A (Finally!) Fall-Ready Front Porch

I feel like the last person on earth to finally have my front porch decorated for fall. I bet some of you can relate to the frustrating weeks to get here this year, though. We waited to buy mums because of the heat. Then, I finally pulled the trigger and bought our annual big mums for the urns from Costco (always covered in buds and never sprouted blooms), along with several smaller mums that were in full bloom for the front steps. I held our pumpkins hostage inside until the big mums could catch up to the small ones and then waited. And waited. And waited some more. And when I couldn’t wait any longer, the big mums still hadn’t bloomed and the smaller ones had kicked the bucket. So, this past weekend, I headed out to replace the dead and move forward. It’s pretty silly that I started planning our fall porch decor months ago and here we are, well into the season, and I’ve just now taken our summer wreath inside. And while those same big mums STILL haven’t kicked it into high gear, I officially have photographic evidence that our fall front porch is finally ready!

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Fall Porch Decor

My fall porch decor has been pretty consistent for the past five years — mums and pumpkins scattered on the steps, urns flanking the front door… but this year, I pulled in a few things to make it just a little more special (you’ll see it better in the photos closer to the bottom of the post ;)). I’ve done whites and greens, purples, and even touched on uber traditional colors but this year, I wanted a sumptuous bounty that just screamed “welcome, fall!” I mean, we worked hard enough to finally get here, right?!

Traditional fall front porch decorating ideas

The wreath I purchased for a fantastic sale price from Crate and Barrel arrived was a bit of a disappointment. It was simple — golden oak leaves — and on their site looked sumptuous and full (I shared it on the blog when I first ordered it). In person, it was far from full but at a still amazing price, I decided to brush off my DIY skill and beef it up a little with some leafy stems I had in the basement. I snipped small pieces from three stems, arranged them around the base, wired them in, and then tucked in a few more leaves filling out any remaining bare spots. The result was much better than the wreath in its original state.

Fall front steps decor and inspiration

Fall porch decorating ideas and inspo

I had also purchased two matching oak leaf garland strands which required less “fullness” to work how I envisioned. I wove and wedged them along the base of the porch railing between the mums and pumpkins.

Scroll & Tap to Check Out Other Leafy Fall Garlands

By the way, after never having had it done, we finally had our door refinished a couple months ago; it makes a huge difference. I was in total denial about just how faded and splintered it had become.

Fall front porch decor ideas and inspiration

Update: Here are some of the prettiest fall wreaths I found in my search for fall front porch decor for this year! I have Number 1 and have now used it two years in a row!

16 Best Fall Wreaths

Sources: 1. Yellow Mum Wreath | 2. Oak Leaf Wreath | 3. Sumac Wreath | 4. Peony/Berry Wreath | 5. Autumn Berry Wreath  | 6. Magnolia Wreath | 7. Pomegranate/Pine Cone Wreath | 8. Apple/Foliage Wreath | 9. Fall Leaves Wreath | 10. Oak Leaves Wreath | 11. Fall Foliage/Berry Wreath | 12. Oak Leaf Wreath | 13. Gold Oak Wreath | 14. Sangria Cosmos/Yellow Roses Wreath | 15. Red Autumn Leaf Wreath | 16. Eucalyptus Wreath

I love symmetry but when it comes to the steps, I like them to be symmetrical, but not. I mirrored a few of the main components on each side and then filled in with random pumpkins and smaller mums, working to keep each side a similar width and weighted comparably. I staggered the two largest pumpkins on the bottom steps and the smallest of mums. The result is a random but still an intentionally-symmetrical feel.

Fall Porch Decor -- Traditional decorating ideas for the front porch

You can shop my front door welcome mat (“see you later, alligator”)  HERE and the outdoor rug layered underneath HERE.

Fall Front Porch Steps Decor

Here’s a time saving tip (or maybe just a hack for lazy people like me) but once I have the mums and pumpkins, I don’t want to have to spend time potting and planting. I make sure all the flowers I get are in a dark container (black/brown/etc.). Some plastic containers look nice enough to be peeking out and the ones that don’t — well, I cover those up by stacking and surrounding pumpkins. I never actually plant inside the urns flanking the front door, either. I have a few bricks stacked inside and whether it’s my spring ferns or fall mums, I just set the container, as is, inside on top of the bricks. It’s worked perfectly ever since we moved in.

Fall decorating ideas for the front porch steps

Fall porch decor with mums and pumpkins

A little added *extra* this year are the strands of wire LED twinkle lights, discreetly woven down each side. They don’t put off a ton of light but give just a touch of magic. I use THESE — a double pack of copper wire warm lights with 9 different light settings (they’re under $12 for the pair). Each strand is 20′ with 60 lights. They are also waterproof so I don’t have to worry when I water the flowers.

Fall front porch decor with traditional autumn colors

Fall outdoor decor ideas and inspo

Fall porch inspiration

And when the sun starts to set, this is what they look like…

Fall front porch decorating with twinkle lights

Add our still nameless skeleton friend and we’re ready for Halloween!

Easy, magical fall front porch decor

FYI- to photograph in the dark, I have to set my camera to a crazy long shutter speed which creates the starbursts and illumination. I use the same technique during Christmas; you can see my tutorial for photographing Christmas lights HERE.

Fall porch decor with twinkle lights

Nighttime fall front porch decor

If you missed my last post on how we decorated our living room in traditional oranges, you can check that out HERE. And, stick around and subscribe to emails at the bottom of the post for fresh holiday content, coming soon!

Other Fall Posts to Check Out

Fall Front Porch Sources / Get the Look

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  1. 10.14.19
    Jill Travis said:

    WOW!! Gorgeous!
    Thanks so much for sharing.. saved to my photos for next year:))

    • 11.5.19

      Jill, THANK YOU so much! xo

    • 9.5.21
      Debbie said:

      Looks beautiful love the lights too! Very pretty

      • 9.8.21

        Hi Debbie, Thank you for taking the time to visit and for leaving a note. I am so happy that Fall 2021 is on its way!

  2. 10.14.19
    Joss said:

    Just beautiful Kelley!! Love the lights!

  3. 10.14.19
    Charlene Burch said:

    Looks wonderful! The lights are great and makes a huge difference!

    • 11.5.19

      Charlene, thank you! They are discreet during daylight but I love them at night.

  4. 10.14.19
    Heather said:

    Love the photos taken at night, looks totally gorgeous!

  5. 10.14.19
    Gretchen Thomas said:

    Hooray for Fall and your lovely front porch! I love all of the colors and the lights. So well done!

  6. 10.14.19
    Kemmie said:

    It is gorgeous and worth the wait! The lighting seems to give the Fall holidays their due.

  7. 10.15.19
    Dina Darling said:

    Looks Sooo Good!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  8. 10.15.19
    Sharon said:

    I’ve been using softer fall colors in recent years (blues and creams), but this year I went all-out in traditional Fall colors — rusts, oranges, bronzes . . . love them! Your lights are beautiful — and thanks for the link, mine will be delivered tomorrow!!

  9. 10.15.19
    Martina said:

    This is stunning Kelley and well worth the wait! I was so close to ordering that wreath when you featured it, but ended up DIYing my own. By the way, half of my costco mums kicked the bucket (not because of heat, but due to a basketball-loving teen that crushed them while playing in the driveway 🙁 . Happy fall!

  10. 10.15.19
    Renee said:

    I love your decor. I made my wreath. I would love to have flowers and pumpkins but I live in constant shade and am afraid the raccoons would roll my pumpkins away. LoL!

  11. 10.15.19
    Robin Beck said:

    Kelley, beautiful job!! Those lights make a big impact!!

    • 11.5.19

      Robin, I love that extra little something!

  12. 10.15.19

    WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your porch is GORGEOUS!!!! So beautiful with those colors together!!! And adding those lights in the pumpkins is SPECTACULAR!!! I’m slowly getting my seasonal decorating done this year.. Saw this & it blew me away!!! Thank you for such a wonderful & inspring post! I truly love your ideas always! Thanks!

    • 11.5.19

      Debbie, you are so incredibly sweet! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Happy fall and Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  13. 9.5.20
    Donna Beasley said:

    Jelly love your decorations ❤️…. I will like to copy some of your ideas if you don’t mind. Are all your pumpkins real? That will be a problem in our area too hot and humid. Can’t wait you’ve git me excited 🤗

    • 9.5.20

      Hi Donna, Thank you so much for stopping by! I would be very flattered if you used some of my ideas. I did use real pumpkins. You are so right that they don’t last long in the heat and the humidity. I’ve waiting a bit to get started this year, since we still have temps in the 90’s most days. I wish you the best in your fall decorating project.

  14. 9.17.20
    georgann sorrentino said:

    You did a fantastic job on the porch! Beautiful. Where did you purchase the lights?

  15. 9.19.20
    Tina said:

    It’s 2020 and I’m back here for your Fall porch because it’s my favorite. So beautiful!

    • 9.21.20

      Hi Tina, Thank you so much for your return visit. I loved last year’s porch too. Hopefully, I will have this year’s porch ready soon. I am still waiting on a final touch to complete it and share. Happy fall!

  16. 10.2.20
    Susan K Seagroves said:

    Just seeing your post from last year and I am totally adding the fairy lights to my porch this year! What a fantastic idea. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • 10.4.20

      Hi Susan, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! I am so happy to know that you liked my tip. The fairy lights definitely add a touch of magic to the night!

  17. 6.25.21
    Laurie said:

    Your home’s exterior is so pretty!

    • 6.25.21

      Laurie, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and visit. I really appreciate your kind note! xoxo

  18. 10.13.21
    Jo Bates said:

    Simply beautiful. I plan to try

    • 10.15.21

      Hi Jo, Thank you so much for your note and for stopping by. Happy Fall to you!

  19. 7.14.22
    Gladys said:

    Like the ideas but it seems over the top taking up too much room on the steps. How do you reach the handrails?

    • 7.15.22

      Gladys, Thank you for taking the time to visit. We’ve never had any problems with this and the delivery folks have never complained.