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    One of the many bedroom sets and accessories available at

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    Nubby, retro-plaid upholstery covers a Donegal chair at Crate & Barrel.

  • Crate & Barrel

    Crate & Barrel has a new collection of reactive-finish and lacquered vases.

Décor of fall: Come on in

Published: Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 14CALIFORNIA LIFE

With nods to nostalgia, exotic motifs and tailored contemporary looks, the fall season in décor has lots to inspire home decorators.

A warm palette of garnet, plum, sapphire, olive, chocolate, mustard and cream mixes with soft yet textural fabrics and muted metallics as our focus moves indoors.

Vintage American

Apparently, we are all supposed to be making butter and putting up jam this fall; many retailers showed kits with the makings for farm-table goodies.

Williams-Sonoma had kits for making cheese and butter, along with pretty wooden molds.

Expanding its Agrarian line beyond the popular chicken coop, the retailer has an old-school cider and wine press, and a grain mill, should you feel compelled to try your hand at flour making. There were Mason jars, lengths of colored twine and paper tags for gifting.

West Elm showed several table garden kits and even a Mason jar cocktail shaker.

Gingham, potato prints and buffalo checks; rough linen, burlap and cotton homespun textiles; earthy, rustic ceramics; chunky knitted pillow covers and throws; and galvanized-metal storage containers were all part of home retailers' fall previews.

Distressed and salvaged wood furniture and forged iron accessories also are part of this look, so watch for affordable examples. Grandin Road has mirrors and wall hooks made of old yardsticks. Pottery Barn has the Conner collection of reclaimed pine tables with limestone tops, and the Olivia bench with a weathered blue finish.

Here too: candle holders fashioned out of old whiskey barrels and olive oil crates.

Rejuvenation Lighting is reproducing O.C. White's foundry-made task lighting from the late 1800s, in table and floor lamps. Southern Lights' spare bronze pendants with Edison bulbs are vintage-inspired but have a modern edge, with bright-red cording.

Parisian panache

Tufted furniture and mirrored, lacquered furnishings evoke the élan of a turn-of-the-century French apartment, or maybe old Hollywood glamour.

Arhaus' curvy Club Apartment sofa fits the bill. West Elm's silvery, glass-covered keepsake boxes do, too; you'll find substantially sized etched mercury-glass light fixtures here, as well.

Bernhardt has the low-profile Lotus coffee table, Balboa media console and Gustav dining table, all in lustrous polished steel.

At, you'll find coquettish gold, antique-lace-trimmed sheets, as well as little pillows made of tufted lavender silk, sequins or black lace mesh.

Faux furs return this winter at many retailers. PB Teen and PB Kids will stock faux-fur sleeping bags, throws and neck pillows.

Suiting style

Menswear fabrics cover many of this fall's upholstered pieces. Crate & Barrel has the Donegal chair in a tweedy plaid, and Tux in houndstooth wool; the Savino ottoman and sectional comes in an Italian suiting stripe. Masters of None offers houndstooth and argyle bamboo bar coasters – indeed, barware in general is a strong trend.

Beer-making kits, pilsner glasses, bar carts and cocktail accouterments were ubiquitous at fall previews.

Midcentury stays strong

If you haven't bought your '60s-style walnut sideboard because you're worried about the longevity of this trend, fret not. Mid-century Modern isn't going anywhere for a while.

Retailers showed a deep commitment to the style, in both furniture and accessories. You can find original and faux versions of many iconic designs, such as the Noguchi amoeba-shaped glass-and-wood table, Eames' walnut and leather chairs, and Saarinen tulip dining tables at and Room and Board.

Furniture maker Porky Hefer of Cape Town, South Africa, has done a great group of turned-wood pendant fixtures modeled after children's spinning tops. The shapes echo those found in midcentury design, and they'd look great hung in multiples over a tailored wool sofa (West Elm).

The hues of the era – olive, almond, chocolate, orange – show up in soft furnishings, including throw pillows and curtains. But they're particularly striking in outsize art glass and ceramics, which you'll see lots of this season. The Blenko Glass Co., an icon of the '50s and '60s, is partnering with Rejuvenation this fall on a line of retro glass lamps. Pottery Barn has the hefty Clift wine jug table lamps; Crate & Barrel's got a new collection of reactive-finish and lacquered vases.

Graphic modern

Orange, tomato, egg yolk, aqua, ebony and snow white – some of the hues that define the crisp, often edgy graphic modern style. CB2 sets the tone with its orange-and-yellow steel home-office pieces, modern art rugs, and array of accent pillows. The Sakano, Snake and Shift pillows punch things up with bold graphics; so does the Crystal runner rug, with a multihued kaleidoscope pattern.

Chevrons, polka dots, ikat and broad stripes have carried over from spring and summer.

Crate & Barrel's Alston and Olin collection of textiles features gold and graphite stripes on ivory backgrounds. Ikea's fall preview showed oversize polka-dot felt rugs in hot pink and lime, and cheerful red-and-white-dotted bedding, At Design Within Reach, Eames' iconic molded plastic Eiffel chair comes in some new colors, including red, sky blue and sparrow, a soft charcoal that's one of the season's top hues.

Typography also has staying power as a decorative element in both accessories and wall art. Grandin Road has something a little different: cubbies in the shape of numbers and arrows.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Kim Cook

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