Keep summer alive! Draw inspiration from the desert’s warming tones 

Summer may be over but that is no reason to turn your back on its calming colour palette. 

Autumn officially begins today and there is a noticeable shift to more full-bodied desert and sandy shades which draw inspiration from a scorching sun and velvety sand.

‘We’re noticing that our customers are becoming much bolder with colour and although paler neutrals are still very popular, you can really lift a room by introducing warming sand, rust and clay tones,’ says Charlie Marshall, founder of Loaf.

Bold neutrals: Yellow bed linen and natural textiles create a relaxing room and inject a subtle richness into the home

Adam Daghorn, head of design at is also an advocate of these more robust neutrals. 

‘Calming sandy shades, earthy olives and spiced terracotta hues are being dubbed as the ‘new neutrals’ as they inject a subtle richness into the home, helping to create a seamless transition of any space from summer to autumn.

‘These toned-down shades complement a variety of aesthetics, from retro 1970s pads, to minimalist Scandi homes or relaxed bohemian abodes.’

The power of these bolder neutrals is in their versatility and, luckily, they can be introduced in many forms, materials and textures.

Go big on sofas

These desert shades work brilliantly on big pieces such as sofas and armchairs and create a comforting, easy-to-live-with look, while still giving impact.

Loaf’s Easy-Peasy sofa in Broken Pot, Tea Bag or Elbow Patch would be a great focal point in a room (£2,085 for clever velvet, £2,185 for clever linen, 

Neptune’s Matilda Armchair in Clara Mocha cotton linen, meanwhile, will blend into any colour scheme and can be spruced up with a colourful cushion (£1,190,

Wooden furniture complements the sandy aesthetic. Cox & Cox’s Southwold side table is the epitome of rustic chic and adds some heft to a room, (£295,

Softly softly

Fabrics, curtains, cushions and throws are a great way to adopt the trend. Bernie de Le Cuona, founder of Le Cuona, makes linens inspired by nature.

‘In our Overland collection we have a linen fabric called Dahna that resembles the moving desert. Warm sand goes well with off-whites and dusty pink. For drama add a touch of colour such as teal to make it come alive.’ (Dahna, £355 per m,

Sandy colours are an easy way to give an impression of age to a scheme. ‘When trying to recreate a lived-in look, use fabrics that have backcloths in sandy colours, rather than fresh whites, says interior designer Octavia Dickinson, whose upholstery fabric Otis in yolk has a warm sandy tone that injects instant sunshine, (£170 per m,

A scattering of cushions is a great way to introduce these colours in smaller doses and will add texture and layering. Experiment with square and rectangular cushions in complementary shades.

Loaf’s Easy Squish Scatter in Terracotta Linen, Cocoa Linen or Cinnamon Velvet should do the trick (£39,

Fancy upping the ante? Add patterned cushions such as Made’s Xanthe cushion, which is a fun abstract patchwork and an ideal statement piece to throw on a sofa (£45,

Habitat’s Jute Mono Check Cushion, meanwhile, has a tasteful, artisanal feel and adds texture (£16,

Hit the floor

Work with desert shades from the ground up to echo nature. Birdie Fortescue’s Ghapla Jute Rug will instantly introduce warmth to a kitchen, bathroom or corridor (£350,

Shine on: Penny Morrison’s pleated, brown and white-spotted silk lampshade (£151.80,

Shine on: Penny Morrison’s pleated, brown and white-spotted silk lampshade (£151.80,

Matilda Goad & Co’s quirky Tufted Jute Rug, meanwhile, will add texture and interest to a scheme. The rug is embellished with wool and features pretty scalloped edges and would work well with warmer terracotta hues (from £198,

Warm accessories

As with all colour-based trends, you can choose to pick up these warm tones in big pieces or in details such vases or lampshades. Graham & Green’s Bamboo Cane Shelves come in a circular or tall octagonal shape and will bring a Scandinavian element to an interior.

Add house plants for a pop of green (from £75,

The architectural curves and ribbed details on Made’s Zayl vase in cinnamon are modern and eye-catching.

Daghorn suggests filling it with ‘a dried pampas grass and eucalyptus bouquet’ to chime with the trend, (£54,

Penny Morrison’s pleated, brown and white-spotted silk lampshade with red trim is a lampshade Dickinson returns to repeatedly as it ‘gives such a wonderful warm light’ (£151.80,

With the nights drawing in, it has never been so necessary to cocoon yourself in these warm, comforting desert shades.

Savings of the week! Ottoman


The Malia ottoman comes in shades including grey, mustard, pink and teal,£103.99 (

The Malia ottoman comes in shades including grey, mustard, pink and teal,£103.99 (

In the 15th and 16th century, the powerful people of the Ottoman Empire kicked back from their machinations on a type of low couch that today we call the ottoman.

This piece of padded furniture is not only handy for relaxing. Many styles also incorporate storage.

You should be able to put your feet up, with the sense of satisfaction that you have saved money.

For example, the smart grey velvet-covered Julian Bowen ottoman from Robert Dyas has been reduced from £164.99 to £139.99 ( The price of the Argos Bennett green velvet storage ottoman has been cut from £35 to £25 (

At B&M, you will find a black mid-century style storage ottoman with wooden legs reduced by £30 from £100 to £70 ( 

The Malia ottoman from Wayfair comes in shades including grey, mustard, pink and teal and a palm print. It was £199.99, but is now £103.99 (

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