September gives homeowners a break from summer’s harsh heat and allows them to enjoy outdoor spaces in milder temperatures. With a few simple updates, homeowners can easily convert their patios for an easy transition from summer to fall. Belgard Hardscapes recently talked with home design expert Jennifer Farrell who shared 10 tips for designing your outdoor space:

  1. Look for ways to maximize space planning in your backyard. Even small spaces can have enough room for dining, cooking and lounging with a little planning. It’s a great way to create more living space outside your home.
  2. If you’re in a water conserving area, consider using hardscape as ground cover, with drought-tolerant plants in clusters to add softness and visual interest. Succulents and other water-light plants are a great way to add pops of color and texture without draining your water.
  3. A great accent for outdoor entertaining is to decorate your dining table with backyard finds. Pinecones and rosemary have a festive autumn feel; and gold-painted leaves can add sparkly drama to a winter table.
  4. Treat outdoor lighting with the same attention as you would indoor lighting. Different styles and light sources can add excitement and functionality to outdoor spaces. Make stairs nighttime friendly with built-in paver lights; define your space with low-voltage lighting; or add a touch of bug-free ambiance with citronella candles.
  5. It’s easy to make your outdoor space evolve with the changing temperatures by adding new accessories. Use outdoor curtains as a great way to open or enclose a space as the weather changes; add warm, colorful pillows for fall; switch your accents to darker jewel tones and add a rich outdoor rug for a warm winter feel.
  6. Create a focal point for your outdoor area. A fire pit, fountain or sculpture can be the perfect centerpiece to anchor your space.
  7. Add a pop of surprising color. An orange planter, turquoise bench or even a yellow front door look great against earth-toned pavers.
  8. Mixing patterns and textures is a great way to spice up your outdoor space. Herringbones and stripes are hot trends, but are also classic and timeless.  
  9. If you’re creating an outdoor kitchen, don’t forget to add storage space for dishes and glasses. An extra set of shatter-proof dinnerware in your outdoor kitchen means fewer trips and less set-up time for entertaining.
  10. When creating your outdoor space, think ahead to weather for all seasons. A heater and fire pit for the winter means you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space in cooler months, while adding a shaded roof and water feature prepares for the next summer.