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Porches & Patios – Inviting Autumn Décor for Your Holiday Guests

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If you are hosting an event at your home any time over the holiday season, you might be looking for ways to update or redecorate your home, or otherwise “spruce things up”, without investing a large amount of time or money. There are several popular interior and exterior design trends that can help you make a noticeable change before holiday deadlines, all without breaking the bank. The best part is they can be done as DIY home projects, or you can opt to hire a professional designer, painting contractor, or handy-person if you don’t have time to do the work yourself.

One option for a fairly quick update is to focus on your porch or patio. This is a great place to redo especially if the weather will be fair enough to host your guests outside for at least part of the time. Power washing can be a good place to start, whether it is the actual house which needs a deep clean or extensions such as your porch floor, railings and trim, decking, or even patios, fences and walkways. Power washing is one of the best ways to clean off the dirt and grime that can build up over the summer months and leave you with a fresh decorating palette. Which leads to our next step…paint or stain.

Typically, it would be best to repaint or stain your entire exterior all at one time, but if you need it done quickly or there are financial considerations, then it is reasonable to do one section now and the rest of your exterior house painting later – such as in the spring. However, it never hurts to get advice from a professional as to which areas can be done without causing an undesirable difference when compared to the rest of your exterior. Normally, painting your porch and front entryway or staining your deck and rear entry are two great choices for this type of isolated project.

Next, you will want to consider color options that will match your home’s existing exterior paint color scheme. If your current scheme is neutral or you are able to refresh your entire home, consider pulling in popular tones of the season – for fall contemplate a deeply pigmented cranberry paired with one or more shades of green such as scallion – which is a deeper green, and green apple, which is lighter and brighter. If that doesn’t suit then try a muted pumpkin, bright sunflower gold, and deep eggplant. Any of these choices will also look great paired with black, white, or cream. If changing your exterior house paint color isn’t an option at this time, then you can also use these colors for décor accents.

If you have a pergola, perhaps paint that to start with. It is a great focal point and a fantastic area for entertaining. If you don’t have one, maybe you can add one. Next, add flowy curtains to it or your porch for texture and privacy. Painting your porch ceiling a bright color (light blues and greens are popular) is an ideal way to keep your entry bright and cheerful through the winter. You can also paint Adirondack chairs or other wood furniture in bright colors or have your wicker sprayed black or white. Update your planters with a fresh coat in black or oil-rubbed bronze shades. Thinking along the same lines, you can also paint or replace mailboxes and house numbers. Greet guests with a bright new welcome mat, and then place an outdoor rug in a graphic pattern – leaves are especially popular this time of year.

Next, decorate your walk, porch, entryway and dining areas with eye-catching accents you can make yourself or purchase at many home stores:

Place small groupings of bright pumpkins & gourds against dark hedges and siding. Rather than carve them, try one or more of the following painting techniques to decorate creatively with these inexpensive seasonal beauties: paint wide, horizontal stripes in your favorite colors around them; use metallics, glitter, beads, and lace to add interesting accents; paint the tops around the stems like sunflowers and use them for centerpieces on your dining table; stencil on green ivy or black or cream-colored scrolls, or use a coat of chalkboard paint and leave cute messages for your family and guests. If you don’t mind a little cutting, hollow out large pumpkins and place potted mums in them, or carve out mini pumpkins and gourds and place succulents in them for adorable planters. You can also string gourds together with twine and hang your decorative garland on a garden gate or porch rail.

Replace your usual outdoor lightbulbs with warmer Edison bulbs for an inviting ambience. Fill a clear, cylindrical vase with coffee beans and add votive candles in vanilla, cinnamon and mocha scents for a fragrant and eye-catching decorative piece for your outdoor coffee or end table. Line steps or pathways with metal lanterns and add pumpkin spice pillar candles. Create a rustic, outdoor vignette using a wooden wagon or wheelbarrow filled with bright mums; wire crates holding glass milk jugs filled with dried stems and wildflowers; warm, soft blankets stacked in wicker baskets and quaint apple barrels or fold them over a distressed ladder and lean it against the side of the house. Arrange plush, plaid pillows & cushions on your chairs along with fleece and Sherpa throws for a cozy and inviting conversation area. Finally, add a pretty, lacquered tray holding your “signature drink” and you are ready to welcome guests to your holiday oasis!

Stay tuned for our next edition, which will include tips for another home décor trend: Updating with Accent Walls – Interior Painting & Decorating on a Budget.