As the air turns crisp and the leaves change from green to amber, red and gold, you may find yourself wanting to linger a little longer on the porch and savor that glowing autumn light. Here are some ways to help create a comfortable, welcoming porch that says, “It’s Fall Y’all!”

Make it cozy by keeping blankets handy.

There's nothing better than enjoying a crisp fall evening on the porch. But chilly nights require extra warmth. Make sure the chills are kept at bay by keeping a snuggly blanket nearby. If your porch is exposed to the elements, choose your fabric wisely. Make sure your favorite throw can stand up to temperamental fall weather before giving it a new home on the patio.

Display pumpkins in subtle hues.

If you want to get a jump on fall porch decorating but it’s a little early for full-on Halloween, consider picking up some pumpkins and gourds in a more subtle color palette. Silvery green, white and pale orange pumpkins are beautiful and elegant, and they don’t scream “fall” so much as whisper it.

Cozy up the hammock.

Help your hammock look right at home as the leaves begin to fall by boosting its comfort level with a smattering of pillows and a super-soft throw. Then just swap out your summer iced tea for a mug of hot apple cider, and you’ll be happily swinging and swaying until the first flakes fly.

Create a luxurious mood with orchids and throws.

If you live in the city or lean more modern in your taste, there are plenty of ways to cozy up your porch without overdosing on mums and jack-o’-lanterns. Instead, try a rich plum-colored throw and pillows, plus a potted orchid on the coffee table. It’s simple, elegant and easy to pull off.

Light a fire.

If you’re lucky enough to have a working outdoor fireplace on the porch, fall is the perfect time to make use of it. Just be sure to schedule cleaning and maintenance before lighting it for the first time this season — buildup from previous fires, as well as debris or old animal nests, can cause a chimney fire.

Boost evening lighting.

As the days become shorter, good porch lighting will ensure that your leisurely evenings alfresco can continue all season long. If possible, have the lights put on a dimmer switch. It’s great to have a really bright porch light to see who’s at the door, but when you’re just hanging out, a soft glow is much more welcoming.

Replace summer flowers with fall blooms and ornamental grasses.

When there's a chill in the air it's time for bright petunia blossoms to give way to hardy fall blooms like mums. Add extra texture to your fall porch by trading out summery clay or painted pots for more rustic containers made of wood or metal. Ornamental grasses add another layer of interest and come with the bonus of being low-maintenance. Add them to mossy flower boxes or let them stand alone as sentries flanking the front door.

Trade out splashy summer colors for warm fall hues.

Summer is the perfect time for bright yellows and nautical blues, but nothing says fall like warm oranges and soft reds. Pack away beachy cushions and pillows and create an inviting outdoor space with a fall vibe by adding hues that echo the brilliance of fall foliage.

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