Autumn on the Porch

By Kate Riley October 3, 2013

Last year I took the simple minimalist approach on my front porch, and I think I maybe bought one or two orange carving pumpkins at the grocery store. This year the mood was “Bring it, Yes BRING on the pumpkins” kinda like the porch two years ago and that’s a thing I find that I do a lot. I go through phases when I’m really just in the mood for a few simple seasonal touches and then the next time around it’s “Let’s DO This”.

So my friend Jean tipped me off to this wonderful lady who sells her pumpkins in front of her property off the beaten path right up next to her chain link fence about two thirds of a mile up this road 45 minutes away. No specific address, just look for the house with the lady and her pumpkins all lined up out in front of her humble abode down this one particular country road. And that’s how I met Shirley.

porch pumpkins

Shirley is one of those salt of the earth people who just grows her pumpkins from seed on her property then sells them without advertising by word of mouth. And she practically gives them away in exchange for a nice visit and some conversation. I LOVE those kinds of folks, the ones who would never use Twitter and really don’t care.

After our nice chat and a $35 exchange, my girl and I loaded up the back of our car with a pile of beauties and with our new stash hummed ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ all the way home. (Never you mind that’s technically a Christmas song.)

trio of mini pumpkins

My decorating has become what I refer to as “The Recycling Of The Things” – call it ‘working with what ya got’, call it ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ I just know that there are things that I possess and looks that I love and when I rotate The Things and spruce What I Got in a way That I Like, it brings me joy. New is great, but treasured is better.

pumpkin medley


blue door berry wreath

Long time readers, you may notice something a little different. The boy who loves Angry Birds has grown taller! Funny how that happens when you feed them.

fall front door

Oh and I painted my front door. Again.  

Quickly, I should note. The boy is not always so modest. #testosterone

not so modest

I was feeling very “meh” about the gray painted front door, it was just so… pale. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But for a front door, I was in the mood for something braver and darker but not too crazy.

My bold side told me to paint it peacock blue but then my more classic side felt maybe a more dramatic charcoal then eventually the two came to terms and settled on a shade closer to glossy slate blue. This hue changes color throughout the day, sometimes it’s a lighter gray blue but in the evening it’s dark and delicious.

autumn porch berry wreath

That’s Ben Moore’s ‘Knoxville Gray’ in the High Gloss Advance Indoor/Outdoor formula and it’s a gray that undeniably possesses bah-loo. Check out this post for the simple steps on painting a front door.

knoxville gray painted door

And it looks smashing with orange if I do say so myself.

berry wreath blue door fall porch


Relive the amusing story of the berry wreath fairy tale here. To answer a FAQ, I’ve used the same Command Hook for years and it supports all of my seasonal wreaths.

This concludes the fall link parties, I’d like to thank Sarah and Layla and Rhoda for co-hosting along with me, we enjoy this series of parties so much!

fall link parties

I’m linking my porch scene up at Rhoda’s place today – she is hosting outdoor decor, stop on by to see all the inspiration!



  1. Beautiful decoration. Thx for the inspiration. Thank to your blog I did most of our existing house. A lot of DIY:-) Hope next year we will extend it so I will have more DIY to do.

    Lots of Love from Dublin

  2. I have that classic side fighting the bolder side all the time. Was the planter on the left hand side a project you were starting on (4th picture down) ? It looks like it has the starting of gold leaf. Not sure if that is a trick of the lighting or not.

    Love the story of how you found the pumpkins. Finding people that love old fashion conversation in lieu of social media, is always charming in my book!

  3. Love your front porch! I love the mix of colors and you’re right – that wreath looks amazing on your front door.

  4. Your little boy is adorable on that pumpkin! LOL Your haul of pumpkins is gorgeous, I NEEEEEED to find this lady, not only would I love to support a ‘business’ like that, she sounds delightful. Your porch looks great and is wonderful inspiration as I work on things around here, we’re having family visit for a week starting Friday and I’m hustling to get everything spruced up for Fall!

  5. Looks great Kate – I love all the different colored pumpkins. Very similar to what we pick up in HMB. Love the new front door color too. It’s very elegant. Question on the mums – do you dump them at the end of the season or transplant elsewhere?

  6. I love my Knoxville Gray front door so much that I painted the inside of the door the same color (Revere Pewter walls). We’re tackling a board and batten treatment in the dining room as soon as we get the wallpaper stripped and plan on painting the upper portion of the wall that color with orange and chartreuse accents. Great combo for your outside, too!

  7. I am loving your non minimal-is that maximal, then?-approach with the bunches of pumpkins. and your little boy…riding a pumpkin…in a pot. i’m thinkin’ xmas card right there, or maybe, year book photo, lol!

  8. Lovely! Everything you do is so thoughtful…and inspiring. You should know that your color choices especially have influenced me all the way over here in Virginia. I adore your taste in colors and have been using your palette as a springboard for my recent painting projects. It helps to see how the colors work in your home and how they might translate in my own. Thanks for being my guinea pig!

  9. Love the porch! Your baby has grown way up. Are you sure you’re not married to Scott Bakula? Your baby looks like Scott Bakula back in his Sam Beckett days. :) What a sweetie!

  10. We do a lot of recycling what we have in new ways at this house too. I could just keep buying new decorations, but then I have to have somewhere to keep them when they’re not in use…which is a pain. :)

    I love your entry way–Fall decorating is my favorite!

  11. This is my absolutely fav time of year. I did paint my front door peacock blue, or a close bold blue as that’s my fav, too. I do love your new color. I thought the other just kind of blended and this stands out. Beautiful decorations as usual and love the contrast with the door.

  12. What a handsome son you have! Great photos of him. Your porch is beautiful Kate…very fun,festive and welcoming. Those are great pumpkins!! I would love to find this place and meet Shirley. She sounds wonderful. Are you able to share where I would go? Love the new color on your door!

  13. I love it! You really captured the beauty of our Sonoma County fall (prettiest time of year in my opinion).

    I must know – where is the pumpkin lady located? I can’t wait to get my pumpkins from her! Healdsburg? You can email me if you don’t want to post it :)

    Also love the new door color!

  14. Very pretty! I’m so bad with seasonal decor. I start too late and always swear that I’ll do it next year, but it just doesn’t happen. I can never make up my mind on how to decorate. :(

  15. I can’t believe you got all of those pumpkins for $35! Around here to here to get that many pumpkin volume I would need to sell one if my children.

  16. Absolutely lovely, and the kids look like they’re enjoying it too. Maybe I’ll have to do a bit more with my front stoop… (I’ve done nothing so far!)

  17. Your fall porch looks fantabulous, Kate! Love all the different pumpkins! We’re on the light side for outdoor decor this year – gonna wait until after we repaint outside next summer.

  18. I miss Sonoma County in the fall! I grew up in Marin, and every year in grade school we’d take a field trip to Peterson’s farm in Sebastapol to get our pumpkins.

  19. It did turn out gorgeous. I’m a huge grey fan, and I do love the combo with the orange berry wreath. It all turned out so nice. I love the story of Shirley, with the pumpkins. Probably because my name is Shirley, but unfortunately my pumpkin patch drowned this year in record rainfall, so I’ll have to purchase mine as well. :/

    Beautifully done,

  20. I love the story of visiting Shirley…what a wonderful way to find your pumpkins. Sure beats digging them out of huge cardboard boxes…just sayin! Your porch looks so pretty and love the new front door color.

  21. What beautiful fall decor. Love how you incorporated some items that you wouldn’t expect to see like the unique lantern. And we just love that exquisite chair you put out there as well – a nice set up from the typical outdoor furniture. Very well put together & very classy!

  22. Love the pumpkins against that door of yours! And the source of your pumpkins makes it even better. I like both approaches, this more abundant display and your simple, minimalist. :)

  23. So lovely! And you’re right– the orange against that beautiful blue door is absolutely perfect! And I’m so glad that my sons aren’t the only one who like to lose their shirts whenever possible! My two do the same thing and they think they’re so hilarious– good thing they’re cute! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous outdoor decor! Have a wonderful weekend!

    ~Abby =)

  24. Of course orange looks good with the door. After all, it’s Knoxville Gray, and we love the Orange here in Knoxville. Go Vols!

  25. Probably the most random comment ever—I stopped by from Pinterest, looking for fall decor ideas. I really, really love your door mat—where did you get it?? I love the size, and the design of it!

    • Hi Julia, I’ve had that doormat for about five years, I found it a Pier One that long ago. It’s faded but I still love it!

  26. Now your definitely giving me some ideas of what to put on my porch, thankfully there is a pumpkin patch close by. Thanks Centsational Girl!.

  27. Hey Kate,
    I am from Seattle and am now in Phoenix. Needless to say I miss fall terribly!! Any great ideas on decorating porches here short of artificial (dirty word)???

    Thanks so much

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