Tips for using fall shades of orange, yellow, red and more in fresh and interesting ways.

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When you think of fall colors, red, yellow and orange spring to mind.

Autumn’s hues are some of the most fabulous colors but, for many, the challenge lies in how to use them purposefully in their décor. Here are some tips for using fall’s best shades.


Brown is a great foundation color and a softer alternative to black. Brown can be used in many ways in a home, such as through wood finish on furniture or via accessories and accents. Considered a neutral color, brown pairs well with other shades, or even different tints and tones of brown in the same room. For more colorful pairings, pastel colors, such as powder pink or soft blue, work well. Finishes such as brass and chrome really pop against brown.


A longtime staple for interior designers and decorators, black is making a bold comeback. Strong and dominant, black can add luxury and richness to a space — but it should be used sparingly. For example, in a bedroom, two nightstands with a black finish will work well, but adding in a black dresser may overwhelm the room. Black also works well as an accent color. Two to three black accents in a room, whether through the use of lighting, artwork or accessories, can work beautifully.


Orange is a happy color that can help brighten and lighten a space, while also adding a sense of warmth. Lighter shades of orange work well in children’s rooms, while darker, richer tones can add a sense of elegance in living rooms and other social areas such as family rooms.


Strong and bold, red is a statement color. Red works well as a pop of color in a space. As such, it pairs best with light colors or neutrals such as white, taupe or gray. When it comes to red, don’t be afraid to use it in unexpected areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.


Yellow — in all its shades, tints and tones — is popular for fall. From chartreuse to mustard and shades in between, yellow is appropriate for all seasons. Not sure what colors will blend with yellow? Try neutral foundation colors such as brown, black and white. And don’t forget that finishes such as gold and brass are part of the yellow family and can add that sunny element to your décor as well.