Over the years I’ve slowly acquired a strong affection of sprucing up the house for Halloween and Fall. One of the main reasons for my appreciation of this season is that apart from the skulls & black pumpkins, my decor efforts really go far, lasting almost 2 whole months. What other holiday has that kind of decorating longevity? And of course I now owe a huge part of my love of Fall decor to my almost constant longing to be back in New England. So while we won’t be moving back East any time soon, this is my way, especially outside, of bringing a bit of New England back home to Southern California.

Let’s start with the porch, which is a mix of fresh and ceramic pumpkins. One of the primary ways I ease the cost of buying fresh pumpkins each year is to spread it out over the course of 4-6 weeks. Beginning in early September, as I see the unique pumpkins pop up at stores around my neighborhood, I’ll start adding to the collection. Picking up a pumpkin here and there, especially when I see good prices, definitely helps ease the burden of buying them all at once. And as long as they’re not cut open, they’ll last for at least 2 months, definitely long enough to greet us on Thanksgiving. decorative pumpkins and mums and lanterns on a slate porch in a front yardDecorate orange pumpkins and mums in a zinc tin and ornamental cabbage on a slate porch with steps The ceramic pumpkins are from Home Goods, as well as the tin buckets. Decorate orange pumpkins and mums in a zinc tin and ornamental cabbage on a slate porch with stepsOversized black fake fuzzy spider on a giant white web in front of a white farmhouse with black shutters The giant spider and web were found on Amazon and the web came in a 2 pack of black and white webs. So far though we’ve only used the white web and it’s lasted 2 years in a row now. I thought for sure after the first year we’d have to trash it but it’s pretty sturdy. Also helps of course that we don’t get much rain if any during October. Oversized black fake fuzzy spider on a giant white web in front of a white farmhouse with black shutters Woman with short brown hair wearing jeans and a plaid shirt sitting on a bench on a porch with a dog and Halloween decorations The metal and wood lanterns were purchased on clearance at Target a few years ago and are surprisingly sturdy. We keep them out all year long and they’re withstanding the harsh Southern California elements pretty well. 😉

The 2 pillows are from Pottery Barn and the Trick or Treat pillow is on super deep discount.White small dog sitting on a Halloween pillow on a bench outsideSilver glitter skull sitting on a stack of blue booksMoving inside, I don’t have much set up beyond a few things here and there, primarily setting up the dining table and mantel. The glitter skull is old, found at Home Goods, and the black and white pumpkins are all new this year from Target. They are awesome in how realistic they are in terms of shape and feel, and will last several years I’m sure.
Black and white pumpkins sitting on a rustic wood dining table with white chairs and black candlesticks Black and white pumpkins and black candlesticks sitting on a rustic wood farmhouse dining tableSkull and skeleton garland hanging from a wood beamed mantel with orange leaves and pumpkins and round mirror The mantel is the only other area I bother decorating, and once  Halloween is over I’ll take down the skeletons and BOO sign, and leave everything else in place for Thanksgiving. Skull and skeleton garland hanging from a wood beamed mantel with orange leaves and pumpkins and round mirror The skeleton garland is old, originally found at Michael’s, as are the fake white pumpkins, which aren’t super realistic as the ones they make now. The brown paper pumpkins were from the Target craft section and we planned to paint them all like the colored ones sitting on the ground, but we kinda just ran out of time and I liked the way they look as is just fine. Skull and skeleton garland hanging from a wood beamed mantel with orange leaves and pumpkins and round mirror Those pretty colorful fall leaves are real waxed leaves they sell this time each year in the florist department at our local grocery store. They are about $5 and brighten up the spot nicely. Leia as you can see was really fascinated with Miranda while she was taking pictures 🙂White and orange cat walking along a wood beam mantel decorated with orange leaves and pumpkins The BOO sign and owl are both from Home Goods, and the mini orange pumpkins were also picked up from Target this year.Wooden boo sign and paper pumpkin and orange owl sitting on a rustic wooden mantel And there you have it! Nothing extraordinary but just enough to make the house feel festive and get the kids excited, without a ton of work on my part. The porch especially was something I worked on over the course of a few weeks, adding pumpkins and mums as I brought them home, until I finally arrived at the place where I said, “enough pumpkins, stop buying more pumpkins!”

I hope you enjoyed my little Fall decor home tour and get some simple ideas for your house next year!

Happy Halloween everyone. If you have a chance, check out my Halloween chocolate hand pies, as you still have a few hours to make a batch for tonight!

All the lovely photos are by Miranda of M. Shanti Photo

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