Designer Q&A: How Karen and Dani Do Fall

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on September 10, 2019

In search of fall interior design inspiration? Look no further. Havenly designers Dani Mulhearn and Karen Richani rounded up some of their favorite products and tips for the coming season.

Karen:  My favorite part about designing in cooler months is cozying up a room with the use of different textures, either visual or tactile, like a faux fur blanket or rug. 

Fall is the perfect opportunity to refresh your home. I also enjoy working with warmer color palettes and seasonal accessories. 

Dani:  It’s the time of year when you can maximize the coziness of your place and make it feel all homey before the holidays!

Light Grey Faux Fur Throw from CB2

Karen:  I think fall is more than a season. It’s a state of mind. I live in Houston, and as you probably know, fall in the south is a little delayed. Based on my experience, no matter where you reside, you can join in on the fun of this season. Whether you’re redecorating or modifying your existing decor, fall is a great time to refresh your color palette. Mix in these warm, deep hues with a set of comfortable throw pillows. 

Or, update your tabletop decor with natural materials like wood accessories, fishnet abaca, and new linens. 

Dani:  I second Karen. Pops of orange, taupe, rust, reds, and olive greens in your throw pillows can instantly transform your space. 

Candles are another fantastic way to completely shift the ambiance and bring the best of the new season indoors! My favorite fall and winter scents are Anthropologie’s Boulangerie Jars in Chai Latte and Vanilla Fig

Suede Quilted Pillow Cover with Tassels in Suede

Karen:  I usually start preparing for fall at the end of August, so I have everything ready to implement in September. I believe this allows you to enjoy the season before the holidays. Plus, winter months deserve decorations of their own!

Dani:  ASAP! Fall is my favorite time of year, so I’m usually ready to bring out my accessories halfway through summer!

Karen:  For me, fall is a sensorial experience, and therefore I like to incorporate accessories like scented candles to immediately transport and connect with the spirit of the season. 

To create a fall vibe, I like to display fresh cut eucalyptus leaves alongside natural pumpkins in various sizes and colors.

Dani:  Candles and blankets! I’m notorious for walking around the house wrapped in a blanket–even in the summer months. Once fall rolls around, I’m excited to bring out extra blankets! My fiancé has had to invoke a “one new blanket per season rule” because otherwise, I’d come home with a new blanket every week. 

Pumpkin-Scented Candle with Lid from Crate & Barrel

Karen:  I’ve noticed sellers and our designers using colors that haven’t traditionally been considered part of the fall palette. For instance, blues combined with golds and oranges. 

And greens mixed with burgundy and yellow. 

Dani:  For me, fall is all about warming up a home and celebrating the beauty of nature. This means lots of natural materials, like edge wood and concrete. I use pops of bright white to keep the spaces I design light and airy as the days get shorter. I love mixing in golds and antique bronze to complement the changing colors outdoors. 

This board includes all of my fall favorites:


Karen:  These days, I feel like everything in decor can be considered acceptable if done with taste. I can’t give a definite “no” to a specific trend or decorative item, but I stay away from overdoing it. Limit seasonal accents to a few key focal points in your home like the fireplace, entryway, sofa, or dining table. 

Dani:  I always avoid anything with a year or specific holiday printed on it. Otherwise, you can’t use it more than once. Find items that can be used from September through November to maximize the fall season in your home.

Karen:  Sadly, it’s a nay for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell, but I would rather see other people enjoying it.

Dani:  PSL EVERYTHING. Lattes, toast, muffins, doughnuts. It’s cinnamon, spice, and everything nice.

Words by Erika Torvik