauhaus movement, and mid-century furniture design are all constant sources of inspiration, as well as intrigue in design emanating from Scandinavia and Brazil.”

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

Bright color accents

Neutrals are nice, but nothing like color additions to give a room some personality. “I think we’re going to see the use of color reappear and maybe in a bold way, which brings real confidence to a room or space,” Bernerd says. “[I’m] attracted to stronger blocky colors that are somewhat monogamous to 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 -sky.

A timeless side chair

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

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Texture added for visual interest

“When using block colors, vary the shade of the chosen color and bring in different textures, mixing tweeds with velvets, linens with corduroy,” Bernerd explains. Along with a fall-worthy hue, the subtle flange and soft pile lend extra texture to this copper-hued pillow. Pair it with similarly colored pillows in different fabrics (as pictured above) for a layering effect.


monogamous colorblock

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


Mid-Century Styles as a Timeless Classic

“I have a passion for mid-century because of its character and personality,” Bernerd says. “It can also be found in finding interesting shapes or organic structures…in the form of furniture, such as thick, oversized tufts.” She recommends finding vintage pieces and customizing them by re-upholstering throw pillows or adding new varnish to a credenza, but there are also plenty of unique pieces to find, whether new or used.

Big tufting

The exaggerated button tufting on this sofa makes it even more inviting, as does the comfortable and on-trend bouclé fabric (which holds up well despite its delicate appearance). Plus, the included pillows add a fun, youthful touch to balance out the elevated look.


Architectural Planters

It’s never a bad idea to bring some greenery indoors. “The planters, so typical of mid-century design, give the impression of arriving in a very glamorous oasis in the heart of the city,” says Bernerd.


Industrial advantage

Besides being a centerpiece, this industrial-inspired side table helps anchor the look of even the fanciest living room.


Exposed statement pieces

Whether you’re a minimalist or a collector, personal accents help make a home feel like home. “For me, good design is all about layers and one of those important final layers is dressing the space,” Bernerd says. “[You can do this] organizing and displaying your favorite items on your bookshelf, credenza or coffee table.

Everyday shapes made larger than life

Just like you would with fall clothes, thoughtful layering is key to sophisticated home design. “The key to dressing up a bookcase is in the mix of objects,” says Bernerd. “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, laying the largest books flat on the shelf.


Golden accents in various sizes

“Now’s the time to have fun and show off your most cherished pieces,” Bernerd says. Available in a set of five for endless tabletop mixing and matching options, these gold bowls are like jewels for your bookshelf.


Colored glass to dress flowers

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


Terrazzo accents 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 relaxed luxury. Luckily, you don’t need to renovate to incorporate this eye-catching material into your home — add it through lighting, furniture and accessories to juxtapose it with softer, more feminine pieces.

Fun yet functional lighting

The slightly enlarged terrazzo pattern gives this lamp an artful vibe that comes through whether the soft ambient lighting is on or off.


A versatile table

The organically speckled verrazzo is inherently very hardy, so it only makes sense that in furniture form it works just as well indoors as it does outdoors, like this version from Anthropologie.

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