Now that fall is officially upon us, days are gradually getting shorter and evenings chillier. That doesn’t mean that you should stop enjoying time outside on your deck. On the contrary, this is the perfect time to take advantage of any nice weather, revel in the fall colors and breathe in as much fresh air as possible before winter sets in and confines us indoors.
• Start out by giving your deck, patio or porch a good sweeping and washing to clean off the dust, dirt and cobwebs that may have accumulated over the spring and summer. The furniture could probably be wiped down too, while you’re at it. If your deck is worn out and not worth getting it all set up for fall, this is a great time of year to have your deck builder come out and give you a fresh start.
• If you depend on your trees and plants to give you privacy around your deck, you may need to create privacy in other ways once their leaves start to drop. You can set up an outdoor privacy screen or reconfigure the furniture in your lounging area to form a more intimate and private setting.
• It’s easy to cozy things up with cushions and throws. Use weather-resistant fabrics unless you plan on bringing cushions and blankets in every night or unless you have a weatherproof storage box that you place them in to keep them dry.
• Even a hammock is enjoyable at this time of year if you bring out a blanket. Look up and enjoy the color of the leaves on the trees.
• Place outdoor space heaters around the seating areas. If you have a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, now is the time to clean out the accumulated ashes from the summer and make sure the wood box is full.
• Change out your decor for more seasonal items. Lanterns, gourds and earth-tones are good for setting a cozy fall mood. Since your garden may no longer be the showstopper that was is in the summer, you may need to create a focal point to replace what is no longer in season. Potted mums are a lovely way to add color to a deck or patio at this time of year.
• Since days are getting shorter and quality of light is changing, consider making changes to your outdoor lighting. Choose your lighting according to how you use each area of the deck or yard and how much light is required for that area. Add candles, lanterns, outdoor lamps and landscape lighting for ambiance. You can also place light pucks or strands of light under handrails, deck railing or stairs. A spotlight above the grilling area is helpful so you’re sure your dinner is cooked to perfection.
If you don’t yet have a great patio, porch or deck that calls you outside to enjoy the season, it may just be time to get working on your next home improvement or call in a professional deck builder to get it done so that you can sit back and enjoy the fall colors and refreshing evenings.