Fall Porch Inspiration For a Cozy Outdoor Retreat.

Fall immediately evokes thoughts of coziness and comfort.  But it doesn’t mean you have to huddle up indoors! With just a few things you can turn your porch into a cozy place to wrap your hands around a warm mug of cider and watch the leaves fall.  Fall Porch Inspiration for you. 

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

It is officially fall, (or autumn for the more uppity among you.) This means three things:

  1. You are going to find a ball under a hedge while raking up leaves. You will not know where it came from.
  2. You will remind yourself to clean your furnace filter every month. And then you will not do it.
  3. You will succumb to wearing jeans and flannel even if it’s still 30 degrees celsius out.

In Southern Ontario we were kind of robbed of our summer. We did eventually get warm weather, it’s just that it showed up 3 months late. No one’s sure who held our summer hostage but we all secretly suspect Australia.  Or Jason Bateman.  It’s a toss up.


I’m including tips, tricks, how I did it and where you can get it with each of the photos.

The Fall Porch

The Dahlias are from my garden. The variety is Ice Cube.  They appear more peach in real life and are very pale.

Lazy Bones Tree Stump table DIY can be found here.

The Porch Swing is a kit that I bought on Amazon.  It came as natural cedar, I painted it.   I also swapped out the metal chain that came with the kit for hanging it, with a nylon rope.

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

THIS is the obligatory boots on the front porch shot.  Look back among the posts of any blogger worth her weight in affiliate links and you’ll find a front porch shot with a pair of boots by the front door.  No.  We don’t wear more boots than you do.  No, we aren’t more likely to take them off before entering the house.  We just like to take pictures of boots on front porches.

Bogs boots, going strong since 2012.  They don’t make this exact style anymore but these are close.

Those grey/blue pumpkins are actually one of my favourite squash varieties to grow. They’re sitting on the front porch both as decoration and to cure.  They’re called Grey Ghost and they’re my go-to squash for pumpkin ravioli and that favourite pumpkin soup recipe of mine.  I got my Grey Ghost squash seeds from Stokes. 

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

I use old crocks for holding flowers and utensils.  I use new crocks for fermenting and pickles.  As much as I’d love to use an old crock because I’m the kind of person who gets a thrill out of using anything that’s been used for generation after generation, it isn’t entirely safe.  And even though I’m the kind of person who sometimes gets a thrill out of using anything that isn’t entirely safe, I still say no to using old crocks for food.

Luckily you can still get old fashioned looking new crocks. The added bonus is that new crocks come with a lid and you can also get weights for keeping your pickles pushed down.


Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

I forgot to mention there’s one other way you can tell it’s fall.  People start dragging out their sheepskins and throwing them around.  Moments later cats find them and start rolling on them.

Like the water hyacinth basket? If you’re in Canada you can get the exact same one at Canadian Tire. If you’re outside of Canada, this one on Amazon is a relatively good imposter.

It’s planted with 3 large cabbages, 1 large Dusty Miller, a pepper plant, thyme and sedum.

I tend to stay away from mums or use them kind of minimally and lean more towards edible stuff for fall arrangements.

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

The other thing I did to change my front porch this year is I moved my porch swing to the other side of my porch.  I then moved these two chairs to the side of the porch the swing was on. I like this configuration a LOT more. Sometimes you just have to move shit around and fall (autumn, la-de-da) is a great time to do it.

You can barely see the cheesebox under my Ikea sheepskin but I got it during my 3 days of relaxation up at Lynne Knowlton’s treehouse this summer.  I found it in a closet. Stole it.  Just kidding, I got it from the Keady market which apparently is a very famous market that I’d never heard of.  The best place to get one of those wood cheese boxes is at a flea market or antique store.  Or ya know … a closet.

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

The table you can just barely see there is a wine barrel my mother was throwing out years ago.  Silly mother.  I originally had a small table that matched the wicker chairs but something about it didn’t look right.  When my niece showed up unexpectedly she nailed it. All the textures were the same.  It threw everything off.  Somethings you have to make things wrong to make them right.

So I picked up the wicker table and threw it into oncoming traffic.  I pulled over the wine barrel, put a glass tabletop on it and now it’s perfect.

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

If you read the post last week, you know all about the wheat sheaves and the wreath. If you didn’t here’s the step by step tutorial on how to make this simple fall wreath.

Fall Porch Decorating The Art of Doing Stuff

Tomatoes.  To the left, Celebrity, a hybrid.  To the right, Black Krim, an open pollinated.

I took some shots for this post that featured me.  You know, me hanging out in a chair with a coffee, me hanging the wreath on my door …   I even changed out of my linen shorts and loose tee shirt for the pictures since this is a post on fall decorating. I put on jeans.  And flannel.  I looked so hot, sweaty and flushed in the photos I appeared to be fighting off a heart attack.  So I didn’t use those pictures.

Oh!  To the lower right in the reflection of the door you can see my iPhone sitting on the cheese box.

As I’m sure you guessed, I was just calling the big cheese about the upcoming fall forecast.


  1. Gabrielle says:


    Your posts never fail to make me laugh & smile. Thanks for being your amazing self. Stunning porch btw, so cozy!

  2. Christie says:

    Long time reader, first time comment maker. Where are the gorgeous pillows and bolsters from? Thanks. Chris

  3. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Your Autumn porch looks very nice darling!…(snicker)

  4. Thandi says:

    I’m so late to this party. But could some kind person please explain what a furnace is? I love finally having the opportunity to ask Northern Hemisphere people strange questions about everyday objects (the toaster oven one was especially thrilling, but not as exciting as “what is a radiator and how does it work” or “explain how an airing cupboard works”). Nothing like describing an everyday object to make you appreciate it.

    • Karen says:

      Wait? What? You don’t know what a furnace is? Oh what a life you must lead in South Africa. It’s a big machine that we keep in our basements that heats the house. We have vents throughout the house and the furnace blows hot air through it. Unless you heat old school style with hot water rads. It’s like air conditioning but reverse. ~ karen!

      • Thandi says:

        That is insane! You have a machine in your basement! You have a basement! And finally all those random Pinterest pics about making your vents pretty make sense. Thank you, oh wise woman of the north. I shall add these facts to my list of “Things I’ve read about in books but never really understood”.

        • Thandi says:

          Now who wants to explain snow? Can you eat it? Does it smell anything like rain? Does it make your socks wet? Is it like sticking your hand in a freezer? Why would you make a snow angel? Surely your pants get wet.

  5. Dee says:

    Another source for crocks is Medalta Clay Works, near Medicine Hat, Alberta. Various sizes, with lids, also bowls, bean pots, pitchers …….


    I really like the porch swing.

  6. JulieD says:

    Everything looks so attractive and inviting. And those squash – I love them.

  7. Benjamin says:

    You could maybe give the gourds a little glitter sparkle ombre effect to bring the subtle glitz. Invite me for Thanksgiving and I’ll show you how. ;)

  8. Sarah McDonnell says:

    You should always keep a small amount of moonshine in case of snakebite. Also, you may need to keep a small snake. http://learntomoonshine.com/how-to-make-a-simple-pot-still-easy-step-by-step-process

  9. This was another one of your posts where I just kept scrolling saying “ugh… uGH… UUGH!” … shit’s so pretty it’s just dumb.

    Love your stuff, lady.

  10. susang says:

    are they dinner plate dahlias?

  11. Grammy says:

    We stole your summer. Sacramento, I mean. Our normally hot summer turned brutal this year and it screwed up gardens and everything else. Crime doesn’t pay.

    As for “Autumn” as opposed to “Fall” — it’s not snooty at all. People your age follow people my age around checking to see if somebody broke a hip every time they hear the word “fall” so we avoid that as much as possible.

    You have a lovely porch, by the way.

  12. Jody says:

    Inspiring APU. I realized Th’giving was coming up quickly but could only seem to manage a mum. I wasn’t inspired with the crazy heat other than thinking of a kiddie pool.
    What paint do you use on your porch floor? Mine is stained but the morning sun and foot traffic just wears it off. Repainting is on Spring 2018 agenda.

  13. John says:

    Karen, this would be a good time for you to head up Walker’s Line and visit Hutchinson’s Farm on the left just up the up the rise north of Britannia Road. The BEST place for the widest varieties of squash and pumpkins, both usual and heirloom tomatoes, garlic, leeks, onions, huge shallots, peppers (hot and cool), strawberries in summer and fall, raspberries, melons, and so much more. Even tomatillos! It’s where for twenty years we have bought beautiful geraniums and herbs for our patio planters, and never have failures. Local and welcoming friendly farmers.

  14. Sheila Turchyn says:

    Your comment about the old crock pot for pickles caused happy/sad tears to spring to my eyes as I remembered my father making pickles that way. Thank you for that memory. The fall/autumn decor is lovely, so homey and cosy. Thank you for that too! Always inspiring. :)

  15. Bunguin says:

    We had a ton of Black Krim’s this season. They just taste awesome, don’t they?

  16. Kim Kelley says:

    88 F constitutes a heat wave? snicker snicker from the dirty south

    • Amy says:

      In a lot of Southern Ontario it was actually 93F, but with the humidity the temp rose to 104F. 104F is definitely a heatwave considering most of our summer was closer to 75 to 80 range. Over 100F is not uncommon in Southern Ontario during some of the summer (more in July/August) but for the last week of September when everyone has turned off their A/C is was rough. Then this weekend it was 60F. It has been a very strange “Summer” for us!

      • Karen says:

        Exactly. Plus our humidity always seems to be about 100%, lol. Up next … -25 and ice storms to look forward to. ~ karen!

    • Elaine says:

      It doesn’t sound like much to you southerners, I’m sure (lol!) but the accompanying humidity made it 104F. Last Summer, we had weeks on end where temperatures sat in the low to mid 90’s.

  17. Susan says:

    Also love the vine growing up the end of your porch. Please tell what it is and does it require sun or shade?

    • Karen says:

      Climbing Hydrangea. Grows anywhere but partial shade is best. ~ karen!

    • Margaret K. says:

      If it’s a climbing hydrangea – which it looks like – it takes partial shade to full sun depending on your local temperature averages and extremes. It starts out in a shrubby form at first, though. So if you want an immediate vine, you should probably look for something else.

  18. Lois Baron says:

    I wanted to buy some Festival mums at Trader Joe’s this weekend because they look like fireworks, but a quick Google check said mums are poisonous for cats and dogs, and my stupid cats nibble on all my plants. I guess I’ll have to Google dahlias next–yours are FFFFabulous, as indeed so is your porch and so are you.

  19. Heidi says:

    That a thing against Jason Bateman huh?
    Is it his budding Karl Malden nose?

  20. Mary W says:

    NOTHING says welcome and home and friendly like a porch swing. You have such an elegantly styled friendly porch – only you! I’ve wanted one for so long but: , narrow porch, grandsons, swings, windows don’t mix, we have hoards of brown widows under our lapped siding even with pest control, I didn’t want to ‘damage’ the metal ceiling. I will continue to live vicariously through your pictures of gardens, chickens, and your porch.

  21. Heather B says:

    I did mine on the heatwave also. Silly Canadians. No porch- just a deck so no sheepskin

  22. Melissa says:

    Tell the truth— does your porch require dusting? Where I live, it seems like any outside installation just gets covered in cobwebs, dust, pollen… or all three.

    Your porch looks so clean… even your well-worn Bogs.

    I’d come and sit for a spell, for sure.

    • Karen says:

      Well it is outside so the mailbox and windowsills can get gross. I wipe those down every once in a while and I just take the hose to everything else. ~ karen!

  23. Cathy says:

    I may hav missed it, but humor me- where did the wheat sheaves come from?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy! I got the wheat sheaves at 2 different local garden centres. One from Terra and the other from Holland Park. ~ karen!

    • lisa says:

      I dunno where Karen got hers, but I found one at Home Depot (Canada) in the vestibule area between exterior and interior entrance. I’ve been looking all over for them. The tag on it was from a farm in Chatham that specializes in this type of stuff http://www.vergeerfarms.com

  24. danni says:

    but…. I want to see the espaliered apple trees! How are they doing? nothing says fall like apple trees!

    • Karen says:

      They each have exactly ONE apple on them, lol. The trees are vigorous but the apple harvest will be small this year. Clearly. :) ~ karen!

  25. Deb says:

    Karen, what’s the vine that’s growing on your trellis (near the relocated wicker)? I’ve been looking for something to cover a privacy trellis on my back porch and just about given up. Love your fall porch – stunning!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deb. The very thick vine is a climbing hydrangea. It takes a while for it to take off, but once it does there’s no stopping it. ~ karen!

  26. Cathy Vosper says:

    What do you do with all this wonderful stuff on your porch when the snow flies?

    • Karen says:

      Most of it stays there, the basket will be filled with wood and put inside the house, the blanket comes back in the house but the chairs tables etc. stay there. They’re far back enough from the opening of the porch that they’re fine. In the winter I just take away the fall things and add in winter things. :) ~ karen!

  27. Phyllis kraemer says:

    Just for fun you should enter your wheat sheaves in the Rockton fair!.. just sayin’!!

    • Marilyn says:

      That would be cheating Phyllis as she don’t think she grew those. Or did you?? Anyway they all look great!! Naturally

  28. Marna says:

    Wonderful! I love the planting parings! I have all the plants, I am going to combine them all in one of my large pots! Can’t believe you got so hot in Canada! Been cooling down here in Texas, will be 91 F today with about 68% humidity, hate the humidity.

  29. Elaine says:

    I love it all, Karen! I love the blue squash, the baskets, both tables (the barrel and the stump) and love the dahlias! I shy away from dahlias, as a rule, because I like more muted colors but your kind have changed my mind. Your porch is just gorgeous! Yes, last week’s heat was brutal!

    • Karen says:

      If you just search online (Amazon or better yet places like seed catalogues) you can find atypical varieties of flowers like Dahlias. I prefer very, very dark (like almost black) and very, very muted. Not so big on red, yellow, etc. ~ karen!

  30. Paula says:

    I love your writing style all of the time but this post was extra witty and clever. Great porch ideas, too.
    Btw how is that book coming along? Make sure you write something that can be made into a movie so you can be rich 😁 I could see you writing something like Eat, Love, and Pray or Bridget Jones.

    • ronda says:

      it would have to be something that Idris could star in. then Karen would be able to meet him and have her dream come true.

  31. Kathleen says:

    Love, love, love the porch swing. And as usual, the décor is spot on. Lovely pics, Karen.

  32. Tina says:

    Just out of curiosity, why does a tire store carry water hyacinth baskets?

    • Paula says:

      It isn’t only a tire store. It has grown since it’s inception to be one of Canada’s largest retailers and they sell houseware, tools, car parts, sports gear, camping equipment, paint, etc. Etc.

      • Jamieson says:

        They even toyed with the idea of carrying groceries a few years ago but Canada collectively put our foot down and said “eww that sounds gross buying plums and concentrated orange juice at a store that has Tire in the name” and so they didn’t do it. However they do carry snacks like chips, nuts, pop/soda and chocolate bars – close to the cash register but not an actual full aisle that I am aware of. But that’s just sensible because it’s hungrifying work hauling a can of paint, an ironing board, patio furniture, a bicycle, a six pack of lightbulbs, and a KitchenAid stand mixer to your car – unless you’re balancing it all on a brand new rolling tire, of course.

    • Nicole says:

      You know, that’s not something I ever wondered until after I moved out of Canada. Also, they print their own money (or they used to) which inspires lots of jokes about Canadian Tire Dollars.

      • Paula says:

        The paper Canadian Tire dollars are still valid, however; now everything is digital on a card.

        • Carswell says:

          LOL – yes. I have finally retired my stacks of Crappy Tire money in favour of the card. Sooooo much more convenient and no one has to count it all when you try and redeem it.

          And that last can be a real PIA when you are redeeming $300 worth of funny money.

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