Designer Tips – Autumn Colors

Autumn is here, and the palette around us is shifting from the beachy neon hues of summer to the saturated colors of fall. We met up with Patti Piasecki, Senior Project Designer and color connoisseur at The KOHLER Store in Chicago to get the scoop on this year’s fall color palette.

Let’s start with the colors—what made your autumn palette?

Mossy green, bark brown, caramel, rusty reds, burnt orange, mustard yellow, and tortoise shell. The last one really plays up my love for texture around this time of year.

Fall palette (left to right): Moss green, bark brown, mustard yellow, caramel, orange, and rust red.

Why did you choose these colors?

We are always inundated with the colors around us, and it seems like human nature to bring those hues indoors. In spring, it’s all about pastels, and that makes sense when you look at the flowers coming into bloom that time of year. In summer, it’s beach shades and bright neon hues, borrowing from surf culture, sunsets and swimsuits. It makes sense then, that when we think of fall colors, we think a bit darker, more saturated, richer and riper—it’s what we see outside.

Photo courtesy of Toll Brothers, America’s Luxury Home Builder.

What are some easy ways to incorporate these colors into your home?

I would start with small stuff, like towels, rugs and pillows; stuff you can hide away when the season changes. It’s super simple to throw some chocolate brown pillows on the couch or find some vintage orange picture frames to hang up. Add a few tree branches to your entryway, or bring in some pieces of bark or pinecones. Something more involved, like a terrarium with moss and rocks from outside, can really help bring in both texture and color for the season. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Browse Pinterest or Houzz, there are millions of ideas floating around out there, and that might help get the creativity flowing.

This utilitarian kitchen is the perfect space for our cast iron color Suede, a rich addition to the Kohler color palette.

Not every fall color is the right choice for a room—how do you balance which colors work best?

Look at your space and understand what color you are really drawn to. If you step back and you see a beige or white space, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to adding color. Find the colors you like, bring small samples of them into your room and just lay them out side-by-side; try to find that nice dissonance. And don’t be afraid to look at a color wheel—they can be quite handy.

Photo courtesy of Toll Brothers, America’s Luxury Home Builder.

When it comes to the kitchen, squash and pumpkins seem like the most obvious décor—what are some other ways we can bring autumn into the kitchen?

There are plenty of “fall foods” out there. Fill some apothecary jars with nuts or acorns. Dry some mushrooms and incorporate them into bouquets or picture frames. And don’t just focus on the visuals, bring in scents of the season: Caramel apple, cinnamon, nutmeg. The blend of smell and sight is what really sets the mood.


Cast iron colors, perfect for autumn (left to right): Black Black, Greenwich Green and Ember.

What about pattern—you mentioned tortoise shell earlier—are there other patterns that scream “fall?”

Absolutely! Tortoise shell, woodgrain, corduroy and tweed…even marble and honed stone can have an autumn vibe. Again, the more natural the pattern or texture, the better. Ann Sacks recently came out with some petrified wood tiles that are just fab; perfect for fall.

Looking for more autumn inspiration? Check out our collaboration with Toll Brothers on Pinterest. If you’re looking for more hands-on help, swing by The KOHLER Store and work with Patti or one of our other designers. From fall colors to larger-scale projects, they are there to help.

Patti Piasecki, Senior Project Designer at The KOHLER Store, studied interior design with a focus on kitchen and bath. She has been with Kohler for over seven years, and when she’s not solving design dilemmas, she can be found running along Chicago’s lakefront, traveling to foodie hotspots or strolling through the Chicago Art Institute. Her favorite color is green, she’s a Leo and she absolutely loves Amsterdam. Swing by The KOHLER Store and say hi!



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