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Refresh Your Space: 3 Seasonal Design Tips

woman and man happy on the couch

This post is adapted from an article originally published for Copenhagen by StoryStudio San Antonio.

As the weather changes throughout the course of a year, getting excited for certain seasons means surrounding ourselves with an ambience in our homes that aligns with our outside environment. These seasonal shifts urge us toward specific materials and color palettes, affecting everything from the clothes we wear to the furniture and décor we choose for our home.

Diana VanArsdalen has observed these changes for more than 25 years as a designer at Copenhagen in Phoenix. “We all change little things throughout the year, like clothes, according to the seasons,” she says. “You should treat your interior environment the same way you treat your closet. Stand back and take inventory of your space, putting away what speaks to a season that's almost over and making updates for what’s ahead.” If this sounds like a challenging task, Diana recommends starting small by making changes to your accessories, color palettes, and textures.


Focus on accessories and accent pieces

An area rug is one piece that can have a powerful effect on the overall feel of a space. Diana suggests paying attention to how a rug can change the temperature and mood of a room – for example, jute or another summer weave creates a light, breezy feel for the warmer months, while a plusher wool rug is ideal during winter.

“Rugs are easy to switch out so you can choose a bolder design if you want,” says Diana, who began in sales but soon moved to design consultations. “I like the varying high and low textures in a rug like the Varese, which is hand-tufted in wool and viscose. It’s a warm and durable choice for cooler months.”

Swapping out accent pillows can also be a quick way to freshen up a room for a shift in seasons. While a floral pillow like Fleurs et Mains is great for spring and summer, it can easily be switched out for a more autumnal piece like the Femme Assise pillow once temperatures start to drop.

In the same vein, changing only one piece of furniture for the season can have a significant effect. “One chair can make a big impact, like the Lodi chair with matching ottoman,” Diana says. “Lodi’s deep espresso brown leather and tufted design gives it a mid-century vibe that also makes it wonderful for autumn and winter. This design speaks to me, and I see it appealing to a lot of other people as well.”

Even when cool days start to heat up – or vice versa – you can still adapt seasonal accent furniture for changing times. Don’t underestimate the power of well-chosen accessories to transform the vibe of everything from an armchair to larger items like sofas or sectionals.

Consider color palette and pattern

Diana sees exciting trends in furniture that suggest a change in the color palette. Of particular interest to her is the resurgence of shades of brown, from warm cognac to deep chocolate, that pair well with neutral tones to create a sophisticated look ideal for fall and winter.

“We haven’t seen dark brown for years,” she says. “It is nice to see a rich brown leather that evokes a classic lounge environment – very luxe and inviting.” She cites the Chelsea sofa, loveseat, and chair as examples of pieces with warm brown leather and wide, cushy seats that welcome you to curl up and enjoy.

For fall and winter, Diana recommends accent furniture or accessories made with luxurious materials in rich colors like deep brown, burgundy, rusty orange, mustard yellow, forest green, or aubergine – or complementary neutrals like champagne or beige. Diana says animal prints also add a bold accent, whether in a throw blanket, a rug like the Opal with its geometric cowhide pattern, or a pillow like the Lumin with its subtle zebra print.

Mix materials, textures, and touches of nature

For a material that adds tremendously to the ambience of a room, nothing beats leather, according to Diana. “Leather can be very cozy,” she says. “Some people may shy away from it, but a good leather will breathe and be warm in the winter. Think of your parents’ or grandparents’ chair that was well-worn and felt so comforting to sit in with a favorite book or a mug of hot chocolate. Fine leather will also wear well over time, developing a nice patina that only adds to its beauty.”

Though leather is versatile for all seasons, fall and winter are a great time to embody coziness through tones of cognac and brandy leather, which keep it neutral while also adding a quality of richness and warmth.

“You should also think about combining different textures on your furnishings,” Diana advises, “such as mixing leather with fabrics.” A soft velvet pillow like the Isabel offsets the smoothness of leather, while the jacquard-style weave of Copenhagen’s art pillows have dimension and bold color that complement both leather and fabric upholstery.

Nature can also play a key role in one’s interior, says Diana, who rearranges her houseplants and personal artwork – she is a painter – to change a room’s mood throughout the year.

“It’s good to combine a variety of elements,” she says. “I recommend including something organic that blends well with statement accessories from nature, like seasonal live or artificial plants.” Diana is especially fond of the Rio Side Table – it has a tabletop made from a ringed cross-section of a walnut tree that creates a unique and organic feel in any room.

“Wood is in our DNA; it is part of nature and part of human history,” Diana says. “We have been crafting with wood since the beginning of civilization. Our connection with objects made of elements from the outdoors creates a deep resonance that everyone can appreciate. Many people like the clean look of glass and metal. However, bringing in some wood – even a decorative bowl – can do a lot to add warmth while keeping it simple. I have an abstract bowl from Copenhagen at home and a statue that are both carved from wood, and they’re all I need for decoration.”

“Scandinavians – and Europeans in general – deal with changing environments all the time, giving them experience in warming and cooling their homes with accessories,” Diana says. “I like to take inspiration from them and think how I can make my interior welcoming for others in any season. I advise my clients to discover objects that will open the room wonderfully during a gathering of family or friends.”

A few well-chosen tweaks or additions may be all you need to turn your home into a haven for spring, summer, autumn, or winter. As Diana said, pay attention to pieces like rugs, chairs, or accent pillows that can be switched out for ones with a more seasonal pattern or color, like bright pastels, light neutrals, or deeper tones. Also consider what new materials you can welcome into your home for the warmer or cooler months. Why not try Diana’s recommendation for leather, linen, or organic elements to spruce up your space? As you plan to transition your home for every season of the year, visit the Copenhagen website or your nearest showroom in Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Gilbert, AZ, or San Antonio or Austin, TX to see what’s possible.