Fall is a time of transition. Days get shorter and the air takes on a welcome chill — cues that it's time to start prepping your home, both inside and out, for the change of season. Not sure where to begin? To keep seasonal decorating from feeling overwhelming, start with outdoor decor and then slowly weave in festive elements. Look to Mother Nature for endless inspiration and embrace the bounty of the season, such as pumpkins, apples, corn, and colorful leaves.
To simplify autumnal outdoor decorating, focus on items with longevity — for example, dried plants, un-carved pumpkins, ornamental corn, and pillows and throws specifically made for outdoor living — so you won't be burdened with continual upkeep. Simple changes like swapping out orange ribbons for red ones will carry a fall-inspired wreath straight into winter. Don't confuse fall decor with Halloween decor —however, if you love the spooktacular, consider starting with a composition that will last through the season, then layering Halloween-themed accents (like ghost planters, hanging bats, or scattered plastic spiders) that can be easily removed once the holiday passes.
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First things first: Start by selecting a color palette. Do you prefer more traditional earth tones or do you favor muted colors? You can even create a seasonal display using pastels, since gourds and flowers come in such a variety of shades. You really can't go wrong.
Check out the following 40 outdoor fall decorating ideas to get you started.
1. Line an entryway with pumpkins.
Welcome your guests in a fun and festive way by lining each side of the pathway that leads to your front door with pumpkins both big and small. You can even paint some of the pumpkins in stripes and checks — and, following Susan from Kindred Vintage's example, add a black-and-white houndstooth blanket for warmth.
2. Go for dried husk decor.
Celebrate the harvest by displaying its bounty on your front porch. Pink Peonies blogger Rachel Parcell turned dried plants, pumpkins, and a DIY fall-inspired wreath into gorgeous, mood-setting decor. The corn husks in oversize planters make excellent use of vertical space.
3. Hang an eye-catching autumnal wreath.
Wreaths aren't just for winter. Check out this autumnal stunner with pine cones, red strawflower, and dried pomegranates that you can DIY in just a few simple steps. Floral designer Whit McClure shows you how in this tutorial.
4. Pile up gourds.
If you're still struggling to find the outdoor fall decorating idea that's perfect for you, try this time-honored tact: a pile of gourds. Stack different colors of large pumpkins on your porch and sprinkle with fall foliage, like Lucy from Craftberry Bush did, to create a magical, autumnal scene.
5. Construct a faux pumpkin patch.
Not everyone has the time or energy to grow their own pumpkins. But with the help of some dried vines and a few store-bought pumpkins, you can transform the yard around your mailbox. Find Gayle's how-to at Miss Kopy Kat.
6. Get creative with house numbers.
Your mail carrier will never miss your house again when you place this painted pumpkin topiary outside. Just pick up some premade house numbers from your favorite hardware store and follow Vanessa from At the Picket Fence's easy-to-follow instructions.
7. Embrace rustic charm.
You don't need corn husks and bales of hay to make your porch feel autumnal. Karianne from Thistlewood Farms proves that a few rustic seasonal elements — like a simple wreath, bare branches, fall foliage, and a grapevine pumpkin — are all you really need.
8. Add mailbox swag.
Show off your love of fall by outfitting your mailbox with an autumnal leaf garland and corn husks as in this look from Handmade by Annabelle. White flowers and a pumpkin with your street number complete this festive scene.
9. Go big on fresh fall florals.
Pretend you're living in a cabin in the woods, where every time you open your door you are immersed in fall beauty. Fill your front porch with fresh mums in burnt orange, yellow, and red, like Chris from Just a Girl — and don't forget to throw in a few mini pumpkins for good measure.
10. Opt for festive lighting.
When crafting the perfect autumnal space, don't forget to play with lighting. Take a cue from Yvonne over at Stone Gable and add candle lanterns to your stairs or porch alongside pumpkins and flowers to create a layered and inviting fall scene. Candlelight will filter through the lanterns giving your front porch a soft, warm glow.
11. Include cozy seating.
Not sure how to transform your front porch into a fall wonderland? Add a few comfy throw pillows to your outdoor seating area, like Liz Marie. Next, arrange autumn foliage in a farmhouse-chic aluminum bin and add a few pastel-hued pumpkins. We suggest throwing in a cozy plaid blanket so you don't get cold while watching the sunset.
12. Add accessories in seasonal hues.
Take a more subtle approach to fall decor by tossing some aptly hued accessories into existing decor. In this outdoor space by Erica Bryen, orange throw pillows transform the ample seating area from a monochrome perch into one that's ripe for festive fall get-togethers.
13. Embrace neutrals.
You don't need to employ telltale fall shades to create a seasonal outdoor display. In fact, a neutral palette like this one by Jennifer of The Grace House is a refreshing alternative that gives a more subtle nod to autumn. A pair of hay stacks and white mums enhance the overall festive vibe.
14. Include references to Halloween.
Sure, fall isn't JUST about Halloween, but decorating for spooky season can be pretty fun. Bats, like the ones featured in this Studio McGee display, would make a fun DIY project. We love how they add a bit of unexpected whimsy to counter the bountiful gourd display. After the holiday has come and gone, remove the flying creatures and voila, the winter squash will still look seasonally appropriate.
15. Stray from the typical fall colors.
Eschew standard fall shades for an unexpected, modern alternative, like this soothing mix of pastel florals created by Christine of joyfulhomebody. Despite the non-traditional palette, she keeps the seasonal feeling by including quintessentially autumnal chrysanthemums, fairytale pumpkins, and corn husks.
16. Choose one-of-a-kind vessels.
Look for creative ways to contain florals to add interest and personality to outdoor spaces. Liz Marie grouped charming vintage crocks of varying sizes to showcase golden mums. The vessels' neutral color allows the petals to remain the focus, and a few thoughtfully placed gourds underscore the color scheme.
17. Add warmth and texture with baskets.
It's no secret that baskets do heavy lifting indoors, bringing order to every storage space — and they can be just as helpful outdoors, where they add texture and rustic warmth to your garden. Basket planters are particularly fitting in the fall, as this scene by House Seven demonstrates. Fill them with various plants and surround them with pumpkins.
18. Accentuate a threshold.
Hang seasonal decor to draw attention to architectural features. An all-black facade in this Crate and Barrel scene is punctuated by an edited color palette of plum, wheat, and stone, which helps give definition and warmth to the expansive threshold. A scattering of pint-sized gourds and lanterns defines the landing.
19. Layer textiles.
Embrace the cooler temps and enjoy the great outdoors by outfitting porches and backyards with seasonally appropriate accessories. This cozy corner by Hytta of @fjellvegenhytta features a sheepskin throw, a woven blanket, and a stack of pillows — the ideal tools for fighting off the chill while still looking chic and curated. A pair of glass hurricanes and a rust-colored wreath round out the look.
20. Bedeck a porch swing.
Blankets, throws, and pillows in a warm color (red, orange, yellow) will give an instant fall feel to any outdoor scene. Meeghan of Cali Girl in a Southern World outfitted her wooden porch swing with ochre pillows, creating contrast and a cheery vibe.
21. Update window boxes.
A practical way to bring greenery to any house, no matter the size of its yard, window boxes add depth, dimension, and irresistible curb appeal. Amp up their seasonal staying power by replacing summer blooms with cold-tolerant alternatives. Mina Dimitrova got creative with theirs, using unexpected plants like persimmons, lemons, and winter squash to add interest and a dose of golden color.
22. Set out apples.
Pumpkins might be fall's darling, but apples are in peak season too, and with varieties ranging from red to green to yellow, they're perfect for infusing those harvest vibes into outdoor decor. Set out a bushel or two, taking a cue from Carol of The Gardening Cook, for a simple, no-fail approach to autumn decor.
23. Incorporate seasonal bounty.
You can also fill baskets with a seasonally appropriate medley. Lucy of Craftberry Bush included a decorative mix of perennials, cabbage, and pumpkins in all of fall's finest shades to welcome visitors to her home.
24. Create a harvest table.
If you live in a more temperate climate and can continue to host outdoor dining, create a fall tablescape by going big on texture and embracing a low-contrast tonal look. This enviable scene, spied on Ruggable, includes woven chairs, rattan placements, and a free-spirited centerpiece in shades of amber, all anchored by a seasonally inspired outdoor rug.
25. Include reclaimed wood.
Introduce rustic vibes and a welcome handmade feel to seasonal outdoor decor with reclaimed wood accents, like the abstract pumpkin Finding Home Farms included in this fall composition. If you're a DIYer, this would be a great project to tackle. An iron lantern and trimmed wheat stalks add charm to the scene. Alternatively, you could create a dried floral arrangement inside a cloche.
26. Use wooden crates.
Foraging in your own home can yield fruitful autumnal props. For example, do you have wooden crates collecting dust in a shed or garage? It's amazing how a little height can give a display import as demonstrated by this welcoming setup spotted on Crafting Chicks. Perch a trio of pumpkins and a leaf garland atop a crate for an easy-to-assemble outdoor decor look.
27. Hang ornamental corn.
Flint corn, also known as calico corn, is a hallmark of the fall season. Its multi-colored kernels are a beautiful addition to centerpieces and make for stunning door adornments. Carol of The Gardening Cook bundled three dried stalks together with fallen leaves for an easy DIY that will last all season.
28. Consider painting your front door.
A fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look and feel of your front door. Black is a timeless choice and particularly fitting during the fall season; it makes a dramatic backdrop to autumnal decor like the branch of wheat seen here.
29. Focus on out-of-the-box foliage.
This lush front door-adjacent vignette is proof that you can compose a noteworthy fall display without using typical fall hues. Greenery of varying height carries the eye, while variegated leaves add subtle color contrast against a backdrop of garnet branches and wheat stalks. A handful of gourds speaks to the season.
30. Sprinkle in metallics.
Elevate fall decor by including metallic accents, which bring a welcome glow to your outdoor decor. Copper paint imparts warmth and sophistication to this abundant display by Karen of Sanctuary Home Decor. To recreate it, coat a few pumpkins with paint, then surround them with gourds of various shapes, sizes, and colors. Note: If you don't feel like going the DIY route, you can also just buy metallic pumpkins.
31. Don't forget your water feature.
We love this simple outdoor fall decor idea, spotted on Stone Gable, that turns a backyard water feature into a miniature pumpkin display. To take it up a notch, you can even turn your pumpkins into candles. When the seasons change, you can remove the gourds and replace them with floating green and red candles for Christmas.
32. Hang string lights.
Why wait until Christmas to add string lights to your house? They're a cheery addition all year long, and the longer nights make them especially festive as fall approaches. Amy of rachelsgarden_artbyamy went all in on her outdoor decor using fall staples such as mums, gourds, and corn husks. The orange lights bring it to the next level.
33. Throw in some plaid.
Set the fall scene by incorporating plaid or buffalo check into your outdoor decor. Whether it's with a throw or some pillows, the pattern invokes comfort and a change in season. For the ultimate in form meets function, Yvonne of Stone Gable draped a plaid blanket over a bench in her front yard, which adds a dose of vivid color — plus warmth when the temperature dips. Lanterns, hung slightly askew, make a playful and practical addition.
34. Create symmetry.
Create pleasing balance and symmetry in your entryway by mirroring fall decor. This look spotted on Emily Henderson's blog embraces a less-is-more approach to outdoor seasonal decor with a set of carefully composed wreaths, each placed on one door. Keep this look well into the New Year by replacing the warm-hued ribbons with ones in green and red or even gold.
35. Make use of a portico.
Pumpkins (and perfectly hued fall foliage) take center stage in this home captured by Kiel James Patrick. Gourds are scattered on either side of the front door and cleverly lined across the top of a minimal portico.
36. Layer doormats.
For a lush and welcoming approach to fall decor, consider layering doormats. In this fall scene by Rachel Parcell, a natural woven doormat gets a seasonal upgrade with the addition of a black and white checked rug placed underneath. To carry the look into the winter, simply swap out the black and white rug for a red and green one.
37. Flank a front door.
Make the most of outdoor nooks and crannies by filling them with autumnal flair. In this welcoming farmhouse by Bria Hammel, an underutilized corner becomes the perfect background for showcasing a seasonal cornucopia that includes pumpkins, bales of hay, and long-stemmed greenery. A similar display on the other side of the door adds visual weight.
38. Keep it simple.
For a traditional take on an autumnal composition, include boxwood, a hardy plant that can withstand cooler temps. Loi of Tone on Tone paired a topiary variety with a handful of pumpkins for an understated nod to the season. Remove the gourds and add pinecones for a seamless transition into the next round of holidays.
39. Repurpose a wagon.
Repurpose a wheelbarrow or wagon to corral a range of fall items in a hard-to-resist arrangement. Tiff of Folded Gingham used one fashioned from reclaimed wood (galvanized metal or a red wagon would work equally well) and filled it with a show-stopping array of autumn's finest bounty, including pumpkins, foliage, and pussy willows.
40. Go crazy with leaves.
Ensure your autumnal display is ready for primetime once the sun goes down by devising an outdoor lighting plan that highlights your decor even in the dark. Lauren Nicholsen used a striking combination of maple trees, mums, gourds, and twinkly lights, along with carefully placed outdoor flood lights to illuminate this gorgeous front door scene.