When life hands you heat you and are craving fall…

….you have to adapt.

You have to get a little creative and roll with the weather.

When we lived in Kentucky and September arrived, I was shopping for pumpkins and cutting down corn stalks and rolling hay bales and borrowing someone’s wheelbarrow that looked like it came over on the Mayflower.

But in Texas?

The grocery stores still have giant displays of sunscreen.

What’s a front door to do?

My front door and I decided we’d go all transitional until the corn stalks and the leaves and the pumpkins show up.

Here are a few transitional fall porch decorating ideas for your door decor.

1. Buy a cute doormat

Nothing makes you and your front door feel better than a new fall front door mat that makes you smile.

I found this one at Anthropologie.

It is a little more than I would normally spend on a doormat, but it makes me smile every time I open the door.

This is the only thing I bought new—I repurposed everything else in the space by shopping the house.

2.  Start with an urn

Or a planter.

Or a box.

Or anything you can put a plant in.

Put one on either side of the door.

I’ve had these urns for half a century.  I bought them at Lowe’s years ago and they must be a best seller because they still have a version in stock.  You can see them here.  They were pricy, but I’ve used them over and over and over again and if you divide them by all the years I’ve had them, they are getting cheaper by the minute.  I actually found these urns at Lowe’s that are cuter and less expensive, they’re just a little bit smaller.

Edited to add.  The urns are 75% off at most Lowe’s.  SERIOUSLY.  A reader found the deal and it’s an amazing one.

3.  Stick a plant in the urn

Preferably one you already had left over from summer.

This is a transitional porch, so it doesn’t have to be a fall plant.  Any plant with leaves and a stem and general foliage will do.

Like these ferns.

They are approaching 80 and showing their age.

I keep trimming off all the brown stems and watering it and so far it’s held up really well in the Texas heat.

4.  Put something in the urn or planter

I put these iron spheres.

We generally don’t let them in the house because they shed.

They are outdoor spheres.

Shop your house with new eyes.  Do you have a sphere or a wood piece or architectural piece or something that might work in the plant in the urn?  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  Any piece with texture will work.

For example, if I didn’t have the spheres, I might have used these oversized driftwood pieces that I have.

Or a pumpkin might work too.

5.  Layer in pumpkins

Shop your fall boxes for some fall pumpkins.

I bought these metal pumpkins last year at Hobby Lobby.

I was so happy to see them again this year.

You can find them online here.

(Total decorating aside:  your pumpkins look so much cuter if you stagger their heights.  Find something to put them on to make them have different heights.  I used a couple of metal stands, but I’ve also used bricks or wood slices to give them a little height.)

6.  Add a wreath

This is a magnolia wreath I bought years ago from Joss and Main.

It’s the perfect summer into fall wreath.

I found this similar wreath here over on Wayfair.

I kept it simple and tied the wreath to the brass door knocker with twine, but a pretty fall ribbon might introduce a little more fall to the space.

7.  Add pillows

We have these matching porch swings on the porch.

I kept it simple with black and white outdoor pillows.

I thought about adding a pumpkin to the swing, but I knew someone would just swing it off.

That’s it.

That’s the back porch.

Super simple.

And the best part?

When it gets cooler I can keep the same basic design and add elements to it to make it look even more fall.

But for now?

It’s going all Donnie and Marie.

It’s a little bit summer and a little bit fall.

And a whole lot of rock and roll.

PS  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.

Just keeping it real and paying for college. 🙂

PPS  Also—please know how much I love your opinions.  Seriously.  I read every comment and it helps me so much to look at things in a new way.  I never get offended if your opinion differs from mine.  Truly.  In fact, that means all the more to me that you would take a moment to share your heart and your design perspective.

We love questions and opinions here.

Please keep them coming. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Karen Karen

    I would love to know where your iron spheres came from! I can’t seem to find any large enough for my planters here in South Carolina. My favorite part of the day is when I see your blog in my inbox!

  2. Image for Shelly Shelly

    I have been looking for spheres as well. Target had them about three summers ago, I should have gotten them at that time! It is harder to find bigger ones for my urns too! I did see some at a flea market, but they were very expensive!

  3. Image for Carrie Carrie

    I've seen on Pinterest where you can make the spheres out of embroidery hoops and paint them to look like metal!! :) I'm crushing on the pumpkins. We just put our house on the market yesterday, so I 'staged' with fall decor, even though in Pittsburgh, it's been in the 90's! Please think good thoughts for the house~ we are moving to my hubs' grandparents house they built themselves in 1955! I've already told KariAnne I'll be asking a lot of sourcing questions and shopping her links! :)

  4. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Lovely. Absolutely lovely. I need to organize my house to shop the house right now. A full overhaul of fall and Christmas decorations needs to happen soon. Thank you, always friend, for the inspiration. Happy Weekend!

  5. Image for Heather Anne Heather Anne

    I love the urns ... but my home is a very vanilla ranch style - complete with grey vinyl siding ... so to URN or not to URN ... that is the question :)

      1. Image for Heather Anne Heather Anne

        I do have two concrete planters that I inherited when we bought the house... and for some reason the previous owners, worried that they might be blown away in the wind (they weight 100#) or perhaps stolen {who can know the mind of previous owners}- GLUED them down to the concrete porch ... so they are a permanent 'feature'. They are low and rectangular ... can I still add orbs? They are currently overflowing with glorious red BOUNCE impatience (my new friend - so sassy), boston ferns, and blue and white salvia but it's time for their fall makeover.

    1. Image for Donna Donna

      Heather Anne- Check out this plain sleek urn that comes in dark and light colors: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Grosfillex-15-79-in-W-x-21-17-in-H-Rust-Resin-Shell-Planter/999979106

  6. Image for Kristen Kristen

    I’m in Houston - so I needed this post! I always appreciate how you mention what site the affiliate link will take me to. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine when bloggers say “click HERE for _____.” Your blog is a breath of fresh air!

  7. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Buddy looks so cute in the doorway!! Love those metal pumpkins. Heading to the site to order them now. Happy fall! It’s actually cool today in Lubbock, but hot is just around the corner, again.

  8. Image for Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns Colleen@LilacDriveDesigns

    Porch looks great! Is the door mat a fox? The first photo angle threw me...I was like, is that an alligator or a dinosaur, lol!! Gotta love Anthropologie! I"m a huge fan of their Volcano scented candle...love love love. Happy Friday My Friend!

  9. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I have one urn on my front porch, but I'm heading down to Lowe's today. When I clicked on the link to your urn, it came up on sale for $19.75 instead of $79.00. If this is correct, I'm grabbing a couple of them. Thanks so much for attaching the link!!! Love the transitional porch. In California, we are still enjoying warm weather. It does make it harder to get out the fall decorations.

    1. Image for Diana Diana

      Thank you Cheryl for mentioning that the urns were coming up with a sale price of $19.75 each. I just grabbed a couple myself. Bargain!

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Love it! So beautiful and simple. Just wanted to let you know how much I love, love, love your new book. I got it yesterday and began reading it immediately. It is wonderful. I want to buy it formal my friends for Christmas. You are totally amazing, girlfriend.

  11. Image for Linda Linda

    Your porch looks so pretty. And Ofcourse I Love Buddy ! In fact my two Goldens. Merlin and Scobbee says to tell him a big Hello !

  12. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love what you have done. My ferns would have fried in the desert heat. I used grapevine wreaths, but did pretty much the same thing. Since fall is my favorite time of the year, it was always a challenge in the roasty toasty areas :) Your design looks perfectly classic with your beautiful home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    Perfect transition for this heat. It all looks so cozy and welcoming. And how fun to have twin swings and be able to sit out there with your Off! Spray and chat with neighbors passing by. And some sweet tea of course.

  14. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love the urns and really, really, really wish I had room for them at the moment. As it is, I am currently in an apartment with only have a small back porch -- enough room for two chairs, a table and two bikes. One day...maybe. I've taken your advice to heart about not waiting until the seasons are already upon us to start decorating so I'm already planning my snow season porch. Have you seen any indoor/outdoor rugs light blue with big white snow flakes? Its my vision LOL.

  15. Image for Sara Sara

    Hi Karianne, Just wanted to let you know that when your post shows up in my very busy inbox, I save you for last. You are a special treat at the end of the day, even if that end is 2AM. I love your page, your style, your you. Keep up the great work. You go girl 🎉

  16. Image for Lynda Nash Lynda Nash

    I enjoy your choice of wording and always smile when I read your column - keep it up!!! I understand the heat - I am next door in Arkansas.

  17. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Do the urns need to be REAL hard stone or can the heavy whatever work? I think that is the difference in pricing. Help, Kerianne. What should we buy? It helps when you answer in comment section, then everyone can she your response! Plus we are checking you twice.

  18. Image for jillian jillian

    My absolute totally- favorite- love it to pieces- photo because: sweet doggie. Like the rest too! I also overspent for the fall doormat at Grandin Road...but it has a witches hat and says "Come in my little pretties" which I can not be expected to resist, right?

  19. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

    Nan, I've had stone before but nowadays they make amazing polyresin urns. The ones on the back porch are polyresin and have held up for years! And yes! I'll answer this in the comments, too. Happy day friend! karianne

  20. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, just like the other reader, Sara, said, I save you for last! I always need to smile and enjoy want you have to say on any topic! Love your subtle transition into fall on your porch.

  21. Image for Adrienne Adrienne

    I may not have gone pumpkin crazy (yet) but I have gone mum crazy! Costco had AMAZING huge mums for sale for $12 a piece and I COULD NOT resist. I managed to only buy two, but if my porch was larger than a postage stamp I would have bought ALL THE MUMS! They seriously look amazing. It's still a little hot for mums even in Oregon, but I just keep them watered really well and pray for their souls to survive.

  22. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I have a feeling that every time you post a link to an item, it sells out. I love the pumpkins from Hobby Lobby. The urns at my Lowe’s are stil $79. Not sure why. I love your easing into fall. Summer is my favorite season so I have to ease into fall as well. Great post!(And I think it is awesome that your blog helps to pay for college! You go, girl!)

  23. Image for Jan Jan

    Sadly only the sand color urns are on sale at Lowes. The black is still regular price at $49 What a shame that they do this but I guess because it's Fall/Halloween they think black will sell at full price.

  24. Image for Wen Wen

    Love the urns, I've been following you for years & believe I bought them because of you back then! Can't wait to snag you new book! A friend from Ks posted one of your quotes on FB other day! I thought ? Hey that's my Karianne!!!! I just recently moved to TX so I really needed your insight!! Wen

  25. Image for Jill Jill

    Love your transition into Fall! I live about an hour away from you just West of Fort Worth, and after our long hot dry Summer I am so looking forward to the cooler days of Fall. I finally couldn't stand it any longer and pulled out all my Fall boxes and have been happily transitioning the inside of my home. I am more a Fall/Winter kind of person and this time of year just puts me in more calm reflective mood. Thanks to the rain we have been getting and the cooler temperatures I feel Fall is on it's way. After seeing all you have done I think a trip to Hobby Lobby might be in my future. Jill

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