How to Turn Your Patio Into a Cozy Fall Retreat

Posted on: August 21, 2020

Fall heralds an unmatched refresh. Back-to-school excitement lingers and the season vibrates with a warm, soft potential that even New Year’s Eve can’t match. Now there is no frenzy, no internal guilt following summer’s long days that you must make the most of; just an efficient transition into a colourful new season.

Whether you’re looking to simply trim the deck with warm bulb lighting, add a new slope to your landscaping or rock garden, or linger in the private expanse of your beautiful backyard, here are some design tips to bring your home into autumn and refresh your outdoor space for fall.

Embrace Colour

Swap out the summer brights of your cushions, awnings and throws for richer, warmer shades that mirror the season’s turning leaves. Take cues from ripe apple reds littering market stalls, the weathered brick of a heritage building, the glow of golden hour sunsets, and blooming pumpkins making their way to late October doorsteps. Try red pillows, rose gold and copper hurricanes or lanterns, and a bouquet of sunflowers as easy add-ons to your outdoor living room. Offset the rich hues with natural tones found nearby—lake blues, 9th hole greens, and builder’s stone.

Light Up the Night

Just as you would design an interior space with consideration for overhead, ambient, and seating-side reading lights, so should you do with outdoor lighting as well. If you love to entertain, consider string lights lapping your patio overhead. Camping-style outdoor lanterns make great tableside lighting that can come with you on your way back inside. Small LED strings often come in 50- and 100-foot lengths, so you have plenty of light around the pool when you head out for your last post-summer swims.

Live in Layers

Throws are essential to autumn outdoor lounging. Whether you want to pop out onto your deck in the morning and sip your coffee while the sun lights up the rolling hills, or you want to spend a lazy Sunday in your favourite outdoor chair, having a few cozy toss-ons makes it much easier to enjoy the fresh air.

Get Fired Up

Inset fire designs and sculpture-like fire pits allow you to safely and beautifully enjoy the warmth and light of a flame well into the evening. Try a dining table next to an outdoor fireplace for friendly or romantic gatherings, or a throw-covered adirondack chair with a dram of whisky to savour a fun Saturday eve.

Just Add Friends

It may sound completely cliché, but entertaining is a surefire way to make your outdoor living spaces feel extra homey. Deck out your outdoor bar and grill area with iron-style hurricanes (a nice nod to cooking) and plush stool seating. Next, just toss some steak and squash kabobs on the grill and enjoy.

The right outdoor decor can help extend your patio season well into autumn. After all, just because summer weather may be tucking away for another year doesn’t mean your love of the outdoors has to go with it.


An important part of creating a cozy fall setting is choosing the right patio furniture. If you’re looking to bring luxury to your outdoor space, we’ve compiled some contemporary inspiration to keep your patio looking proper.


This article was initially published on October 20, 2017 and updated August 21, 2020. Source: Sotheby's International Realty Canada

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