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Throughout the last year and a half, homeowners have increasingly come up with creative ways to make the most of their outdoor spaces in order to maximize every nook and cranny of their homes. This trend, fortunately, is continuing to go strong into fall. Many people are on the hunt for fun ways to give their outdoor area a cozy autumnal touch, and one perfect place to do just that is the front porch.
From foliage-inspired decor to seating that encourages lingering a little longer into crisp evenings, your front porch will likely become your fall headquarters.
We spoke to some interior designers and discovered how to elevate the front of a home while shifting from summer to fall. These items are sure to become some of your favorites as your front porch turns a new leaf this season.
What are some ways to transition a front porch from summer to fall?
Aly Morford and Leigh Lincoln are the co-founders of Pure Salt Interiors, and they believe that making an easy seasonal transition begins with a simple color scheme.
“If you operate within a neutral and natural palette, you’ll find longevity in your decor throughout seasons," Lincoln said. "This can be as straightforward as opting for a natural coir doormat which looks right in all seasons — especially fall, since the fibers will feel cozy and autumnal — and always keeping greenery next to the door."
Lincoln added that for fall, you can tweak the look of your porch plants by filling baskets and planters with green foliage rather than flowering plants, which tend to look more appropriate during the spring and summer months.
Interior designer and licensed therapist Anita Yokota agrees that the best way to transition a porch into fall is to “take your cue from Mother Nature.” She added, “I love adding fall foliage colors, planters and fall-colored plants and organic decor.”
Stephanie Brown, Principal Designer at Stephanie Brown Inc., sees fall as an ideal time to embrace heavy textures and warm ambiance.
“These design elements can be incorporated at your front entrance to set the tone for a warm autumn welcome," Brown said. "Consider changing out your entry rug, repotting planters with autumn-feeling plants and adding lanterns for a cozy vibe.”
Brown went on to note, “It’s all about being cozy without being cliché — think warm textures, warm atmosphere, autumn color tones — and then translate those things into simple and timeless elements without being too literal or kitschy.”
In other words? There are certainly fresh and modern ways to approach fall decor for your front porch.
How can a front porch serve as a bonus living area in the fall?
As we mentioned, everyone is striving to utilize every square inch of their homes these days, including their outdoor areas. Morford observed that with the pandemic ensuring that we’ve spent more time at home, “having that additional spillover space outdoors is not only a pleasant change of scenery, but a necessity.”
Your front porch can serve as a fall-ready outdoor living room all season long. For seasonal seating, Morford recommends a pair of chairs or a bench made for cozy conversation. She also suggests adding soft elements, such as throw blankets and pillows. “Outdoor textiles that can withstand the elements are a godsend in more volatile seasons,” she said.
Since the temperatures will be dropping, you’ll want to warm up that “outdoor living room” of yours with the help of what Brown calls “fire elements,” “whether it’s lanterns flanking the front door or a fire table to extend those patio evenings into the season a bit longer.”
Yokota says that you can use your porch and front entryway to create “a specific intention for the relationships you want to cultivate.” Whether it’s fall or any other season, she said that you can accomplish this by choosing favorite items to display or preferred colors to greet guests with.
Fall is an undoubtedly a transitional time and it can be difficult for many of us to bid farewell to summer. Luckily, these product picks to decorate your front porch — recommended by these expert designers — may make it a lot easier to welcome fall with open arms.
Front porch ideas for fall, according to experts
There’s something inherently autumnal about well-loved terracotta pots for fall, and this pick from Morford and Lincoln feels just right. This ceramic planter in high-fired black will look as if you snatched it up at a flea market without all those hours of seeking it out.
Brown prefers this throw for an outdoor porch since it’s “perfect for layering on a cozy bench or seating area.” She loves the warm hues in this particular throw, which feel very “autumn” and it also lands at a great price point.
While summer is all about the bright green plants that punctuate outdoor spaces, you can take your greenery into fall by choosing softer hues and quieter foliage, as Morford and Lincoln emphasize. Case in point: this olive tree that comes in at two to three feet tall, making it an ideal size for a fall front porch.
“Wreaths are another great way to greet your guests for the fall season,” Yokota said. She prefers weaving in succulents with fall colors, something you can either purchase ready-made or DIY yourself with the help of a green wreath, some faux (or even real!) succulents and a glue gun.
While aesthetic appeal is a natural priority for a front porch, functionality should be a goal, too. That’s where a practical doormat comes in, which Lincoln said, “is a necessity in wet months.” She added, “Keeping our foyer clean and our doorway warm with a coir mat is our number one must-have for fall porches.”
Calling them “princess pumpkins,” Yokota is partial to Cinderella-style gourds for a fall front porch, making sure to incorporate various sizes, colors and textures. You can either go to the patch for the real deal or dot your porch with these charming faux versions.
While fall is often marked by its myriad orange and yellow hues, it’s still a time to embrace greenery of all kinds for your front porch. Lincoln says that she and Morford like to add life and freshness to any outdoor space with greens. She advised, “Place baskets or pots with plants on either side of the door and don’t shy away from greens that will last all season long with no maintenance.” Preserved, dried fern foliage won’t require any effort at all.
Crisp evenings are better spent with friends, preferably over mugs of hot cider, and these two wicker-detailed club chairs will help set the scene. Create what Lincoln calls “a simple seating nook” where you can watch the leaves change or enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors.
You may have overlooked the idea of placing a basket on your front porch, but it’s actually an accent that’ll prove to be pretty and functional. Brown describes this basket as “modern but transitional” that will add a “textural layer while being the perfect spot for stashing rolled-up fall throws.”
For front porch fall decor that ever so slightly nods to spooky season, consider these black pillar candles. Brown says that these candles are the perfect way to transition summer lanterns to the fall season and they carry “Halloween potential.”
For fall, you can either create your own autumnal planters or go the faux route with one or two of these decorative planters readied with artificial fall leaves. “Fall planters are a great way to add height and symmetry,” Yokota said. “Flank them on the left and right side of your porch.”
For more stories like this, check out:
- Your home needs command centers — here's how to organize them
- New season, new home: 10 simple ways to refresh your space for fall
- 7 outdoor gadgets for anyone who hates bugs, cleaning or other tedious tasks