Fall Leaves and a Kitchen Towel

Colorful fall leaves of various trees on the ground

Colorful fall leaves of various trees on the ground

By: Susan E. Brown

No matter how many autumn seasons you have under your belt by now, the changing leaves and crisp fall air never fail to be breathtaking. Just a few weeks ago—before the real winter season started to hit—I was out in my backyard, collecting leaves. I gathered a whole slew of dynamic colors: vibrant reds, crimson, all layers of green, chartreuse, saffron, apricot, charcoal. As I spread out the leaves onto newspaper to dry, I realized just how much the colors I’d collected matched one of my favorite kitchen towels, that I just happened to be using at the time. Even assembling some favorite leaves in my backyard, when I wasn’t even consciously picking out a color scheme, I gravitated towards hues that I’m already at home with—literally!

This unexpected match-up got me thinking. Whether we’re actively aware of it or not, we tend to gravitate over and over again toward the same, or similar, textures and colors. Even certain materials may stir in us some repetition—think wood accents, crochet, or concrete. Even if you consider yourself somewhat of an eclectic decorator, odds are you’re drawn repeatedly to décor choices that have certain through-lines. For instance: maybe you can’t get enough gold-accented items—vases, light fixtures, or soap dispensers. Or perhaps a look around your home would reveal repeated instances of white marble—on countertops, wall plates, or cutting boards. If you’ve got a preference for the color gray, perhaps your bathmat, towels, and bedspread are all in harmony. Maybe you have a thing for shag rugs! Whatever it is, humans tend to be habitual when it comes to taste. And why not? It’s natural to develop an eye for materials or textures you adore.

With that in mind, why not make better, more considered use of these natural tendencies? Keeping your eyes open to textures, materials, patterns, prints, and colors that make frequent appearances in your life can help you pair items that you might not have connected before, or reunite items that found their way to opposite ends of your home. Perhaps a light-colored wood picture frame would look stunning beside a similarly colored stoneware decorative bowl, or a low-pile rug in a deep hue would stand out beside the cooler tones of sleek marble. Whatever your unconventional pairing may be, keep an eye out for habits and patterns inherent in your decorating style. Not only will you get a sense of what already exists in your wheelhouse, but you may be inclined to mix things up, put different textures together, or find harmony in pairing things in unison.

About Susan:

Susan E. Brown, Allied ASID, is a full-service interior designer who works with her clients to create spaces that are both sophisticated and personal.

From the door hinges to the sofa style, Susan carefully guides the design process step by step. Her firm commitment to her clients leads them to trust her, respect her judgment and feel comfortable talking about what is important to them. For Susan, that close relationship is one of the most rewarding aspects of her work, and she revels in creating surroundings that bring her clients joy.

Learn more about Susan here.


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