As the leaves change colors, natural fall foliage can automatically add beauty and curb appeal to your yard. But that doesn’t mean you can rely on Mother Nature alone if you want a truly traffic-stopping landscape.
A great landscape takes the best of Mother Nature, then designs and arranges it to showcase it in all its glory. If you want to add curb appeal to your home, and if you want to enjoy the fall season outdoors in your own yard, try these ideas for designing some “wow” into it this autumn.
Create An Autumn Focal Point
We’ve talked about the importance of the right focal point before so if you’re not sure when and how to use one, bush up on our tips here.
Fall gives you abundant opportunity to create unique and stunning focal points. From clusters of pumpkins and grounds, to bales of hay and dried corn stalks, you’re limited only by imagination.
If you’re feeling daring, go bigger: bring a rustic hay wagon into your yard and fill it with a strategically designed collection of hay bales (they make perfect risers), planters, gourds, colorful ears of corn and fall-blooming flowers.
You don’t even need a ton of space to make a big impact. There are plenty of outdoor decorating supplies that will fit even the smallest yard. A small wheelbarrow, for example, will work just as nicely.
Water is another way to add a focal point, especially one that you can enjoy all year. If you don’t yet have a bubbling water feature, pond or fountain in your yard, then consider adding one this season! Choose one that speaks to you – from natural stone to bright red, blue and gold glazes, tall or small, elegant or whimsical, columns or orbs, you’re bound to find a style that suits you.
Pair a low-lying bubbler with tall autumn grasses for contrast. Add pansies or chrysanthemums around the base of a larger fountain or tall feature. Whatever the design, it will add visual appeal and soothing sound to your space. Plus, you’ll have winter to look forward to, when water freezes and turns your feature into your very own unique ice sculpture.
Dress Up Walkways, Porches & Steps
Pumpkin-covered porches are a common sight during fall. It seems like just about everyone on the block turns their doorstep into an ad hoc pumpkin patch, complete with gourds and corn stalks each September.
But you can get even more creative than that! Of course you can decorate porch pillars with corn stalks or add colorful leafy wreaths to your front door. And yes, pumpkins are practically a must. But have you considered using those pumpkins as planters?
Rather than the standard pumpkin display, hollow yours out and fill them with chrysanthemums, ornamental peppers or flowering kale.
If you have steps, whether a few that lead down from your front porch, or many that lead through a steeply sloped yard, you can add pumpkins (whether as-is or employed as planters) and other fall blooms to line and highlight them. If you’ve got a lot of steps, consider staggering décor and pots rather than lining every single step, which can become overwhelming and too monotonous.
Looking for another unique idea? Go white. It’s easy to source white pumpkins and gourds, and choose blooms like mums and anemones in white. Pale, dried corn stalks go nicely with this monochromatic theme. Imagine this striking display as the welcome-piece in your front entryway!
Get Creative With Planters
In addition to turning your pumpkins into planters, there are ways to get creative with what you put *into* planters. Your first instinct is likely to plant fall flowers – especially the bright, colorful autumn kind that we all know and love.
But think beyond blooms to other, more memorable fillers, like… branches. Yes, just branches! The kind you’d be inclined to pick up and toss into the garbage pile. A cluster of stark branches tied together with twine or a unique ribbon and placed into a planter, perhaps interspersed with a few colorful faux leaves or some wispy grasses, can create quite a striking visual. Find some wispy, white-barked birch branches and you’ve just struck autumn gold!
Use window boxes or add flower boxes to porch railings, but again, think beyond simply planting flowers. Instead, fill them with gourds and pumpkins, faux leaves, and your favorite mini-scarecrow. Instant one-of-a-kind curb appeal!
Bring On The Lighting
Fall is made for outdoor lighting. As the nights get longer, your landscape just begs to be set aglow, whether with spotlights, pathway lights, moonlighting, wall washing or any number of creative lighting ideas.
Not only does outdoor lighting mean you can enjoy your space throughout the evening hours, but it means you can highlight its special features and showcase them to the world. Add bold spotlights to the front of your home to bathe its exterior in light. Use them to highlight those focal pieces you created or to create dramatic shadows through bare tree branches.
Include lanterns on your porch, along pathways, or at the edges of your patio for a warm glow. Use tiny string lights to add a little bit of fairytale magic. Hang them between trees or along the ceiling of a porch or pergola, even weave them through porch railings and spindles.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to light up those corn-stalk decorated lamp posts and mailboxes. Just because the sun has set doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the curb appeal you’ve created. Outdoor lighting can highlight and showcase the beauty of your space in a completely other-worldly way after dark.
Do It Tastefully
It’s worth mentioning that while creative landscape design and decorating can result in beautiful, memorable effects, *more* is most certainly not always *better*. In fact, you’d be better served to err on the side of subtlety than to overdo it with reams of faux spider webbing and glowing Halloween jack-o-lanterns.
Choose a focal point – just one! Be sure that the overall effect is to draw the eye throughout the space, not to overwhelm it with explosions of color and decorations. As for color, watch out for too much contrast and too much variety. Stick to a color theme, whether it’s reds and golds, or simple whites. Simplicity will give the eye something to focus on and appreciate.
Be careful with lighting, too. You want it to accent your home, not turn it into a mall parking lot. Place spotlights incorrectly and you could be annoying the neighbors rather than impressing them. Or they could be pointing right into your bedroom window and disrupting your peaceful evening.
The key is to design with an eye towards the whole space rather than any individual bit of décor that looked cute at the local home improvement store.
Strategically designed and carefully executed, you can improve the fall curb appeal of your home and turn your yard into a space that you will enjoy day and night throughout the season.
If you’d like help autumn-izing your space, get in touch with us for a consultation. We’ll make recommendations and provide you with plans that will make you fall in love with fall!