Fall porch ideas – 18 gorgeous autumnal looks for a warm welcome
The best fall porch ideas combine elements of the natural world with the coziness you crave. From pumpkin piles to flickering lanterns, these are our favorites
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Gorgeous fall porch ideas will make your home look inviting, and are the first step in offering your guests a truly warm welcome during the colder months.
If the weather is bleak, there’s nothing like arriving at the door of a home you know will envelope you in coziness, with fall decor ideas that still nod to the dazzling colors, textures and changes unfolding in the natural world.
‘Fall is a softly lit, beautiful time of year,’ says Brigitte Girling, Founder of floral design company Moss & Stone (opens in new tab). ‘A time to celebrate the warmth of summer captured within the color of the relaxing garden, golden foliages and remaining drowsy flowers.’
So, if you are looking for front porch ideas that are perfect for the season, and which can take you right up to the New Year, look no further: below, we have some wonderful ways to decorate a front porch for the season ahead.
Fall porch ideas
From foliage festooned wreaths to piles of pumpkins and lanterns to light the way home, we spoke to the experts about outdoor fall decor can be used to create stunning fall porch ideas to welcome you in from the cold.
1. Make the most of the fallen leaves
'Although wreaths are traditionally linked to Christmas, we love a fall wreath to lift the spirits and create something beautifully welcoming to your façade as days grow darker. It's about displaying the warming colors of amber leaves and the muted tones of dried flowers.
'Natural and understated, it’s a transitional period perfect for exploring different options, scattering floor lanterns, perhaps a pumpkin or two and readying your porch for an influx of decorative ornaments ahead of the festivities come December,' says Francesca Morris, senior buyer at Garden Trading (opens in new tab).
2. Illuminate your porch with LED fall lights
Fall front door decor isn't just about wreaths; think garlands, too.
'Create the ultimate warm welcome home from frosty fall walks with porchways adorned with seasonal wreaths and garlands, with freshly fallen leaves and a rich color palette of muted orange and plum that will perfectly encapsulate the true essence of fall. Intertwine the warm glow of micro lights amongst the autumnal foliage where the delicate wire and subtle LED light will softly blend with the seasonal leaves,' says Emily Kelsey, Lights4Fun (opens in new tab).
'Simply arch the autumnal garland around the top of your doorway and hang the wreath on the front of your door, securing in place with a nail or door hanger. Pair black metal lanterns and outdoor (LED) candles together, placing either side of your doorway for the perfect autumnal entrance. Mix and match various heights and sizes around the foot of your porch, where the darker evening will roll in and the soft ambient glow will guide you home.'
3. If the weather allows, dine outside on your porch
Fall table decor ideas needn't just be indoors: if you have room for a table outside on your porch, why not decorate it for fall?
'Outside dining on your front or back porch, even during the fall season, is still possible if you do a bit of cozy prep work first – comfy seat cushions and thick woolen blankets are a necessity and make sure you have plenty of lanterns and candles on the table. If you have a chiminea or fire pit get that fired up to keep warm and it will create a lovely glow too,' says Melanie Griffiths, editor, Period Living.
4. A rich plum shade will cozy up outdoor space
Fall color schemes are all about the rich shades we see reflected in nature, so why not combine them with your fall porch ideas for the perfect combination.
'I accentuated our 1911 Seattle home with a bead board soffit and a pair of Dutch doors by painting them a rich plum brown to balance the sunlit space. Lap-siding and woven shade add texture while a Jaipur runner softens this heavily used area. This space acts as a corralling area for my two resident dogs seen peeking through the glass. A wall lined with hooks keeps the space tidy,' says Raina Henderson, founder and principal designer at Raina Henderson Interior Design (opens in new tab).
5. Scatter pumpkins in a range of colors
'A scattering of pumpkins in different colors (we have plenty of pumpkin painting ideas) will make your fall porch feel elegant, and they can be placed alongside fall planters for more texture and color,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens. 'And of course, you can repurpose them as Halloween porch decor once 31 October rolls around.
6. Create a fall floral arch to welcome your guests
Fall mantel ideas on steroids? It has to be this floral arch idea, which will create a stir in the neighborhood.
'Go further than a fall wreath this year, especially if you are hosting. This stunning floral arch is adorned with fall blooms and greenery, it will set the scene for this cozy season and add a splash of color and texture to your porch,' says Andrea Childs, editor, Country Homes & Interiors. 'Simply choose the best plants for fall color to provide the basis for the arch and work seasonal blooms into it for added jewel tones.'
7. Change up your rocking chair pillows
One easy fall porch idea is simply switching up the accessories on your front porch furniture.
'Changing out pillows on rocking chairs is such a simple way to update your porch each season! Adding a candle and some florals makes the seating area feel even more welcoming,' says Leah Atkins, owner and lead designer at Leah Atkins Design (opens in new tab).
8. Arrange clusters of seasonal delights
With the world changing right outside your window, it’s hard not to put nature at the center of your fall porch ideas. ‘It’s a time to welcome the transition of focus from outside to inside whilst still celebrating nature’s final flourish before winter,’ says Moss & Stone's Brigitte Girling. ‘An easy way to do this is to create an inviting seasonal harvest of nature’s gifts around our doors and porchways.’
Creating low-level clusters of natural decor, such as easy, no-carve pumpkin ideas and displays – mixed in with the occasional man-made organizing tool – next to your doorstep or around columns are wonderful back porch ideas, and will create the feel of plants organically sprouting from the ground.
‘Mix foraged foliage, seasonal produce and dried flowers and grasses for an upbeat and on trend style,’ suggests Country Homes & Interiors stylist Sara Bird. ‘Use oversize vases and pots for stems with pumpkins and squashes arranged around the base.’
9. Make a fall wreath with a difference
Of course no fall porch is complete without a wreath, but don't just choose flowers, think seasonal edibles, too. Just as at Christmas time, the season’s natural bounty makes for excellent wreath-building fodder. At this time of year, however, ditch the glitter and festive bows and keep it simple.
'To make a fall wreath, twist dried grapevine around on itself to make a twiggy natural shape,’ says stylist Sara Bird. 'Weaving autumnal leaves, feathers, pinecones or berry-laden branches into your base will add interest – if you’re feeling more ambitious you can even try adding threading apples like in this impressive and unique example.'
10. Get cozy with an outdoor rug
Love your living room fall decor? Then greet your guests with a little bit of it on your porch. Incorporating weather-proof textiles into your porch will signal to your guests that inside awaits a cozy refuge. Outdoor rugs like this one from Weaver Green are the perfect transitional addition.
‘A rug or runner in a porch will instantly update and change the feel of the entrance of a home,’ says Tasha Green, Director of Weaver Green. ‘Whether it is a statement rug or a simple herringbone design, the addition of a rug or runner will help set the tone for the rest of the interior.’
11. Let your autumnal foliage run riot
The fiery ochres of autumnal leaves always inspire the best fall color schemes for our interiors, so ensure you make the most of them in their natural state in your for a fall porch. This may take a little planning earlier in the year, but think about introducing plants into your porch area and its surroundings that will naturally create a dazzling display when fall comes around.
In this example, Boston Ivy has been allowed to run across the front of the home and down around the porch area – this variety turns a vibrant ruby red when fall arrives.
We have a list of the best trees for fall color if you are looking for more inspiration.
12. Don't limit your pumpkins to Halloween
They are an enduring stalwart of Halloween decorating ideas, but that isn’t the only role the pumpkin planter has to play in fall. Apart from being delicious, they also make whimsical additions to non-spooky fall porch decor across the whole season. Plus, pumpkin planters are a wonderful way to decorate your home in fall.
‘The traditional ‘go to’ display of produce tends to use pumpkins and gourds,’ says Moss & Stone's Brigitte Girling. ‘Beautifully shaped and colored, they are easy to place in groupings that convey a sense of the season.’
Ditch the carving, and group miniature varieties together around larger ones for a layered look.
If you are mixing them up for Halloween, there are some contemporary tricks out there to look out for too. ‘For a safer pumpkin carving idea, use battery candles inside carved out versions,’ suggests stylist Sara Bird (opens in new tab). ‘Don't throw away the pumpkin tops once carved out but replace to give shelter to the candles.’
13. Add decorative displays to the window sills
Wondering how to decorate for fall on a budget? Why not use what you already have at home? A few apples make for charming decorations, and local wildlife will enjoy them too.
Your fall porch decor shouldn’t stop at the front door. If you have a wide porch that runs some or all of the width of the home, consider getting your window sills in on the action.
Take a leaf out of your book of fall living room decor ideas, and perch small vases of seasonal flowers as well as decorative objects from the natural world and arrange them along these little spaces, alternating height as you go. In this example, apples have been hollowed out and filled with wax and a wick to create a seasonal candle.
14. Light up your steps with lanterns
We all want our guests to feel a warming glow when they enter our home, so why not start from the doorstep? ‘If you have space, the finishing touch of a few lit lanterns as the dark nights draw in, creates a wonderfully enticing welcome for visiting friends and family,’ says Girling.
If you have steps leading up to your front door, place lanterns or candles in hurricane vases on each step to the sides, as demonstrated in this example. You can group these with low-level displays of gourds and even intersperse them with your fall planter ideas.
15. Incorporate texture with a range of organic decor
Of course, fall isn’t all about leaves and pumpkins. The season comes with a whole wealth of hardy, long lasting organic elements that are easy to forage for your decor, often after having fallen from trees and thus limiting the need to disturb your surroundings.
Take notes from your other fall craft ideas and layer multiple types of flora. 'Think scale and texture with autumnal arrangements,’ says Bird. ‘Large leaves look wonderful mixed with berries, nuts and cones.’
16. Bundle up in a blanketed seating area
For larger porches, a seating area for watching the world go by is a must. There’s no need to tuck away your best outdoor furniture when the weather turns colder either – just ensure you’re well prepared for the chill by layering up your benches and armchairs with lots of lovely warm blankets.
Choose easily washed fabrics so you don’t have to worry too much about leaving them outdoors, and opt for either greys to mimic autumnal skies, or warm rusts to create a sensation of extra warmth.
17. Make a feature of your log store
As temperatures dip, your log store gets its time to shine. If it’s located on your porch, show it some appreciation by making a decorative feature out of it. Stacked up logs already communicate an autumnal aesthetic, so why not make them the backdrop to a seating nook, adding pumpkins and gourds into the mix.
As with all decorative shed ideas, you’ll need to make sure any fun elements work with the space’s practical function – ensure any chairs don’t get in the way of you accessing logs on cold evenings, or are easily moved to the side.
18. Keep it all organized
Just with any space, a key element of keeping your fall porch looking good is keeping things organized. If you have a functional porch with a seating area or log store, ensure you have a box or basket to tuck away blankets and scatter cushions, and a sheltered, dedicated space to keep your logs – that can either be a built-in, or a smaller shelving unit like this one. Take note from your mudroom storage ideas too, and consider putting in a unit to store the dirtiest boots, and keep them sheltered from the rain.
How should I decorate my porch in fall?
Looking to nature is the best way to create a truly atmospheric fall theme for your porch, and the best way to start decorating for fall. Pumpkins, gourds and pinecones are among the more obvious pieces, but there is much more beautiful autumnal florals and foliage out there too.
‘I would suggest looking a little more closely at the hedgerow for inspiration,’ says Moss & Stone's Brigitte Girling. ‘Branches of hawthorn berry, sloes and rosehips are festooned there, like glistening jewels. Gather a few, leaving plenty for the birds, and place loosely in chunky jugs or tall glass vases. Again, grouping a few jugs and vases together can give sumptuous but easy to achieve natural display full of the ripeness of the season.’
‘Bracken too has put its autumn burnished coat on. Gather an armful and arrange around a display of bowls filled with gathered apples, quince, plum, pear, conkers, medlar fruits and seed pods. Rather wonderfully, the bracken doesn’t require water this time of year.’
How can I make my front porch look good in fall?
Once you’ve found your materials, putting them together is where the real artistry lies. For an organic look, arrangements on the floor of gourds, candles, lanterns and more can look relaxed and natural.
You will, however, also need to think about layering your porch decor and including some height. A wreath on the front door will add excitement to your visitors’ eyeline, while berry-laden branches pinned or hanging from the top of the porch roof will create an inviting arch under which to enter.
If you have a seating area, coordinate your blankets with your decor – choose burnt oranges to go with your pumpkins, red to match any bright berries and brown ochres if you’re focusing on the likes of twisted branches and pinecones. Surround them with fall flowers for pots as a colorful finishing touch.
Ailis started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. She then spent three years at the London Evening Standard, covering restaurants and bars. After a period of freelancing, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures, she started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing her to fully indulge her love of good interior design. She is now a fully fledged food PR but still writes for Homes & Gardens as a contributing editor.
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