We all want our entries and front yards to feel welcoming this fall and winter. Getting a new doormat, investing in outdoor lighting or porch furnishings and tending the garden can help boost curb appeal for the holiday season and beyond.
Improve Your Outdoor Lighting
When it gets darker earlier in the evening, a well-lit porch can make a big difference in boosting your mood and your home’s curb appeal. In updating your exterior lighting, think about including multiple light sources: wall sconces and pendant lights or recessed ceiling lights. Choose bold fixture designs that look good — even when unlit — and match your home’s architecture.
Get a Fresh Doormat
Keep your entry looking polished — and clean — with a new doormat for the fall and winter season. If you already have a decorative doormat or outdoor rug next to your front door, don’t hesitate to layer a heavy-duty mat on top to catch moisture, dirt and outdoor debris.
Set a Bench by the Entry
A seat by the front door makes a home look more inviting and can be a useful spot for pulling on boots or setting down a grocery bag while you rummage for keys. If your porch isn’t large enough for a bench, try placing one along the way to the home’s entrance.
Add a Bright Seasonal Accent
Don’t feel as if you need to go all-out on porch decor to get a fall lift. With just one element or two — such as a bright pumpkin on the porch or a wreath on the door — you can get a boost of color and seasonal cheer. If you’re tight on time, look for colorful elements that can bridge fall and winter.
Upgrade Your Porch Furniture
Classic Adirondack chairs, rockers, lounge chairs or a porch swing add a welcoming look to the front porch and inspire getting outside to enjoy the crisp fall air. Choose one based on comfort, style and the available space you have on your porch or front stoop.
Add a Few Long-Lasting Potted Plants
Potted plants can provide welcome color and texture to the fall and winter porch. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance potted plant option, a word of advice: Choose evergreens. Boxwood, dwarf conifers, privet and culinary bay all make excellent choices for potted doorstep plants that will look great for fall and winter.
Spread Fresh Gravel
Gravel on walkways, patios and driveways shifts and sinks over time. Fall is a perfect time to top off gravel to refresh outdoor spaces and keep down mud before winter. Choose the same rock type and grade, particle size, as the existing gravel and top with a 1- to 3-inch layer, filling in low spots as necessary. Rake to smooth.
If you’re installing a new gravel path, driveway or patio this fall, consulting with a pro can help ensure that the surface meets your needs. Gravel, if properly installed, can support the wheels of cars, walkers, wheelbarrows and more.
Covering bare dirt with mulch can take an end-of-season garden bed from looking tired to tidy in the span of an afternoon. Select a mulch that matches the style of your garden. There are several types to choose from, including natural bark, wood chips, straw or gravel.
Aim to add 2 to 3 inches of mulch over beds, keeping it away from the trunks of trees and large shrubs. Mulch can suppress weed growth, insulate shallow roots from freeze damage, hide soaker hose and irrigation lines, and prevent water loss from evaporation.
Add a Decorative Door Knocker
The subtle gleam of a new brass door knocker against a dark front door can be a subtle and effective front entry upgrade. Choose a classic shape or go for one — like a brass pine cone, seashell, sailboat or eagle — that gives your home a little extra personality.
Refresh Window Boxes
Window boxes packed with seasonal plantings or strung with lights can boost curb appeal. In mild climates use white cyclamens, ornamental peppers, pansies and trailing variegated ivy. In cold-winter regions, keep the cold-hardy ivy in place as temperatures drop and swap the tender peppers, cyclamens and pansies for a few hardy dwarf conifers or cut conifer branches.