New Season, New Looks in the Hamptons

Dark wood wallpaper makes for a cozy room by Debra Geller Interior Design
Dark wood wallpaper makes for a cozy room by Debra Geller Interior Design

Autumn is here. Time to warm up your East End home with sophisticated fall decorations for a stylish and cozy look. This year, indulge your senses with velvet, fur, shiny brass and, of course, natural elements, in everything from throw pillows, to table settings to chic mantel arrangements.

We checked in with some of our favorite designers on the way they like to transition from cool summer looks to warm, brilliant colors. Use this inspiration to bring the beauty of the Hamptons in fall to your home.

“I always like to add texture and depth for the fall,” says Debra Geller, of Debra Geller Interior Design. “Add fur pillows and a great throw to warm up the space.” How about velvet pillows in a gorgeous burnt orange? That way, you add texture as well as a warm color, and it’s easy to change accessories each season. Geller likes sofas upholstered in neutrals. “If you have a neutral heavy linen sofa fabric, it can go from summer to fall; just change the accessories each season,” she says.

While many Hamptons houses are decorated entirely in white, Geller says, “I like to use a dark wood wallpaper to add depth and dimension as well. Dark color creates a rich inviting space that is much cozier than a light space.” Why not ensure your home has spaces perfect for each season?

Layer accent pillows to create a depth of color and texture: perhaps a white sheepskin pillow paired with a tapestry cushion in warm tones. “It’s nice to change things up and do warmer tones. You want to have that differentiation. You want to be cozy,” says Elsa Soyars, of Elsa Soyars Interiors.

Tastemaker Lesly Zamor, a co-owner of Design Furniture Outlet in Riverhead, is also all about the throws and cushions. He will put a throw on “a sofa, a favorite armchair, so we can get cozy and warm.” As for cushions, he says clients often wonder where they’re supposed to store all these pillows. Zamor has a brilliant answer: one set of inserts and then just change covers each season. Another thing he likes to add to his interiors are throw rugs. If clients have wooden floors, great. But even if they have wall-to-wall broadloom, a throw rug can be layered on top of that too. Just layer it, he says.

Keats called autumn the season of “mellow fruitfulness,” and we think it’s a great idea to bring some of the harvest home. Pomegranates, tangerines, figs and grapes are all in season, as are blackberries and cranberries, and make for beautiful displays bursting with color. Pile the fruit prettily on a cake stand and add trailing greenery.

But if all that orange and red isn’t working for you, feel free to stay neutral and fill your space with white pumpkins and gourds. Add interest with texture: dried wheat stalks, icy eucalyptus, even branches of cotton bolls. Don’t forget to gather pinecones to fill in spaces.

“Flowers also are a great way to add color and natural design to finish the room off and bring lightness to the space,” says Geller.

Zamor says that it’s key to bring the outdoors in. He likes to do it with hydrangeas in the fall, the peegee types or the mopheads with colors that turn as the fall comes in. “We also like to use magnolia leaves,” he says. “They have a beautiful suede-like brown on the underside and green on the top. We do big baskets or bowls of them. That’s a great way to warm up the house with florals.” Viburnum, with its purple berries, is another favorite, especially mixed with peegee hydrangeas. Zamor points out that fall florals are fuss-free if a Hamptons homeowner isn’t at their house every week, as they tend to dry naturally.

Metallics are key to adding interest to fall décor. Shiny brass has been back in a big way for some time, so dust off those antique candlesticks. Dress your mantel with an arrangement of brass candleholders and add color with small floral arrangements. Put your Moscow mule mugs to work by filling them with succulents and enjoy that copper glow. If silver is your jam, we love the look of an antique silver trophy cup filled with autumn grasses and berry branches.

Keep in mind, too, the upcoming holidays. “For my clients, I like to decorate looking ahead to the holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving. Basically, it’s summer is over, time to refresh. Let’s make sure everything for the new season is in order, with fresh linens and so on,” says Soyars. “And of course, some of my clients are Jewish, and they have holidays coming up earlier, so I need to make sure they have everything in place. Silverware, placemats, everything the client needs to entertain.”

Zamor sums it up: Just change a few things and you “have everything all warmed up for the new season.”