Fall Nesting Series – guest intentions

Welcome home to autumn - Farmgirl Follies

Pumpkins in the cornfields, gold among the brown
Leaves of rust and scarlet, trembling slowly down
Birds that travel southward, lovely time to play
Nothing is as pleasant as an autumn day!

I love autumn. The cooler weather is a relief, the brilliant colors and softer sunshine a pleasant perspective, and the urge to feather the nest is strong — and often necessary — after days of summer play. This fall tutorial isn’t so much about what fall decorating should look like as it is about how to create your own autumn masterpiece … how to think with friends, family and fall in mind for a cozy, comfortable and seasonally-inspired home.

Step 1: Plan ahead. Consider points of entry.

Autumn flowers

One of the easiest a ways to invite fall into your home is to plan for it — or should I say plant for it. Many flowers and plants become exceptionally vibrant when cooler weather hits. Line your sidewalk, plant around your patio or create beds of color near your house and throughout the yard. Guests wading through autumn hues to get to your door — what a delight! Plan now for next year’s show!


Step 2: Perfecting the Porch

A porch to sit a spell - Farmgirl Follies

Pile it with pumpkins, line the steps with mums, or load an old wheelbarrow with squash and gourds. However you decorate your porch be sure it feels like a destination. People pass through to get into your home, it’s true — but invite them to spend some time out-of-doors, too. Nothing urges relaxation like a rocking chair on a quiet porch. Make it cozy with an old quilt or favorite blanket. Be sure there’s a place to put a mug of something warm and spicy, and a stack of books or magazines to peruse. Create an atmosphere of inviting respite.

Your porch doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to boast the latest in stylish patio sets. It need only be welcoming and warm — and many decorations are free for the picking.

  • Gather goldenrod from the pasture or side of the road. Arrange in a vase, crock, canning jar or tin can. Water if you wish, but allowing the goldenrod to dry makes for a very nice arrangement, too.
  • Clip a few leafy branches for height and cozy color.
  • Plant pumpkins in early summer and enjoy the bounty in September and October. Stack them here, there and everywhere. Add gourds, squash and Indian corn for lovely displays.


 Step 3: Remember back door guests

Back door greetings - Farmgirl Follies

You know the saying, “Back door guests are best.” It simply means that the folks using your back door are usually nearest and dearest to your heart. They’re the long-time friends, family members and neighbors who know you well enough to avoid pretense. Don’t forget ’em! Add a touch of autumn with the fruits of fall … throw down a welcome mat with an autumn motif and don’t forget to leave the light on for ’em! Oh! Remember, it’s always nice to be greeted with a friendly face (or furry paws!).


Step 4: Wreaths are classic.

Autumn wreath - Farmgirl Follies

Did you know that the tradition of hanging a wreath on the door began during the Persian Empire? Originally, the circlet was called a “diadem” and took the form of fabric headbands adorned with jewels. Beginning in 776 B.C., wreaths made of laurel leaves were used to crown victors of the Olympic Games. It is likely that celebration attendees simply hung the leafy headbands on their walls as souvenirs.

In the early days in Europe, people put wreaths on their doors to identify their home in the same manner that house numbers are used today. Each house would have a different wreath made of exotic flowers, most likely grown by the homeowner on their own land.

So hang a wreath … on your door, on the wall, on your kitchen windows, above the fireplace — anywhere that needs a bit of autumn oomph. The one above is a work in progress. It’s a simple fall wreath and I’ve already added some pheasant feathers. I plan to include dried flowers, boxwood and burlap to make it lush and full-bodied!

Step 5: Shake things up a bit.

Outdoor decor for autumn - Farmgirl Follies

Traditionally, orange is a popular autumn color choice. And I love it, but it can get a little overwhelming. I planted several “strange” varieties of pumpkins — none of them will turn orange. Why? Because I was interested in a non-traditional color scheme this year. You can create layers of autumn inspired by nature with colors like greens, olives, muted rusts, burgundy, maroon, tan, cream, and brown. The possibilities are endless. Spin your color wheel and experiment with a twist on traditional.

Now that we’ve put our guest intentions forward, it’s time to step INSIDE the home. 

Rustic autumn decor - Farmgirl Follies

But that’s a post for another day! Next Monday, please stop by for the second in my Fall Nesting Series. We’ll talk entryways and walking sticks, coat closets and hat hooks.

But don’t be a stranger. Tasty fall recipes coming up later this week!

And for even more fabulous fall ideas, visit The Inspired Room’s Falling for Fall party!

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Weekend Cowgirl September 18, 2013 (11:58 am)

    Summer is my favorite season and our falls are so hot. Cannot put out pumpkins out too early because of the heat (they rot faster). I do love all the décor, but try to wait until first of October. Then it is the waiting game because my outdoor pumpkins sometimes become food for possums or raccoons. I never know!!!! This year I want to try some different colored pumpkins. So many pretty ones out there!

  • comment-avatar
    Susan September 21, 2013 (11:26 am)

    Excellent reminders for Autumn decorating and I love your visuals -thank you!