How to Style Pumpkins on Your Steps


October 9, 2023

As the temperatures in Nashville begin to cool down, and the days become shorter, I’ve gradually started adding fall décor touches from the inside out. It is truly my favorite season of the year – the color palette, the smells, the crisp air, the food, sweater weather and all around general coziness. And something I’ve grown to love is styling pumpkins on my front door steps.


This will be my fifth fall season in this house and I feel like I can finally say I’ve gotten the hang of how to style pumpkins on the front door steps. However, it was a journey to get here. Coming from my previous house, which had only one step, I was a little overwhelmed the first year and honestly I didn’t know what I was doing. My current house has five circular steps leading up to the door, with the hand rails angling out from the top. This angle creates some extra ground to cover when decorating and filling in “the stoop.”

Pumpkin Display At My Previous Home (simpler times!)

simple fall porch decor

Pumpkin Paralysis

The first few years, I remember looking at so many inspirational photos of beautifully styled steps on pintrest, only to arrive at the pumpkin stand and immediately feel completely overwhelmed upon seeing all of the shapes, sizes and endless choices. I don’t have photos of the first couple years, but I can say they were rough.

After some trial and error over the past couple years, I’ve found implementing styling techniques that I use in every day design has helped me tackle how to style pumpkins on the front door steps. If you face the same overwhelm that I once did, I hope that this post will serve as a thought starter for you, or at the very least will help making styling pumpkins on your front door steps a fun experience and not an anxiety ridden one!


Helpful design tips for styling pumpkins on steps

  • Start Big – place your largest item(s) first and work backwards from there. Every year I get at least one monster pumpkin and place it on a lower step. I also love to buy mums each season and enjoy placing those in large pots flanking either side of the front door. These are examples of larger items to start with.
  • Be Odd: place things in groups of three’s or five’s or even seven’s. This design rule in general is usually more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Vary the size, shape and height: Too many big items look too uniform and too many small items can look cluttered. Work to pair gords with traditional pumpkins. Place little pumpkins with medium and large pumpkins. Create a pumpkin tower of three different pumpkins of different colors. Mix it up!
  • Mix textures and colors: too much of the same looks unnatural, while mixed pairings create more visual interest for the eye. I love different colored pumpkins! Mix white, green and orange pumpkins together. Pair a smooth pumpkin with one that has nubs all over it.

New for this year

Each year I’ve lived here I’ve visited a local farmer’s stand nearby and have picked up a trunk full of pumpkins for my front steps. And I mean a TRUNK FULL! What’s even crazier is that I wish I could buy even more and really make these pumpkins spill all over the front steps!

Last year, as I handed over my credit card and quietly gulped at the total, I told myself that I’d look into adding some faux pumpkins into the mix. I spent a few months hunting for the right ones, but I will say the ones that I found were worth the hunt! Can you tell which ones are faux? (hint: two of the three are in this photo below)


If the faux pumpkins end up working out, I’ll buy a couple each year and slowly build up a little collection. So while my trunk this year was still quite full, the load was lightened a little bit. I’ll do a full review at the end of the season and share how they’ve held up. One thing’s for certain: they’re squirrel proof!

To close out the front step styling, I added a simple burgundy wreath for the front door. Earlier this spring I bought the same wreath but in a pretty green, and it held up outdoors in the elements. It actually still looks brand new!


Once I decorate for fall, it runs through Thanksgiving until I’m ready to put up Christmas decor. With that said, I tend to lean into a much more neutral decor style and focus more on the color palette of oranges, burgundies, browns and deep greens where I can versus the traditional black and orange Halloween decorations. But that’s the beautiful thing about design – it’s objective and there is no right or wrong. Whatever speaks to you is what you should follow. Right now, all of this is speaking to me and I’m snuggling up to it.

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