For our family, Summer 2020 has become The Year of the Patio. Any socializing we have done, even with family, has been in our outdoor space to minimize the risk of covid infection for our son with Down Syndrome. In a lot of ways, its been a fun year of discovering the birds, plants, and animals that inhabit our backyard and the simple pleasures of the sunshine and fresh air. But now that the season is coming to an end, we, like many others, are wondering how we can maximize our time in our outdoor space and make it more usable into the fall.
Here are a few ways to make your deck, patio, or backyard space more functional in cooler weather so you can continue to get as much use out of it as possible.
- Upgrade outdoor lighting.
As the days grow shorter and shorter, I’ve enjoyed all the lighting we have on our patio. We have two sets of vintage-style string lights running along the pergola and amber glass lanterns in the garden and along the house. All this lighting provides enough illumination to comfortably socialize even when night falls. Candle lanterns are a great alternative for portable lighting.
2. Add an outdoor heat feature
Consider adding a source of heat to your outdoor space. This could be extremely simple, like a firepit built from landscape stones, or it could be extremely elaborate, like a whole outdoor fireplace. A nice cozy, warm spot will extend your backyard usability into the autumn months. Right now, we have a small portable firepit that gives us a little extra warmth on a chilly night. A fire table with a seating area would be a terrific addition!
3. Add comfortable furniture
An outdoor sofa with plenty of space offers lots of options for outdoor enjoyment. This patio features an outdoor coffee table to enjoy a hot beverage and snack or just put your feet up and enjoy nature.
4. Add a great outdoor cooking option
When you have a terrific outdoor cooking area, spending time out in the fresh air into the fall months is a lot more fun. Imagine taking a few steps outside your back door and cooking up something delicious on an outdoor griddle! My young adult kids recently purchased this amazing Cuisinart grill and have been raving about it ever since!
5. Bring out the blankets and pillows
When the weather turns chilly, make sure to have plenty of blankets on hand for outdoor get-togethers. An outdoor storage all-weather wicker storage chest for the patio is a great solution. We always have some wool blankets like this beauty from Pendleton wool around in case the weather suddenly gets cooler.
The weather so far this fall has favored us, and last night we were still cooking and eating outside on the patio at the very end of September. Let’s hope it continues for awhile!