Snowberry’s Fall Porch Decor
It’s been an unusually warm fall here in Northern California. And, by warm I mean hot.
How is it where you are?
Can you believe we’re halfway through October … and Halloween is right around the corner? I usually hold off buying pumpkins until the weather cools off a bit …. but at this rate that could be February … so off to the pumpkin patch I went. Actually, it was off to our local nursery.
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Don’t you love the variety of pumpkins available now?! Not to date myself, but … when I was a growing up, we had a choice of one type of pumpkin. Bright orange. You bought your orange pumpkin at the grocery store or a local pumpkin ‘patch’ – a converted empty lot downtown. Everyone in the family picked a pumpkin and the decision was mostly about size and carvabiity.
Mini pumpkins were not yet a thing.
If you were lucky and lived within an hour of a rural area, your parents might take you on a weekend outing to a real pumpkin patch. Even then, your choice of pumpkins was pretty much the same. Orange. But it was more of a ‘authentic’ experience with corn mazes, farm animals and scarecrows.
Then, a few days before Halloween, it was carving time! This was pre-Martha Stewart and her fancy carving tools.
Carving procedure at my house went something like this …
Mom spread newspapers out on the kitchen floor and reluctantly handed us black markers. We drew faces on our pumpkins and then dad was summoned with his scalpel (kitchen knife). Once the lids were off, mom took the markers in exchange for slotted spoons whereby the process of removing the innards – so gross – began. Intermittent inspections took place until our pumpkins were declared sufficiently cleaned. Dad returned and carved the pumpkin faces.
Speaking of carving pumpkins …
I once had the great idea to host a pumpkin carving contest. My mom and her best friend arrived with an Agatha Christie book and a brown paper bag. The book cover was their pumpkin inspiration. I should have paid closer attention. All the contestants spread out around the house, my mom and her friend staked claim to the laundry room. The book’s cover displayed a jack-o-lantern that appeared to be blacked out on the inside. All I remember is the sound of a spray paint can being shaken followed by shrieking. Needless to say, they were disqualified did not win a prize.
Look! I found it on Amazon … Google is amazing.
Okay, well that was a fun walk down memory lane …
let’s get to Snowberry’s fall porch décor.
In my Fall Home Tour post, I shared five tips for bringing seasonal décor into your home without driving yourself insane.
I feel like fall décor moves through four stages. My thoughts on The Four Stages of Fall Décor:
- Phase One (September, post-Labor Day) – a hint of fall color
- Phase Two (October) – here come the real pumpkins
- Phase Three (mid-October) – bring on the spook & gore
- Phase Four (November) – remove the scary stuff, add turkeys and gourds
Fall Décor Phase One
Phase One of my fall porch décor was very simple. I added a wreath to the front door (this one is no longer available, but I love this wreath from Frontgate), layered a buffalo check rug under the doormat, added a couple of colorful plants and filled a lantern with mini cloth pumpkins and pinecones. To our porch bench I added a plaid throw, a striped pillow and a cloth pumpkin.
Fall Décor Phase Two
A couple of weeks ago Phase Two kicked in and I stuck firmly to my less-is-more policy … here’s what I added:
Real pumpkins, and lots of them. Did I go overboard?
I could certainly have passed muster with less.
Faux fall leaves in the basket planter topped with a few small sugar pumpkins.
Yellow mums to replace the sunflower that died (not enough sun apparently).
A larger pumpkin alongside our driveway bench.
Isn’t this a great pumpkin (Charlie Brown)? The stem!!!
Truth be told I freaked out a bit after unloading all my pumpkins. Shopping for them is one thing, artfully arranging them is another.
I’ve confessed to being challenged in the home décor realm.
I love décor, I can envision what I’d want things to look like … but the execution gets tricky.
I decided not to overthink it and I did ok. Not great, not terrible … ok. I’m happy with it.
Fall Décor Phase Three
Moving on to Phase Three – spook and gore. We have no children at home, and get few trick or treaters. Plus, it’s not really my thing so I’m looking ahead to Phase Four.
Fall Décor Phase Four
Sit back and enjoy a lull in the action until November 1st when Phase Four kicks in and Snowberry’s largest pumpkin morphs into a turkey.
Fall Decor + Adult Beverages
Did you read my posts about perfect fall cocktails?
They pair well with the Four Phases of Fall Decor.
My personal favorite, the Aperol Spritz, is ideal for Phase One and Two. Light and easy.
Because seasonal decorating can be exhausting, Phase Three and Four require something more substantial and the Bourbon Spritz fits the bill.
This week I added to Snowberry’s home décor library with a wonderful new book by Myquillyn Smith, aka The Nester, called Welcome Home. Myquillyn is all about ‘more style, less stuff.’ She’s speaking my language.
Have you seen the Netfix series by Studio McGee … Dream Home Makeover? Oh, my goodness! Seasons one and two are so good and season three is coming soon. Not soon enough. Shea and Syd McGee are the most adorable and talented couple. I can’t wait for more.
Did you see Snowberry’s (nearly) finished back patio … dressed for fall? You can find it here.
But wait, there’s more about fall!
Much more …
Less-is-More Fall Decor & Home Tour
Perfect Fall Cocktail – Aperol Spritz
Perfect Fall Cocktail -Bourbon Spritz
As always, I appreciate your visit and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until then, Cheers from Snowberry and happy fall decorating!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos in the post are by Monica Vargas Photography.
Carol S. says
Love your four phase plan. Don’t think I’ve seen it described like that before but yup, it’s a good decor strategy. I think your home and outdoors look lovely. Almost bought a bottle of Aperol and still may yet. Read Agatha Christie AND THEN THERE WERE NONE for book club last October, very good. Happy Sunday!
Good morning, Carol – I love Agatha Christie and wish I could persuade my book club to go that direction. It would be a nice, comforting change. I hope you do buy Aperol and give it a try. The Italians are onto something … low alcohol and mixes well with so many things. Plus, the color! I’m glad you like my 4-phase approach … not being a huge seasonal decorator it seemed to make sense to break it down into bite sized pieces. Ha! Happy Sunday to you too! xo
Whitney Ebert says
Beautifully decorated with hints of fall! Love all of the different pumpkins. And gorgeous outdoor patio! Can’t wait to see more!
You made me laugh with your 4 phase decorating plan, but when I thought about it that’s exactly what happens around here! I’m waiting until right before Halloween to put the spooky stuff out, since it’s just for a laugh when I surprise my family. No one else will be here, and we never have any trick or treaters because we live in the country.
I think your porch looks very festive and I admire your bounty of pumpkins! They are always so heavy and dirty, but worth it in the end for a little fall color! I choose mine by their stems, yours with that giant stem is perfection! I have six sitting on the top steps up to the front door, and the little scarecrow my parents bought me years ago, a pretty wreath on the door and I’m done! If the weather ever cools down it will really feel like Fall!
I think your great at decorating and I love your blog! Love your Halloween memories!! Need to check out more on your blog!
Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much … I’m so glad you’re here! xo
LA CONTESSA says
OHHHH THANK YOU FOR THAT WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THAT’s EXACTLY HOW IT WAS DONE!!!!!!
EVEN WITH MY BOYS!!!WHO ARE GETTING UP THERE IN YEARS………I took them to a pumpkin patch down San Pablo DAM ROAD.When they were little HALF MOON BAY!
I never got the taste or thrill for baking THE SEEDS DID YOU?
LOVE THAT PUMPKIN ON ITS OWN WITH THE SWAG STALK LOOK!!!
THAT WAS A FIND!
Thank you, Contessa! Unfortunately, our squirrels love that pumpkin too! Funny you should mentioned roasting the seeds. Our family didn’t do it … but our next door neighbors did. Getting the seeds separated from all the gobbley-gook pumpkin innards is no easy task. I haven’t carved a pumpkins in eons … have you? xo
LA CONTESSA says
Carol Karl says
Your porch looks amazing. I loved hearing your story about pumpkin carving and your competition. Here in NZ, we don’t really celebrate fall like in the Northern Hemisphere – it’s spring here now but you would think it was more like fall with the weather we’ve been having. Our family do Halloween but it’s not common here. I loved reading your stages of fall decorating too. Great post. Thanks so much for sharing.
Hi Carol … I had no idea Halloween wasn’t a big deal in Australia. I always think of our two countries as being so much the same. We do go a little overboard … particularly in the last decade … driving through neighborhood so many of the front yard are elaborately decked out with spider webs, giant spiders, tomb stones, ghosts, bats and witches. And, it’s been in the 90’s all week! I do enjoy the little ones trick or treating, and seeing all their sweet costumes, but I don’t think we’ll have the pleasure of their visits this year. Thanks for dropping by the blog! xo
Sorry, Carol, I meant New Zealand … I know, from NZ friends, that getting the two countries mixed up is extremely irritating! What was I thinking?!!! xo
As usual, in love with all of your less is more decor! The trip down memory lane is do fun. Until moving to the PNW I had never been to an actual pumpkin patch! I also love all of the pumpkin options now, especially the Cinderella variety & the blue/green ones. Without realizing it, I see that I follow your 4 phases of fall decorating ha ha! Need to tune into the Studio McGee show everyone is raving about! Cheers Juliet!
Really?! I’m shocked and scandalized!!! There are so many wonderful farms in the PNW. Have you been to Gordon Skagit Farms in Mt. Vernon? Definitely worth the drive. The two years we lived in Anacortes I visited multiple times each fall. In fact, you remind me to search for the photos and share in my Instagram stories. There is a wonderful nursery nearby the farm, Christensen’s. Definitely worth a visit as well. I just rewatched the first three episodes of the Studio McGee show with my husband. He’d been out of town for the weekend and I knew he’d love it. He did! Hope you have a wonderful week! xo
I love all of the pumpkin varieties that are available now. It wasn’t too many years ago that just orange ones were the only ones for sale. Your porch looks great decorated for fall!
Hi Paula … it’s almost too many pumpkin choices. Right?!!! 🙂
Katie Clooney says
Hello, dear Juliet… I LOVED your Halloween trip down memory lane. Your Mom and Sista remind me of something that my Sista and I would do. Your home looks positively darling with just the right amount of Halloween decor. By the way… the Mr. just looked over my shoulder while I was reading your post and said he LOVES your door!!! I must say the words “Thanks Covid” 40 times a day. Have a wonderful week.
Yes, I can see that about you and Sista! New house rule: no spray paint allowed. Many thanks to the Mister. He’s welcome to walk through that door anytime. Perhaps he could find his way to the kitchen. Jim and I will be waiting at the dining table. You can join us! Seriously though, I’ve been thinking about you weekend … and your Big Move. I hope your manicure is holding up to the extreme sport of packing. Safe travels. xo
Southern Nell Gracious Living says
Beautiful fall front porch, Juliet. I love all the pumpkin varieties as well! By the time Thanksgiving arrives, I’m down to only one little bit of fall decor, and that’s the Thanksgiving tablescape! The speed of change in a blogging world!
So true. I’m not fully up-to-speed on decor blogger-stye! Perhaps there should be a four phases of fall decor for bloggers … that takes place between July & August! With Christmas off and running by October 1st! 🙂
Jennifer Howard | Cottage On Bunker Hill says
Love, love what you did!! OMG, I started watching the Studio McGee show last weekend when I was cleaning out my closet…I love watching decorating shows when I’m working on projects. I could have Chip & Jo on a loop in the background all weekend while I plow through stuff!!
Hi Jennifer! I feel exactly the same way and counting the days until the Magnolia Network makes it debut. xo
Juliet, I am loving the four phases of fall, and the designated cocktail recipes. So fun, great post!
Hi Misty! Thanks so much, I really appreciate your support. Right now the squirrels are eating my phases one and two fall decor! We’ll see if anything survives to phase four. 🙂