I have to admit I had Zero intention of decorating for fall this year. Zilch, nada, none. Not even a little bit. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that fall hasn’t been good to me it’s just that summer’s been better. Some of you know what I’m talking about. And let’s not go into the whole pumpkin spice latte discussion. Pumpkins may be a fruit but they look like a vegetable and I don’t put vegetables in my coffee. Truth be told, I prefer my coffee like a 7/11 slurpie, blended icy sugary goodness drowning in caramel. It’s the perfect blend for this summer girl.
But alas much like my diet on donut day, my resolve to stay true to summer went out the window with the first fall harvest farmer’s stand. Since I caved and went full out fall on my front porch, I thought I would share with you my 10 Fall Porch Decorating Tips and Tricks
1. Pick a color scheme.
I always start with some basic colors in mind. For fall this year I wanted to go a little softer and chose whites and muted oranges. Keeping within a set of colors will help to create a unified successful design. That’s not to say the colors have to be matchy matchy or all the same tone, they just need to work together cohesively. Start with a basic plan and build from there!
2. Lead the eye to the front door.
This is the front of our homes after all and the purpose is to create a feeling of welcome invitation. As you look at the front of your home, where is your eye drawn to? Try to use décor to draw the eye along a invisible path that ends at your door. Wreaths are great to draw the eye towards the door. (You can find the instructions for the wreath I made on my door here)
3. Use what you have in a new way.
Buying new each season isn’t necessary and most of us can’t afford it. (me) The good news is you don’t have to buy new to get a totally different look. Here is a little sewing cabinet turned planter that I pulled out for the summer. It was very summery as you can see here. Instead of putting it away, I recreated a fall look by pulling out the summer flowers, cutting up burlap bags, and using corn stalk leaves and mums.
I also walked around my yard and found fall items that I could add to complete my fall look. I was able to use Sedum from my garden in my planters. The spikes in the pinkish red planter came from ornamental grass that is growing in my yard as well. Look around your yard for filler and plants you can use to complete your own fall look.
4. Change out the fabric on cushions.
You don’t need to buy new chair cushions just because they don’t go with the current season. Wrap a the cushions with a remnant of fabric like you would wrap a present and secure with safety pins. At the end of the season you can easily remove the fabric and go back to the original look.
5. Add variety with Texture and shape.
You know how after working on something for a while, you step back, look at and something doesn’t feel right but you can’t put your finger on it? This was happening to me when I was adding the mums to the planters. I loved the mums and color but something was off. By adding the cabbage I got a different texture and it made the look more interesting. But that was not enough, I needed the tall sedum to keep the arrangement from being one big round mound shape. Remember texture and shape!
6. Pumpkins! Lots and lots of pumpkins.
My favorite thing to do is create a pumpkin obstacle course and see if my family can navigate their way out the front door. Kidding. Although, I have to admit I do love a good death trap of pumpkins clustered down the front steps, but it is not the only way. Using pumpkins in mass creates a very visually appealing picture. Create groups and scatter pumpkins throughout the front porch to create a mass effect. Remember to pick out pumpkins in varying shapes and sizes to make the composition more interesting.
7. Save money, buy local and at thrift stores.
I first checked out my local big box home and garden store. They had some nice pumpkins and the price wasn’t bad but still I would only be able to get a few. Then I stopped at a local farmers stand set up on a street corner in my town. Wow what a price difference. The decorative pumpkins at the store were 3 & 4 times higher in price then the little local Mom and Pop stand. Score! When you see a stand stop and check it out. You may be pleasantly surprised. I also picked up 99 cent baskets at my local thrift store. Thrift stores are great for baskets.
Burlap is a great way to cover a pot that otherwise may have little fall appeal. A simple way to cover a pot with burlap is to place the pot on a swatch of burlap, lift the burlap up over the pot and secure it with a landscape pin. With the large planter in the above photo , I placed the whole pot in a large burlap bag. EASY BREEZY!
9. Create depth and consider the negative space
It’s tempting to have all the décor up against the house because it’s natural to want to keep everything out of the way. The problem is, it creates a boring one dimensional look. Remember to mix it up and pull some of the décor forward away from the wall. This will add interest to the overall look.
Negative space is the unused space around your object. For example, the part of the wall in-between the door and the cornstalk is negative space. In the photo above, had the cornstalk been smaller, it would have left more negative space and possibly drawn the eye away for the focal point which is cornstalk. If the cornstalk was much bigger, the negative space would be smaller and the cornstalk could appear crowded or cluttered. Learning to look at how negative space plays a role in the placement of your objects will help create a better over all balanced composition.
10. Pull away
Step back often and look at things from a distance. This really helps to get a better picture of the overall look and balance. Sometimes when I get so focused on a few items and nothing seems to be working, I walk away for 24 hours. When I come back the next day, I have a fresh set of eyes and it all comes together.
Lastly, Have fun and don’t sweat it
As nice as it is to have a well decorated house, it just isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Have fun with it and who cares if it’s not perfect. I can decorate but guess what, my house isn’t all done up and I’m not worried about it. We have kids and school and work and lots in-between. The Queen isn’t coming. And at the end of the day I want people to remember how they felt when they were with me because of how I cared for them and not because of how pretty I could make a space. So don’t sweat it, it will be great either way.