Most of us aren’t quite ready to hibernate for winter quite yet — the crisp sunny days and long, cool evenings are great for enjoying our outdoor spaces. The must-have for this is a fire pit.
These come in two main types: permanent ones of brick or stone that are built in place, and the pre-made kind you can get at the store. These portable fire pits, which may burn wood or gas, make sense for people who are renting or don’t want to install one permanently.
“A fire pit is a great investment,” says Heidi Techner, director of the interior design program at Harcum College. “Not only can you enjoy the warmth and light of the fire, you can roast hot dogs and marshmallows with the kids.”
Of course, you want your deck or patio look great during the daytime also. “Take those now-straggly petunias out of their pots and replace them with some mums,” Techner advises, “or plant mums or ornamental kale in your flowerbeds.”
Pumpkins make handsome seasonal decorations as well — they can last several weeks if they’re intact. “Buy your Halloween pumpkin early,” Techner suggests, “and put it out on your porch until it’s time to carve it.” A cluster of pumpkins and gourds looks great next to your front door.
You can also bring the outdoors in. “Accessorize with fall’s found objects such as pine cones, chestnuts and dried leaves in decorative containers or across a mantle,” Matthews suggests. “Arrange branches and turkey feathers in a tall glass vase filled with bird seed for an inexpensive sculptural element that will last through Thanksgiving.”