As the air turns crisp and the leaves change from green to amber, red and gold, you may find yourself wanting to linger a little longer on the porch and savor that glowing autumn light. From clusters of candles to cozy wool blankets, here are eight ways to help create a comfortable, welcoming porch that says, “Fall is here.”
Tuck wool blankets around lounge chairs. Plaid wool throws folded neatly atop the seat cushions of lounge chairs look crisp and cozy. And when you want to enjoy your porch just a little bit longer in the evening, all you need to do is pull up a blanket and snuggle in.
Go wild with candlelight. Why stop with just one or two candles when you can have 10 or 20? Cluster them together on a tray or metal side table, and the glow they cast will instantly boost the evening ambiance on your porch. For safety, consider choosing battery-operated candles — some look very realistic!
Cozy up the hammock. Help your hammock look right at home as the leaves begin to fall by boosting its comfort level with a smattering of pillows and a super-soft throw. Then just swap out your summer iced tea for a mug of hot apple cider, and you’ll be happily swinging and swaying until the first flakes fly.
Display pumpkins in subtle hues. If you want to get a jump on fall porch decorating but it’s a little early for full-on Halloween, consider picking up some pumpkins and gourds in a more subtle color palette. Silvery green, white and pale orange pumpkins are beautiful and elegant, and they don’t scream “fall” so much as whisper it.
Carry out some quilts. If you have an enclosed porch and don’t need to worry about textiles being damaged in bad weather, consider bringing out a few thick quilts to drape over the seating. The colors and patterns (not to mention the warmth) will be most welcome as you sit and watch the leaves drop.
Create a luxurious mood with orchids and throws. If you live in the city or lean more modern in your taste, there are plenty of ways to cozy up your porch without overdosing on mums and jack-o’-lanterns. Instead, try a rich plum-colored throw and pillows, plus a potted orchid on the coffee table. It’s simple, elegant and easy to pull off.
Light a fire. If you’re lucky enough to have a working outdoor fireplace on the porch, fall is the perfect time to make use of it. Just be sure to schedule cleaning and maintenance before lighting it for the first time this season — buildup from previous fires, as well as debris or old animal nests, can cause a chimney fire.
Boost evening lighting. As the days become shorter, good porch lighting will ensure that your leisurely evenings alfresco can continue all season long. If possible, have the lights put on a dimmer switch. It’s great to have a really bright porch light to see who’s at the door, but when you’re just hanging out, a soft glow is much more welcoming.