Living Space: Give your patio or porch a festive fall makeover

Fall wreathes and arrangements offer a quick and easy way to brighten up your patio for autumn.

With the last of summer slipping away, the cool breezes, long shadows and bright hues of fall keep drawing us outdoors. Now is the perfect time to transform your patio or porch into a beautiful seasonal outdoor room, providing a perfect vantage point to enjoy the riches of autumn.



Seasonal touches

Without a doubt, fall is resplendent in the fruits and abundance of the season - so use this bounty to decorate. Fresh or faux pumpkins, grasses, twigs and vines all lend a natural effect. Add a fall wreath to your patio door, above the fireplace, or on an open wall. If you have an outdoor fireplace, why not embellish it with a fall-themed work of art? Artwork looks smashing outdoors and is very trendy now.

For more seasonal touches, mound pumpkins and gourds in a low clay pot to stand in as a centerpiece on your porch or patio table. Group pumpkins with a sheaf of wheat or cornstalks, filling in empty spots with mounds of autumn mums.



Focus on lighting

Add pillar candles on your table or fireplace mantle to build on the romantic mood of the season.

Give a nod to Halloween by repurposing garden owl decoys with black spray paint, turning them into spooky raptors.

Tea lights on a table, lining the mantle, or hung from branches in jelly jars create a cozy feel.

Or curl grapevines on an outside wall and add white Christmas lights for a twinkling effect.

Large lanterns, candle chandeliers and strands of patio lights can also add autumnal atmosphere.



Get creative

Refresh your patio furniture to reflect the new season. Choose fall-colored seat cushions, a table runner or crimson rug to tie the scene together. For a quick crafty touch, cut burlap into a table runner or fall-inspired placemats. Using an autumn-inspired rubber stamp, add a design on the burlap.

New outdoor pillows and accessories can give the patio a cozy look.

With summer gardening chores fast becoming a memory, hide your tools with an outdoor screen made from dog-eared fencing. For less than $30, you can create a neat and tidy look. You'll need 10 six-foot fence boards, two garden gate hinges and some wood sealer with stain.

Cut two of the fence boards into four pieces of wood, each 22 inches long. These are the crosspieces.

Next, evenly space four fence boards on the ground. To create a panel for the screen, place one crosspiece one foot from the top and one foot from the bottom of the four fence boards. Make sure the four vertical pieces are spaced evenly and nail the crosspieces to the boards. Do the same on the next panel.

Add hinges at the backside of the screen where the crosspieces are located.

Stain and let dry.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.