As the days grow shorter and the nights get cooler, many homeowners are preparing to welcome the new season. But just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean outdoor fun has to end, too. Read on for a roundup of five backyard lighting tips aimed at helping you expand your living space by making the most out of your outdoor areas this fall.
1. Consider How You’ll Use the Space to Formulate a Lighting Plan
As daylight hours dwindle, outdoor lighting is a practical consideration. Simply put, a well-lit backyard, porch, or patio is more usable than one without illumination. As with interior lighting, the best outdoor lighting plans incorporate a mix of the three basic types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. For ambient lighting, think hanging chandeliers and pendants, post lights, and exterior wall lighting. For task lights and accent fixtures, think pathway lights, security lights, and spotlights.
The size of your outdoor space and your plans for how you’ll use it should directly inform the type of lighting you’ll need. For example, if you plan to do lots of cooking, eating, and entertaining outside, you’ll need different lighting than if you’re planning on using your porch, patio, deck or other exterior space primarily for rest and relaxation.
One last thing to keep in mind? A beautifully lit porch or patio is wonderful, but don’t forget about the importance of outfitting the rest of your yard with appropriate landscape lighting. In addition to being a safety imperative that helps friends and family members navigate to and from your exterior gathering areas, landscape lighting also contributes to the ambiance of your home and boosts curb appeal.
2. Use Lighting to Set the Mood
Speaking of ambiance, outdoor lighting isn’t just about functionality; it also supports the look and feel of a space. Outdoor chandeliers, outdoor wall lights, outdoor hanging lanterns, and other fashionable lighting elements provide essential illumination while setting the mood for al fresco activities. The best part? Today’s lighting leaders like Genie House Lighting are creating high-quality fixtures with the potential to truly enhance and elevate your outdoor living spaces.
Finding the right balance of form and function when creating your outdoor lighting plan is important. If you introduce lighting that’s too bright or harsh, you’ll risk ending up with a space that feels sterile and uninviting. Meanwhile, if you use too little light, you could compromise functionality while also missing out on an opportunity to achieve the desired vibe through lighting.
A mix of light fixtures also lets you adjust lighting depending on the occasion. Hosting a game night or family meal? More lighting may be necessary. Planning a more intimate soiree? Less light will set a more dramatic, romantic scene.
3. Swap Out Cool Summer Shades for Warm Fall Colors
Just like summer itself, the hues of the season are often bold and splashy. From invigorating aqua to sunny yellow and hot pink, these shades are light, bright, and fun. As summer transitions into autumn, however, nature’s color palette warms and softens. Matching your backyard’s color scheme to the burnt hues of the season is a simple yet significant way to spice up – literally! – your outdoor living environment. A few of our favorite fall hues include vibrant oranges, rustic reds, and golden yellows.
One tip interior decorators rely on? Stick with neutral colors for larger pieces like furniture, then swap out accessories through the changing seasons.
4. Keep Things Cozy
After the sweltering heat of summer, there’s nothing better than being outside on a cool fall night – if you’re not freezing, that is. We’ve already addressed lighting, which helps warm things up. Other stylish comfort elements include area rugs, pillows, and blankets. Investing in a storage box or woven basket for these textiles adds charm while also creating easily accessible storage. Just make sure to seek out weather-resistant materials to ensure they’ll hold up to the elements.
Speaking of keeping things cozy, one of our favorite fall outdoor decorating elements is a fire pit. Not only do they generate warmth and light, but they’re also natural gathering spots and focal points. If a fire pit isn’t possible in your space, a portable propane heater can also do the trick.
5. Go Green…and Orange, Yellow, and Red
We often think of flowers as the domain of spring and summer, but fall flowers are stunning and can have a major impact when it comes to sprucing up your outdoor space for fall. In addition to adding to your autumn-inspired color scheme, refreshing planters and window boxes with seasonal flowers, such as pansies, chrysanthemums, and goldenrods, creates another element of visual interest. Of course, nothing says fall flair quite like festive pumpkins and gourds.
Another decorator trick? Incorporating different sized planters at various levels to create a wash of eye-popping color.
Just because words like “summer” and “outside” are synonymous doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy everything nature has to offer when temperatures drop. These five tips can help you design and bring to life a fall-friendly outdoor space that you’ll continue to enjoy well into autumn and beyond.