As our Hudson Valley evenings become cooler and nightfall inches earlier and earlier, you may be left longing for the long summer days outdoors. Luckily, you need not retreat back into your house at the first sign of reddening leaves this fall. Here are some handy hints to help you better prepare your backyard for the colder months ahead so you can continue to enjoy your outdoors spaces even as the temperature begins to drop.
Lighting is an essential feature in fighting off the early evenings of fall. Not only will a brighter environment let you keep entertaining after dark, it’ll also grant you the opportunity to customize the night time ambience of your outdoor areas. Lighting up key features in your outdoor spaces, such as trees or water features, will allow them to create visual interest, even after nightfall. Installing outdoor lighting fixtures into your boundary and retaining walls is also a good idea, as this maintains a sense of enclosure, providing psychological comfort to your family and guests. Good night-time lighting for your outdoor entertainment area is warm and gentle, bright enough to be able to cook and eat under, but soft enough to create a sense of comfort and intimacy.
A Fire Pit or Fireplace
Ideal for turning chilly fall evenings into an opportunity to gather with your friends and family, roast marshmallows, and enjoy an evening outside. A fire pit is perfect for larger gatherings and is ideal for extending the use of your patio or lawn into the colder months while a fireplace is cozier and more intimate. Fire pits are less expensive to install than fireplaces and provide a more rustic look and feel. While portable fire pits are always an option, permanent fire pit features can easily be added your backyard and are by far, (when designed and installed correctly) more beautiful than the portable versions. Either way, a fire pit or fireplace is sure to bring the joy of a campfire to your backyard. And what better way to celebrate the arrival of fall this year than with your own backyard bonfire? Related: Landscaping Tips To Make the Whole Family Happy.
Outdoor heaters are an excellent idea for patios and even outdoor kitchens where a fireplace is installed. While the heat from an outdoor fireplace is often focused, gas-heaters radiate heat evenly, ensuring that no guest is left excluded from the warmth (within the heated proximity). For homes with small children and pets, patio heaters are often a safer heating option than outdoor fires, as their height means they are kept well above the heads of little ones.
During summer, an open outdoor space is highly desirable, allowing free flow of fresh air and plenty of sunlight, but during the colder days, a more shielded space is sometimes necessary. Portable windscreens are ideal for blocking out the nippy evening breeze and enclose the heat from your fireplace or outdoor heating. Screens can be attached to the patio covering structure in the form of roll-out canvas or hanging screens (e.g. on a pergola). Alternatively, freestanding screens can be purchased and erected when the occasion arises. If a more permanent screening is something you’re looking for, a strategically placed tree or hedge is sometimes enough to take the bite out of the wind. Related: How Do I Get More Shade in My Backyard?