Monthly Archives: September 2015

9 Ways to Transition Your Patio or Porch from Summer to Fall

Fall is in the air.

From pumpkin spice lattes to crunchy fallen leaves, autumn is slowly hedging out summer and taking up residence in our hearts and our yards. Keep up with Mother Nature by outfitting your porch or patio with the rich colors, scents and textures of the season.

If you need a little inspiration to transition your patio or porch from summer to fall, take a look at these nine ideas that are sure to give you the friendliest, most autumn-themed home on the block.

1. Replace summer flowers with fall blooms and ornamental grasses.

When there’s a chill in the air it’s time for bright petunia blossoms to give way to hardy fall blooms like mums. Add extra texture to your fall porch by trading out summery clay or painted pots for more rustic containers made of wood or metal.

Ornamental grasses add another layer of interest and come with the bonus of being low-maintenance. Add them to mossy flower boxes or let them stand alone as sentries flanking the front door.

2. Trade out splashy summer colors for warm fall hues.

Summer is the perfect time for bright yellows and nautical blues, but nothing says fall like warm oranges and soft reds. Pack away beachy cushions and pillows and create an inviting outdoor space with a fall vibe by adding hues that echo the brilliance of fall foliage.

3. Add seasonal produce to your display.

You don’t have to go any further than the local farmer’s market or produce section to spruce up your fall porch. Everything from pumpkins and gourds to apples and brightly colored ornamental peppers can become part of a fabulous fall display. Make it a little bit country with bales of hay and the addition of dried corn stalks.

4. Create a warm glow with candles.

Give your bistro lights a break and warm up your porch with the cozy glow of candlelight. Add interest by mixing and matching unique candle holders. Place some candles in hurricanes and rest others on shabby chic pedestals. Amp up the fall vibe by throwing in a few candles scented for the season. Look for pumpkin spice, apple pie, and warm vanilla.

5. Replace a summery welcome mat with one suited to the season.

Embrace fall with a welcome mat that celebrates the turning of the leaves. Trade in summery scenes of the ocean and beach balls for images of fallen leaves, pumpkins or shiny, fall apples. If traditional designs aren’t your thing, consider a richly textured mat that echoes the season. Go natural; think cork, burlap or seagrass.

6. Add inviting furniture.

Now that the dog days of summer are over the temperature is perfect for lounging on your outdoor furniture. Make sure you have a cozy spot to sit while you greet the day with a hot cup of coffee or watch the sunset over a toasty mug of apple cider. Hunt flea markets for something rustic like a chair made from willow branches or a bench made of knotty pine.

7. Make it cozy by keeping blankets handy.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a crisp fall evening on the porch. But chilly nights require extra warmth. Make sure the chills are kept at bay by keeping a snuggly blanket nearby. If your porch is exposed to the elements, choose your fabric wisely. Make sure your favorite throw can stand up to temperamental fall weather before giving it a new home on the patio.

8. Welcome guests with a fall-themed wreath.

Herald the changing of the seasons with a fun, autumnal wreath. Trade out summer flowers and juicy colors for pumpkin-tinted berries and ribbons in rich chocolate. Consider weaving natural materials like raffia or burlap through a wreath ringed with Granny Smith apples or bright red cherries. Add chestnuts or acorns for extra texture. As long as you take your inspiration from fall’s bounty, you can’t go wrong.

9. Make it easy to transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving.

Create a fall porch that works as a backdrop for the upcoming holidays. Fall flowers and colors work for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. If you have a solid autumn landscape, it’s easy to customize for the holidays without having to start from scratch.

Add jack-o-lanterns or spooky silhouettes for Halloween. Welcome Thanksgiving with an overflowing cornucopia or a simple pillow embroidered with a word or message that evokes the gratitude of the season.

Say goodbye to the heat and sunshine of summer and embrace the crunchy, colorful days of fall with a porch or patio worthy of the season.

Which of these autumn tips are you going to try on your porch? Let us know in the comments!




3 fall backyard decoration ideas

Now's the time to start doing a little fall decorating around the house and in the backyard. The season offers a new color palette, theme and inspiration for outdoor decorations. Show off your appreciation for autumn this year with these fall backyard decor ideas:

1. Fire fixtures
Firepits are wonderful during fall because they create warmth for the chilly evenings spent outside. It's entertaining to sit around the fire at night and share ghost stories while roasting marshmallows over the open flame. Help spruce up this space a little bit by incorporating fall adornments. For example, set a bowl of cinnamon sticks and pinecones on a nearby table to burn. These will release an autumnal smell while you're outside and provide a quaint decoration for the side table.

Outdoor fireplaces are another fixture that should be used to create attractive fall arrangements. Use the mantle to lay out a variety of small gourds and pumpkins with a garland woven among them. Other objects that would go well with the season include Indian corn, pinecones, acorns and vintage candle holders.

2. Dining space
Having meals outside is always enjoyable, but give your guests a sense of the season by adding a fall-inspired centerpiece to your outdoor dining set. Find a short, rustic vase and fill it with fall flowers. Sprinkle a few acorns or cinnamon sticks around the base of the container for a little extra flare.

Fall-themed candle holders are another good centerpiece option. For this idea, either use some old candle holders of get about three glass containers. Place a pillar candle inside the container, and then fill it halfway with corn kernels. Again, add some embellishments around the bottom of the containers by strewing walnuts or leaves across the table.

3. Furniture cushions
Cover your patio dining chairs and other outdoor furniture in autumn colors by switching out the covers or replacing the cushions. The new wraps will go well with the table centerpiece and other fall decor you have in the backyard. Sitting in vibrant autumn colors like Cadmium Orange, Marsala and Oak Buff will make you want to snuggle into your outdoor rocker with a warm mug of cocoa or coffee and a good book.

Along with decorating the backyard areas mentioned above, make sure you top off the look by hanging a fall wreath on your back door. With all these decorations in place, you'll be ready to host any outdoor event this season.

Outdoor fireplace safety tips

Outdoor fireplaces are great additions to backyard settings, but although these fixtures create cozy environments, you still need to be careful when using them. Practicing fire safety is essential in any home that sports a fire pit or fireplace. Here are a few tips to follow for keeping you and your family safe:

1. Keep it small
Bonfires are fun to create, but they also increase the possibility of embers getting away from you. Keeping the fire pit materials low is important for this reason, but the same goes for the fireplace. If you have too many logs on the grate, one could accidentally roll off when the bottom ones start to break down. It's also more difficult to get these fires out at the end of the night because there is more material you have to disburse.

2. Clean the surrounding area
Your fireplace is outside, which means leaves and other debris are going to blow into the patio area where it sits. Before you light the fire, make sure you've swept all of these items away from the hearth. Leaving dry, flammable materials near the fireplace, like old leaves, creates an unnecessary fire risk. So, before you have a get together, take a broom to the area and thoroughly sweep it out.

3. Be prepared
You might be practicing safe fire tips like creating small fires and keeping the surroundings clean, but fire is unpredictable, so always be prepared. This means you'll want to keep a bucket of water or sand nearby in case an ember gets away from you. It also wouldn't hurt to have a fire extinguisher next to the patio space in case of emergencies.

4. Extinguish before leaving
When you're done outside, it's vital you make sure your fire is completely out before heading in for the night. Now, this doesn't mean dumping a little water onto the ashes and calling it good. Reduce the risk of uncontained fires by first spreading out the ashes, and then carefully pour some water over all of it. However, your job doesn't stop here. You'll want to monitor the fire for a few minutes to make sure there aren't any hot spots left. If there are, add a little more water. Make sure you're pouring the water slowly over the fire. Splashing it inside the grate will not only make a mess, but could potentially spray you with hot, muddy ash.

Cushions and Pillows are Key to Timeless ’60s Design Trends!

Clean lines, splashy colors, and bold patterns are the hallmarks of mid-century modern design. This crisp, open look is inspired by the bright, abstract expressionism of the 1960s. It’s no wonder that this stylized minimalism continues to reign 50 years later.

Whether your decorating style is contemporary or classic, there’s no easier way to update your home than with a few cues from the mad, mod ‘60s. If you’re ready to amp up your home’s style, here are some keys to capturing that fun, clean ‘60s look.


Splashy oranges, juicy greens and searing blues are trademark ‘60s colors. The mid-century palette draws from nature, looking to the earth, sea and sky for brilliant hues. You don’t need to go big to make an impact with these intense shades.

Add a fresh accent with bright cushions and pillows, an array of vases or jars in different shades of the same color or choose to make a bold statement with a teal or chartreuse retro chair. You don’t have to limit this trick to the interior of your house, either. Adding a dash of color can be just the thing to bring your tired patio to life.


Geometric patterns were everywhere in the ‘60s – adding a fresh, modern look to even the most boring space. You can capture some of that ‘60s aesthetic with a daring, geometric rug or ease into this fashionable look with smaller patterns on cushions and pillows, or even drapes.

Stick to patterns that contrast a deep or bright color against a neutral. Select a burnished orange rug with a white pattern or creamy pillows with a spring green accent. The patterns are bold enough to speak for themselves, so you don’t want to overwhelm the eye with a rash of bright colors on top of a striking pattern.


From velvet chairs to shag rugs, mixing textures is key to capturing the hip style we all fell in love with on “Mad Men.” It’s also one of the cheapest and easiest ways to give your digs a facelift. All you need to do is introduce one or two interesting textures into a room to change the overall feeling.

Mix a wooly, knitted throw with velvet or sackcloth pillows. Consider a burlap runner over a plain cotton tablecloth. Intermingle wooden furniture and accessories with iron, aluminum, or even retro fiberglass. The trick to mixing and matching textures is to follow your instincts. Contrast smooth and rough, soft and firm, and shiny and flat.


There’s no mistaking a mid-century sofa or cabinet. The lines are clean and shapes are either squared-off and boxy or rounded and abstract. Form meets function in a whimsical yet classic way. Just one piece that embodies the pure design principles of ‘60s décor can make a big impression.

Anchor a living room with a wonderful ‘60s sofa or start smaller with a funky accent table or retro chair. The beauty of mid-century design is that it blends seamlessly with so many other furniture collections. It’s easy to give a room a cool, hip vibe without having to toss all the furniture you already own.

Mid-century design is definitely making a comeback. Take hold of this fun, stylish way to give your home a lift. The jolt of an audacious azure side chair or the decadence of a lofty shag rug will have you (and your visitors) clamoring for a dry martini and some classic jazz.