Front Porch Appeal Newsletter

The Splendor of Autumn is Upon Us

Issue #111 September 2020

The past few months have proven to be quite an ordeal for many and have touched each of us in some way. First and foremost, our hearts to go out to many of you who have been affected by the virus, the devastating storms or fires. We are thinking of you and sending a million blessings to bring peace to your heart.

our front porch decorated for fall with pumpkins
One of our favorite autumn porches!
Autumn is a captivating time to relax, reflect, count blessings, and embrace nature's colorful season. Mary and I hope you find time in your busy schedules this fall to enjoy its immense beauty and take time to relax on your porch, deck or patio - any fresh-air space.

The two of us love autumn and want to share some new ideas (including a few traditional ones) that you can use during the coming months. Although we don't keep up with trends ourselves, we've included a 2020 trends we think you will enjoy and find enlightening.

field with fall harvest of pumpkins, gourds, mums
The beauty of fall harvest
We are also grateful to share some fresh ideas we've discovered.


Inside This Edition...

  • What's Cool About Retractable Porch Screens?
  • Sheds with Porches - Perfect for a Home Office
  • Porch Tiles - A Popular Trend
  • 2020 Fall Decorating Trends
  • Check Out These Fall Project Ideas
  • New Edition of Molly Jo Daisy Published!
  • Homeschool Lesson Plans for the Porch
  • Thank You as Always


If you purchase an item through affiliate links within our content, we will earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.



What's Cool About Retractable Porch Screens?

Retractable screens offer the best of both worlds. They can be in the down position, creating privacy, shade and shelter from bugs and pests. Or they can be up, giving you maximum fresh air, breezes and open spaces for entertaining.

Who knew you could have it both ways?

And if that's not enough, you can have them midway down like in the photo below, giving you shade and some privacy but still enjoy the openness.

We also appreciate that you can choose between motorized or manual. After having manual shades on our front porch for the past five years, we embrace motorized screens' convenience.

retractable screens covering wide expanse of outdoor living area
Retractable screens are perfect for porches
Raise the screens out-of-sight for an open-air experience when conditions are right; perfect for entertaining large groups of friends and family. Or lower them to whatever height you'd like to enjoy dining or relaxing in comfort.

a spacious seating area in screened porch using retractable screens
Retractable screens offer many benefits
It's our pleasure to share these photos, courtesy of Phantom Screens in Abbotsford, BC.

Take a moment and check out more retractable screen ideas from Phantom Screens.




Sheds with Porches - Perfect for a Home Office

Sheds are more popular than ever! Now that many of us work from home, a shed (with a porch, of course) can be modified to be the perfect home office and is becoming quite the trend.

We are seeing sheds used not only as home offices but also as she-sheds, man-caves, pubs, party pads, and even as classrooms for homeschooling.

You have many designs from which to choose, one of which Mary and I know will be just right for your needs. Many are customizable, making them quite functional along with being aesthetically pleasing addition to your outdoor space.

painted shed with loft interior by Liberty Storage Solutions
How sweet is this! Add a nicely designed patio area and landscaping to create a magical outdoor retreat
utility shed with front porch and side doors by Liberty Storage Solutions
Extra windows and double door storage access
Our sincere thanks to Liberty Storage Solutions in Mocksville, North Carolina, for sharing their pictures with us. See more of their creative design ideas here.



Porch Tiles - A Popular Trend

We discovered that online searches for outdoor tiling have increased 174% recently, according to Google. That tells us many folks are investing in the versatility and functionality of tile.

From travertine to porcelain, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, styles and colors. You should keep in mind that tiles can "sweat" when the ground is cooler than the air, making them potentially slippery. And if elevated or on a wood frame, your frame must be very stiff to avoid movement.

aesthetically pleasing screen porch flooring
Beautiful floor on this amazing porch
Photo courtesy of The Porch Company
tiles on front porch
Tiled front porch


Living Spaces interior decorator Shelby Greene has stated that tiling is a way to enhance your porch, deck, or patio by bringing the indoors out. Tiling makes you feel like you're on vacation even though you may not be able to travel during this period of time. (Source:Realtor.com)

Screened porch picture courtesy of The Porch Company
Beautiful floor on screened porch - Courtesy of The Porch Company


Silca System® grates on deck You can even tile a deck using and underlayment like Silca System® to give you tiling options you may not have previously considered. Learn more about deck underlayments here.


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2020 Fall Decorating Trends

old chair, mums, and pumpkins for fall on front porch
Charming autumn porch decorating idea
Mary and I love to decorate our porch for fall as do so many others. We aren't into chasing trends unless we really like them, however, we enjoy learning about designers' "latest trends" and know you may too.

Here's what we found for 2020...

front porch decorated for fall with pumpkins and corn stalks
Appealing traditional fall porch decor

Color Schemes

If 2020 isn't strange enough, we've read that 66% of designers have selected black to be the neutral tone along with white, grey, and beige for fall. In addition, other designers want to add sage green and navy blue to that list. And, the Pantone Color Institute chose classic blue as the 2020 Color Of The Year.

Google Trends indicates that green outranks other hues this season, along with mint and emerald.

Realtor.com believes vibrant colors and shades of green connect with nature and enhance the outdoor experience. Emerald green gives you a tropical appeal, whereas sage is soothing and serene. Choose mint for a fresh, youthful appeal. (Realtor.com)

If you want to add a warmer touch, choose cinnamon, caramel, or terracotta to your decor.

fall corn and wreath on front door
Quaint fall front door decor

Incorporate Fall Leaves

One of the easiest, traditional ways to add a warm natural touch at home is to decorate with autumn leaves. Incorporate nature's beauty into your porch's decor by strategically placing fall leaves in bunches, garlands or centerpieces.

classic autumn leaf displays on front porch
Traditional fall leaf display during sunset
Mary took this photo on a porch trip to Nashville, Indiana and thought you'd enjoy this wonderful sculpture as much as we do.

elder heart soaring sculpture in Nashville Indiana
Elder Heart Soaring Sculpture in Nashville, Indiana
The leaf sculpture above, named Soaring, is located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Indiana. Not only is it a wonderful piece of art but was also sculpted to build awareness about veterans concerns.

Add Textile Art

Textile art seems to be a trend this year. From rugs to pillow covers and even outdoor wall art, you will find interesting patterns and tartans popular this year. Also consider whites, blacks, and grey-scale as well as wool, checks and traditional cozy patterns.

front porch decorated for fall with fence slat chair, pumpkin, and cornstalks
Fun fall front porch decorations




Look at These Autumn Porch Projects

Have Fun Making These Autumn Pillow Toppers

Mary shows you how to make these festive fall pillow toppers! Make them with your children or grandchildren this year.

collage of our pumpkin pillows
I will also share my painted pumpkin pillow toppers
If you have little time, but want new autumn pillows for your porch, here are two ideas we found on Amazon.

Decorative Classic Retro Checkers Plaids Throw Pillow Covers from Amazon (affiliate link)


Fall Pumpkin Harvest Decorative Pillowcases From Amazon (affiliate link)

Would You Like to Build a Scarecrow?

We had lots of fun making scarecrows with our grandchildren.

the scarecrow we built for our porch
Learn how to build a scarecrow
whimsical fall display on front porch
Fall display on front porch




Home School Porch Lesson Plans

How school has changed. Our sons and daughter-in-loves teach our grandkids at home, online, or a combination of actual school and online like many of you. It definitely isn't easy to juggle working, teaching, and parenting simultaneously. We are super appreciative of them.

Mary and I thought it would be fun to include some science lesson plan ideas you can use on your porch (or any other location). From weather-predicting pine cones to making lightning, there's something for everyone.

pine cones on pine needles
Learn about these weather-predicting pine cones via these 21 science lesson plans.


New Edition of Molly Jo Daisy Published!

New book release - Molly Jo Daisy Being the New Kid
Molly Jo Daisy Being the New Kid
Molly Jo Daisy, a happy go lucky ten-year-old girl, is the main character in Mary's Molly Jo Daisy book series. Mary writes fun stories of Molly Jo Daisy and her family to help children see their minds' power.

Mary's new edition and her first chapter book is out. The title is Molly Jo Daisy: Being the New Kid

In this book, Molly Jo Daisy has moved with her family and her Grandma from Nashville TN to Maple River, a sweet, fictitious town on Maine's seacoast.

Moving over a thousand miles away from the place she calls home, Molly Jo expects her life will never ever be the same. And she's right. She experiences new adventures she never could have imagined!

And yes, Molly Jo lives in a house with a big front porch!

You can purchase Mary's book here. If you read it and like it, would you be so kind to write a review on Amazon? Mary would be honored indeed.


Thank You As Always

pretty autumn bench with bountiful harvest
A simple bench with autumn's harvest is welcoming
Thank you for stopping by to share some of your precious time with us. We appreciate you and hope you are staying well. We send our thoughts and love to so many of you suffering from the virus or have been affected by the storms or fires.

You are a treasure to us, so thank you!

Between the flowers that bloom, the butterflies that dance and the showers that gently fall - a porch can be your happy place.

And even if you don't have a porch on your home, may you have a porch spirit in your heart and take time for the little things in life. We will talk to you next time.

Dave and Mary

In Parting...

early snow on log cabin in Colorado
Courtesy of our friend, Paul Rice
Paul says that it was 90 just the other day and now this (snow!) on his beautiful Colorado log cabin. How quickly things can change.

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Mary and Dave Happy porch sitting from your friends,

Mary and Dave


Life is short. Enjoy your porch.



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