Top 10 Outdoor Fall Decorating Ideas

Most people, when asked to come up with an outdoor decorating idea for fall, think of something related to Halloween, whether it's Gothic and subtle decor or the commercialized version of the said holiday. The use of balloon jack-o-lanterns, fake hanging bats, or paintings of witches with cauldrons and broomsticks appears to be the order of the season. However, there's more to autumn than Halloween (or even Thanksgiving).

There’s a lot more to autumn than just things that are spooky or monster-themed. It's a great time for you to stretch the limits of your imagination and try out a fall decorating idea that’s more original and dynamic than the default, uninspired, and cliché fall decorating ideas.

Outdoor Fall Decoration Ideas To Consider

1. Make a Pumpkin Planter: Instead of cutting up and emptying perfectly fine pumpkins as typical Halloween decoration, why not plant a whole bunch of them on a planter? Make sure they come in different sizes and shades of orange (from pale to rich tinges as well as different hues), such that you'll end with a succulent bouquet of pumpkins.

You can also go another route with pumpkin planters by instead using the empty husk of a pumpkin and turn it into the planter itself wherein you can plant a bouquet of complimentarily colored (orange) flowers on it.

It's either the pumpkins serve as the flowers of your fall bouquet or a pumpkin can be turned into a planter for flowers. Also, if your planter is too big to put your gourds in, you can always use florist's foam to fill in the gaps and make everything look filled out.

2. Create Fall Cornucopia and Outdoor Terrarium Centerpieces: This project entails putting up a festive cornucopia (a horn-like structure filled with fruits, nuts, and produce reminiscent of the magical horn of the goat Amalthea of Greek mythological legend who fed the baby Zeus with it) and an outdoor terrarium.

A terrarium is simply a terra-cotta bulb dish with a bell jar covering it housing plant matter, whether it's a pinecone, autumn leaves, or Spanish moss. Meanwhile, the cornucopia is a symbol of abundance and nourishment.

You can make your own cornucopia with a sack, a glue gun, and a hank of raffia. You can fill it up with nuts, pears, onions, shallots, and squash as well as pumpkin (the vegetable of the season, it seems) as well. Either that or you can buy it ready-made in handicraft stores.

3. Buy the Right Fall Wreaths: Aside from Halloween decor, fall is the perfect season to put in those holiday wreaths. They go well with the ruddy reds and browns of falling foliage. They're the perfect decoration for your front doors. They blend perfectly together with the table centerpieces as well.

Usually, the wreath is a symbol of yuletide cheer to celebrate the birth of Christ, but there is such a thing as an autumn or fall wreath made from twigs, fruits (or, in this case, pumpkins), leaves (or autumn foliage), and flowers constructed to look like a ring.

An outdoor fall or harvest time wreath should really bring out the natural elegance of your front yard or backyard design, especially if it's carefully selected in accordance to how well it would look on your door or your house.

4. Install Porch Lighting and Put in Lanterns: Make your fall additions stand out more at night with the right lighting and light sources. You don't have to wait until Halloween to put out lanterns all over your home.

Instead of jack-o-lanterns, get "real" lanterns and light installments on your patio or porch in order give your veranda that distinctive fall makeover that really shines through the darkness.

The whole idea of installing fall-themed lighting as your outdoor decor is to light up your porch up so that it'd feel more warm and inviting. You can use different lantern designs that best blend in with your decorations too.

You can also put in a string of lights plus a chandelier to add romance and passion to an otherwise dull and dreary frontage that has a lone bug zapper turned on every night.

5. Do Some Fall Landscaping and Gardening: Many trees and plants practically transform during fall, turning into 3D Monet paintings (actually, it was Monet who captured the fleeting beauty of fall with his impressionist works, but the indelible images of autumn are identified with his masterpieces).

With that in mind, about a large percentage of your outdoor fall decoration relies on how well you landscape your front and back lawn. Therefore, you should plant fragrant flowers on your courtyard garden, specifically hydrangeas, jasmine, and orange trees.

These flowers will bring out the essence of autumn in more ways than one. While you're at it, before every last leaf on your trees fall to the ground, rearrange your whole front yard so that it can become an autumnal kaleidoscope of color.

Don't forget that landscaping also entails putting in the right lawn ornaments, from gnomes to French garden chairs complete with umbrellas.

6. Mix and Match Patterns for Your Tablecloths and Curtains: Instead of being too uniform with your cloth decor ideas by picking some sort of consistent fall color theme, you can get away with mixing and matching patterns without looking too tacky.

This is the perfect season for mixing and matching the same way Christmas it the perfect season for using the green and red color scheme. It's appropriate for this specific time.

For example, you can get away with zebra print and mixed stripes for a fresh and modern look, from tablecloths to curtains and other cloth-based coverings outdoors.

If it's a pattern or print you'd commonly see on Zubaz pants, then it is fair game as your fall decor. As long as you know how to layer patterns correctly, the sky is the limit for this decoration scheme.

7. The Bolder the Colors, The Better Your Fall Decor: This is the season to be bolder (Fa la la la la la la la la) when it comes to colors. Everything is vibrant during fall, from the leaves to even the way the sun's rays touch the horizon at every sunset.

You should add as much excitement to your outdoorsy design as possible. To go too subtle with colors at this point in time is to get drowned out by the rest of your vibrant surroundings at this particular season. That doesn't mean you should abandon neutrals altogether.

However, it does mean they'll best serve as bases for the splashes of color found in your collaged and bright outdoor fabrics. The contrast should be there so that your loud fabrics won't be drowned out as background noise for the rest of the masterful panorama that envelops your autumn world.

8. Add a Mirror or Two Outdoors: If you want to add a sense of spaciousness to an otherwise humble and small garden, you can hide outdoor and mirrors framed by your hedges to give the area that extra sense of space without actually buying more lawn real estate.

In outdoor decoration terms, this is one of the most common tricks in the book, such that this particular decorating idea has been quoted far and wide, from to's Lifestyle Section.

In autumnal terms, it's all about giving your garden a lot more breathing room, even if it's an unreal spaciousness that, at most, pleases the eyes alone. The whole point of this exercise is to make your limited area appear wider than it is, thus making it seem like the lushness of fall has taken over your lawn like a creeping vine.

9. Outdoor Table Arrangement Should Highlight the Autumn Theme: Aside from a landscaped lawn, the tables themselves serve as important spots for your autumnal decoration needs. They house all your important fall centerpieces, for one thing.

For another thing, where else would you place your mixed-and-matched tablecloths outdoors? Your pumpkin planter would look awful lonely without a nearby table or two (or more) to make everything look splendid and complete.

Therefore, in light of its importance, you should dress up and arrange your outdoor table appropriately, draping it with the right tools like a 19th-century bowl, candlelight, jasmine, a crisp hemstitched linen, and so forth.

Whether they're placed in the middle of the lawn with umbrellas or near the porch along with a requisite chair or lawn swing, decorating tables for fall is a must.

10. Maximize Your Outdoor Space and "Minimalize" Your Decoration Sensibilities: There's a real temptation for fall outdoor decorators to go overboard. For example, they might put in so many pumpkins on their front yard, you'd swear they're advertising for pumpkin spice or making a live-action outdoor reenactment of Disney's Cinderella, complete with pumpkin carriage.

To avoid this tendency, you should learn how to maximize your space. That doesn't mean shoving down every last piece of fall decor on every table and every inch of your manicured lawn. Instead, it's about knowing when to leave empty space and room to breathe.

Sometimes, less is more. Your small outdoor place will probably serve as your gathering place for Thanksgiving, Halloween, and even fall party barbecues all throughout autumn, so having enough room to walk around and fit in your guests is called for. Turn your front yard and/or backyard into a pocket paradise of sorts.

How to Make Your Whole Fall-Themed Decor Come Together

Ultimately, this is only a guide full of recommendations and suggestions on how to best go about your autumnal exterior design. Use this article as a starting point to better improve your fall decoration without falling victim to the pitfalls of season—interchanging Halloween decor as fall decor.

Reserve your Halloween decorations for Halloween Eve and use a color scheme other than orange and black to celebrate fall. It's a waste to ignore the rich history and heritage of autumn or fall for the sake of doing the same old "spooky decor" and theme. Drop those scarecrows and put that skeleton back inside your closet, it's time to let your creativity run free!

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