5 ways to prepare your outdoor living space for fall
(BPT) - While everyone eagerly waits for spring each year and wishes summer could last a month or two longer, when it comes down to it, fall just might be America's favorite season. It's warm but not hot, the air has that clean crispness that's hard to describe and perhaps the biggest draw, pumpkin-flavored everything. And let's not forget about all those bright, beautiful leaf colors that come with the change in weather. So why start shutting down your outdoor living space with the first sign of fall?
Packing it in early is something dynamic design duo, Colin and Justin, would never consider. The home improvement stars of "Cabin Pressure" and "Game of Homes" make the most of their beautiful Western Red Cedar deck all year around.
"Oh my gosh every single day, we're on the deck - whether it's summer, spring, fall, winter or whatever," says Justin. "A deck isn't just for three months of the year; a deck is what you want it to be. And if you love the great outdoors as much as we do, you can make it work."
Here, then, are Colin and Justin's top five design solutions to help extend your outdoor living well into the autumn months:
Start with the right deck
Just because you procrastinated, doesn't mean you need to wait until next spring to build or start designing a show-stopping deck. Whatever your plans, though, one thing almost everyone agrees upon is that there's nothing quite like the rich, textural warmth of a Western Red Cedar deck to create a beautiful all-season outdoor living space. Low maintenance, surprisingly affordable and easy to work with, Real Cedar can't be beat.
"We recommend getting your big ticket items first, around which you can seasonally adjust and tailor your look with different smaller and more affordable purchases," says Colin. "And with decks, it's worth investing in a really good product to start with like Western Red Cedar, which will last and last and last. Honestly, it just gets better with age, improving as the years pass, and it really is a showstopper."
Screen it in
Unless you've got a screened-in porch, you may still have to shield your outdoor living space from the occasional nippy breeze. For Colin and Justin, this is easily rectified with movable wicker screens that they store inside during the summer months.
"They've got a lovely weighty bottom to them," says Justin. "The wind passes right through them and that's a good tip for anyone using freestanding screens on the outside. If they're too solid, the wind can catch them. But if they're fretwork or open panels or cutout work, they're good."
Heat things up
Paradoxically, as the days grow shorter, you'll wish they would last longer. There's no more perfect way to cap off a perfect fall day than by sitting around a fire with friends and family.
"In the autumn, we have two propane operated fire bowls that sit smack dab in the center of our Western Red Cedar deck," says Colin. Their gas-powered fire is safely contained in a stone bowl and leaves no ashes or embers. "And those fire bowls help us stretch out our summer a little bit. We also have two big patio heaters, which we can direct inward at either end of our terrace and they really makes a big difference."
Bundle up with textiles
Sometimes all it takes to warm up your outdoor living space is some simple, yet chic, soft furnishings and yes, maybe even a change in wardrobe. (But don't worry - you don't have to say good-bye to your beloved flips flops, just "until we meet again next spring.")
"We take out lots of really lovely textural throw pillows and rich woolen blankets - think Pendleton and Hudson's Bay striped blankets - and we cozy up," says Justin, adding, "And don't forget your winter woollies. When the weather is changing, sometimes it's less about what you add and more about what you put on in terms of clothing."
Install a BBQ cover
If you're like Colin & Justin, you enjoy the thrill of the grill year round. This is where an easy-to-build, Real Cedar BBQ Cover really earns its keep. Made from nature's most resilient building material, this sturdy and beautiful structure is going to last you a very long time. Just think of all the cookout possibilities!
"We BBQ all the time," says Colin, "So we got a cover. That way we don't have to worry about weather."
For free downloadable project plans, visit RealCedar.com or for more fast facts on building with Real Cedar, download their free DIY app - available on the Apple App Store for iOS and at Google Play for Android.