At the end of a hot summer, it’s hard to believe fall will ever return! But with kids back in school and temperatures on the verge of dropping, it’s time to start thinking about the changing of the seasons.
The end of summer doesn’t necessarily mean the end of outdoor living. With some adjustments to your porch or patio, you can keep enjoying the sunshine for months to come! Here are a few tips on how to continue reaping the benefits of your porch throughout the autumn.
Keep it cozy
Add some cozy textiles to your porch to encourage people to snuggle up. A few throw pillows and warm blankets on a bench will create a nook where you can curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.
If you have a dining set outside, also consider your chair material. Wood furniture stays comfortable to the touch in hot and cold weather. Poly lumber has the appearance of wood, but is made mostly of recycled plastics. It will also stay mild to the touch.
But metal chairs can get frigid, and sitting on a cold chair is no fun! If your chairs are metal, put thick cushions on them so guests have a barrier between their legs and the chilly seat.
The difference between a comfortable fall day and a chilly one is often the wind. If your porch had a barrier to cut the breeze, you’d be able to enjoy the fresh air for much longer.
No need for a time consuming and costly renovation to add screens or windows. Simply hang some heavy outdoor curtains around your porch to block the wind. You’ll make a snug haven where you can still enjoy the fresh air before it gets too cold.
If you don’t want to install curtains, you could also put up a folding screen on the windward side of your porch. Just make sure to put something heavy on the screen’s base so it doesn’t blow over.
Soak up the sun
If your porch gets sun in some parts and shade in the others, it may be time to rearrange the furniture.
Keeping your tables and chairs in the shade during the heat of summer makes sense. But when temperatures start to drop, move your seating to a sunnier spot where it will be warmer. Soak up the warm rays while you still have time!
Swap out dying plants
Planters full of dead and dying annuals don’t exactly cheer up your porch. Instead of leaving them to linger, pull the dead stems out and replace them with something fall-appropriate.
You could plant something evergreen so you’ll have something fresh growing year-round. Or if you want to keep your planters available for summer blooms, try something temporary. You could mound festive gourds and pumpkins in your planters, or a big pile of pine cones. Or you could put in an arrangement of brightly colored faux leaves and grasses.
Another benefit of this kind of temporary arrangement? It’s easy to swap out your fall planter decor with brightly colored balls and twinkle lights at Christmas time.
Heat it up
If you have a brick patio, a wood-burning fire pit provides a cozy gathering place for your family and friends. Put a ring of chairs around it with blankets and pillows where you can sip hot cocoa or mulled wine.
For those who like real wood logs but aren’t comfortable with an open pit, a chiminea may be a good choice. These small portable oven-like firepits are mostly enclosed. They also lift smoke up and away from your face, so you can pull up close to the heat source.
If your porch is made of wood, you may want to try an electric heater instead. There are versions that you can set on the ground or hang from the ceiling. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s requirements for clearances from roofs and walls! And electric heaters may not be safe in all weather conditions, so make sure to bring it inside when it’s not in use.
Heaters come in a variety of styles these days, from modern to rustic. So you can find something to fit any type of home.
Change the decor
While redecorating won’t make your porch any warmer, the fresh look can help put you in the spirit of the season.
Fall decor is all about warm yellows, oranges, and reds that mimic the colors of changing leaves. Add decorative autumnal produce in colorful groupings. Think orange pumpkins, yellow gourds, green and purple cabbages, and bowls of shiny red apples.
If orange pumpkins don’t work with your house colors, look for white instead. White pumpkins go with everything and look modern and sophisticated.
You can also add a fall wreath to your front door. You can buy one, or DIY your own for a fun project! Use all the fall colors for a classic look, or go monochrome for a more modern take.
It’s going to be a long winter, so don’t retreat inside before you have to. Make the best use of your porch throughout the fall season with some cozy blankets and festive decor.
Take in the smell of burning leaves and crisp cool mornings. Then grab yourself a toasty mug of cider and enjoy!