10 Design Ideas for Entertaining Outside in Autumn
Autumn is Australia is a special season. Gone is the oppressive heat of summer, we welcome cooler days and evenings, gentle breezes, light cardigans and red wine. It’s a season made for intimate outdoor entertaining, and the best events begin with an eye for design.
Embrace the season
Autumn colours include browns, reds, oranges and darker greens. Embrace the change of season by adding touches in these colours and hues. Candlesticks, napkins, cups, plates and tablecloths are all obvious choices, but you can also set the mood with some autumn coloured (and scented) tea lights lined down the centre of your outdoor table or tucked into voids and nooks.
Australian autumn’s are brighter and fewer trees lose their leaves. Find some locally sourced flora and use it to decorate your outdoor dining area. If you have nosy neighbours, or just live in close confines, plants are also a beautiful solution to creating screens and boundaries. Use them to block certain vantage points and create a sense of privacy and elegance while you dine.
Design for indoor / outdoor
Create spaces that flow from indoor to outdoor easily, allowing you to shift your entertaining areas if and when the weather changes. You may already be familiar with the modern renovation trend to open up the home’s wall with folding glass doors, but did you know you can also protect your indoor space from flies and other nasties through receding screens? This allows you to benefit from the perfect autumn breeze without worrying about bugs.
Turn your patio into a trattoria
Everyone loves pizza, and Italian food is perfect during autumn, when the cooling temperature makes us yearn for hot garlic bread, delicious tomato pastas, cheese, wine and aperitifs. Turn your outdoor dining area into a trattoria with a few simple touches. Add a checked tablecloth, rustic carafes and jugs, hang some fairy lights and make extra chairs out of wooden barrels. It’s all part of the charm of outdoor dining in Italia!
Wicker lends an autumn touch
This year’s colour palette trends towards shades of grey, smoke, ash and matted silver. Wicker chairs and cosy loveseats look beautiful in autumn, adorned with textured cushions and the seasonal highlights in oranges and greens to highlight the season. Not too heavy and not too light, the right wicker furniture can drift from the outdoors to the interior without feeling out of place.
Install a fire pit
Whether you’re roasting marshmallows, skewers or just sitting around catching up with a warm cup of mulled wine, a fire pit is a dramatic centerpiece for any outdoor area. Coordinate with low couches, thick mats and cushions, and rediscover the social pleasures of fire and conversation. Alternatively, warm up your outdoor space by adding a free-standing clay or cast iron chiminea.
Brighten with outdoor lighting
If you’re looking to brighten up your outdoor autumn evenings, lighting fixtures that combine matte metallics and smoky wood textures, along with exposed bulbs and bohemian designs, will help bring out the unique mood of the season. If your furnishings are already heavily metallic or wood inspired then you can opt for simpler arrangements of uncoloured fairy lights to layer romantic themes into your more structured furnishings.
Cosy up your balcony
When it comes to entertaining outdoors during the autumn season it’s not just your patio and garden areas that you can spruce up for guests. Balconies make great spots for intimate visits or enjoying pre (or post) dinner treats. Make your balcony space cosy by decorating the chairs with blankets and cushions. Place small ornamental tables carefully so everyone has somewhere to place their drink, and scatter with small potted plants and succulents to give it life and colour. Natural textures work well on the balcony, while Apartment Guide suggests creating decorative and functional table displays to make the space more inviting.
Create a display for your garden
Displays are unique ideas for your garden that help create seasonally appropriate moods. For autumn, you might wish to source an antique wheelbarrow or bicycle and decorate it with pot plants, found wood, seasonal vegetables like pumpkins, figurines, gnomes and other ornaments. The best thing about a garden display is that is can be repurposed as the seasons change.
Warm up your design with Tuscan patterns
Though we don’t typically associate the temperate climes of the Mediterranean with winter, Tuscan patterns on fabrics, cushions and throws are a quick and easy way to uplight your interior decor as the seasons cool. With neutral grays as a base, the intricate designs and casual elegance of Tuscan style seems a perfect suitor to marry with more traditional winter tones.
Contrast washed out designs with bolder solid hues or scatter cushions patterned in blues, maroons and gold around outdoor entertaining areas.