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Fall in Love With the Outside of Your Home

Exterior Pointers for the Autumn Season

October 03, 2019

Fall in Love With the Outside of Your Home

Exterior Pointers for the Autumn Season

October 03, 2019

With beautiful fall weather moving in, you and any guests you might have are bound to want to spend more time outdoors. For that to happen naturally, the exterior of your home should be set up for it. A well-considered lighting plan for the outdoors creates just this environment to linger in. Working in tandem with secondary sources of light—such as landscape can lights, up-lights staked in the ground, and festive string lights—outdoor sconces, post lights, and pendants set the mood and make a safe, functional atmosphere. 

From illuminated landscape and architectural features to easy passage and task light in all the proper places, let's talk about the elements of an outdoor lighting plan, plus some decorative tips to give your home's exterior a refresh for the fall season.


Here are the basic areas you'll want to be sure are covered.

  • Front door/entrance/stoop
  • Porch/deck/patio/entertaining area
  • Driveway/garage
  • Any place there are steps
  • Grill/any cooking or drink-making station

In addition to these, you may wish to accentuate certain aspects of your property and your home's architecture. This will fully flesh out the exterior lighting plan.

Of course, the place it all begins is the entrance. In our recent post on curb appeal, we gave some pointers on how to enhance this area of your house. 

Now fall is here: the best time of the year for front doors, with seasonal décor to augment their allure. 

Mum’s the word and the flower, too. Decorative cabbages and pumpkins of every hue. 

A beautiful fall-ready front door knows all the tricks to treat visitors’ and passers’-by eyes to a cornucopia of colors, conjuring all the fall feels. In addition to a seasonal arrangement cheering up the front door, an unusual and attractive sconce by the entry is a great way to add more character to your exterior, especially if your home is more traditional or by-the-book. 

The Vintage Brass finish in our Atwater sconce here is attractive all year long, but its burnished hues meld beautifully with the season, bringing to mind autumn phrases like "mellow fruitfulness."

Using Anissa Zajac of House Seven's stoop above as inspiration, here's a checklist to dress up your own entryway for shortening days.

  • pumpkins and gourds in different colors and sizes
  • hurricane lanterns in at least two different sizes with candles
  • (chrysanthe)mums, possibly in different colors
  • potted plants and herbs
  • decorative cabbage, or something leafy to add more texture   
  • beautiful lighting adjacent to the door with design personality

And of course, if you love Halloween, it's open season to add something playfully spooky or sinister.

Home and Porch Decoration: Tammy Groethe | Lights: Mission Beach by Troy Lighting

Moving around the back of the house, what sort of lighting do you need to make nights last longer? 

In the space below, they set up a gorgeous row of equally distant Beckham exterior sconces to keep the pool patio area illuminated.

Lane Toran, has been working on renovating and expanding his home. His in-progress deck reminds us that simplicity and beauty often keep each other company. His house's white sides meet wooden boards, as potted plants accentuate the enclosed area, relieving it of feeling too spartan.

The first layer has been put in: A simple, sturdy light with some rugged character illuminates where the door is, putting out plenty of light for the nearby area.


For elegant entertaining, consider pendants UL-rated to handle the outdoors and a beautiful segue space where potted shrubs create a sense of ordered enclosure and privacy. 

Photo: James Baigrie | Light: Sanctuary by Troy

Another way to elevate your exterior décor through lighting is to introduce lights that look like they belong in the outdoors.

Fixtures using materials plucked from nature or motifs inspired by it complement an outdoor setting beautifully.    

Set in the transitional space between the inside of the house and the beginning of the outdoors proper, on a deck or porch where dining and entertaining occur, such a fixture (like our Sanctuary above) have a great vibe. They make meals and conversations outside feel slightly enchanted. If you'll pardon the obvious pun, it's a natural fit. 


Photo: Gustavo Escannelle for House Beautiful | This and Header: House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2015 | Pendant: Campanile by Troy

Lastly, don't forget areas of arrival, such as the garage. If you have a pathway leading from the driveway to the front door or back area, a matching series of exterior sconces will keep the area safely illuminated as well as add significant decorative value. 

Whether the weather is changing or not by you, it is getting dark earlier. Setting your exterior lights to a timer where you can program when they go on and turn off is a great idea, as well as adjusting it accordingly to sundown, sunup times in your area. Welcome yourself home and ensure guests get to the door safely.

Looking for more exterior inspo? Be sure to check out our recent Curb Appeal post, our post on the Califonia Coastal look (or is it a lifestyle?), and our post on dark houses from last year (perfect for October!)