Contemporary Autumn Colour Schemes

Grey and white is here to stay, at least for a while, but this doesn't mean that your home colour scheme has to be developed around all crisp and cool colours.  Greys and whites can be warm and when partnered with some on-trend terracotta tones, with touches of sociable orange, you have a contemporary Autumn colour scheme.

The foundations for Autumn colour schemes

Whenever I can, I introduce natural timber into an interior scheme.  Hardwood timber floors are always my first choice as I love the texture and natural theme that they bring to a home.  They are the perfect foundation for any colour palette, but particularly an Autumn one.  Even without timber floors, by adding some timber accents, perhaps just in styling, you add some warmth to a room.

Contemporary Autumn Colour Schemes

An Autumn colour scheme doesn't have to be a riot of warm colours.  A contemporary version is based on a paired back scheme with a foundation of warm whites and soft warm greys.  All neutrals, including white, black and grey, will have an undertone of colour.  The key to successfully working with colour is to be able to spot these.  You must have a warm neutral as the basis for this type of scheme.

I won't go into this now because I have lots of information about whites and how to find out the undertone in them, in these two articles:

How to find the right white and 5 mistakes to avoid when selecting white

What are the Autumnal colours?

This is pretty obvious, you may say.  Orange, Brown and some rich reds.  You only have to think of a traditional Autumn landscape to get the idea.  But I want to show you how to use these colours in a contemporary palette.

Contemporary Autumn Colour Palettes

You can see from the palette that I have put together above, that I have selected a dark grey and a soft warm grey.  Together with white, these anchor the scheme.

I love rugs in a room, even one with a carpeted floor.  This is often the best way to introduce some colour, while keeping the foundation pieces; sofas, chairs and window dressings, in a neutral.  Or you could introduce a sofa or chairs in a gorgeous soft tan leather.  A very contemporary way to add some warmth and again, as with timber, a natural injection of colour.

Contemporary Autumn Colour Schemes

Understanding Tertiary Colour

If you can understand the basics of colour, it makes putting together a colour scheme much easier.

  • There are 3 primary colours, red, yellow and blue.
  • Red and yellow, when mixed together, make orange.
  • Yellow and blue, when mixed together, make green.
  • Take the two secondary colours of orange and green and mix them together and you get Mustard.
  • In fact what you do get, depending on how much you use of orange and green, is a range of gorgeous, greyed down greens and oranges with mustard right in the middle.  Add white to these and you get lots more options.  Welcome to the wonderful world of colour!
  • These are Tertiary colours and there are a lot of other options as this is just from two of the secondary colours.   It is often these tones that are the best to use in interiors as they are not as strong and brash as their original base.

This means that when you are putting together Autumn colour schemes, you don't have to use the bright tones of red or orange, but look for the more muted, softer options and use these as your accents.  With a warm white, soft grey and possibly an accent of black, you get a very sophisticated, mellow Autumn colour scheme.


Contemporary Autumn colours

With a timber floor and an accent of warm golden mustard, this grey and white room comes alive.

Contemporary Autumn Colour Scheme
Image: Lonny

Richly coloured timber furniture with an accent rug demonstrates the value of a warm Autumnal scheme.

Contemporary Autumn Colours
Image: Loughlin Furniture

Natural rattan is on trend and mixed with warm timbers and soft warm off white walls, the feeling is light and airy but warm and comfortable too.

Related: The Rattan Trend and how to incorporate it in your home

Contemporary Autumn Colour Schemes

When you are embarking on any decorating project, you should start with a mood board.  I have an e-book to give you in my FREE Resource Library, along with lots of other e-books and checklists to help with your next project.

If you love warm colours, but are not so keen on grey, you could introduce brown as an anchor neutral.  You can find out more about how to use that here.


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