Colder weather has hit Virginia, and shifting schedules pull many of us out of our backyards. But you still have plenty of time to enjoy the autumn season on your Virginia deck, complete with the right accessories to make your space attractive and comfortable. Check out these tips and spend the coming months outside in the fresh air of your own outdoor living space.
Tip # 1 – Let the Sunshine In
It’s important to provide an area of shade in your backyard, and that space often falls on or near the deck. We shift our focus during the autumn months. Instead of hiding from the sun, we welcome those warm rays with upturned faces and open arms. Consider how you can expose your deck or patio to more sunlight by removing or simply moving your shade structures.
Permanent shade structures, like a covered roof, may provide less flexibility. Think about extending the deck surface beyond these structures and allow your family to enjoy the fleeting warmth.
Tip # 2 – Chase Away the Cold Shadows With Heat and Illumination
Certain Virginia deck features help to chase away the crisp temperatures of autumn mornings and evenings. Look for end-of-season deals on patio heaters and set up a cozy corner on your deck. Be sure to provide a safe, sturdy base for the heater and keep plastics and other soft materials away from direct heat.
Low voltage deck lighting allows you to enjoy your outdoor space long into September and October nights. Install solar lighting posts or lanterns along the perimeter of your deck (often these lights look best in a border garden). Or ask your home improvement retailer about deck lighting packages that can be installed in the stairs, deck boards or railing posts. Find a style that works with your deck layout and budget and plan to spend time under the stars this fall.
Tip # 3 – Keep the Deck Surface Clean
Autumn leaves create a beautiful picture while still on the trees, but that blanket of damp leaves can also transform your deck surface into an unsightly mess. Be aware that fallen leaves also present a slippery surface. You’re best to clear them up on a regular basis, sweeping the fallen leaves off the deck or collecting them for the compost heap.
Cleaning up your deck surface makes the area more inviting. Enjoy dinner out on the deck or coffee on your favorite deck swing. Spend time simply unwinding in this clean and clutter-free space.
Tip # 4 – Evaluate Your Furniture
Sometimes furniture used in summer will not work as well in the fall. Wet cushions take longer to dry out and large umbrellas create too much shade for this time of year. Consider moving your patio furniture around to make better use of the space and capture more natural light.
Swap out summer cushions for something less absorbent or put your cushions away for the season and sit on the bare furniture. We often have more clothing on during the autumn, making it less uncomfortable to sit on bare patio chairs and benches.
By evaluating your furniture, allowing more sunlight onto the area, adding heat and illumination and keeping the leaves cleared away you can extend your outdoor enjoyment this season. Spend more time on your Virginia deck and make the most of every day that autumn brings.