Fall Backyard Bliss: Elevate Your Outdoor Space with 8 Design Tips


September 8, 2023


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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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As the sun begins its gentle descent and the leaves start to paint the landscape in shades of crimson and gold, we find ourselves at the cusp of a new season. While summer may be fading away, there’s no need for melancholy. Instead, let’s channel our excitement into the upcoming fall season and explore ways to transform your backyard into an autumn wonderland.

I’m thrilled to share eight design tips that will help you savor the beauty of fall before winter’s chill takes over.

Layer Textures for Coziness:
Fall is all about tactile experiences. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere by layering textures throughout your outdoor space. Think plush throws and cushions for seating areas, soft area rugs underfoot, and tactile table settings. Incorporate natural materials like wood, wicker, and stone to add depth and visual interest to your design.

Play with Earthy Colors:
Celebrate fall’s rich color palette by incorporating earthy tones into your backyard design. Consider warm hues like deep burgundy, mustard yellow, and rustic brown for your cushions, throws, and outdoor décor. These colors will harmonize beautifully with the changing foliage.

Make Use of Decorative Pillows:
Decorative pillows are a versatile and budget-friendly way to refresh your outdoor seating. Swap out your summer pillows for ones featuring fall-inspired patterns like plaid, leaves, or pumpkins. These small touches can instantly transform the look and feel of your outdoor furniture.

Craft a Rustic Dining Area:
Take advantage of the crisp fall evenings by setting up a rustic dining area in your backyard. Invest in a sturdy outdoor dining table and chairs, and adorn the table with autumn-inspired centerpieces. Don’t forget to add comfortable seating cushions to keep your guests cozy during long, leisurely dinners under the stars.

Accent with Seasonal Florals:
While some plants may be winding down for the season, others are just getting started. Incorporate vibrant fall blooms like marigolds, pansies, and ornamental kale into your outdoor planters and flower beds. These accents of color will infuse your backyard with a touch of seasonal charm.

Introduce a Fire Feature:
Nothing says fall like the crackling warmth of a fire. Consider adding a fire pit or a chiminea to your backyard design. These features not only provide heat but also create a captivating focal point for gatherings. Surround the fire area with cozy seating for the ultimate autumn retreat.


Hang Outdoor Art:
Extend your personal style to your outdoor space by hanging outdoor art or décor. Consider weather-resistant sculptures, wind chimes, or even a captivating outdoor mural. These artistic touches will add character and depth to your backyard design. Art belongs outdoors too!

Optimize Lighting Design:
As the days grow shorter, lighting becomes paramount for both safety and ambiance. Incorporate a mix of outdoor lighting, such as pathway lights, sconces, and string lights. Choose warm, inviting tones that enhance the cozy atmosphere of your outdoor haven. Never underestimate the power of lighting in all areas of your home.

With these eight design tips in mind, your backyard will become a haven of fall enchantment. Embrace the season’s natural beauty and immerse yourself in its warmth and charm. As an interior designer, I encourage you to view your outdoor space as an extension of your home—a canvas for your creativity and a place to savor the delights of each passing season. So, let’s not mourn the loss of summer, but rather celebrate the transition from summer to fall with open arms and a well-designed outdoor space that welcomes the magic of autumn.

‘Till Next Time…
Happy Designs!

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John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, speaker, writer, and on-air contributor who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others.

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