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What colors for an Autumn palette?

What colors for an Autumn palette?

Autumn is a beautiful time of year when the leaves change color and the weather cools down. Choosing an autumn color palette for your home decor, clothing, or other purposes can be tricky with so many gorgeous fall shade options. In this article, we’ll explore popular autumn color combinations and how to select hues that will give you a cohesive, seasonal look. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for renovating your home, planning an autumn wedding, or just want to update your wardrobe for the fall, read on for tips and ideas on autumnal color palettes.

Warmer Autumn Colors

Some of the most quintessential and cozy autumn colors are in the warmer orange and red color families. When the temperatures drop, embracing warmer tones makes your space feel cozy and inviting. Here are some popular warmer shades for fall:

Burnt Orange Rust Terracotta
Gold Copper Mustard
Pumpkin Spiced Apple Butternut Squash

Burnt orange, rust, and terracotta are rich orangey-reds that pair beautifully with fall foliage colors. Gold, copper, and mustard add metallic, glowing warmth. Pumpkin, spiced apple, and butternut squash are perfect for capturing the colors of autumn gourds and vegetables. Together, these warmer shades convey the coziness of sipping cider by a crackling fireplace on a crisp fall day.

Incorporating warmer autumn tones into your home is easy with accent pieces like pillows, throws, and candles in these colors. For apparel and accessories, burnt orange, mustard, and spiced apple look great in sweaters, beanies, and scarves. You can also use these colors in floral arrangements, table linens, and other decor elements for fall events. Just be sure to balance them with cooler accent colors so they don’t feel overly warm.

Cooler Autumn Colors

While warm autumn palettes feel cozy, you also want to incorporate some cooler tones to convey the crispness in the fall air. Fortunately, autumn has its fair share of gorgeous cooler color options as well. Here are some top picks for cooler fall shades:

Olive Green Forest Green Hunter Green
Taupe Mushroom Dusty Pink
Plum Eggplant Wine
Navy Denim Slate

Earthy olive, forest, and hunter greens emulate lush fall forests. Mushroom and taupe are rich, soothing neutrals. Plums, eggplants, and wines provide jewel-toned pops of color. Navy, denim, and slate add depth with darker blue tones.

You can incorporate these cooler autumnal tones throughout your home with throw blankets, area rugs, couch cushions, and art prints. For clothing and accessories, they pair nicely with jeans, jackets, and scarves. Use shades like plum or hunter green for gorgeous fall event decor as well. Just balance them out with warm metallic, orange, or red accent colors.

Autumn Neutrals

In addition to rich, saturated autumn hues, fall color palettes look beautiful balanced with neutral shades. Neutrals add a calming, refined element and make the bolder colors pop. Here are some versatile neutral shades for fall:

Cream Oatmeal Beige
Tan Fawn Mink
Dove Gray Charcoal Pewter
Brown Chestnut Mocha

Creams, oatmeals, beiges, tans, and similar soft hues provide warm, welcoming neutrals. Grays like dove, charcoal, and pewter add refined contrast. Rich browns including chestnut and mocha lend earthiness.

For home decor, autumn neutrals work beautifully in furniture, rugs, window treatments, and bedding. They provide an easy base to layer in accent colors. For clothing and accessories, pair cream, tan, or gray layers with bolder jewel-tone statement pieces. At autumn events, use neutrals in table linens, chairs, wall decor, and other foundational elements to make vibrant colors pop.

Autumn Nature Colors

One of the easiest ways to develop a natural, organic autumn color scheme is to draw inspiration directly from the colors of the fall season. Here are some gorgeous fall nature hues to try:

Amber Sunflower Marigold
Sage Moss Emerald
Chocolate Hazelnut Chestnut
Sky Blue Steel Gray Dusk Blue

Warm yellow-oranges like amber, sunflower, and marigold emulate falling leaves. Earthy greens including sage, moss, and emerald capture lush forests. Rich browns like chocolate, hazelnut, and chestnut reflect tree bark and soil. Cooler sky blue, steel gray, and dusk blue are reminiscent of autumn skies and storms.

Incorporating even one or two nature-inspired colors into your autumn decor or wardrobe ties it to the season in a subtle way. For example, sage green pillows on a neutral sofa or a hazelnut sweater over jeans. Drawing from nature’s fall palette is an easy way to develop an organic, cohesive, and soothing autumn color scheme.

Popular Autumn Color Combinations

One of the keys to creating color palettes that work is combining colors that complement each other. Certain autumnal color pairings have stood the test of time, so you can’t go wrong using them as inspiration. Here are some classic autumn color combinations:

Orange and Navy

The bold contrast between rich orange and deep navy blue is eye-catching and powerful. Use burnt orange with navy in home decor or clothing.

Red and Green

This classic Christmas color pairing works beautifully for autumn too. Pair deep reds like cranberry or wine with forest, sage, or olive greens.

Yellow and Gray

Cool grays balance out warm yellows and golds perfectly. Try light gray with pastel yellow or charcoal gray with mustard or copper.

Plum and Taupe

Deep plums or eggplants pop against neutral, earthy taupes. Use this elegant combination in tablescapes, linens, or carpets.

Pumpkin and Olive Green

The quintessential fall duo. Use spiced pumpkin tones with military olive greens for decor and apparel.

Camel and Denim

Nothing says fall like camel coats and blue denim. Pair them together for timeless harvest style.

Creating Your Own Autumn Palette

Once you have inspiration from popular autumn color combinations, how do you go about actually creating a color palette for your purposes? Follow these steps:

Pick 1-2 neutral base colors: Choose neutral shades like cream, gray, brown, tan, or beige that you want to use as a base. Having one or two neutrals creates unity.

Select 2-4 accent colors: Pick accent colors you’d like to use with the neutrals. Choose some warmer tones and some cooler tones for balance.

Limit the palette to 4-6 total colors: For a cohesive look, stick to 4 to 6 total colors including neutrals and accents. Too many colors creates a disjointed feeling.

Focus on tints, tones, and shades: Don’t use too many highly saturated colors. Incorporate different tints, tones, and shades of similar hues.

Consider light and dark contrasts: Add interest by including lights and darks of accent colors. For example, navy and sky blue.

Display colors together: View fabric swatches or color chips together to ensure they complement each other nicely.

Using Your Autumn Palette

Once you’ve created a color palette, it’s easy to work it into nearly any autumn application. Here are some ways to incorporate your custom fall color scheme:

Home decor: Paint walls neutral colors and add accent shades in furniture, pillows, throws, rugs, and artwork.

Tablescapes: Use neutrals in table linens, dishes, and candles, and bring in accent colors with flowers, napkins, and centerpieces.

Wardrobe: Build outfits combining neutral basics with layers and accessories in accent colors.

Events: Craft cohesion with neutral linens, dishware, walls, and decor elements, and use accents in florals, signage, favors, food presentation, and more.

Designs: Apply your color palette to graphic design, web design, presentations, signage, and any visual media.

Autumn color palettes feel cohesive when you apply them across an entire space or design scheme. Use them in everything from large-scale elements like furniture or walls to small details like throw pillows or cocktail napkins.


Creating color palettes filled with rich autumnal hues is a wonderful way to celebrate the fall season. Whether you prefer cozy warm tones like pumpkin, olive green, or fresh cool shades like plum, the key is balancing neutrals with bold accent colors. Look to nature, timeless color combinations, and your own personal style for inspiration. Curating a thoughtfully designed autumn palette allows you to infuse that crisp, cozy fall feeling into every aspect of your home, wardrobe, and celebrations. So embrace the spirit of autumn by decorating, crafting, cooking, and hosting with colors that reflect the fall harvest.