Haeley Giambalvo of Design Improvised, a lifestyle blog dedicated to family, DIY decor, and entertaining, has come up with a few ways for us all to extend the enjoyment of our outdoor living room this fall. Her new outdoor family room is prepped for cooler weather and a lot of fun family memories — and yours can be, too.
Our family of four moved from downtown Chicago to the suburbs of San Antonio in July. The move brought many changes for us, but perhaps one of the best changes has been our first-ever backyard and patio!
Our outdoor space has been one of my favorite parts of our new home and I’ve tried to spend some time in the backyard daily with my daughters, who are two and four. However, our patio has remained empty as the summer months have been slipping away. Thankfully, hayneedle.com had everything we needed to help us maximize our outdoor space and enjoy it long into the fall – from the comfy sectional for watching football to the forks for roasting marshmallows!
Cozy Up to Fall Fun
Rather than being holed up indoors, we kicked off the start of the football season by lounging on our new wicker sectional to watch TV, making s’mores, and playing a little family cornhole.
I’ve dreamed of our patio serving as an additional, inviting living space that we can use throughout most of the year in San Antonio. I love this all-weather wicker sectional conversation set, not only because of the comfy sectional feel but because you can purchase additional armless and corner pieces to create any size and layout you want. I chose two additional armless pieces and one corner piece to get the look I wanted for our patio.
5 Steps for Creating an Outdoor Living Room
Here’s how I outfitted the rest of our outdoor space to make it one of our favorite spots to spend time as a family, along with some easy tips to help you to extend the use of your own outdoor space this fall.
Mix it up by swapping in some new pillows and container plants in fall colors.
Give your outdoor furniture a quick fall makeover by adding a fresh set of pillows like these butterscotch-colored throw pillows. They don’t necessarily have to be outdoor pillows if your space offers some protection from the elements and direct sunlight.
Around this time of year, I also love to swap out my fading summer annuals for some pretty fall color and more cold-tolerant plants. I filled these planters with tall grasses and fall-colored coleus that will be easy to maintain and bring some softness to our patio throughout the fall.
Store a couple warm throws outside to make for an extra-cozy feel and encourage lingering as the temps get colder.
Choose a soft & warm throw blanket that is big enough for two and makes your outdoor space as cozy as lying on the family room couch. The coffee table that came with our sectional set offers the perfect amount of storage for a couple throws and extra pillows.
Invest in a fireplace or fire pit to add warmth during cooler nights.
An outdoor fireplace or fire pit can give you big bang for your buck by extending the use of your patio space for a couple more months. Plus, what’s more fun in the fall than roasting marshmallows over the fire?
If you have young children, a fireplace like the Red Ember Smokestack Fireplace with Cover is a nice alternative to a fire pit as it allows a little additional protection from an open flame.
My girls love their s’mores and had fun helping me put together a tray of some of their favorite treats – graham crackers, marshmallows, and a variety of chocolate bars and M&Ms. While they’re looking forward to many more nights of s’mores, I’m looking forward to cozying up with a glass of wine and a blanket in front of the fire this fall after we’ve put our kids to bed!
Add a storage bin to help corral outdoor gear and protect it from the elements. A deck box like this is a great addition to your patio throughout the year, both to help contain clutter and keep your outdoor gear protected from weather.
Any time you can find a piece that is multi-functional and beautiful at the same time, it’s a win-win! The Suncast Resin Wicker 99 Gallon Deck Box is exactly that. It has an impressive amount of storage and is able to contain all my girls’ yard toys and even tricycles. In addition, its woven design matches the look of the sectional nicely and it’s pretty enough to use as an additional food-and-drink serving space.
Encourage your family to spend time outside together by introducing a new lawn game.
Cornhole reminds me of tailgating, so what better time to play that game than during the fall? The Field Club Rosewood Stained Tournament Cornhole Set is beautiful and functional, with a helpful carrying case to keep it in when not in use. I love this kind of game because it’s easy to adapt for younger children. The girls love to throw the bean bags into the holes, so I like letting them get right up to the board and if they make one, have them take a step back and see if they can make another. Have fun mixing up the rules for your own family.