Warm up your Summit County outdoor entryway for fall | SummitDaily.com

Warm up your Summit County outdoor entryway for fall

"The front entryway sets the tone for what is inside the house," says entertaining expert Christy Rost.
Jessica Smith / jsmith@summitdaily.com |

Quick tips for successful décor

Use hot glue to adhere felt strips on the back of wreaths to prevent scratches and damage to your door.

Use clear pushpins to attach garlands to door frames; then, wrap wire around the pushpins and thread the wire/garland through.

Always secure the garland to the edges of the doorframe and secure the bottom of the garland; otherwise, mountain winds can destroy your décor.

Rost hangs her wreaths on a tiny brass nail in her wooden door, since she changes out wreaths seasonally. However, renters or homeowners with glass on doors can use wreath hangers, which drop over the top of the door.

Always keep your eye out for all kinds of autumn features; you’ll find them everywhere from supermarkets and discount stores to specialty stores like Worth Home, to garage sales.

— Christy Rost

The summer months direct our attention to outdoor living spaces, filled with colorful flowers, comfortable furniture and functional cooking setups. But as autumn approaches, cooler temperatures foster more indoor gatherings. While outdoor living areas still get play, the fall months offer the perfect opportunity to spruce up another outdoor area: The front entryway.

While a couple of scarecrows or an earth-tone door wreath may do, putting a little more effort into front-door décor makes more of a statement.

“The front entryway sets the tone for what is inside the house,” said television personality and entertaining expert Christy Rost. “It welcomes your family and friends long before they enter the front door. It adds a touch of warmth to the entire home.”

She often does start her entryway decorations with a wreath — but it must be oversized in her book, even if the door she’s working on is narrow or small.

“When you add a touch of personality and décor to your front door, it’s fun for those who pass by and those who enter.” — Christy Rost

“An oversized wreath adds greater visual impact and can make a door appear a little larger,” she said. “Rather than using one garland, fill the wreath; it creates a lush background for whatever you do.”

She layers her handmade wreaths with multiple silk garlands, adds one or two larger pumpkins or pinecones — as opposed to dotting tiny elements throughout — and then employs two or three different types of wide ribbons to create a multi-dimensional bow. At least one of her bows includes metallic glimmers, which provide an extra sense of light reflection — an important factor as the amount of daylight shortens.

“That little bit of shine does a lot to add greater impact,” she said. “Anytime you can add a touch of shimmer to your décor, it creates a sense of luxury.”


Grounding your front entryway with festive patio décor extends the sense of warmth and cheer.

“Adding yellow, orange, red or rust-colored flowers in interesting, textured pots and vases is a great way to not do the typical fall clichés like scarecrows, pumpkins etc.,” said Vessi Vlasseva, showroom manager at Worth Home.

Rost replaces summer geraniums in clay pots with freshly cut fir branches from her yard, allowing them to cascade out of planters. She also might add metallic garland atop the planters and fir. Then, she spices up the typical pumpkin scene with variations, like a 24-inch-high copper pumpkin, designed to add more shine.

A modern take on pumpkin carving involves making Chinese or paper lanterns. Chinese lantern kits, designed to be eco-friendly, are an inexpensive way to light up an entryway.

“Making paper bag cutouts with a candle is a great substitute for pumpkins, and it’s less messy,” Vlasseva said.

She also likes to place faux fur or alpaca throws on front porch furniture to make it more inviting.

“That is a great way to add texture and a bit of fall coziness to the cooler weather, while still enjoying the outdoors,” she said. “A ladder is a great way to store the blankets and throws outside — or inside — the home.”


An oversized wreath sends an initial welcoming message, but surrounding it by outlining the doorframe with layers of silk and metallic garlands spreads the luxurious big hug.

Rost recommends extending garland beyond the frame of a small door to make the door appear larger and give it more impact. With large doors, she layers garlands thickly, creating “an incredible sense and appearance of luxury and excitement,” she said.

Since most garlands come in 9-foot lengths, she begins in the middle of the upper doorframe and uses three garlands on each side, allowing them to hang down. Since fall garlands tend to be darker, she adds metallic silk leaf garland to reflect light and then inserts bright, silk maple leafs, red berries and ribbon. She collects pinecones from her yard and wires them into the garland or adds clusters of wheat, Indian corncobs or small gourds purchased from the local market.


Autumn garland and porch decorations form the base for seasonal decoration throughout Thanksgiving. September lends itself to the reds, oranges and yellows found in changing aspens and bushes. Bushels of apples and other harvests are appropriate accessories to usher in the season.

In October, themes take on a spookier slant, so Rost changes her wreath ribbon and adds ghostly touches, as well as a bit of scarecrow and pumpkin décor. Late October is the time to thrill trick-or-treaters, who may knock upon your door, with haunted and spidery themes.

On Nov. 1, brush away the goblins, clear the cobwebs and prepare for a festive Thanksgiving by representing abundant harvests, through bails of straw, planters with chrysanthemums, pumpkins of all different shapes and sizes, as well as lemons, apples and other fruit, which provide a sense of abundance and pop of color.

“Everything gets amped up — more gold, more sparkle, more shine,” Rost said, regarding her Thanksgiving décor (both inside and out).

She suggests intertwining tiny white lights into the doorframe garland, which illuminate Thanksgiving’s copper, bronze and gold tones.

“It’s really important to project a sense of welcome to your home,” she said, “and, when you add a touch of personality and décor to your front door, it’s fun for those who pass by and those who enter.”

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