Last Updated on September 6, 2022
Nature-inspired decor ideas for autumn.
Autumn is in the air! A wonderful season that greets you with the vibrant warm colors of orange, red and yellow, cooler weather, and sense of abundance and peace.
So how can you translate this sense of calm contentment to your outdoor and indoor fall decor?
First, you set an autumn mood by using what you have: plants and natural materials from your garden and backyard.
Then add some fall-themed decor accessories, and voila! – you have a fall display that is pleasing to your eyes and senses.
Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.
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Did you know?
Fall is the favorite season for most Americans, according to a survey.
Let’s get to it!
Fall decorating ideas inspired by nature
1. Potted mums
Chrysanthemums (commonly known as mums), and autumn is a match made in heaven! You can’t think of fall without thinking of mums and pumpkins.
Dig chrysanthemums from your garden and replant them into large pots (you can put them back into the ground once the fall holidays have passed).
Or buy these cool season fall flowering perennials in mid-September from the garden center, or online.
Related reading: Should you get a fiberglass planter?
Or you can place potted chrysanthemums in a wagon or wheelbarrow for an easy-to-assemble seasonal display.
Mums in pots will also look great on patios, terraces, and balconies.
2. Chinese lantern plant
Chinese lantern plant (Physalis alkekengi), also called winter cherry or ground cherry, is a perennial carefree plant.
It’s lantern shaped seed pod and orange color makes it perfect for fall decorations. The cut stem with orange lanterns will also dry well and can stand in a vase without water for a lovely display for a year or more.
The word of caution though if you decide to grow this plant in your garden:
- it’s spreads aggressively through rhizomes (this issue can be solved by planting it in container)
- it’s unripe berries and leaves are poisonous to digest. So if you have children or pets, it is probably not the best idea to grow this plant.
But if your yard is huge and you can create a barrier that won’t let the plants spread, Chinese lanterns can be good to have for added winter interest in your yard.
Where to use: in harvest-themed indoor and outdoor decorations, in dried flower arrangements, wreaths, garlands.
How to dry Chinese lantern plant for floral display
Cut the stem of the plant at ground level.
- Strip the leaves off.
- Hang it upside down to dry in a cool dark space (as you usually do with herbs.
- After 3 weeks passes you can use it in dry flower arrangements.
Pumpkins – the autumn favorites!
Pumpkins look festive all fall season long. Whole pumpkins last 8 to 12 weeks after they are picked, on the other hand, carved pumpkins last just 5-10 days.
Where to use: front porch display, along walkways, front yard harvest display. Small pumpkins can be used for a centerpiece or tablescape inside a house. Also, you can place luminaries in carved pumpkins to light up walkways or decorate a table on the deck.
A tip. If you need to achieve a multilayered look in your fall outdoor harvest display, use straw or hay bales to set some of the pumpkins on. After fall, you can put the hay (and pumpkins) in a compost pile, and fertilize your garden with decomposed material in springtime.
Related reading: 4 easy methods of composting
4. Fall leaves
Autumn leaves or branches with autumn foliage add a vibrant touch of autumn color to your home
Where to use: wreaths, garlands, table centerpiece, Thanksgiving table setting (in handmade napkin holder, place cards, etc.).
Related reading: 6 easy ways to preserve autumn leaves in order to maintain their lovely seasonal look for weeks afterward.
5. Indian corn
Use in wreaths, front door arrangements, indoor fall centerpieces.
You can tie a few cobs of Indian corn as ornaments and hang them on door or cabinet knobs to create a simple and colorful accent.
6. Fall flowers (and plants)
Cut fall flowers of your choice, such as dahlias and celosia (cockscombs), dianthus, marigolds, perennial sunflowers (helianthus), ornamental peppers, chrysanthemums, flowering kale, sedum “Autumn Joy.”
Use them in centerpieces and fall floral arrangements inside and outside.
7. Branches with colorful berries
If you happen to grow viburnum, elderberry, beautyberry, red twig dogwood, chokeberry, serviceberry, or winterberry, use the clusters of their colorful berries in wreaths, garlands and tabletop arrangements.
Gourds are timeless autumn home decor pieces that can be incorporated in outdoor decorations alongside with pumpkins, or arranged in a Thanksgiving cornucopia inside the house
They look gorgeous placed on a mantel.
9. Fruits: apples, pears, pomegranates, persimmon, cranberries
Fall fruits placed in vases on the porch or patio tables outside or used in tablescapes, centerpieces, and Thanksgiving cornucopia inside the house will create a feeling of abundance and gratefulness.
Related reading: How to grow cranberries at home
10. Winter squash: butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and mini pumpkins
Winter squash has thicker skin in comparison with summer squash. It can be stored all through the winter.
This makes them perfect candidates for decor purposes, because these squash will not rot easily.
Where to use: positioned outside of your home in harvest display or front porch arrangement, or use them in centerpieces inside the house.
You can also turn a butternut squash into a lovely vase to hold your fall flowers.
11. Acorns, nuts, seeds
Acorns, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts in the shell: walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, can add a beautiful natural element to a Thanksgiving or fall centerpiece inside your house.
They also can be incorporated in garlands or glued into the wreaths.
Watch this short YouTube video made by Farmhouse Living to get more nature inspired fall decorating ideas.
When should you put out fall decor?
It’s better to do it when the season is changing and you can smell autumn in the air. So, ideally do it in September-October. If you live in a colder climate, you can put your autumn display as early as late August.
Keep it through Thanksgiving and replace it later with a winter holiday season display.
Get more nature-inspired decorating ideas.
Final thoughts on fall decorating ideas inspired by nature
So, how do you decorate outdoors for fall?
- Look around your yard and garden for mums, pumpkins, colorful branches with berries, winter squash, nuts, fall flowers, gourds, fruits, Indian corn, etc. Use these items to set an autumn mood in your outdoor and indoor fall display.
- Add some store-bought or hand-made fall-themed decorative accents for finishing touches.
- Enjoy the fall season and have the most delightful autumn home ever!
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