Perhaps you are hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or maybe it’s just time to get rid of the ghosts and goblins on your front porch and be a little more refined? Either way, it is a great time to decorate outside.
Start your decorating with your front door and work your way outwards. A large pretty wreath can set the tone for the rest of your color scheme. You most likely will want to bring in the warm golds, oranges and reds of autumn, mixed with some purples, browns and blacks for depth and contrast. Don’t be afraid to mix in small doses of an accent color, also, such as robin’s egg blue or teal green, especially if that is your accent color for your house. The wreath can simply be a grapevine wreath with a big bow or something more elaborate or formal, depending on the style of your home. You can also make your own by attaching maple leaves to a wire wreath form with florist’s tape. Dry the leaves first by layering in wax paper between the pages of a big, heavy book, wrap the stems of several leaves with the tape then attach the bunches to the form, overlapping each bunch.
Frame your door with a garland, using some of the same objects and colors that are in your wreath. Again, this can range from very simple strands of grapevine or bittersweet to very detailed layers of foliage, vines, berries, gourds and warm glowing lights, with ribbon intertwined. These same garlands can wrap porch pillars and railings and light and mailbox posts. You are only limited by your imagination. But beware – keep everything in a theme or use a dominant color scheme, otherwise it will get chaotic.
For a country feel, shop your house, garage and basement for objects that you can stack and fill with branches, berries and pinecones. Use old wheelbarrows or children’s wagons and fill with baskets overflowing with gourds, pumpkins and squashes. Prop an old ladder against the wall and place galvanized buckets on the rungs, filled with treasures you’ve picked up from a walk in the woods. Wrap boxes with burlap and fill with leaves and berries. Most of these containers can be kept in place with their contents swapped out for greens and berries for the Christmas season.
For a more formal look, line the steps with matching urns filled with leaves and berries, the largest on the first step, graduating down in size. If the containers are made of different materials, paint them all a matte black. If you have green leaf topiaries, mix some fall leaves in, add some strands of bittersweet berries, paint the containers to match the others, and place on either side of the front door. Add some black iron lanterns with white pillar candles and you’re in business.
Treat yourself to a new door mat. Choose one based on your color scheme and style and keep it clean and swept. If you have outdoor furniture, add some new pillows and a throw, perhaps in the bold accent color used in the wreath and garlands. Then, make yourself a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine and sit down and enjoy your pretty, welcoming entrance. Your neighbors and guests certainly will.