Front Porch, Fall Style

By Kate Riley September 30, 2009

The temperatures have dropped.  A cold front is on its way.  The wind is blowing the leaves off the trees.  It’s officially fall in my town.

With that in mind, I’m so glad the old saying about rebuking unnecessary ornamentation  specifically names the lily, and only the lily.  I thank thee Shakespeare.  Because I’ve gone ahead and gilded my pumpkins.  Well, actually, I’ve enhanced their already natural beauty with a golden glaze.  Then I stacked them high and tied them with copper ribbon.

trio of pumpkins in urns from side

I made a few other decorative upgrades as well.  Here’s the autumn front porch tour.

A few months ago, I invested in some urns that were the perfect size, just not the right color for me.  So I freshened up my fiberglass with some white spray paint to achieve a high end look.   During the summer, I also purchased some gorgeous gardenia trees that lived happily on my porch until just a few weeks ago, when one perished, for some unknown reason.  Its mate, still flourishing, has been transplanted to a large pot in the backyard where it will live this winter.

So what was a girl to do with empty urns?  Why fill them with fall pumpkins, of course !

I found some ridiculously gorgeous Cinderellas at the local Whole Foods for an uncharacteristically low price.  My dear friend Staci from South Dakota once renamed ‘Whole Foods’ as ‘Whole Paycheck’ and it has stuck with me ever since.

Anyway, the pumpkins were on sale, two for $12 dollars, and they came home with me to receive the royal treatment.  Other varieties I picked up at a quick stop at the local pumpkin patch.  I enhanced some of the Cinderellas with some bronze metallic glaze that’s been sitting in my craft cabinet.  The same glaze I used for these fall leaves on canvas.

metallic glaze

I dipped my brush in the paint, then wiped most of it off until the brush was almost dry.  Then with my dry brush, I glazed the edges of the pumpkins.  It took about five minutes. No, maybe four minutes.  Total.  For all the pumpkins.  But I work fast.

dry brush glaze

I gave the deep orange Cinderella a full body glaze.  Wait.  Doesn’t that sound like something you get at a day spa?  Let me rephrase.  How about this:  I gave her highlights.  And with these kind of curves, I’ve just nicknamed her J. Lo.

gilded pumpkin up close from side

But I gave the white versions a stripe like treatment, focusing most of the paint in the ridges.  Yes, this is a real pumpkin.  It is not a fake.  Despite its fake golden glaze.  Come November, she will magically transform into a soup.

striped white cinderella

Then I gingerly stacked my pumpkins, sculpture style.  Of course, they insisted on some copper ribbon to go with their golden glaze.  Royals are so demanding.

trio of gilded pumpkins in urn

Next, I displayed some other varieties on the neighboring benches.

medley of pumpkins

I embellished some of them as if I was giving them as a gift.  A gift to my family.          Awwwh, shucks.  How sweet.

present pumpkin

like a present

For their bedding, I chose dry grasses with plum tones instead of the traditional hay bale.


And this is my new best friend.  What should his name be?

best friend owl in pumpkins

I splurged on a new rug from Pier One because I couldn’t resist these colors or this pattern.

new rug

I added some faux leaves garland around the front door, to add to my existing wreath that I recycled from last year.

wraparound leaves and wreath

I’m obsessed with these plum tones right now.

purple hue leaves

Then I planted in pots some mums, kale, and the most amazing deep purple basil.

mums and plantings

Have you ever seen this kind of basil before?  It’s called ‘Dark Opal Basil’ – it’s completely new to me.  It’s gorgeous.  And when it matures, it will soon be in my salad.

purple basil

And who can resist a medley of fall squash and corn.  Not me.

basket of squash

You sweet little sweet dumpling you.

sweet dumpling

Strawberry corn.  It pops, so I’ve heard.

strawberry corn

So here’s the front porch, all dolled up for fall.

front porch after

pair of urns with pumpkins

I only have one problem.  This pesky little critter, who in all likelihood will send at least one of these princesses tumbling very soon.  But that’s his job.  He’s three.

little guy

I’m not kidding when I say it took mere minutes to highlight these pumpkins with a golden glaze.

gilded pumpkin

But you could go all out and gild your gourds like this, as seen in Country Living.

country living guilded pumpkins

If you love this version of gilded pumpkins, learn how to do it yourself right here.

Whether they’re golden, gilded, princessy or just plain.  Pumpkins are simply one of my favorite things.

What say you?


  1. very lovely! wish we dolled up the porch/front door in the UK but we don’t. I, on the other hand, have found some lovely real-looking fake leaves in those gorgeous plum tones you describe to put in my hanging baskets and people keep commenting on how seasonal it looks :)

  2. Very nice. It’s still in the upper 80s around here. Not feeling much like fall. But once it does… Watch OUT pumpkings I’m seriously glazing you with gold! You have such a great eye.

  3. The porch looks great! All the ideas I am getting from blogging are swimming in my head. It is 49 right now in Georgia and the high today is only 71. I love it! Have a wonder-FALL day! :)

  4. Your pumpkins look gorgeous! I “cheated” by painting plastic pumpkins. They’re cheaper, last forever, and oh, did I say I bought CHEAP plastic pumpkins? They still look just as good once I gave them a little make-up via paint brush. I’m thinking a fall banner may be next on my fall decorating to-do list.

  5. Since I am living in the middle of boxes at the present, I can’t wait to unload at the new abode and try this glided pumpkin technique. They are certainly beautiful as is the whole front porch.

  6. Your porch looks gorgeous. You have such an elegant eye. I’ve seen the gilded pumpkins before, but never glazed like yours. I think I actually like your glazed pumpkins better. I would be much more apt to glaze my own rather than guild them, that’s for sure. You know how to add just the right amount of elegance without it seeming over the top or unapproachable. I love your style.

  7. oh my goodness, I love their highlights!! Looks spectacular! and I would name him Ernest……..just cause. I especially love all the colors you’ve used, such as the basil with the small white pumpkin! Love that! It all looks very festive and autumnal!!! ;)


  8. Absolutely stunning! Love, love, love that metallic glaze. And what an amzing price for those gorgous cinderellla pumpkins. They are hard to find around here, but I’m giving it my best effort! The whole porch is FAB…love that rug.


  9. Wow! I love the whole look. Love the pumpkins stacked on the urns. I especially like all the little details like the glaze, ribbons, leaf garland. I think the rug was definately worth the splurge!

  10. Those are gorgeous! And a tad more realistic than the diamond studded pumpkins
    I posted the other day! But I have to go with sparkle! Your porch is fit for a magazine

    m ^..^

  11. Beautiful! I absolutely love decorating for fall and halloween. Your glazed pumpkins are brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing.

  12. Love the Fall look! I have the same front door as you and always hesitate hanging a wreath over it….I didn’t spy any hanger…how is yours hung?
    Love your blog and ideas!

  13. How fun that your simple and quick pumpkins look immaculate and lush, while the more time-consuming (and more costly, no doubt) method is much less appealing! To me, at least. Oh, if only our new house had a front porch – or if only we got Autumn in Texas! ;)

  14. I’m in love with your blog!!!!!! Wonderful projects… I wish I get the time to make some of them for my house…

  15. oh, and I meant to ask – will the paint seep through and affect the pumpkins for soup or is it really safe to eat ‘painted pumpkins’?

  16. Hahahah J.Lo….that is hilarious! I love how they are taller than your 3 year old. He can’t resist!
    I do believe you have inspired me to paint my pumpkins!

  17. So so lovely, Kate! Your little guy is just adorable…I’m surprised the pumpkins have stayed up that long. ;)

    That owl looks like a Cornelius to me…I dunno….

    Love the J. Lo. ;)

  18. Gorgeous front porch! I painted my pumpkins gold last year and my husband thought I had lost my mind…maybe they just needed highlights! I will try that this year! ;)
    Thanks for the ideas!!!

  19. My husband is starting to hate you, I keep talking about painting everything white! Everything looks magazine perfect. I’m just getting my things out and deciding what to do this year. I love playing with holiday things.


  20. Oh it’s gorgeous! Love the idea of glazing the pumpkins! My boys want everything scary! I told them they can make the outside scary but the inside is all mine :)

  21. Beautiful. You are inspiring me to get to grips with the front of my house here in the UK. It’s not traditional, but hey! I’m going to have a go anyway!

  22. I’m decorating my front entrance this weekend! And I might just have to do the golden glaze on my own pumpkins. Great idea, thanks for sharing.

  23. Your front porch is just so Fall prefect… love love everything… I will have to try the gold glaze on some pumpkins,, they are just gorgeous…. love your blog too…. have a great week


  24. Very nice! I have the same style front door and never can decide if it is okay to hang a wreath on the door. I suppose your post proves, that only is it okay, it looks great!
    Love the gilded pumpkins and I am madly in love with with white pumpkins this year.

  25. You’ve been on a roll all year…… gorgeous idea after the next…..btw, LOVE that rug!

  26. Just beautiful! Mr. S was right: lilies need no gilding. But other botanicals? Why not? These look great!

    One of my favorite things about my house is the front porch. I do so love a front porch. Sounds like you do, too. And yours looks so inviting! Autumn in Northern CA–must be absolutely gorgeous. Stop by Imparting Grace sometime for a taste of North Carolina. I’d love to have you visit.

  27. Girl, your imagination never stops! These are beautiful. I have enjoyed your blog so much. How the heck do you have time to do all you do? Can I have some of what you’re taking? LOL…
    Your porch is sooo pretty. Love it.

  28. I love, love, love your fall decor. What great ideas!!! Things I never thought of that make it look great and are actually DIY worthy!!

  29. Oh I love pumpkins and I love your ideas..I will be stealing them from you…lol Stopping in from SITS have a great one!

  30. People like you are awe-inspiring lol. I would never have been able to do this but you put so many pictures it’s hard to resist attempting! How cute!

  31. Gorgeous! You have motivated me to spend this weekend decorating for Fall – thank you!

    I found you through SITS!

  32. I love your ideas your front porch looks great. You have inspired me on this cold day to go and decorate for fall. Happy SITS Day!!!

  33. If I wasn’t blogging so much, I might find time to put up the boxes of Fall decorations my husband took down for me a week ago. Sigh. You inspired me to try to get it done today though. I’m a Northern California girl too…new to blogging. Come by and see me…Holly at

  34. Dropping in from SITS to say that your pumpkins are LOVELY! I am SO wishing I had a covered porch right now. Great blog!

  35. Lovely decorations. Giving Martha Stewart a run for her money I see! I will get my pumpkins soon. I am more of a decorating for halloween gal, but the gilding will be fun for some additional decorating. Stopping by from SITS……

  36. Oh, those are just simply beautiful. Your porch alone is so inviting. I went to a fall festival in my area today & they had fun white pumpkins with black or orange tulle wrapped on them like a present, and they looked so cute. But I love what you’ve done even more. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas. Stopping by from SITS & hope you have a great day as FB!

  37. I like yours better than the ones in country living. They were so simple and elegant.

    I have two urns just like that and I plan on trying something similar. Thank you for such a great idea.

  38. dropping by from SITS!

    my son loves halloween. he’s planning his costume for this year already. hope it’s not-too-hard-to-make costume.

  39. Hello Kate – thank you for sharing such wonderful Fall inspiration! Lovin’ those fabulous glazed pumpkins! And you’re right, the price for the Cinderellas is great! Your porch looks beautiful.


  40. What a great idea! You see all these ideas about painting pumpkins (which seems as if it’d take forever and not to mention a ton of paint) but this is such a great idea. Your porch is amazing, I’m totally jealous. Happy Fall! Stopping by from SITS!

  41. I really like the idea of making pumpkins “shine” with glistening paint! Afterall, it’s pumpkin season, and all pumpkins deserved to be treated like they are the star attraction :-) Your front porch is a feast for “Fall” eyes!

    Your fellow SITS,

  42. I LOVE this idea. Unfortunately I don;t have a porch because I live ina gheto apartment. BUT I will be moving soon…hopefully to a house so maybe I can try this next year! Oh and I found you through SITS.

  43. I LOVE pumpkins and I fully intend to find the largest pumpkin on the patch while my baby nephew is visiting next week so that I can stick him in for photos!

  44. Thank you for sharing your talents and great ideas! My porch got a fall makeover thanks to you. My husband absolutely loves it…and so do I. I posted photos on my blog and linked your site in order to give you credit! I’m glad you don’t love next door to me, otherwise I would have to take back my rug. Yes, I loved yours so much I had to make a run to Pier One to see if they had it in stock. They did. I love it! Have a blessed day!

  45. Beautiful front porch! love the pumpkins and love the rug :))
    Just found you and am looking forward to following!
    Stop for a visit sometime, would love to have you!!

  46. Absolutely beautiful!! I so wish I had a covered porch ~ but I will keep these ideas in my “wish” file for upcoming fall decor. Thanks so much for sharing!

  47. GORGEOUS as always Kate!!! I don’t think we can get pumpkins here yet…….but I know what I’m looking for when I do!!……..I LOVE LOVE LOVE decorating the porch for fall!

  48. Stop it! You must know your post is like the little fat girl in me running to the candy shop! I L O V E pumpkins and these are sooooooooooooooooooooooo cute! You are my hero!

  49. LOVE THIS!! Totally love it! My girl and I just did this and I’ll be sharing it in a blog post tomorrow… with links back to you of course! Thanks for the great ideas and the inspiration. You are a creative goddess. :)

  50. Oh my Gosh. How sweet are these. I just saw these pumpkins at a garden stand. I know wish I had seen this first. LOL

  51. I found your site from Pinterest and I just want to say that your pumpkin topiaries are so amazing! Thank you so much for sharing and for the inspiration. I will be trying my hand at them soon and I thank you for the instructions on what you did to make them so great! Blessings to you!


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