26 Jun 2022

Take a leaf from the style books

Autumn’s renowned for its spectacular foliage and this season there’s a harvest of decor designs which will add their beauty to rooms - long after the season ends.

Autumn’s renowned for its spectacular foliage and this season there’s a harvest of decor designs which will add their beauty to rooms - long after the season ends.

“The trend for botanical designs has resulted in a beautiful array of prints and patterns featuring leaves and foliage,” says Claire Vallis, design director for fabrics and wallcoverings specialist, Harlequin.

“They range from dramatic, large-scale branches and woodland forests, through to ditsy, dainty leaves. These can be realistic depictions, so you feel you are walking though a forest or scrunching through fallen leaves, or more painterly interpretations with sweeping brushstrokes and vivid hues.

“But a common theme prevails, of a love of nature and a desire to bring the freedom and freshness of the great outdoors into the home.”

Don’t be afraid to experiment with pattern and scale, she advises, as even the most over-sized design can be accommodated, by pairing it with a plain or textured finish in the rest of the room.

Falling leaves may mean extra work in the garden, but if you celebrate their form and rich colour indoors they’ll bring rooms to life, and conjure an unbe-leaf-ably delightful winter sanctuary!

Golden harvest

“Designers have taken the countryside to their heart,” says Jacqueline Duncan, principal and founder of London’s Inchbald School of Design.

“Tree and leaf motifs are a key feature in pattern and print and range from the traditional and botanically accurate to interpretations which fully exploit innovative digital techniques, and give a fresh, chic effect.

“This look is perfectly in tune with our desire for a natural, organic approach to interiors.

“Woodland designs are particularly well complemented by earthy palettes, such as cream, charcoal and mushroom, and can be made luxurious with shades of gold. It can even work well with stronger tones of damson and mustard through to fashionable strong blues.”

Natural woodland

The great outdoors has an abundance of textures and tones, many of which make great additions to homes and have inspired designers since the dawn of time.

Natural materials, from wood to stone, bring interest and variety into rooms, and are perfectly complemented by bold, graphic motifs of leaves in bright shades for a modern, rustic look, where texture and pared-back design triumph.

“Cosy seasonal tones and a mix of traditional British style work well with a playful nature-inspired collection in one of our key trends - Woodland,” says Gillian Anderson, trading director at 

“Our main theme, Autumn, features rustic wooden furniture and home accessories inspired by fallen leaves, in a palette of rustic red and orange hues with highlights of green encapsulating a warm and homely mood.”

Evergreen elegance

Delicate foliage, paired with a fresh green and crisp white palette, creates a scheme which truly, yet gracefully, brings nature indoors. This style is well suited to kitchen or dining areas. “Forest and leaf prints are a great way to introduce a relaxed organic effect in any room,” says Donna Riley, brand manager at wallpaper specialists Graham & Brown.

“They create an illusion of soft, natural depth, while a shimmering landscape of beckoning trees will produce a delicate ethereal finish.”

Branching out

Simple black and white decor enhances the beautiful silhouettes of winter woodland for a serene, modern interior. This look can be enlivened and warmed with rich colour in accessories.

Bold feature wallpapers can be used on one wall, or smaller patterns can be used on all four, says Claire Vallis at fabrics and wallcovering designers Harlequin and Scion.

“A leaf print sofa can act as a gorgeous focal point to a room when teamed with plainer curtains, or you could use a blind in a foliage print and combine it with textured curtains,” she suggests.

“The same applies to colours - don’t shy away from the vibrant shades as they can make a real statement, but do complement them with softer, toning shades. This will heighten their effect as well as keep the scheme easy to live with.”

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