From harvest to horror, let your porch make a statement

From harvest to horror, let your porch make a statement

From harvest to horror, let your porch make a statement
Pumpkins, cornstalks and chrysanthemums can easily transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving décor.

Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor columnistA fall front porch can be elegant and grand, homemade and crafty – or a little of both.

With any holiday decorating, the key is to keep scale and function in mind. By all means, go big and beautiful with your accessories, but not so big that you can’t access the front door and (gasp) make it difficult for UPS or FedEx to properly deliver your Amazon boxes.

A large, wraparound porch can easily accommodate classic rocking chairs accessorized with traditional earth-tone plaid pillows and mounds of perfectly blooming chrysanthemums in shades of burnt orange, wine red and sunshine yellow. Pair these lovely blooms with ceramic containers in the same coordinating colors for a big statement.

Picture cornstalks evenly distributed on each porch post, tied into place with thick, burlap ribbons, and an oversized doormat with a single, italicized initial. To top off all this fall loveliness, add pumpkins, big and small, gathered in various corners and up the flight of stairs that guide you to the front door.

Vertical space

From harvest to horror, let your porch make a statementFor a smaller porch, consider these same ideas but take your décor vertical. When we have less square footage on the ground floor, using vertical square footage is the next best thing. Using tall and narrow accents like a pair of zinc urns flanking your front door, or the step leading up to your porch, filled with multicolored mini pumpkin topiaries or fluffy, wheat sheaves will help give you height. A circular twig wreath or elongated spray, intertwined with fall foliage, hanging on your front door or a fall leaf garland that outlines the entry door are classic accessories that will turn your entry door into a focal point.

Let’s not forget, front porches have no fear when it comes to entertaining ghouls, goblins and our favorite skeletal beings. Black silky witches hats and white fabric remnant ghosts mysteriously hover within the constraints of the porch roofline by way of a thin fishing line. A hanger of paper cutout bats can seem to barricade the exterior of the front door, keeping the ghouls and ghosts where they belong – on the porch.

Paper bag lanterns with cutout jack-o-lantern faces can border the approach to the porch, and, of course, ghost white and traditional orange pumpkins to fill every nook and cranny.

October to November transition

Spooky décor transitions nicely into a more harvest style aesthetic once October sneaks back into the mysterious shadows. With the ghostly décor put away, the chrysanthemums will bloom a few more rounds. The hay bails and cornstalks can remain on our porches, and the pumpkins that didn’t fall under the carving knife have one more month to sit pretty and plump.

With November just around the corner, we are thankful for a year that none of us could have ever imagined, but yet, here we are. Thriving. And, most importantly, still decorating.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at