You’ve decked out the dining room with candles, garland, and gorgeous centerpieces -- even for the kids. The guest bathroom has its own set of handmade gourd luminaries and harvest-colored towels. You’ve even done up the kitchen, knowing that’s going to be everyone’s pre-meal hangout spot. You’ve covered it all. But did you remember the front porch? You took so much care with the rest of the house, why neglect the place your guests see first?
All you need are a few key elements -- from there you can mix and match, or go completely off-road and go crazy (but not too crazy).
Gourds and Pumpkins
If you have uncarved pumpkins left over from Halloween, you’ve got it made here. Otherwise, swing by the pumpkin patch -- most are still trying to sell leftover stock at deep discounts, if not begging you to take them free. Use your pumpkin whole or as an accessory, or remove the top and use it as a cachepot for potted mums. Gourds are beautiful as is, scattered around the bottom of an urn of flowers, or use them on a small occasional table if you have that much porch space. Try overturning a basket and letting them spill out onto the porch, cornucopia style. If you have potted plants on your porch, tuck some of the smaller gourds just into the pot as an accent.
Mums are the bloom of choice for just about all autumnal decorating. You can find them at garden stores and even just the garden center at Walmart. And they usually come in different sizes, so you can mix and match.
If you have stairs, try using mums on both sides of each step all the way up. You’ll create a lush, full appearance with the flowers alone.
Plant them in pretty pots or urns -- even an emptied-out pumpkin.
Depending on your porch size, you may get bonus decorating space! Porch swings and chairs can be decorated with garlands or ribbons. Columns provide space for a leaf or grapevine garland.
A chair or bench is the perfect spot to display a vintage cheese box or crate filled with gourds.
Seat cushions can be changed out of the summer slipcovers into something more fall-like.
One of the best ways to add some drama to your entryway is to use some of the really great harvest botanicals available now.
Tall bundles of wheat or cornstalks can be gathered together with beautiful ribbon on either side of the door.
Almost any container can be made to hold bunches of winterberry or bittersweet. Galvanized metal pails with a wired burlap ribbon look especially nice when filled with the amber-colored bittersweet.
No entryway is complete without attending to the door itself. Ornamentation is a must, whether you choose a wreath, a colorful bundle of harvest corn, or an upright cornucopia.
Add a garland of colorful leaves for a little extra touch. If you like the look of bittersweet, try weaving that into the garland for an accent. You could even add in a string of lights to give the whole area a little glow come nightfall.
How are you decorating your porch for Thanksgiving this year?