Our amazing summer in Victoria BC is coming to an end, and if you’re anything like me, you’re not quite ready to pack up your patio furniture, accessories & remove all of your plants & flowers. Unlike my friends in Calgary (who have already experienced snow this September!) – there will still be many days over the next few months when we can enjoy our outdoor spaces here in Victoria.
Here are 3 easy backyard style ideas to bring indoor comforts and warmth to your outdoor space for fall: COLOUR, COMFORT & CONVERSATION!
The arrival of fall means you can extend the enjoyment of colours by using plants that actually love the fall & its cooler temperatures. Using Asters & Chrysanthemums in colours of bronze, deep red & orange/pumpkin, along with green kale & grasses, planted in your favourite pot that adds to the flavour of fall. Don’t forget the pumpkins for a seasonal splash of orange!
Comfortable seating: If you haven’t already purchased outdoor furniture, now is a great time to purchase furnishings at a discount – just in time to still enjoy your fall days and evenings on your patio!
In the past, patio furniture often consisted of a big table with a huge umbrella, in the middle, with half a dozen chairs around it. Now today, you step onto some folks decks & patios & you might think that you have just walked into their living room. The trend is for your outdoor area to become an extension of your cozy indoor living space. You will see cushy all-weather sofa sectionals, thick cushion arm chairs and ottomans where you can rest your feet and also store blankets & cushions. Local Oak Bay store Dig This carries a beautiful line of outdoor furniture from Ratana. Imagine curling up with a hot chocolate and a good book on any of these couches… This is not your Grandma’s wicker furniture!
Other nice touches include decorative outdoor lights and stylish outdoor carpets to pull it all together. The outdoor space does not necessarily need to have the same look as your interior, however, it should be co-ordinated in some way, with style, colour or theme to create a natural flow between the two spaces.
Staying warm: A great option to keep your patio warm & comfortable is with an outdoor fireplace. There are some great electric fireplaces that create a warm glow and warm heat. Learn more about the use of electric outdoor fireplaces from this great article from HGTV: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/outdoor-electric-fireplaces If you don`t have a sheltered backyard area close to an electrical outlet, another option to consider is a propane fire pit like these ones currently for sale from the Home Hardware Oak Bay [$99]
If a fire pit is just not an option – here’s a super affordable tip for entertaining in cooler weather: Offer your guests disposable heat wraps. Lower back heat wraps from Thermocare are placed around your waist under your shirt, and will keep you warm for up to 8 hours! You can find these at most drug stores in Victoria.
Serve warm comfort food: One more way to keep your guests comfortable is to serve warm food! There are two great local Vancouver Island companies who have super affordable, delicious & easy to make soups – Snowdon House Gourmet, as well as Mitchell’s Soups .
If you still need to feel cozy & warm, throw on your favourite blanket, sip on a hot toddy, cuddle up with your honey, children or animals & a great book! And, don’t forget to look for the stars!
Chilling out with good company is always a welcoming idea especially after a stressful day. And to do this, you must create a space that naturally lends itself to conversation. Start by placing all of your patio furniture on top of your outdoor rug. If you have a fire pit – place it in the center of your comfortable seating, and people will naturally gather around to visit. All this creates a more intimate atmosphere where family & guests can feel comfortable & relaxed. Now, let the great conversations begin!
Did you find any of these backyard style ideas helpful? Please let me know! I would love to hear from you in the comments below. And I look forward to receiving my invites to your fall parties!
Carell-Ayne Whalen is a style expert and professional home stylist and stager in Victoria, BC who helps her clients refresh their living space to create a home where they enjoy spending time, and feel proud of, without breaking the bank. You can learn more about her here: http://simplystagedtosell.ca/about-carell-ayne/