Comfy décor isn't just for keeping warm — it's also the most on-trend home style this fall.

Share story

Unfettered from dated conventions that urged us to pick a décor style and stick to it, more and more designers and retailers this fall are blending decorative elements and playing more loosely with the color wheel.

But there’s one piece in the design puzzle that fits no matter what the style.

“This fall, we’re seeing a shift toward comfort and functionality,” says designer Charlotte Dunagan of Coral Gables, Florida. “Clients are looking for beautiful spaces that are also livable and inviting — not only aesthetically captivating, but also extremely comfortable.”

Stephanie Sarkies, design director of Pembrooke & Ives in New York City, concurs. The cozy “hygge” factor now popular in homes is also reaching hotels and restaurants. “In the hospitality sector, there’s a big shift toward mental and physical wellness — the idea of interior spaces enabling mindfulness and togetherness,” she says.

“Lush fabrics like velvet and mohair, luxurious armchairs covered in shearling and boucle, and faux fur or cashmere area rugs are some of the trends popping up in design showrooms worldwide,” says Dunagan.

“The aim is to create a curated space with purpose,” she continues. “Interiors are shifting away from stark white, museum-like spaces and incorporating a cozy, sexy feeling. Think herringbone and patchwork, earthy shades and organic shapes.”

And while the midcentury modern wave continues its strong churn, some designers are seeing slight shifts in the current.

“There seems to be a trend away from slavish midcentury modern toward a softer, plusher, more hand-wrought modernist aesthetic,” observes Raun Thorp of Tichenor & Thorp Architects in Los Angeles. It’s a blending of the romantic and the machined that she terms “crafted modern.”

Global maximalism is still riding high, with embroidery, silks, chunky weaves, carved woods and hammered metals from South and Central America, India, Asia and Africa.