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Decorated front porch overflowing with flowers and pumpkins.

13 Fall Front Porch Ideas: How To Decorate Your Porch Space For Autumn

Morgan McBride7-Minute Read
September 22, 2020

One way to add curb appeal to your home is by tastefully decorating your front porch. Some homeowners take it a step further by adding seasonally specific decor to their porches. Fall is an especially fun season to decorate for, even if you’re doing it when it’s still 90 degrees outside. With bold colors and beautiful natural elements, there’s no need to wait for Halloween to start decorating your front porch for the holidays! These ideas will help.

First Things First

If you’re going to go to the trouble of decorating your front porch, let’s be sure to start with a clean slate. If you decorate for fall and then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’re in for a big season for your porch! Start it off right by sweeping or using the leaf blower to clean your porch well. Take a damp rag and wipe down the side of your house, front door, and any railings or columns. Take all of the decor off the porch – even if you plan to reuse it – so you can style it from scratch. Having a clean slate will make it easier and more fun to really do your porch up right.

Keep It Simple …

A more minimalist approach to fall decorating on your front porch can keep the space looking clean and refined while still feeling a little more festive. Simple porch decor especially goes a long way on smaller or more compact porches. For example, adding just a couple of potted fall plants, a pumpkin or two, and a fall wreath will definitely give your porch an autumnal look without breaking the bank on tons of seasonal decorations.

... Or Go All Out

Decking out your front porch to the max with fall decorations can also be a great way to celebrate the season and boost the neighborhood spirit. If you want to go over the top, focus on layering decor. This means you want to be sure that you have things low to the ground, like a doormat; at middle height, like potted plants; and at tall heights, like corn husks in a tin bucket leaning beside the front door.

Remember that any decor that you buy will need to be stored for 9 months out of the year. So, it might be better to use live items – like potted plants and real pumpkins – so you don’t need to find a place to pack them up, even if this might cost a bit more.

Autumn decorated front porch.

Use An Autumnal Color Palette

Using lots of reds, oranges, yellows, browns and whatever other colors might fit into a fall color palette in your porch decorations are a good way to make it feel more like a celebration of fall. Remember that most people will see your porch from a distance, like from the sidewalk or their car on the street, so they might not see all the details of small decor items. Bold colors, however, will definitely read well from a distance and make it clear which season you’re celebrating.

Additionally, incorporating prints like plaid can be another way to make your porch feel more autumnal. If you have a chair or bench on your porch, add an outdoor pillow in a fall color or print to immediately make it feel seasonally appropriate. Or, add a small outdoor rug under your doormat to add a pop of color or pattern by the door, too.

When selecting a color palette, be sure to keep the color of your home in mind. For example, if you have a dark brick home, orange and red might not be your best bet for decor. Instead, white pumpkins and light-colored decor would really pop off of the brick. Similarly, if you have a white-colored home, choose accessories with bold reds and oranges so the decor really stands out and makes a statement.

Thankful doormat on front porch.

Add A Fall-Themed Doormat

A small way to make your porch feel more like you’re heading out for a PSL is by changing out your doormat for something with a cute fall-themed message or image on it. Door mats are generally inexpensive and easy enough to store in the off season. You can also layer a larger mat under a smaller one for an even bolder look! To get this look on a DIY budget, you can purchase a plain burlap doormat and use paint and a stencil to add your favorite fall phrase or images of leaves or pumpkins.

Grey front door.

Hang A Fall Wreath

Another small way to make your porch feel ready for fall is by hanging a seasonal-themed wreath on your front door. Wreaths are fantastic because while you can always pick one up at your local craft store, they’re also easy to DIY. If you purchase a simple grapevine wreath form, you can easily attach seasonal flowers and foliage. Just stick the stems into the vines of the wreath and they’ll stay in place without any glue or adhesives. Then, at the end of the season, you can remove the flowers and replace them with decor for the next season! This is a great way to cut down on wreaths, which can be bulky and difficult to store.

If you really want to go over the top, you can add wreaths to the windows on the front of your home, too. While this is popular to do at Christmas time, there’s no reason you can’t decorate with lots of smaller wreaths for a big impact during any season.

Autumn decorated front door.

Bring In Potted Fall Plants

Incorporating potted fall plants and flowers on your front porch can add to the autumnal feeling of your decor. Chrysanthemums, pansies, ornamental kale and cabbages, and black-eyed Susans are all stunning choices for fall. You can pair them with ornamental grasses for a layered, seasonal look.

When filling large planters, remember to look for growers, showers and overflowers. That means that you want to layer tall plants in the back (growers), beautiful, colorful florals in the front (showers) and drippy plants along the edges (overflowers). This will give you the most full and luscious possible planters and window boxes.

Fall planter on porch.

Get Creative With Planters

If you want to keep a plant that is not super fall-looking, you can dress it up for the season in a new planter. Silver tin and hammered metal planters look very autumnal, as do rustic wood plant stands. The easiest way to make a plant look more in-season is to use a fall ribbon – such as buffalo plaid or burlap – and tie it around the pot for an instant fall-ready look.

Another cool idea for a planter is to put a plant inside a pumpkin! If you want to do this early in the season, definitely go with a faux pumpkin. Otherwise, the pumpkin will rot and your pot will fall apart. Simply cut off the top and hollow it out like you were going to carve it, but then set a potted plant inside instead!

Black and orange themed front porch.

Pick Pumpkins, Squashes And Gourds – Oh My!

Gourds and squashes can make  great additions to your porch’s fall decor. Don’t feel like you need to stop with a couple of round, traditional pumpkins. Whether they’re orange, white, painted, or carved, pumpkins and gourds are about as good as it gets as fall decor for your front porch.

If you plan to carve pumpkins for Halloween, save that for the last minute! Buy your pumpkins early and let them be fall decor for September and October, and then transition to Halloween by carving them as you get closer to the holiday. That’s an easy way to get more bang for your buck!

Check your local grocery or pumpkin patch for unusually shaped gourds – they are often discounted for being “ugly” but can look great (and make a big impact) when clustered together on your front porch. If your weather is too warm for live pumpkins, faux is a great way to go. Just be sure that you have somewhere to store them all in the off-season!

You can also use pumpkins to create a fall topiary. It is popular to have one topiary on either side of your front door. Start with a large pot, and stack pumpkins on top of each other in the pot. Typically, the largest pumpkin goes first, with them getting smaller as you go up. Stick with odd numbers (three or five pumpkins) in each stack.

Wooden boxes full of pumpkins.

Add Wooden Elements

Wooden accents are easy to come by and add an instant cozy, rustic feeling to your porch’s decor. A wooden crate turned on its side can help you to add height to your plant and pumpkin displays. Wooden lanterns are a great way to add interest and coziness to your porch. A wooden chair or bench is a fun way to make your home feel inviting, and a great place to set more fall decor.

Corn stalks lining a porch.

Line Your Entryway With Corn Stalks Or Garlands

Putting corn stalks or garlands of leaves around your door frame or the banisters on your porch can add a nice autumnal touch to the front of your home. If you already have small nails or hooks up for holiday lights, take advantage of them and use them to display a little fall cheer, too! If you want to get this look on a budget, you can gather large branches and tie them together like a bundle to lean against your door frame. In fact, if you live in an area where the leaves change colors and fall off, then it should be easy to forage for natural seasonal greenery to decorate your porch with!

Mums and Adirondack chairs on a porch.

Make Your Porch Seating Fall-Friendly

If you already have seating arranged on your front porch, you can make it more fall-friendly by adding autumnal blankets and pillows into the mix. Red, orange, brown and gold tones can take a basic adirondack chair from summer sun to fall-ready. Just be sure that any throws you select are outdoor grade, or they will have a tendency to mold and mildew when left outside in the rain.

Porch decorated for Halloween.

Get Spooky For Halloween

As it gets later into the season, the fall celebration can gradually shift into a celebration of Halloween with the addition of creepier decor such as spiderwebs, purple and orange string lights, fake spiders and tombstones, and jack-o’-lanterns. Halloween is a super enjoyable holiday to decorate for because it’s purely silly and fun. It’s easy to go over the top with bold decor, and it’s rewarding since trick-or-treaters will be coming up on your porch and always enjoy elaborate decorations.

The Bottom Line

Decorating your front porch for fall is a fun and easy way to enjoy the holiday season. Whether you want to go subtle or over the top, decorating with natural elements and autumnal colors and patterns will really help to get your home in the seasonal spirit. Be sure to check out more Homeowner Tips on the Rocket HomesSM blog.

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Morgan McBride

Morgan McBride is a DIY-lover and home decor enthusiast living in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been blogging at CharlestonCrafted.com alongside her husband since 2012, where they empower their readers to craft their current home into their dream home through the power of DIY.