I live in Boston and we have a tendency to go straight from summer flip flops and sand piles on the porch straight to winter hibernation mode. In between, there is one very special season that I love; it is a season of apple picking, Halloween, and trees catching our attention with their gorgeous crown of colours. I have partnered with Wayfair to share some porch inspirations for fall.
On Halloween in Boston’s South End, the front stoops and porches of the city no matter how tiny become miniature outdoor living spaces where neighbours gather and raise a glass, enjoy a little nosh and catch up. I took those South End stoop festivities as my inspiration for making the front porch a welcome gathering place.
The exterior of a house has house numbers. These numbers are little statements of style. We had oval enamel numbers for a while that reminded me of the house numbers in the French country-side, but they were a little small. I refreshed our numbers for a different look and better function.
To make the porch feel even more like a fall gathering spot, I added some canvas art on the wall. The picture of an apple is not only cute and seasonal but also reflects what is going on inside the house. We have apples from the farm and I’m making pies, crumbles, candied apples and apple sauce this fall.
Crates & Colour
Once you have the art then its time for some objets. One of my favourite objets are found objects. I found this toy fire truck and the red gives our porch a pop of colour. I add different objects to the back of the truck as the seasons change. For fall, I chose these white miniature pumpkins.
For decor, I also like multifunctional objects like crates. Crates and bins can be stacked to create little tables and storage benches. One found crate holds a tray to put your coffee on for a quiet weekday morning. That same tray can hold the percolator for a neighbourhood gathering.
Another box holds fruit for a quick snack. We encourage delivery people to help themselves to a snack as they drop off mail. The other thing about crates is they have both form and function. They can be filled with blankets as the days get colder. They can hold a package that is being left for a friend to pick up. The crates can be filled with random things the kids have left strewn about and shuttled into the house.
Taste the Season
We always have a couple of chairs on the porch. We use them when the foyer is crowded for putting on shoes or resting our bags before heading upstairs into the house. For fall, it is a great spot to sit and watch the world go by. Neighbours walking their dogs can stop for a chat. If I’ve been baking, I’ll invite friends in the neighbourhood to stop by and pick up a treat or two and stay a while for a cup of hot cider, cocoa, or a hot toddy.
Leah’s Hot Apple Cider for a Crowd
- 1 gallon of apple cider
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 lemon
- 1 star anise
- 3 cloves
- In a slow cooker or pot, pour the apple cider and add cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves. Wash the lemon well then with a vegetable peeler, peel the zest with just enough pressure to get the yellow skin off the lemon but leave the white pith behind.
- Add 1/2 the zest to the pot. Cut the lemon in 1/2 and add one to two Tablespoons of the lemon juice to taste. The extra zest can be cut into strips and added as a garnish to each mug. Or, add the leftover zest to a jar of sugar for homemade lemon sugar. This can be used to rim cocktails or in baking.
- Heat the cider on high in a slow cooker or medium low in a pot. It should take 10-20 minutes to heat up depending how cold the cider is. Once fragrant and hot, lower the heat and serve.
How I Got The Look
Here is how I got the porch look. I started with my found object of a red fire truck and got this red wagon to keep the red theme going. A wagon is great for parties for set up and breakdown, it is perfect for rides around the block for little ones, and it makes a great décor item. Wayfair has a great selection of ride on vehicles and wagons here. It was easy to assemble, and since I’m using it on my porch to hold seasonal items, I chose to leave the handle off.
Next I wanted to build the design up starting with a couple of rectangular boxes I already owned. I knew I wanted one large wooden box and a few smaller decorative ones. I wanted the large box to be solid wood so it was sturdy and would last. I found these made by a Montreal company and as a Canadian I’m partial to Canadian products. Wayfair has storage boxes of all shapes, sizes and made from a variety of materials.
For the small decorative boxes, I was looking for a variety of sizes and a less sturdy material was okay. I fell in love with these fruit label bins and I will definitely use them for all kinds of occasions to hold everything from Halloween candy to napkins for a dinner party.
It may be the smallest touch, but I think it is my favourite one. The art that I put up on the wall just above the doorbell is simple and sweet. It adds a little colour to the porch and because it is wrapped canvas it is fairly sturdy and weather resistant. I chose the apple sign because it truly reflects the season. Of course, there are so many choices when you start looking at art on Wayfair. You can narrow it down by canvas size and theme and then go from there. I can’t wait to switch the art for each season. I have some winter ideas in mind already.
Inspirations from Wayfair for your porch party.
Calion Coffee Table Tray
Paull 2 Piece Coffee Table Tray Set
Continental Electric 30-Cup Large Stainless Coffee Urn
Metallics Espresso Cup
Cozy Guest 4.37″ Paper Disposable Napkins