Just because summer has come and gone doesn’t mean we cannot continue to enjoy our outdoor living spaces. Cool fall breezes, changing colors and clear crisp nights bring a certain ambiance to those outdoor rooms we enjoyed all summer long. From Friday night campfires to Monday night football, a few simple tweaks and your outdoor living room will be the talk of the neighborhood.
During the summer months outdoor living requires optimal air flow and the use of shade to create comfortable ambient temperatures. However as the weather cools, keeping air flow to a minimum while taking advantage of the sun’s warmth as it sits lower in the sky is a necessary step for maximum enjoyment. If you have southern exposure, use it to your advantage and reposition seating arrangements so they bask in the warm autumn sun. North facing living spaces may necessitate the use of infrared heat lamps, outdoor fireplaces or freestanding fire pits to keep the thermostat set to comfortable. In addition, swap out those airy summer fabrics for richer, more substantial pillows and throws to lend an air of coziness to your space. Add a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a good book- or a cold draft and a great game- and you’re set to enjoy the best fall has to offer.
The summer of 2012 saw color trends in aqua blue, carrot orange, vibrant gold and cool papaya. For fall, think plum purple, burnt umber, steely gray and earth brown. Changing out landscape foliage as well as outdoor pillows and cushions, sets the stage for the change in season. The rich, deep, three dimensional shades of fall also echo the changes mother nature has in store as the leaves change color and the sky loses its hazy summer fog and becomes deep and crisp with the harvest moon.
Speaking of color, lets talk camouflage. In the fall, outdoor living spaces no longer have the luxury of resting against the summer’s lush green shades. Instead, they must stand on their own yet continue to blend naturally into the surrounding landscape. To accomplish this blend mix natural wicker and wood with stone and brick accents. Wrought iron can seem cold and bare against a bare fall landscape. While the cemetery aesthetic is fun for Halloween, its not so fun for toasting marshmallows.
Gone are the days of endless twilight. Here are the days of daylight…daylight…daylight… BAM! Dark. Here’s a little bit of science. The sun sets fastest around the autumnal equinox because of the angle in which it hits the horizon. That means you have virtually zero time to prepare for night. Get ahead of the game and make sure your outdoor living space is lit with natural light in the form of candles or lanterns, or install landscape lighting that comes to life with the setting sun so you won’t be caught scrambling for the matches or the light switch at this most beautiful time of day.
Comfort is an all inclusive category. Its every little detail that makes your outdoor living space ideal for fall enjoyment. From the glowing embers of an outdoor fire, to the soft piling of a cozy throw, to the ideal position of your favorite lounger in front of the flat screen mounted in that perfect corner, comfort is the name of the game. You can amp up the comfort factor by adorning your space with familiar and meaningful objects. Framed photos, sports memorabilia and other decorative accents go a long way in personalizing indoor spaces, why not use them outdoors as well? Outdoor kitchens bring entertaining to a whole new level. Even pool areas can be enjoyable in cooler months. The water may be chilly, but the mood will be toasty warm.