Give your home a fall makeover with tips from professional designer Kellie Sirna

Studio 11 founder has advice for those looking to give their homes a new look

Fall is finally here, bringing a new season of decor inspiration along with it. For those looking to give their homes a new look for the year’s most beautiful season, Kellie Sirna — founder of Studio 11 Design — has some expert advice.

According to Sirna, fall offers many unique design opportunities that homeowners can take advantage of.

“Because fall often means cooler temperatures, many of us find ourselves spending more time at home and indoors, making it the perfect time to amp up the ‘hygge’ factor and lean into creating spaces that invite ‘contentful’ languishing,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I love doing this through layering plush furnishings and accessories, seasonal candles, and soft lighting choices.

“At the opposite end of the spectrum, the arrival of fall means that we can also start to plan and envision holiday dinners and soirees. Alfresco entertaining gets reconfigured for the indoors and I love dreaming up furniture layouts and decorative tablescapes for clients, family and friends.”

Credit: Nils Schlebusch

Credit: Nils Schlebusch

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For those decorating on a tight budget, there are a number of inexpensive ways to spruce up the home. They key is to narrow down the project’s scope.

“Rather than redesigning an entire room, lean into accessories,” she said. “Fall is a time for layering and you can create great texture and dimension through utilizing a variety of throw blankets and pillows to increase the comfort level in a space. I also love to incorporate scented candles and dried floral arrangements — a major plus as you never have to worry about them dying!”

Credit: Douglas Friedman

Credit: Douglas Friedman

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For those willing to break the bank, there are ways to go bigger for the season as well.

“Fall calls to mind rich, jewel tones and plush fabrics,” Sirna said. “If cost isn’t a factor for you, then integrating new space-defining pieces like a deeply colored velvet sofa or armchair and then re-accessorizing a space around that is a great way to introduce a new, fall-centric aesthetic.

“Another great way to lean into fall and the cooler months is by drawing attention to fireplaces and their accompanying mantles. These provide great, seasonal focal points within a room and can be easily upleveled or reimagined by investing in new screens, tools and even a log holder. If you’re really looking to make a statement and eager for a splurge, making over the entire mantle is an excellent design project. For example, you can have it redone in reclaimed wood to create an elegant yet rustic vibe. If you’re looking for something more sophisticated and polished, stone is an excellent choice.”

Credit: Douglas Friedman

Credit: Douglas Friedman

For those that do not yet feel inspired, there are a number of popular trends this season that are worth considering. While good design is not focused on being trendy, it can be a great place to start for those that need some direction for their next project.

“One of the top design trends we’re seeing a lot of today, as well as getting requests for at Studio 11 Design, is for a ‘Japandi’ aesthetic, which is this beautiful blend of Japanese and Scandinavian design styles,” she said. “While most people don’t initially see a connection between the two, Japanese and Scandinavian design both emphasize simplicity, natural elements and comfort so they work really well together. When considering trends to explore or lean into this fall, this is a great option. With the cooler weather many of us, myself included, have an increased desire for comfort and coziness, which is inherently part of Japandi design.

“To create a space rooted in comfort and the Scandinavian sense of ‘hygge’, I love to incorporate lots of throws and chunky knits into rooms, as well as an abundance of floor and couch pillows to encourage congregation and create a myriad of snug seating options for people of every age. I also recommend, if you have the space, creating artful nooks in living or common areas. These can be done through a plush seat, small end table, scented candle and lighting option accessorized with plenty of blankets. Small spaces like these lend themselves to curling up with a good book and are thus ideal for the fall season.”