By Susan Serra

Change is in the air – fall is nearly here! And, change is GOOD. A change in one’s style, an openess to new ideas, a “tweak” to even one small design element in our homes, is often connected to a change in season. Observing these changes is really about our being open to fresh, new, concepts which just “feel right” at different times of the year or as our lifestyles take interesting small twists and turns from the otherwise straight path we are on.

At this time of year, a favorite season for many of us, we begin to be ready for, and open to, the big changes coming our way … in the weather, in our home, work, and social schedules, and our changing needs also influence our creative desires. As I am always open to changes which “speak to me” and truly enjoy the process of observation, I’d love to share the evolution of style that I see coming for fall 2010.

I’m seeing rich textures in common fabrics and fibers. Burlap on chairs, on lamps, on screens, on cabinet door panels, woven textures, always in their natural shade, are a back-to-basics celebration of simplicity! Distressed metals are comforting, yet even polished chrome, a classic finish, is more popular than ever and is a perfect juxtaposition to surrounding textured elements. Whatever the texture is, most likely, it’s REAL and real feels right.

We’ve been moving toward this very versatile neutral for some time, first seen on the fashion runways. I absolutely get inspiration from Scandinavia (watch for the new – yet classic – Scandinavian design inspirations in home interiors) when I think of grays – the light grays of Scandinavian painted floors, rubbed light wood finishes (a grayed oak furniture piece in a modern design) and most interesting … gray paint! Whether light, medium or dark gray, with tints of blue, purple (another hot color for fall 2010) or green, gray paint is, to me, a wonderful backdrop for more bold expressions of color in artwork, accessories, and home furnishings.

Deep purple and plums, rich bolds and bronzes (great for hardware, lighting, fixtures, fittings, accessories) are wonderful accents to bring into our homes for fall 2010, and beyond. Splashes of color, such as teal, add a separate layer to the color palette foundation. Being surrounded by new colors, even in small doses, gives our homes a fresh look and keeps us fully engaged in an appreciation of the many, many ways our home can (easily) be truly transformed!

In a sense…the two go together for me, perhaps with a combined word: AUTHENTICITY. I’m seeing lots of vintage accessories (defined by your early experiences) for the home, along with natural surfaces such as concrete and zinc table tops. We’re remembering from our childhoods that “simple is good” and feels good too. Simple, pure, functional tools for living take us to a place that offers easy access, less pressure, and of course, comfort!

I am observing that the very well known saying, “Less Is More” seems to be a good fit now more than ever. As a designer, I KNOW that change is good – change can be simple, but being in love with our homes is forever!

Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, Susan Serra Associates, Inc., is both a professional designer and foodie at heart. Her love for all things design is highlighted on her blogs, The Kitchen Designer and Scandinavian Kitchens & Design.


Since 1873, Kohler Co. has been improving the level of gracious living among its customers by providing exceptional products and services for the home. As a recognized global brand, Kohler leads the way in design, craftsmanship and innovation. Kohler's product offering spans across all price points, offering consumers a wide variety of options in kitchen and bath fixtures, faucets, and more.

More Posts