We are well into the golden month of September and weekend activities have shifted as we move firmly into the fall season. Along with the change in seasons comes an adjustment in palette as well. Before easing into the fall months, the summer’s inspiration is water. It draws me near to refreshing blues that undulate into a spectacle of ombré. Those watery blues are crisply offset with all things in white—ruffled dresses, beach towels, and strapping sandals—which beams as a cooling element in the heat of the sun.

September pivots with a “bring it on” attitude that challenges color schemes to be pure and bold. During this transition, instead of boat cruises and garden parties (although I’ll take both as much as possible), I enjoy a college football game with friends and family. And that means ditching those super sophisticated nuanced colors with esoteric names for the old-fashioned saturated hues of which team colors are made. The basics of red, blue, yellow, green in varying combinations with a few outlying colors give spirit to palettes that are bound to score big.

The football field itself seems fairly natural. Sans yardage markings, its vibrant green color, one of my very favorite hues, works its way into much of what I do. Because green is such a key player in nature, it’s a fresh beginning for so many interior projects, and the perfect way to start the design game. Here, I’ve found a solid cotton velvet that would make a cushy texture when used to cover a comfortable sofa where a couple might perch to watch their favorite team when they don’t have tickets to cheer in person.

For me, checks are not a summer-only pattern. They work in all seasons in varying colors. Here, I found brights teamed with white that can be used as a tablecloth, tray inserts, and so much more.

Just as there are two teams in any game, there are two colors that pair together, too. Here, I’ve found chic Mark & Graham pouches with wide sporty stripes perfect for carrying to the game. And similarly to players’ names that are screened onto the backs of jerseys, I’ve elevated these leather clutches with a simple version of my monogram.

I’m always game to set a gorgeous table that layers pretty tabletop flair, but football weekends call for different types of wares from my cupboard stash. When the season begins, hammered copper mugs can be used to sip mules of all kinds. Fast forward to later in the autumn and spiced warm cider will fill those copper gems instead. Whether tailgating in a parking lot or entertaining in your family room, be sure to add those decorative elements that let everyone know that it’s game day. Sodas in glass bottles, laser-cut coasters (mine are from Mark & Graham), novelty pennants, and plenty of dual-colored popcorn or Doritos will have your guests cheering for you instead of the teams! And instead of conventional napkins, pick up some tea towels in black-and-white stripes that will referee any spills. Set your party things up on a large wood table that speaks to the masculine rough-and-tumble mindset of the sport. Sports fans everywhere find inspiration on a good quote. So keep one near—like Vince Lombardi’s famous “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win”—to keep the momentum high.

When it comes to your interiors and the gatherings that are in them, you are the coach. So make a plan, then make a play. I promise that you will score points with everyone.