We all know that moment is coming… That first brisk breeze you feel in the evening, and you know Fall is right around
the corner. It’s already August! There are school supplies in stores where the patio furniture used to be! Not sure who
coined the phrase “endless summer”, but sadly, they lied.
The best summers usually involve hanging out with friend and family in the backyard, grilling, swimming, and talking. It’s
always a little sad when you pack up your patio area for the winter, knowing you won’t be spending much, if any, time
out there for the foreseeable future. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could prolong the amount of time we are able to spend
with friends and family in our yards or on our patios? How can we make our outdoor space cozy even after the weather
starts to turn?
Here are a few ideas…
Stock up on blankets and pillows
As the temperatures cool down, especially after dark, additional pillows and blankets are an absolute must. Not only will
they keep you cozy warm all night long, they are also a fun way to add additional color and texture to your outdoor
space. Don’t be afraid to have a couple blankets per person – you’ll use them! Just make sure the textiles you buy are
good for the outdoors. Pillows from brands like Sunbrella will hold up the elements and retain their color and shape.
Blankets may need to be brought indoors when not in use.
Increase your lighting
Now that the sun is setting earlier, more artificial light is needed; those candles on your dining table aren’t going to cut it
anymore. It’s time to start getting creative with placing various light sources around your yard – multiple strands of string
lights, lanterns, torches, uplighting landscaping, and even outdoor lamps! The options are seemingly endless. If you have
electricity in your outdoor space already, you’re in luck, but even if you don’t, you’ve got options. Solar-powered lights
are better than ever before, and they can last all night provided they are sufficiently charged during the day (placed in
full sun for at least 6-8 hours). Just make sure you don’t add TOO much lighting. A couple of floodlights can drain all the
charm out of your yard in about 2 seconds. We’re not just looking for light; we’re creating a vibe.
Add an outdoor firepit or fireplace
In the fall, an outdoor fire element is a MUST. Ambiance AND heat – who could ask for more? And regardless of how
much outdoor space you have, there are options. If you’ve only got a small balcony, consider a tabletop fire bowl. A
propane firepit is perfect for a larger patio area. And if you’re really enthusiastic about outdoor living in the fall, a
permanent outdoor fireplace can be a dramatic and beautiful addition to your yard. Bonus: any fire element also brings
additional illumination after dark.
Consider getting a hot tub
Perhaps it seems a bit decadent, but who doesn’t enjoy a warm soak on a chilly night in your own private hot
tub? If you aren’t lucky enough have one of those classic spas integrated into a backyard pool area, there are still quite a
few attractive options for standalone hot tubs, and they can camouflaged in creative ways with plants or even a deck.
And if your budget doesn’t allow for a normal hot tub, there are even inflatable options! They may not be quite as
luxurious, but they are affordable, they’re not hideous (usually), and they work!
Add curtains to your pergola or patio enclosure
With fall comes slightly less idyllic weather. It gets cooler but it might also get a bit windy, and the best way to guard
against this is to add curtains to your pergola or patio enclosure. You might have already had curtains or shades up to
block the sun, but they can also block wind and hold in heat. If you didn’t already have them over the summer, now’s
the time to add them to your list of fall updates.
Get a couple patio heaters
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it must be said: patio heaters are the very best option for prolonging the use of
your outdoor space. Perhaps you’ve only seen or used them sitting outdoors at a restaurant, but there’s no reason you
can’t enjoy one at home as well. There are many options, some of which are more attractive than others. Some actually
have open flame, creating both heat and a visual fire element, and some are strictly more functional in nature. However,
any option is fine if it allows you to spend more time outside, right?