14 outdoor fall decor ideas that will elegantly elevate your exterior

Our outdoor fall decor ideas will help you step up your curb appeal for the season and transform your outside space with stylish decor, warmth and coziness

Three examples of outdoor fall decor ideas.
(Image credit: Danielle Moss | Neptune | @carlosriveracruet)

Just because summer is drawing to a close, that doesn't mean you should wave au revoir to the outdoors – in fact, fall is the most wonderful time of the year to admire Mother Nature in all her glory, and what better way to properly celebrate the season than with some stylish outdoor fall decor?

From wreaths for fall front door decor, to pretty pumpkin planters for fall porch ideas, ensure your home stands out from the crowd this fall with our inspiring outdoor fall decor ideas.

14 outdoor decoration ideas that warmly welcome fall 

Just like indoor fall decor ideas, embracing seasonal decorations, fall planting, cozy lighting ideas and more in your outside spaces will only help to make your home feel more cozy and inviting during the colder winter months.

1. Place plenty of colorful pumpkins outdoors

outdoor halloween decor on a porch

(Image credit: Danielle Moss)

What better place to start than with the fruit that is synonymous with fall decor and Halloween decoration ideas

Placing a collection of pretty pumpkins in all shapes, sizes and colors beside your front door, or on your front porch or back porch, is a simple, yet highly effective way to celebrate the season with outdoor fall decor. 

We love how the scattered pumpkins on this home's front steps add eye-catching color to the outside space, creating a rich and elegant contrast with the greenery.

2. Make a statement with a fall floral arch

sage green front door with fall floral arch, log pile, door mat, two brass lanterns

(Image credit: Dobbies)

It doesn't get much bigger or better than a stand-out floral archway for outdoor fall decor ideas. 

As fall is associated with a beautiful palette of colors, from rich reds to deep ochres, greens and purples, a floral design filled with these shades can really make for a truly wonderful design feature – ideal if you plan on doing plenty of hosting and welcoming of guests over the season. 

'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 Jenifer Ebert, editor at Homes & Gardens. '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.'

If you don't fancy crafting one yourself from fresh blooms and foliage, then why not embrace a similar faux design and style a fall garland, like this design from Balsam Hill, around your front door.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Deputy Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens online. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

3. Create a warm welcome at your front door

pumpkin on a front porch

(Image credit: The Finish)

'What creates fall curb appeal the most dramatically? Fall front door decor is key to making your home look inviting as your front yard's foliage begins to die back,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens, 'and while a wreath is often the go-to, why not think out of the box by decorating your front door with a basket of flowers? Choose a dried arrangement and it can come back indoors once fall has passed, ready for next year.'

The finishing touch? Simply line your pathway or porch with fall flowers for pots, like @CarlosRiveraCruet has done here. Their colors and scents will create a warm welcome. 

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

4. Include home made outdoor fall decor

Fall craft idea with pumpkins on and around a crate

(Image credit: Future/Dan Duchars)

Outdoor fall decor, just like indoors, relies on homespun charm, and this is where simple fall craft ideas come into their own. They needn't be complicated – even easy, no-carve pumpkin ideas can be effective.

'I like to collect pumpkins in a whole range of sizes and paint them to suit my color scheme,' says Jo Bailey, stylist and Homes & Gardens' Deputy Editor. 'Then I simply arrange them outside on my front or back porch to create an eye-catching display. It takes no more than an hour or so.'

Jo Bailey Author Profile Picture
Jo Bailey

Jo Bailey is Deputy Editor of Homes & Gardens, overseeing all features for the print edition. Before joining Future PLC, she worked as an interior stylist for over ten years, specializing in commercial photo shoots for luxury clients such as; Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Christopher Farr Cloth and Heal's. She has worked with Homes & Gardens for over a decade, having styled and produced editorial shoots and events over the years.

5. Pick planting with beautiful fall color

Outdoor fall decor with front door wreath

(Image credit: Future)

It takes some planning, but planting the best trees for fall color really is an outdoor fall decor idea we should all be prioritizing. 'Colorful trees or trees with beautiful berries will not just look beautiful, providing an extra layer of color, but will provide important food through fall for wild birds,' says Homes & Gardens' Gardens editor Rachel Crow.   

'Trees like Sorbus have lovely clusters of berries in shades of pink, white, orange, yellow and red, as well as burnished fall foliage.'

6. Create a cozy and warm area for outdoor dining

A cozy outdoor dining area with red blankets, beige cushions and candles

Outdoor dining space by Neptune

(Image credit: Neptune)

If you're dining outdoors on cooler nights, you need to make sure everyone is as warm as possible. This means lining chairs with sheepskins – or faux sheepskins – providing blankets, wraps, perhaps patio heaters or looking into outdoor fireplace ideas, such as a backyard firepit. Outdoor lighting ideas, such as candles and lanterns are, of course, a must.

For backyards and outdoor spaces to function as cozy dining spaces, you can demarcate the chosen space in various ways: 'Fall planters can form a screen to separate an area, or lighting can mark out spaces,' says RHS Gold medal-winning garden designer Rosemary Coldstream. Plus you can make a space feel cozier still with fall table decor ideas that are layered and welcoming, in wonderful fall colors.

7. Set up overhead outdoor lighting

outdoor fall decor with fairy lights

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to efficient backyard lighting, James Bassant, who is co-founder and design director at Astro, says that quality and clever placement is far more important than quantity. 

'A more considered use of lighting for a specific feature can have a much greater impact for your outdoor fall decor. Whether picking out the route of a path, a gentle wash of light over a surface or solar garden lighting ideas entwined between foliage, it can be surprising how little light you need to create a magical look that will allow you to enjoy your garden way beyond dusk.'

8. Create a fall tablescape in your outdoor dining area

Outdoor fall decor with table setting on deck

(Image credit: Future)

Transition from Easter to high summer through to Thanksgiving and Christmas effortlessly by dressing up your outdoor dining table for each season or occasion – fall table decor ideas are not just for indoors.

A simple linen tablecloth laid with lanterns, candles and flatware in shades of taupe, orange and grey becomes the perfect setting for a festive fall luncheon. Plants for fall color and foliage are key to achieving this look, so include a spectacular selection of fall flora and fauna, such as goldenrod, sweet alyssum, marigolds, purple fountain grass, heuchera and Japanese maple.

9. Plan a place for after hours perching

garden deck with firepit

(Image credit: Neptune)

It might seem ambitious, but with the heat of a fire pit, you can enjoy your backyard all through fall. Create the perfect entertainment area when you plan an outdoor kitchen by adding a permanent firepit to your backyard, to ensure the party keeps going well after sundown.

This rustic design is the perfect balance between practical and aesthetically pleasing. The only problem you'll have is getting your friends and family to leave before sunrise.

10. Cozy up with heaps of texture

Fall outdoor decor on a porch

(Image credit: Weaver Green)

Just as with living room fall decor, textiles will help add coziness and character to your outdoor fall decor. If you already have a seating area in the garden, think about matching the color and pattern of the coverings to whatever you choose for your fall porch ideas – perfect if you want to play up to an authentic fall color scheme.

Alternatively, switch rugs and cushions as the seasons change to add interest. In fall, strategically placed pumpkins add interest. In winter, lanterns and blankets are ideal. 

Use texture in interior design to create a specific feel in a space. Rough and coarser textures like reclaimed wood or terracotta have more 'visual weight' and create a cozy, rustic aesthetic – perfect for the fall season. 

In this fall-inspired porch, shiplap walls, a rattan chair, an outdoor rug and blankets are textures that all combine to create a warm and cozy scene.

11. Create a space for Halloween decorating

Front door with fall flowers and pumpkins

(Image credit: @carlosriveracruet)

Welcome friends and family with a beautiful exterior display, fit for the fall season. 

Halloween this fall will be back with a bang, which does, of course, mean that you have the perfect excuse to double down on outdoor fall decor ideas to make your home look more frightfully festive than ever.

Once Halloween decor ideas are done with, dress your front porch with lanterns or twinkling fairy lights, which can also be used to create a beautiful fall mantel.

12. Hang a festive fall wreath

fall front door decor, blue door with autumn wreath

(Image credit: @homeonfernhill)

Highlight the elegance of a fall front porch’s architectural detail with a contemporary take on the classic festive front door. 

Swap out traditional elements such as rich red accents and a classic ring of green foliage, and update them – choose typically seasonal fauna, such as marigolds, with sections of reddish-brown leaves like maple and fresh herbs such as thyme, sage or rosemary. 

However, if you are a traditionalist at heart, favorite fall wreath ideas also include varieties of eucalyptus, ivy, holly and box; you can make a fall wreath with anything from flowers to seed heads, pinecones to cinnamon sticks. 

13. Light up a pathway

Garden lighting ideas

(Image credit: Future / Alun Callender)

Gone are the days when the last rays of evening sun signaled a quick retreat indoors as the garden descended into darkness. 

Today, there are legions of smart lighting options that allow us to transform what was formerly a foreboding dark space into a magical landscape, complete with color, beams and a variety of effects, whilst also providing safe passage down steps and through pathways  for your garden path ideas – all perfect for fall decorating.

A suitable fall outdoor lighting scheme might include anything from well-placed lanterns of flickering candlelight, energy-saving solar lights to a state-of-the-art digital system controlled by your mobile phone.

14. Gather by the fire in a garden room

Outdoor fireplace ideas with built-in wall fire

(Image credit: Future / David Cleveland)

When planning a garden room, think carefully about how you’d like to use the space in the colder months. If you plan to entertain well into the evening, or simply revel in your garden after sundown, then an outdoor fireplace could be the answer to those chilly evenings, and is perfect for casting a warm glow over other outdoor fall decor ideas. 

Setting up an enclosed seating area around a fireplace is a fool-proof way of upping the comfort factor to your garden ideas. As well as warmth, the fire will add extra light and can be used for seasonal fall treats, such as toasting marshmallows, warming mulled cider or spiced wine. 

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When can you start decorating outside for fall?

Wondering when you should start decorating for fall? Generally speaking, early to late September is the best time to start decorating outside for fall. The wisest option is to put up fall decor in September or October, once the weather starts changing. 

Follow seasonal cues and go with your surroundings. After all, it’s up to you how and when you’ll decorate for this autumnal season.

If you don't want to use real pumpkins for your outdoor fall decor, and would prefer a more long-lasting decoration that you can use year after year, why not embrace an enduring metallic pumpkin. 

We love this Pumpkin Luminary design from The Home Depot, and how it is both a stylish decoration and cozy light all in one – perfect for lining a path or for placing on a front or back porch.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.

With contributions from