8 ways to decorate with pumpkins – for stand-out seasonal displays both indoors and outdoors

To welcome in the fall season or to celebrate Halloween, decorating with pumpkins will always prove popular – here are our favorite design ideas

Decorate with pumpkins. Three examples of pumpkin decorating ideas
(Image credit: The White Company | Liz Marie Galvin, Anna Vanderberg | Anthropologie)

Whether you want to create a stylish or scary display this Halloween – decorating with pumpkins is a fail-safe way to celebrate Halloween and the fall season.

One of the most popular, enduring and traditional Halloween decor ideas, you can't have Halloween without pumpkins, right?

From real pumpkins placed on your porch steps for outdoor Halloween decor, to faux pumpkin designs used indoors for more subtle fall decor ideas, we have rounded up our favorite ways to decorate with this spooky squash. 

8 pumpkin decor ideas that will transform your home for fall and Halloween

With Halloween on the horizon, it's worth starting to prep now with pumpkin carving ideas, pumpkin painting ideas, pumpkin planters, and more – leaving it to the last minute will mean you won't get all the pick of the best.

However, if the idea of using real pumpkins fills you with dread, then do not worry, we explore plenty of other creative pumpkin decorating ideas, too.

1. Use pumpkins to make the most of your porch

decorating with pumpkins, front porch with pumpkins of various shapes and colours on porch and steps, Halloween decoration

(Image credit: Liz Marie Galvin)

Scare all the evil spirits away with a fabulous display of pumpkins for Halloween porch decor.

'I go all out when it comes to our fall porch,' says interior designer and author, Liz Marie Galvan, author of Create Your Own Cozy, (available for pre-order on Amazon). 'My go-to secret is to fill this space with pumpkins and gourds. Pile and stack them, as if they’re spilling down the steps and overflowing from the garden. Add in a few knobby and multicolored gourds, dried cornstalks, and fall foliage, and you’re well on your way to an epic fall scene.'

Liz Marie Galvan
Liz Marie Galvan

Interior designer Liz Marie Galvan is the owner of interiors shop The Found Cottage in Hudsonville Michigan, and author of multiple design books. 

2. Style your space with pretty felt pumpkin decorations

Cozy pumpkin tablescape

(Image credit: Sophie Allport)

You don't need real pumpkins to create a beautiful display, consider using handcrafted pumpkins instead. There's plenty to choose from – plastic, ceramic, wooden or felt.

These felt pumpkin hanging decorations and table decorations by Sophie Allport are ideal for a Halloween table design, with the pumpkin table runner also providing the perfect final flourish. We love this pumpkin runner design from Anthropologie.

From a dining table to a sideboard, coffee table, or shelving, petite pumpkin decorations can be placed pretty much anywhere in the home.

3. Incorporate different styles of pumpkins for a layered look

decorating with pumpkin ideas, Halloween table decor ideas, outdoor table decor with white and orange pumpkins, tea lights, candles, lanterns

(Image credit: The White Company)

Whether you are shopping for the real thing, for stylish faux decorations, or both, incorporating a mix of different pumpkin designs and shapes will only help to establish a richer and layered look, perfect for a display on a porch or for fall table decor.

'Gathering for a celebratory meal is something very special,' says Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company. 'I love to keep a seasonal table simple with beautiful linens and white china, and then add a few special touches – our pumpkins are a perfect way to add a touch of fall.'

The White Company has a beautiful assortment of pumpkin decorations to choose from, ideal for a more serene and simple Halloween look.

The White Company
Chrissie Rucker OBE

Chrissie Rucker OBE is the founder of iconic British homeware brand, The White Company. Founded in 1994, Chrissie has traveled the world to find the best bed linen and interior products for the brand, and has extensive experience in the world of design.

4. Decorate your fireplace with pumpkins

Close up of pumpkins on mantel

(Image credit: West Elm)

'For many, a fireplace acts as the heart of the home (especially in fall and winter), helping to provide a snug space to gather round and relax with friends and family, so when it comes to decorating your home for the cozy season, there is no better place to decorate with seasonal decor,' says Homes & Gardens' digital editor, Jennifer Ebert.

From a few pumpkins placed on your hearth to pairing pumpkins with pretty fall foliage for fall mantel ideas, your fireplace is the perfect spot to get creative with plenty of pumpkin decor.

We explore, how to decorate a mantel for Halloween further in our dedicated feature.

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the 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.

5. Choose no mess paper designs

decorating with pumpkin ideas, paper pumpkins on coffee table, couch in background

(Image credit: Ginger Ray)

If you've been considering no-carve pumpkin ideas, why not take a mess-free design one step further with paper pumpkin decorations?

Super versatile, paper or cardboard decorations can be placed on pretty much any surface, or they can be hung from the ceiling, light fittings, or curtain rails.

You can either buy your paper decorations, like these designs from Amazon or learn how to make your own for a fun Halloween craft idea.

6. Opt for a colorful pumpkin instead of classic orange

living room with blue painted pumpkins on mantel, pampas in colored glass vases in alcoves, blue armchairs, painting on mantel, coffee table with pumpkins

(Image credit: Stephanie Hoey Design/Kelli Boyd)

If the traditional orange shade of pumpkins doesn't really fit your interior style then look out for colors that perfectly complement your chosen room color ideas. From colorful faux pumpkins, like these beautiful blue designs from Wayfair, to styling your space with glorious gourds in a palette of warming natural tones, there are color options to suit spaces of all styles.

Or, for a fall craft idea, learn how to paint a pumpkin and create your very own, unique colorful design.

7. Light up your home with a pumpkin lantern

White living room with pumpkins on mantel

(Image credit: Liz Marie Galvan)

Light up a corner of a room with an eye-catching pumpkin lantern display. Choose a range of sizes, we love these Pumpkin LED Lights from Harry & David, and intermingle them with pillar candles and candlesticks – guaranteed to create a magnificent, glowing display at nighttime, as shown in this calming white living room design by Liz Marie Galvan.

You can also use pumpkin lanterns to decorate your outdoor spaces for Halloween, shop designs like these Pumpkin Luminaries from Wayfair, to light up a porch, path, or outside steps.

8. Embrace a pumpkin shaped – and scented – candle

Pumpkin candle

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Pretty pumpkin candles can not only act as stylish decorations and cast an inviting, warming glow in a space, but they can make your home smell like fall too. What's not to love? 

This Large Pumpkin & Sweet Vanilla Gourmand Glass Gourd Candle from Anthropologie can bring a sense of seasonal cheer to wherever it is placed, perfect for decorating a dining table or coffee table. We explore how you style a coffee table in the fall in our dedicated feature.

Shop pumpkin decorations


How to decorate your home with pumpkins?

There are plenty of great decorating with pumpkin ideas to choose from – using them on your front porch as a Halloween welcome, on console tables in your hallway, mantels in the living room, and groups of them in your kitchen.

You can use plastic, ceramic, paper or fabric-style pumpkins if you want a no-mess approach and be as minimalist or maximalist as you like. 

Can you use real pumpkins for decor?

Yes, you can, just keep them in a cool place from purchase to display so they don't start going off before you've placed them where you want. Invest in plenty of them in case the weather heats up, generally, they will last around a month at room temperature. 

Remember, if you carve pumpkins they will have a much shorter life. We further explore how long a carved or uncarved pumpkin lasts in our dedicated piece.

Did you know that after pumpkins have been picked, they can last between two-three months outdoors or in cool interior spaces? So if you see any nice ones, don't worry about them turning before Halloween comes, it is always worth getting organized and investing now – if you keep them in the right cool conditions.

Sophie Warren-Smith
Contributing Editor

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.

With contributions from