Chocolate Truffle, Living Coral: Why Are the Hottest Fall Colors Named After Lipstick?

Several times every year designers of all kinds wait with baited breath for the release of … no, not some awesome new polymer that changes everything, but Pantone’s declaration of the “in” colors for that season. You know, the popular kids. The ones popping bubblegum, driving mom’s C-class, the ones everyone wants to be -- those colors.

Pantone comes out with a new slate of colors every year, which influence trends in industry and design, from cars to furniture. Check out the colors -- for once, I’m actually excited about them. Instead of weird ochres and ridiculous chartreuse, this year Pantone has picked colors that I think are a bit more user-friendly -- especially in and around the home.

While you may see lots of ads for Lipstick Red wall paint, or “accent” walls -- don’t feel that you need to go that far just to incorporate fall’s hottest colors.


I prefer to instead bring in seasonal accents in appropriate colors and materials -- it lets me keep up with the trends and avoid looking outdated, but I’m also not spending thousands of dollars redoing rooms that will only be “trendy” until the next set of Pantone colors is released.

Here are a few ways you could incorporate the great fall colors:

slipcoverSlip Covers -- Most of the time I keep a slipcover on my couch (I am not telling you what it really looks like, so don’t even ask) but one of the ways I change the look of my living room is to change out the slipcover. I don’t have expensive slipcovers -- they were about $40 each, and they are simple canvas twill. But because my couch is the biggest piece of furniture in the living room, switching from a dark brown to a yummy rouge makes a huuuuuge difference.

Throw Pillows & Blankets -- A couple of new pillows will help update a room all on their own, but paired with a fresh slipcover for the couch, you have even more options. Draping a two-tone blanket or quilt over the couch gives you even more options. Think of it like having a pair of black dress pants with three different blouses and a couple of necklaces -- four pieces of clothing can become eight outfits! The same goes for your couch.

Bed Linens -- Changing your bedding is a great way to bring the Pantone trend into your home -- but don’t think you have to replace all your bed linens. If you don’t want to spend a ton, but want to still  update a bedroom for the fall trends, look for a duvet cover (or get crafty and make one yourself out of bedsheets) or simply replace your comforter. You could also add an inexpensive pillow or two, just for a pop of color.

Window Treatments -- These can be as expensive or as wallet-friendly as you like. Replace the whole shebang: rods, hardware, tiebacks, and curtains; or replace bits and pieces. A new pair of colorful curtains can make the most impact, like these Marrakech curtains (check World Market for a similar look with tinier price). Or, if your curtains are rather neutral, consider just changing the hardware: add new finials or a bold tie-back.

Lampshades -- Except for those all-in-one halogen stand lamps that you can do nothing with, when I am craving a change in a room, I take a look at the lampshades. Like with the pillow above, is one of my favorite places to find new lampshades. But there's also my guilty pleasure source, Anthropologie, which sells the one in this picture. 

Candles & Candleholders -- Everyone sells colorful pillar candles now, from Target to Pier 1. A neutral candleholder filled with varying heights of candles in colors like pumpkin, cerulean, purple, and gold can make a big impact on your coffee table. Or consider these Pantone-rific candle holders: They could sit in a grouping indoors or hang outdoors on the patio.


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