Dress up your banister with seasonal motifs.

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The best way to set the autumn mood is to add seasonal décor to your home's entrance. Whether you have a wrap-around porch or a small deck staircase with side-by-side railing, it's easy to add thematic touches that will perfectly capture the essence of fall. As you begin brainstorming designs for your autumnal porch railings, make sure you have ample supplies to bring your vision to life. "Always have a cupboard full of wire, clippers, and double-sided tape. You can put everything together very quickly if you have these bits available," says Bahamas-based interior designer Amanda Lindroth. "This little party cupboard," as Lindroth calls it, helps her stay organized as she plans her porch designs for the season. Ahead, a few ideas for decorating your own railings with cozy fall motifs.

Draw inspiration from nature.

When decorating any front entrance, Lindroth likes to "use anything that is blooming in the garden." Because she currently lives in a more tropical climate, Lindroth mixes and matches beautiful blooms and leaves, including hibiscus, white birds of paradise, bougainvillea, heliconia, and banana leaves, to create her desired look. "We don't mind taking leads from the garden—anything that's blooming is fair game, even if they aren't traditional fall colors," Lindroth says. If you live in a cooler climate—say, the Northeast—turn instead to robust dahlias and plentiful mums that are harbingers of the season, and weave them around your banisters; pop them into some dried magnolia leaves or grapevine branches for good measure. "Or, if you live in Virginia, try apple blossom branches. If you live in the mountains, use whatever is appropriate there," she says. "The best floral shop is right in front of you. You just need the clippers."

beautiful fall porch bannister decorations
Credit: aimintang / Getty Images

Get creative with color.

Regardless of the native blooms in your region, Lindroth is a proponent for getting creative with your color palette, and suggests playing with pinks, navy blues, teals, and purples, too. "I encourage you to venture beyond black, red, and orange for fall. Try something different and use what's natural for you," she suggests, adding that your location should always drive the color scheme.

Add texture and dimension.

"Along with using anything that I can get in-season, I also mix in faux florals from my local craft store," Lindroth shares, noting that this will also extend the lift of your banister display. "For example, you can buy faux orchid branches and weave them into real leaves—and no one will know." Looking to create a more rustic effect? In lieu of blooms, weave natural fall foliage, flowering kale, grapevines, and mums into garlands or wreaths for a warm, textured look; then, wrap them around or suspend them from your railings accordingly.

Let there be light.

Lindroth poses lanterns, filled with flickering LED candles, around these greenery garlands for maximum impact; glass hurricanes ringed with foliage or florals work, too. If you go this route, be sure to vary the heights of your decorations to create visual interest and draw eyes toward your railing, she says. "Add lanterns in multiple sizes so that the candlelight hits three to four points of your display," Lindroth recommends. If you'd rather use electrical lighting, twist in rustic leaf string lights or pre-lit garlands punctuated with fall fruits, seeds, and leaves, which will also look fresh and bountiful all season long. 

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