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 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!
“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.”
Turn over a new leaf: Little Greene’s Oriental Papers collection features stunning designs, including the Trellis Bamboo wallpaper in copper, £54.75 a roll.
Complement it with gilded accessories, such as a Liliana table lamp, £80, from John Lewis. Its stem base is adorned with gold leaves. A Potentilla cushion with foliage print, £59, from Clarissa Hulse, makes another great addition.
Bring on the blues with a Momentum Wallpaper in Leaf design, £54 a roll, from Harlequin. Continue the colour theme with a bold Painted Leaf bedding set, from £32 for a double duvet set and £24 for a single set, from Bhs.
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 Heal’s.
“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.”
Turn over a new leaf: For a subtle woodland backdrop, Nottingham wallpaper, £20 a roll, from Graham & Brown, gives a 3D illusion of forest depth.
Gather foliage features from the MissPring woodland range at Heal’s: Discovers Woodland drum lampshade, £115, and Discovers Woodland Sunflower rug, £695.
Leaves decorate the retro, up-cycled Ash Storm chest of drawers, £895, by furniture designer Lucy Turner.
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.”
Turn over a new leaf: Angel Ferns wallpaper, £32 per roll, from Sanderson Home, is classic and crisp in white and green.
Alternatively, a Leaf sketch printed panel, from £79 (125cm x 227cm), from Digetex, would instantly bring nature indoors.
Make a statement with a foliage embellished Little Lady chair upholstered in Morris & Co Orchard Bayleaf and Rose, from £1,126, Sofa Workshop.
Echo the theme in accessories, with Made by Hand’s foliage decorated Twine Table Runner in black, £55, or green and black, £79. Add bright touches to the dining table with Heal’s Discovers Woodland Dinnerware by MissPrint, from £5-£20.
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.”
Turn over a new leaf: A monochrome Leaf mural from the Conran Fabrics Archive collection, from £70 per square metre, Conran Shop (also available to order as print or canvas through www.surfaceview.co.uk). Just as striking, but more traditional, is a Pines design wallpaper featuring a forest of trees, £54.75 a roll, Little Greene.
A Barletta Love Seat, covered in Fern chenille, which has a strong graphite leaf design, £1,149, Marks & Spencer, would be a perfect focal point.
Alternatively, simply dress up a chair with a photoprint Pine Forest cushion, £80, Nordic Elements, or liven up corners with a quirky black tree-shaped hat stand, £20, Tiger Stores.