As Chapel Hill finally gets a reprieve from summer’s sweltering temperatures, the fall weather has the outdoors calling our names. To create a more inviting space the whole family can enjoy, check out these upgrades that can transform your backyard into your family’s favorite destination.
Pull Up A Chair
Comfortable seating is a must-have for your backyard. Before selecting any furniture, consider your space and how you like to use it. Do you want a comfy nook for reading, a spot to snuggle with the family dog, or a dedicated space for cocktails and conversation? Hammocks are a great option that can be strung between two trees for a shady retreat, but if getting in and out of one presents a challenge, check out these hammock chairs. To accommodate more than one person, day bed swings are a popular choice, and to save money you can even make your own. Rocking chairs are an outdoor staple that will have you swaying and sipping on sweet tea until the sun goes down. When selecting cushions or pillows for outdoor seating, look for fade-, mildew- and water-resistant fabrics that can stand the test of time, such as Sunbrella.
Find Some Shade
On hot and sunny days, the shade can feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler than being under direct sunlight. There are lots of options to add shade to your backyard to extend the time you’re able to spend out there comfortably. Shade sails come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and are very affordable and effective. If the sun shines directly into your screened-in patio, outdoor curtains can block the light and are easy to open and close. For a more permanent structure, you can build a pergola and then plant a fast-growing vine to fill in the gaps.
Add Some Cozy Accents
Lighting creates ambiance that invites you to spend time outside well into the evening hours. Outdoor bistro lights can be strung from your roof, trees or poles, and you can find a variety of styles and colors at home improvement stores, like Home Depot. To illuminate walkways, pathway lights can be staked in the ground or around any tripping hazards, and solar-powered models make installation a snap. Tiki torches are another great ambient light source, and they also help to keep mosquitoes away.
For a calming effect, try adding a small water feature, like a bubbler fountain, to bring in the relaxing sound of moving water. Fire pits will keep you cozy outside long after the sun has set, and you can find propane-powered versions that are economical and keep their placement flexible. If you love the smell of burning wood and want more of a campfire feel, try making your own stone fire pit.
Lastly, for pops of color, add potted plants with fall-hearty flowers like mums, ornamental cabbage and kale, and pansies.
With just a few special touches, your backyard can become a mini oasis where the whole family can gather. Enjoy the fall weather!