Outdoor Living: Design Ideas for Fall and Winter
The leaves are falling, the wind is picking up a lovely fall breeze, and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. The chilly season is starting to arrive and here in Arizona. That means we’re turning off our air conditioning and moving outdoors for cool nights with friends around warm fires. In the fall and winter, we bring life outdoors, where the cool air is perfect to barbecue, drink wine and have fun, easy parties. Not sure how to make your backyard friendly for guests this fall? Try these 7 easy tips below to ready your outdoor space for these comfortable fall and winter desert evenings.
1. Pretty Lighting
This is the first step to setting the outdoor mood. String lights are available in many different sizes, shapes, and colors and can be customized to create the perfect backdrop for a date, a relaxing evening or even a special party. String lights are also generally inexpensive and are an easy way to create instant romance. Remember that multiple strands are the prettiest and most romantic. Try them around beams, over posts, or dangling through a pergola.
2. Paper Lanterns
Depending on how windy it is where you live, paper lanterns are a beautiful way to add festivity to your outdoor living space. They come in all shapes and colors and can be LED or battery operated to provide a bit of soft lighting. Paper lanterns can also be used to compliment the colors you’re using in your party. Neutral-colored lanterns, for example, work well with wooden or bamboo outdoor furniture. Bright lanterns are perfect for parties while white lanterns are beautiful for outdoor weddings or anniversary ceremonies.
Hanging simple pendants takes a little know-how, such as how to hide wiring or where to plug them in. However, there are LED pendants out there and a few DIY mason-jar versions that work for more rustic settings. Simply make sure all wiring is hidden, unless it plays a part in the rustic look. Also, be careful of candle pendants – they can be beautiful, but require oversight so as not to be a fire hazard.
A stunning chandelier can make a huge difference in the life of your outdoor living space. One beautiful chandelier is a conversation piece and can provide enough lighting to make the space comfortable and warm. If it snows or rains heavily where you live, make sure the chandelier is made for the outdoors. Especially if you’ve made an investment, you do not want to a ruin a well-made chandelier with an outdoor storm session.
A wool or bamboo rug beneath your outdoor furniture is a simple way to bring in pops of color and design to your outdoor space. Many times, outdoor spaces can become very dull or neutrally shaded, especially if they are covered with actual shade. Add a bright pop of color, whether it’s a rug or sofa cushions, to create the same fun, romantic mood that special lighting can. Orange, candy apple red, and golden yellow are all festive choices for fall. Designed to work with unique lighting, a bright rug can elevate a space so much you’ll never want to go inside.
Adding beautiful mirrors to your outdoor space is another simple way of bringing in brightness. Mirrors will reflect the lighting onto dark spaces and allow it to spread organically. In addition, there are many mirrors made specifically for the outdoors that come framed in beautifully designed rod iron or ceramic. Look for a mirror that fits your design aesthetic or that adds a little eclectic edge to your outdoor living look. Add a large mirror at the end of a table for a grand spectacle or smaller, less-noticeable mirrors to reflect light but not create distractions.
7. Lush Accents
Allow your outdoor living space to be just that – outdoors. Bring in container plants and allow a canopy of green to grow above your outdoor table. A trellis on the outside of your space can provide lush foliage and natural colors to the area. As much as you want to focus on making sure this space is comfortable, you also want you and your guests to feel that you’re enjoying beauty only nature can offer. Naturally, fountains and ponds bring in this feeling, too, but only plants and flowers can provide a feeling of natural radiance.
The tips above are generally affordable and easy ways to enhance your outdoor space for the fall and winter months. Make sure everything you put outside is weather resistant and comfortable. You wouldn’t want a storm to ruin your purchases. You also wouldn’t want a guest to be uncomfortable in cheap, flimsy furniture. Invest in the space you want to spend time in.