8 easy steps to the perfect fall front door.


Your browser is out of date

This website will not look or function as originally intended in your current browser

We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Chrome or Firefox

8 easy steps to the perfect fall front door.

By emily.bailey

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Perfect fall front door | Schlage

Sara from Simply Southern Cottage is helping Schlage break down the perfect elements of a fall front porch and why they work together.



You see a gorgeous front door – or maybe it’s a beautiful kitchen or bedroom – and think, “That! That is exactly what I want to do at home!” So you collect all your DIY supplies, buy the plants, organize the accessories, put it all together … and something just doesn’t look quite right. Why does some décor hit all the style marks and others fall flat?


To help you avoid future missteps, Sara from @simplysoutherncottage is helping Schlage break down the perfect elements of a fall front porch and why they work together.

1. Yellow door

No matter the season, the pop of color on the front door is eye-catching in the best way possible. Such a warm, welcoming color – Sara chose it to represent the joy she feels in life – draws you in to the cozy cottage and serves as the perfect backdrop to the matte black door hardware and porch lights.


Says Sara, “I love my gas lanterns because I feel they draw in old world charm to my porch. I envisioned a ‘Dickens like’ vibe when I was designing this space.”


Door made by @webster.millwork
Gas lanterns handcrafted by Copperworks Lighting, Shreveport, LA

2. Wreath

With such a vibrant door, you don’t want to go too crazy with your wreath, which is why this asymmetrical beauty works so well. A touch of color with the flowers and ribbons balances the natural grapevine. It’s festive and fun without being busy and overbearing.


You can also see how Sara relies on non-traditional fall colors like the pale green of the pumpkin and pastel flowers. “I really want my home to ‘stand out’ from the crowd, so I’m always pushing the envelope and trying to think outside the box,” Sara explains. “Adding in pink with orange presents an unexpected and joyful twist on traditional autumn décor.”


Wreath and swags crafted by Kandi’s Kreations

3. Mums

It’s hard to go wrong with mums of any color in the fall. What makes these so perfect, though, is they way the yellow and rusty orange flowers play off the rest of the décor. They help create a cohesive design being paired with that yellow door and the rusty hues in the crotons’ leaves.


“As much as I can, I always try to incorporate real, natural elements. Living in Zone 8 (Louisiana), I am still able to utilize some of my summer plants such as ferns, dianthus and gerbera daisies to add some extra pop to my fall porch.”

4. Layered doormat

You’ll find two top trends in this single piece of front porch décor. First is the natural material of the top mat. It’s not only effective in removing dirt from shoes, keeping your home cleaner, but natural décor is one of the most popular choices in home design right now. Layering mats is a leading trend as well and shows that you did more than just toss out a mat and call it a day. The orange plaid design brings in the autumnal colors and motif as well.


Doormat from Nickel Designs

5. Neutral-colored pumpkins

With so much other color happening, a collection of bright orange pumpkins could seem out of place at best and garish at worst. The neutral, muted colors of these gourds show how, if you think outside the box a bit, you can enjoy the tradition of pumpkins with an extra sophisticated touch. Like Sara said before, it’s all about standing out from the crowd.

6. Rustic décor

Not every home can and should pull off rustic décor, even in the fall when corn stalks and haybales abound. But because this is a southern cottage, the flower and ribbon bundles flanking the door fit right in. You’ll notice that they’re the same flowers and ribbons as in the wreath, again adding to the cohesive design throughout the home’s exterior.


“My home is very feminine and dainty, and I extend this aesthetic to all of my outdoor spaces.”

7. Symmetry

We said we loved the asymmetry of the wreath. And while the rest of the décor does mirror itself on either side of the door, it isn’t identical. Yes, there’s a mum of each color, a croton and a flower bundle on each side, but the pumpkins are scattered more naturally, varying in size, color and location on the steps. This helps strike that balance between chaotic and messy on one hand and matchy-matchy on the other.


“While I like order and symmetry, I also think a smidge of off balance always draws interest,” says Sara, “In fact, I really like arranging things in odd numbers. It creates interest and draws in the eye to the unexpected. Our brains like order, so when things are a little ‘off’ it captures our attention.”

8. Dog

What can we say? We just love dogs. But in all seriousness, a front porch is meant to be welcoming to all. Choose the décor that makes you happy and shows guests, even four-legged ones like this handsome pup, that they’re in for a treat.


Sara let us in on a little secret. “This 4-year-old labradoodle actually belongs to Hector Manuel Sanchez, a nationally renowned commercial photographer whose work has been featured in Southern Living, Cooking Light, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living plus many more!” The photo is all hers, though.

Find more fall porch décor inspiration at the Schlage blog. You can also see more from Sara on Instagram @simplysoutherncottage or at the Simply Southern Cottage blog where she offers her tips on simple living, affordable décor solutions, DIYs and just plain old love for life. She’s worked with everyone from Martha Stewart and Macy’s to Home Chef and Sleep Number. Her fall front porch was featured on HGTV.com and in an HGTV Instagram post in October. Currently Sara’s home can be seen on the cover of the holiday issue of Cottages and Bungalows as well as the cover of Better Homes and Gardens Cottage Style. Sara’s home has also been featured in Southern Lady, Where Women Create, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Sampler Farmhouse Style.