July 14, 2024

Architectural Design Kingdom

Home is where the heart is

67 Fall Decorating Ideas For A Beautiful Autumn Season

16 min read

There are so many ways to decorate your home in a tasteful and festive way for fall. Pumpkins, gourds, autumn foliage, and pinecones are a handful of popular themes that can serve as inspiration. You can mix all of these elements together across your mantle or you can stagger them artfully down your front steps. You can make a fall wreath out of miniature pumpkins. We also love a garland made from oversized pinecones that incorporates fresh magnolia or greenery.

When decorating for fall, it is best to get the most bang for your buck and pick one look that will carry you through the tailgate, Halloween, and Thanksgiving seasons. Bring fall into your home all season long with our favorite decorating projects.

Table of Contents

Add An Autumn Wreath

Laurey W. Glenn

Add fall color to the front door with a seasonal wreath. This one incorporates white pumpkins, a favorite for the harvest season. This quick DIY project starts with a store-bought grapevine wreath embellished with greenery and berries.

Use Terracotta Pots For Flowers

Alison Gootee

For a true Fall feel, designer Sara Perez-Ekanger nestled flowers with classic hues of yellow, orange, and red together in a ribbed terracotta pot that gives the look of a pumpkin without being so literal.

Line Your Stairs

Hector Manuel Sanchez

With stairs leading up to the front door, don’t keep your Fall decor on one level. This front porch has gourds, pumpkins, and Fall flowers lining the stairs to arrive at the final Fall wreath.

Keep Arrangements All Natural

Alison Gootee

“Anything colorful, textural, and organic just does something for you when brought into your home—especially in the Fall,” designer Sara Perez-Ekanger says. “It’s a turning of the seasons, a change of pace.” With this idea of using raw materials from outdoors, she produced a particularly lush and free-flowing composition.

Set Up A Fall Tableau

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Decorate a seasonally-inspired table to make your home feel fall-ready. Your foyer is a great place to start with a simple tablescape. We especially love the use of glass cloche containers and terra cotta pots for a touch of garden flair.

Dress Up The Mantel

Laurey W. Glenn

Let’s not forget about decorating the mantel. This quick-to-make arrangement of white pumpkins, colorful leaves, and twine is simple and rustic. Southern Living floral genius Buffy Hargett Miller calls it “an easy wow.”

Make Pumpkin Votives

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

If you’re having any sort of fall festivity at home, add these pumpkin votives to your to-do list. Group them as a centerpiece or skip the container and scatter the votives anywhere that could use a little fall glow. Find a tutorial here.

Create A Cornucopia

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

A brilliant mix of green tones, white, and flashes of fall color make this centerpiece feel like a fresh, modern cornucopia. Make this centerpiece your own by adding succulents, fresh veggies, or anything else you’ve harvested from the garden or farmer’s market.

Build A Tabletop Topiary

Laurey W. Glenn

Raid your refrigerator to gather the elements for this fragrant display. It incorporates fresh herbs, pumpkins, artichokes, and white pumpkins. A display of fresh produce is perfect for the kitchen.

Carve Out A Mumkin

Hector Sanchez

Carve out a medium-to-large pumpkin to fit a store-bought pot of mums. Then, simply place the chrysanthemums inside as you would a pot. To maximize the look, fill smaller gourds with containers of pansies to create a lovely fall trio.

Decorate With Apples

Laurey W. Glenn

Apples are in-season, relatively affordable, and colorful. Here, we created a “gathering” basket of sorts by lining Granny Smith green apples alongside moss, rocks, and green berries on the inside of a long basket. On the outside, we added a single-line border of green carnations and spider mums.

Make A Fall Foliage Bouquet

Helen Norman

The key to arranging leaves is to group them by size and color, much like you would arrange flowers. Fiery red maple makes a beautiful focal point when countered with the feathery foliage of dawn redwood laden with globes of gray-green fruit on the fringes.

Stack Pumpkins On Any Table

Laurey W. Glenn

For a quick and easy approach, group your favorite tiny pumpkins on a side table, and let the collection speak for itself. There is no right or wrong way to create this display. This arrangement looks unintentional, adding a carefree, casual seasonal touch.

Line Your Steps With Mums

Helen Norman

There’s a reason you see mums each fall—they work. Once buds begin to open, you’re guaranteed blooms whether your display is in sun or shade. To prolong the show, water when dry and remove spent flowers. Pair with Mexican sage and boxwoods to recreate this stunning display.

Make A Blooming Pumpkin

Jim Franco

To make this arrangement, choose your favorite pumpkin and pick up some violas, pansies, red and green leaf lettuce, thyme, and rosemary to decorate. Clean the pumpkin with a Clorox wipe, cut a hole in the top, and scoop out seeds. Line with aluminum foil or a plastic bag, and fill three-quarters full with potting soil and plants. We used Sorbet violas and Crystal Bowl pansies.

Try A Natural Tablescape

Jennifer Davick

For a natural tablescape that feels equal parts rustic and elegant, pair simple white plates with timeless flatware and thin stemware. Bold orange napkins can give the setting a pop of seasonal color.

Make Pomanders

Ralph Anderson

Display pomander oranges studded with dried whole cloves from fall into the Christmas season. These can be hung from a mirror or mantelpiece, or displayed in a pretty bowl as shown here. You get bonus points for something copper or wood in color as it picks up the brown hue of the cloves.

Use Pumpkins As Serving Pieces

Helen Norman

Topped with silver serving pieces, pale gray and green pumpkins add interesting height to your buffet. To execute, simply find Cinderella pumpkins that are as close to flat on the top. Then, just cut off the handle of each pumpkin and place a serving tray atop that is as close to the pumpkin’s circumference as possible.

Display Pumpkin Topiaries

Helen Norman

Vertical arrangements make a big statement at the front door. To create topiaries, sandwich bay wreaths between pumpkins stacked in concrete urns, and top with a small pumpkin. Tip: Tucking in cool-weather edibles such as ornamental flowering cabbages, kale, and bay leaves can add a distinctive twist or a fun shake-up.

Welcome Friends With A Formal Table

Jennifer Davick

In the napkin arena, nothing’s nicer than a generous 22-inch hemstitched piece of white linen, monogrammed and crisply ironed. Create a look that is “uniquely you” by combining simple stemware with more decorative china, or vice versa. Try to incorporate as much vintage silver as you can find to add sparkle. Set place cards with your own handwriting for a personal touch.

Bring The Garden To Your Doorstep

Helen Norman

Want your front porch to feel more fall harvest than Halloween party? Pair pumpkins with potted kale to create a warm welcome. Grace an entry with a garland made of clippings from the garden.

Paint Pumpkins

Helen Norman

It’s simple to decorate pumpkins with just a few supplies from the hardware or crafts store. Create stylish seasonal decor with some gold and black paint. Place them on the porch or all around the house.

Incorporate Colorful Branches

Laurey W. Glenn

Red dogwood branches add more drama and height to a fall display. Arrange the branches, dried grasses, moss, squash, and small pumpkins in a vase as you would a traditional flower display. Then, choose a single pumpkin with an interesting shape or a twisted stem to showcase.

String Together A Cornhusk Garland

William Dickey

Construct an easy-to-assemble calico corn garland beginning with a piece of sisal rope. Wrap it with broomcorn, corn tassels (stalks are available at farmers’ markets), or other dried grasses. Place corn along the rope single file or gathered in bundles of three. Wire corn securely in place, and then tie raffia around it for a finishing touch.

Use A Range Of Color

Laurey W. Glenn

Don’t limit yourself to just traditional orange in your display. These pumpkins and gourds really pop in a range of whites, greens, yellows, and reds. Evergreen topiaries serve as a backdrop with cool green tones.

Set Up A Glamorous Banquet

Jennifer Davick

Emphasize the beauty of your meal by serving it on gold and glass dinnerware. Pro tip: Let your menu influence your decor. For instance, this menu includes berries so we selected seasonal flowers in deep pink and berry tones.

Craft DIY Floral Pumpkins

Helen Norman

To make these festive party decorations, pick up a carving or soft-skinned pumpkin, an awl (pointed tool), and some cut mums. Using the awl, poke a hole in the pumpkin and fill it in with a mum stem. Repeat this process until the entire pumpkin is covered. To help extend its life, keep this decoration in the refrigerator until party time.

Display A Terrarium

Ralph Anderson; Styling by: Buffy Hargett

Start by choosing a clear glass container with a wide opening, then follow our instructions for making a terrarium. These miniature landscapes can hold a collection of colorful plants for display or just show off one plant. Good choices include ferns, peperomias, succulents, begonias, Irish moss, miniature orchids, kalanchoes, and African violets.

Make A Mantelpiece Arrangement

Helen Norman

Celebrate the bounty of fall with multiple show-stopping arrangements. Orchids, lotus pods, rose hips, and cattails brighten this dining room. Go bold and place two symmetrical arrangements for a gorgeous pairing on the mantel.

Carve Your Own House Number

Helen Norman

Announce your address in style by cleverly etching your house number (or your initials or name) into a pumpkin. You can pile a combination of traditional and heirloom pumpkins on your front steps. Top it with your etched design to welcome guests for a fall party.

Etch Some Pumpkins

Southern Living

Etching will leave an artful design on your pumpkin. The technique allows your pumpkin to last longer and is less messy than traditional carving. If you’re not sure what to carve, use one of our printable patterns.

Set A White Table For More Impact

Laurey W. Glenn

A neutral backdrop of white linens and dishes puts the focus on punches of orange and green. See it in the colored glassware, mini pumpkins, linen napkins, raffia-wrapped water glasses—and, of course, seasonal leaves.

Spray Paint Your Centerpiece

Laurey W. Glenn

A coat of metallic gold spray paint upgrades a grouping of glass candlesticks and heaps of large North Carolina apples. Feel free to do this with fake produce. That way, you can keep it for longer.

Play With Tacks

Helen Norman

Pick up some upholstery tacks from the craft store. Upholstery tacks lend a graphic look to plain white pumpkins. Mix up the sizes and shapes of the tacks to create different patterns.

Top An Outdoor Table

Helen Norman

Easy-care succulents, such as sedums, echeverias, crassulas, and more, are all the rage. We love the idea of creating an actual green tabletop with a bed of moss and variety of succulents and seasonal gourds on top.

Make Your Mantel Slightly Spooky

Laurey W. Glenn

This mantel arrangement is appropriate all season long while being spooky enough for Halloween. Use small containers in a black or dark wood finish along with items such as horns, crooked sticks, and Spanish moss. The darker colors will help the bright orange pumpkins stand out.

Offer Treats, Not Tricks

Laurey W. Glenn

This buffet of sweets features store-bought goodies that guests of all ages will enjoy. For a unified look, place desserts on a collection of white cake stands and platters. A dramatic candelabra and rustic green table add fall flavor.

Use Ghostly Pumpkins

Helen Norman

Black and white ‘Lumina,’ ‘Moonshine,’ and ‘Jarrahdale’ pumpkins set a mysterious air in your garden. Cluster them on your steps or pile them up on a table. If you can’t find white or gray pumpkins locally, try spray paint.

Make Playful Place Cards

Jennifer Davick

Write the name of each guest on a leaf place card attached to a little felted acorn that doubles as a fun party favor. Scatter loose felted acorns—or real ones—up and down the table to play up the natural theme.

Take The Party Outside

Ralph Anderson

Take the Thanksgiving feast outdoors. But don’t host your friends and family on folding chairs and paper plates. Bring the good stuff outside with a beautifully set table in the garden.

Create A Sophisticated Setting With Gold

Laurey W. Glenn

Look to an heirloom china pattern for inspiration, like this palette of champagne and gold with subtle touches of pink. Don’t be afraid to combine old with new, traditional with modern, and heirloom with inexpensive.

Think Seasonal With Containers

Laurey W. Glenn

The plumes of eye-catching purple fountain grass become more numerous as fall nears. For a stunning arrangement, flank it with another explosive favorite, ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena, which is great in the ground or a pot. Add three ‘Bandana Red’ lantanas for bright blooms and two ‘Margarita’ sweet potato vines to trail, and you’ve captured the essence of authum

Utilize Your Sideboard

Miki Duisterhof

Create a functional but beautiful sideboard by grouping simple fall arrangements, like these bouquets of orange dahlias, red and yellow roses, and calla lilies, with festive plates and serveware. It makes for a stunning statement as well as a serving station for a meal or snacks.

Create A Tabletop Garden

Helen Norman

For an arrangement that will last through Thanksgiving, place a potted oncidium orchid in a large, lined cachepot, and surround it with water-soaked florist foam. Insert cut fall foliage into the foam along with dried crepe myrtle pods and rose hips. Then add stems of orange dendrobiums in water-filled florist tubes.

Place Nature In The Spotlight

Laurey W. Glenn

Host a stylish autumn get-together with recycled things from around the house and arrange them on an outdoor table. You can fill an oversize jug with branches of leaves cut from the yard for a free centerpiece. Make blankets available to keep your guests comfortable outdoors.

Decorate The Door Knocker

Ralph Anderson

To accent the door knocker, zip-tie two crookneck gourds together, and then zip-tie them to a foam-core oval about 5 inches long. Cover ties with ribbon. Working at an angle, hot-glue sprigs of coontie palm, croton, holly fern, asparagus fern, and abelia to cover the foam core. The hardy foliage will last about two weeks in cool weather and can be replaced.

Make A Pumpkin-And-Gourd Wreath

Helen Norman

If you’re looking for a wreath that’ll last from Halloween through Thanksgiving, consider making one with mini pumpkins and gourds. Fill in the gaps with moss to make it feel fresh and full.

Recreate A Pumpkin Patch On Your Porch

Helen Norman

Decorate the porch with pumpkins, gourds, and hay bales for a look straight out of the pumpkin patch. The hay bales are great for adding height where needed, as are baskets and pots. Pro tip: You want this set-up to feel symmetrical but not perfect.

Mix Dried Flowers And Herbs

Laurey W. Glenn

Mix bunches of blooms and foliage in a rainbow of hues. To illuminate your table, just add a glass hurricane and candle to the middle of the wreath. After displaying it flat as a centerpiece, you can hang it from a pretty ribbon as a wreath.

Host A Grown-Up Picnic

Erica George Dines

Doing Thanksgiving outdoors? Don’t underestimate picnic tables if you have them. You can do them up for a holiday or party with rustic centerpieces, like the ones here at Blackberry Farm that line the center of tables with an array of colorful gourds.

Pair Pumpkin Tree Plant And Acorns

Laurey W. Glenn

It’s cute as can be, but not really pumpkin. This wreath features pumpkin-on-a-stick eggplant (also called pumpkin tree plant), which turns a brilliant red-orange color when it matures and begins to dry. Look for it at farmers’ markets or in the floral sections of large supermarkets, or grow it yourself from seeds. Use it to create a fall wreath.

Bring The Indoors Outside

Erica George Dines

Surround a rustic picnic table with upholstered chairs like the orange wingback options used here. Pro tip: Don’t worry if you don’t have a full set of matching chairs. As shown here, the eclectic mix of different styles can create a welcoming, “gather as you are” vibe.

Dress Up A Store-Bought Garland

Southern Living

Embellish a store-bought garland by adding bittersweet, fall foliage or dried hydrangeas. Finish the look with pumpkins and cabbages on the steps and a pine-cone wreath accented with leaves and flowers. Tip: Prolong the life of greenery with spritzes of water; coat pumpkins with Mod Podge.

Make Fall Luminaries

Laurey W. Glenn

Cast an inviting glow on your steps using paper bags stenciled with the shapes of fall foliage taken right from your own trees. This can be a fun project to do with your kids, as it only requires paper bags and scissors. Add sand and LED votive candles to make them shine.

Construct A Corn Husk Wreath

Laurey W. Glenn

Tamale wrappers create a hot look that’s sure to spice up your entry with this wreath. Simple corn husks are folded into loops for a ruffled effect that softens the straight lines of the paneled door. A bold chartreuse bow echoes the greenery in the pedestal urns.

Design An Autumn-Inspired Bar

Helen Norman

Use pumpkins as risers to elevate appetizer plates. Create a simple look by piling pumpkins in a Champagne bucket and weaving branches of berries around the rim. To avoid pumpkin overload, add a cut-flower bouquet arranged in a pitcher. Afterwards, fit these pumpkins into other displays.

Plant A Window Box That Transitions To Winter

Helen Norman

Plan ahead for plantings that will transition through the holidays with a few additions. Start with ornamental cabbage, bittersweet, pumpkins, dried hydrangeas, artichokes, and ivy, then add in gilded branches and berries.

Let Nature Inspire Your Table

Helen Norman

Look to the land for seasonal table décor. Remove the top of heirloom pumpkins to create a trio of festive vases. Fill them with bouquets of roses, persimmons, wheat, dried lotus pods, hydrangeas, fern fronds, and oak leaves.

Create A Cozy Outdoor Fireplace

Helen Norman

Create a festive retreat for guests with lots of plush seating and a mantel swathed in a foliage garland made from a combination of oak and magnolia leaves. Decorate only one side of the fireplace for a modern feel. Complete the look with simple and weighty pottery crocks filled with autumn leaves, hydrangeas, and berries.

Make A Wreath Of Colorful Fall Foliage

Laurey W. Glenn

Rake in the compliments with a wreath featuring brilliant autumn leaves. This works with maple, oak, sweet gum, hickory, dogwood—whatever is putting on a show in your yard. You can also make it with preserved leaves purchased at a crafts store or online.

Hang A Corn Badge

Hector Manual Sanchez; Design: Rebecca Bull Reed

Ribbons of burlap create a rustic background for iconic fall plants that are bundled into sheaves to form decorative accents. These look great when hung on a front door, in each window, on top of columns, over a mantelpiece, you name it.

Spice Up The Patio

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Bring the season to the table with a decorating recipe that calls for pumpkins and mums in warm shades of paprika, cinnamon, and curry. Add a helping of calico corn on the side, and don’t forget to sprinkle in assorted pecans, hickory nuts, and a few acorns gathered from your yard.

Forage For Foliage

Hector Manuel Sanchez

“Use natural materials to beautify your table by gathering leaves, berries, hydrangeas, and more from your backyard,” said Mary Hollis Huddleston of Mrs. Southern Social and Please Be Seated, the elevated event-rental company. “In the South, we’re lucky that we still have plants blooming in the fall. I love combining these things with more seasonal items, like colorful autumn leaves.”

Dine By Candlelight

Hector Manuel Sanchez

“Everyone looks better when the candles are glowing, and there’s something about tall, elegant tapers that just makes a table so pretty,” Huddleston added. Dine by natural light and then allow the candles to carry your party into the evening.

Use Linens To Choose Your Palette

Hector Manuel Sanchez

When styling a photo-ready fete, beginning with one simple element can make all the difference. “I’m usually inspired by beautiful linens, and then I’ll build my palette from there, pulling out one or two colors from the fabrics … to complete the look,” Huddleston said.

Give Grasses The Limelight

Helen Norman; Styling: James Cramer

Use grasses to herald the changing season as they transform from brilliant green to a wheat-colored hue. These containers use lime green sweet potato vine, which can be replaced with other seasonal plants in winter. Tall black planters add extra height to the arrangement.

Plant A Succulent Pumpkin

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

A pumpkin with a sunken hollow can provide a base for succulents, which need very little soil. Use a pumpkin in a muted color so the succulents can really shine. Moisten the soil and arrange echeverias and other succulents in an array of textures and colors.

Transform Pumpkins Into Candleholders

Laurey W. Glenn

Cinderella pumpkins make a beautiful candleholder for a tabletop or along garden paths. Place them all over your property for a more dramatic effect. Simply carve out the center of each pumpkin and place a glass hurricane and candle inside.


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