Festive Fall Etiquette: Create a Warm, Welcome Home

My front door this fall…

Your guest’s warm welcome experience begins before he or she even walks through the front door. In the spirit of fall, I’m sharing a few special details that you can easily incorporate into your fall front door (and beyond) to make visitors feel like guests of honor in your home during this festive time of year.

Tips that say “Welcome to my home”:

1.      Adorn your front door with a festive wreath.  Also, make sure your front door has a fresh coat of paint and is free of dust and scratches.  I personally love my black door but have had a red door and a green door and have enjoyed them all. Be sure to check with your neighborhood home association before running out and buying several gallons of paint.

2.      Keep your lawn as well manicured as your nails.  Just because the heat of summer has passed doesn’t mean you should put lawn maintenance on hold until next year.  There are always things to be done in the yard, including raking leaves, planting shrubs and trees, edging along the driveway and sidewalk, watering the mums by the mailbox, and more.  A neat and well cared for lawn shows you take pride in your home.

3.      Think orange! One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkins. Display your colorful mums, pumpkins and fall decorations on your front porch, entry way, fireplace mantel or anyplace else that will catch your guest’s attention.  If you don’t have a pumpkin patch nearby (and I don’t), your local grocer will have a fabulous array of gourds and pumpkins for your picking pleasure. Add them to your grocery list with your milk, bread and pumpkin puree.

4.      What message is your welcome mat sending? Look at your shoes.  If you are standing on a worn out summer mat, start moving towards your garage or wherever you keep your fall mat. On your next shopping trip, look for a new welcome mat.  I like to change mine in the fall and then again before the holidays.  It’s an inexpensive and fun way to greet guests!

5.      Dress up your foyer.  A pretty table with a few seasonal touches and a scented candle is always inviting.  In the market for a vintage chic credenza but not sure where to start? There are plenty of DIY tips online (like this one) to give you the look for less if you’re feeling handy.

6.      Swap out decorative pillows.  Looking to incorporate some fall polish into your living room, but not sure where to start? Adding a few decorative pillows to your seating area will freshen things up.  A fall floral arrangement for your coffee table will do the trick, too.

7.      Festive beverages set the tone.  By festive, I don’t necessarily mean liquor! Instead, think apple cider and cozy hot chocolate.  Or, be adventurous and make a pumpkin spice latte.

The role of a good host is to welcome her guests with a smile, a warm and comforting environment and loads of great conversation. Festive fall etiquette will help you create a warm, welcoming space for your guests to enjoy!

Happy fall!


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.

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