This Autumn’s Cutest Fall Porch Decorations
By Franki Hanke
When you’re hosting guests for Thanksgiving, your porch is your first impression on arrival. If you’ve planned an exquisite menu and laid out a stunning centerpiece, but your front door is plain and bare, it’s not doing you justice! This year, decorate your entryway with the cutest fall porch decorations that you can reuse year after year.
For the full guide on hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving, read How to Host a Stress-Free Thanksgiving.
Fall Porch Decorations
Build Your Fall Front Porch
Your front door and front porch are your guest’s first view upon arrival, so adding some seasonal style there elevates the entire experience, plus who doesn’t love pulling into your driveway to your house looking its best?
We’ve selected a core set of fall decor for your porch with reusable florals and decor you’ll bring out again next year. Even a small porch can fit some decor, so don’t write it off!
Why Artificial Flowers?
Artificial florals can be re-used year after year, reducing the cost to decorate long-term, plus they always look nice and won’t wilt mid-visit. This fall wreath arrangement of seasonal foliage and flowers looks realistic and elegant. If your door has windows, avoid door decor that covers them. Instead, you can frame the door with a fall garland or let your other outdoor fall items be more eye-catching.
Faux flowers add a pop of color to your porch regardless of any frost! These faux mums are convincingly real!
“My guests don’t notice they are fake but I’ve been telling on myself pointing out they are artificial because they look so unbelievably real–my family and friends cannot believe it!”
When buying faux florals, you’ll likely need more stems than you think for a full look. Since Amazon returns are easy, I’d buy more and return any extras once you’ve determined how many you’ll use rather than having to re-order repeatedly.
If you’re filling several different planters, buy a variety of colors to mix between them. Remember that real, planted chrysanthemums don’t grow with mixed colors, so if you want to mix them in the same pot, cluster colors so it looks like a few transplanted plants together in a larger pot! Don’t be afraid to add other fall flowers or fall colors if you prefer other flowers. If they match the overall color palette, they’ll fit in.
For greenery on a large porch, add skinny cedar topiaries to layer more depth. Plus, these you can repurpose in other seasons.
If you want to add an extra layer, tuck cinnamon-scented pine cones into your fall arrangements for a scent layer to your impressive home decor.
Add in Natural Elements
Depending on the space on your front porch, you can add more faux elements to fill gaps in the overall look. Pumpkins, gourds, or even hay bales or cornstalks will fit a fall harvest aesthetic. Orange pumpkins are more classic, while white pumpkins may be more subtle.
Many faux pumpkins are much too small to have much impact on your porch. Instead, buy fewer larger pumpkins for a balanced scale against other decorations! I’ve found a few of the largest faux pumpkins available for you to shop! You don’t need a whole pumpkin patch to make a porch feel complete!
If you’re holding onto surviving jack-o’-lanterns from your Halloween decor, you can protect them from critters with a light spray of chili powder-infused water that wards off squirrels (without poisoning them) but remove any rotting pumpkins well before Thanksgiving!
How to Frame Your Doorway
By layering decor leading up to your doorway, you draw the eyes forward and create a clear, welcoming entry point. Decor at varying heights can do this well by filling visual space with increasing height to draw upwards towards your door.
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Tall planters add height and you can reuse them every season for live or faux plants.
The speckles on these add texture and match the seasonal style of autumn. Matching standing planters and hanging planters together creates continuity while intermixing any existing planters you have adds variety. I’ve picked out planters that are functional for holding your faux plants and real plants (that require drainage) so you can use them year-round as you re-decorate your porch in different ways.
Ditch Your “Happy Thanksgiving” Doormat
While it’s tempting to just buy a rug that says “Happy Thanksgiving” as you’re gearing up for the holiday, professional designers say otherwise. Instead, for a professional, classy atmosphere, the goal is to evoke the season without spelling it out.
“If the decor is done right, then we [should] know what time of the year it is. It doesn’t need to be spelled out for us with signs that say ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ and so forth,” said Linda Hayslett of LH.DESIGNS as quoted by Joey Skladany for Veranda.
Instead, use beautiful fall foliage to inform color choices and natural elements to connect to the season.
When it comes time to pick a doormat, use the color scheme of our other items rather than typography to fit the season while still fitting into our fall porch decorating ideas.
Layering two door mats adds visual interest while allowing for the functionality of a coir rug and the color of a traditional fabric. The base rug is washable for easy clean-up when it starts looking grungy.
As the sun sets earlier, many guests in the fall season arrive in the evening. A dark doorstep is not the most welcoming! So, add additional lighting as needed to make your home look inviting in the evening.
Using string lights in nearby trees or along a fence can add ambiance without requiring an outlet (as they charge with solar). For a bigger effect, install corded, smart lighting you can adjust to the light level and color you’d like. Philips Hue system is the best for these with a variety of styles and types of light. Spotlights beneath trees can add a glow and highlight your landscaping in the dark while walkway paths lead guests from their cars to your door.
Strategic lighting can emphasize the vignette you’ve created on your porch, so it’s really worth the time and cost invested. Don’t be intimidated by the set-up either, follow their tutorials.
Pinterest loves outdoor benches with throw pillows and plaid blankets, but unless you’re going to bring those pieces in and out all the time, skip it. Some fall porch ideas aren’t realistic for rowdier weather.
A throw blanket just won’t last well exposed to the weather! But if you sit on your porch often and would use these items with rocking chairs or a bench, add a weatherproof storage box to put throw blankets or pillows into when you’re not using them. Plus, the bench adds height for other seasonal decor or acts as a bench for deliveries to land on.
Decorating your outdoor space can feel like a bit of a waste if it’s cold outside, but your curb appeal is a big part of that “We’ve finally arrived” feeling as guests commute to your holiday gatherings. Plus, your garden and porch extend your interior design. So, don’t put off your front porch decor, but embrace the chance for your cozy fall environment to reach a bit further outside.
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