front porch with fall decor

Front Yard Appeal

Fall is definitely in the air! Cooler temperatures, shorter days, and beautiful foliage are tell-tale signs that the seasons are changing. For many, the changing of the seasons is also a signal that it’s time to spruce up your outdoor spaces as you settle into the autumn months. Make sure your house is ready for fall with proper curb appeal that includes a space for front porch sitting, meeting the neighbors, hosting a block party, and potentially welcoming the neighborhood kids who will be out Trick-or-Treating. 

As the seasons change, think of this as a good opportunity to assess your porch areas to see if there are any revisions you need to make. Start by removing vestiges of summer, like dead plants, your summer welcome mat, or yard toys that can be put away until the warmer months. Once the clutter has been cleared, give your space a nice cleanup. Sweep porches and sidewalks, ensure that all outdoor lighting is intact, replace bulbs as necessary, cut back any shrubberies that may go dormant in the cooler months, freshen up landscaping beds, and clear gutters. Once leaves begin to fall, this is also a great time to evaluate whether or not you may need to remove any dead trees from your property!

Now that you have a refreshed blank canvas, it’s time to decide what you plan to add back in to make your space more seasonally appropriate. When you think of outdoor decor, do you like changing it up for every fall and winter holiday, or do you prefer something that’s more neutral and can be left up for many months? Things like wreaths, welcome mats, and garden flags are an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate the season.

In many parts of the country, fall is one of the most pleasant times of year to be outdoors. Consider adding a porch swing, a set of rocking chairs, or a bistro set to your porch to enjoy the view. Having your morning coffee, your evening tea, a quiet place to read, or a spot to welcome a neighbor for a visit adds a lot of personal value to your porch. 

Speaking of neighbors, have you met them yet? Is there someone new on the block you’ve yet to meet? Did you just PCS to the area over the summer and in all of your unpacking and settling haven’t had a chance to be neighborly? Consider inviting over a few neighbors for an outdoor, socially distanced get-together. Fire up the grill or fire pit, set out a drink station for a fun seasonal beverage bar (coffees, hot chocolate, or seasonal craft beers for the adults), and enjoy friendly conversation under the stars. These get-togethers may be simple and informal, but they are a great way to connect with your community. 

Perhaps you are the king or queen of party planning and something more elaborate than standing around sipping a warm beverage seems more your speed. By all means, go all out then! Connect with all of your neighbors by getting the word out on your neighborhood social media group pages or the NextDoor app about a block party. Hire a face painter, set up a hayride, and plan a ghost story circle time for the kids. As the current CDC guidance on Halloween continues to evolve, it doesn’t mean you have to entirely forego a festive celebration. Just get creative with who is coming and how you plan to execute your event in the safest way possible.

If Halloween hasn’t been canceled in your neck of the woods, then having your front yard and porch areas cleared and clutter-free will make handing out candy much more of a treat than a trick! Keeping your porch light and front house lights on will alert passersby that you are indeed participating in the merry-making. Start stocking up now on candy when you are out at the store. Hand out the “good stuff” and you will solidify your reputation as one of the coolest houses on the block. 

If by chance, you are considering listing your house on the real estate market in the near future, making these small changes will give you a leg up on upgrading the curb appeal of your property.