Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
It’s November! You’ve cleared the pilowcase ghosts and motion activated spider off your porch, now it’s time to touch up the lipstick on your home’s fall face to finish out the autumn season. Today I have some easy tips for creating a jaw-dropping autumn entry or porch–just three do’s and one don’t.
The front porch of our previous home, a historic cottage, was just a “stoop”, as we say in the South. But I didn’t let that stop me from creating a welcoming fall entry for our guests. Whether your porch is tiny or a grand wraparound, you can create a stunning autumn look outdoors. Here are three essential ingredients:
1. DO use pumpkins, of course!
When it comes to pumpkins, the more the merrier. You can’t have too much of this fall decorating icon! I like to stack graduated sizes to make pumpkin topiaries. Another trick is to display pumpkins in containers like wire baskets and wood crates.
Pumpkin growers offer us a rainbow of hues, so go for variety! Use multiple colors–orange and yellow, if you like to go traditional, but also deep green, peach, white and teal. One year I did the whole front in pale pumpkins for a completely different look, and loved it!
2. DO display florals and plants
You’d surely win Family Feud if the question were “Name a fall flower”, right? Because “mums” would be number 1, naturally! Right up there with pumpkins, chrysanthemums are a quintessential autumn decoration. Even a single pot of mums will say “fall” to all. But of course, more is better. In white, orange, purple, and sunny yellow, you can’t beat mums for autumn porch decor.
And don’t forget sunflowers, as well!
Greenery of any kind is a no-fail porch accent. So I like to mix other plants such as succulents or winter plants like ornamental cabbage into my porch groupings, too.
Wreaths, garlands and sprays are another way to bring a seasonal floral touch to your entry. Take advantage of other plant life options for fall floral accents: mini pumpkins, grapevine, colored leaves and corn, wheat stalks, and fall fruits and vegetables. Wouldn’t it be fun to get together with a crafty friend and make a wreath or spray you can use year after year? (If you bake pumpkin bars for your craft day, be sure to invite me!)
3. DO extend a warm welcome!
In the glorious fall weather, who doesn’t want to sit outside? One way to welcome your guests is by providing outdoor chairs–a porch swing, a bench, a poof or two!–to allow folks to sit a spell and visit–and hail the neighbors who are out enjoying the temps. Layer up your seating with cozy pillows and throws.
And when it comes to welcome, it’s not for nothing they say, “Put out the welcome mat”. I always go for the decorative, nontraditional mat, like this one. By the way, have you tried this trick? Get a custom look by layering a durable, hardworking mat over a colorful, washable accent rug!)
That’s the message you want to give your guests this season!
Which brings us to…the one DON’T
While we’re on the topic of messages, here’s my caution: not too many messages! One cute doormat or one “Happy Fall, Y’all” sign is enough. Stay away from too many WORD signs (Happy Harvest! Hello Pumpkin! Gather! Give Thanks!) My advice for a showstopper front porch is “Don’t tell, show.” Gather and display all those gorgeous fall plants, colors and textures to welcome guests this holiday season!
Needing a hand with holiday decorating? A fall install? Set a beautiful holiday table? Decorate a tree? A mantel? A room or two? We do that!
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As always, I am happy to guide you on your design journey. At Courtney Warren Home, we’re all about designing for real life. We want your home to work well for you and your family. Good design always incorporates BOTH beauty and function!
I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.