Fall is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it. The coolness and crispness in the air enhanced by the beautiful colors all around me. The changing leaves, especially in Virginia where I live, set a background of gold, orange, brown and red everywhere you look. Yet as much as I look forward to the traditional and expected signs of the season I love the spirit of adventure. Exploring beyond the predictable and discovering enchanting hues makes the fall season even more invigorating. I’m not afraid to create color palettes that are unique and give even more dimension to my fall décor. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired too.

Image courtesy of Pantone.com

For 2012 we first look at the Pantone top ten colors of the year for direction. Tangerine Tango was number one and we’ve been seeing this cheerful dynamic hue everywhere from fashion to home décor all year and there is no stopping it now. I have to admit to including a pair of Tangerine Tango shoes to my current wardrobe and I love them. However, we won’t see this luscious color with its predictable companions of gold and brown alone this fall. Splashes of Indigo and Midnight creep into the palette for a new level of sophistication. Gold for fall is more yellow brighter than in past years. Magenta and fuchsia make an appearance just to liven things up. Both blued and yellowed greens introduce a fresh approach to the season, creating a background that is unexpected and fresh. Soft grays and beiges complete an earthy, happy palette.

Image courtesy of WeConnectFashion.com

When we look at the overall colors from Pantone for 2012 we get a very upbeat impression and that certainly has carried through to the fall. The colors we are working with may be different values and combinations of the original palette, but the ambiance of the story is definitely there. Be creative and find your own individual palette to celebrate this festive season.

Fashion usually sets the colors first with home décor to follow. How do we fit flowers and plants into the story? I can’t imagine my home in the fall without flowers, gourds, pumpkins and all the trappings, yet this season adding a few new materials will make it a fun adventure. Eucalyptus comes to mind to introduce those fresh new blued greens. I might use it by itself in a festive wreath or mix with other fall flowers and foliages. Both its color and texture makes it an easy companion however you chose to use it. Keep in mind that it dries well and will easily last the season.

Orchids & pomegranates

I think the use of magenta and fuchsia is the most interesting of a new color direction for Fall 2012. These bright hues are not usually thought of as autumn tones, yet when mixed with more traditional materials and colors they look fresh and vibrant. Roses, celosia, asters, stock, carnations and dahlias are available in these jewel colors. Try tucking a few in your fall bouquets or centerpieces. Fall is a time where we love to entertain and fresh flowers on the table certainly set the theme of the party.

Another way to change things up a bit for fall is to try different varieties of flowers and foliage that you may not have worked with before for this season. Golden brown cymbidium orchids are a far cry from the traditional chrysanthemum. Gather up some pomegranates, magnolia leaves and cream colored roses and you have a centerpiece fit for a king, luscious by anyone’s standards. The color palette is a little more traditional, but the unusual materials make the bouquet anything but ordinary.

Photo courtesy Amaryllis Designs/Eli Turner

Start thinking about fall early, not to rush the season but to enjoy it! Late summer flowers have that warm textural element that leads us naturally into the fall season. Combine these blooms with earthenware, glass bottles and fruit to enjoy the last drop of summer and welcome the bright fall days to come. Fall truly is my favorite season and I look forward to enjoying every bloom and leaf of 2012 with a splash of new, fresh color.

Ask your florist for their ideas on unique floral twists for fall. Stop into the shop and experiment with what’s in their cooler and what you’ve learned here.

What are tor favorite Fall 2012 trends? Are you traditional or do you like to mix things up a bit?

Either way, take time to stop and smell the flowers!