It’s hard to believe that summer’s coming to an end. It goes by so fast. This year it’s over even sooner as the kids are back to school before Labour Day. Honestly, I’d like to know whose idea this is.
It’s not right to start school before Labour Day.
I don’t want to say goodbye to warm weather and living outside. Now that the School Board has officially ended summer, (said with some bitterness) we won’t be able to spend as much time outdoors. But I’m not giving up outdoor living yet.
Today I was cleaning up my gardens and sprucing up the patio. The plants and gardens are looking a little tired. And the bright pinks and greens that I favour for June, July and August, look a bit out of place.
Summer’s end can be a challenging time for outdoor spaces.
It’s time to let go of the hot weather look, yet I don’t want to do orange and gold and pumpkins. It’s certainly too early for that as we need to savour the last few weeks of summer.
I think the most important thing to do is to keep the outdoor area looking tidy.
Deadhead flowers, clip trees and shrubs, give everything a good cleaning and remove any summery looking decor pieces.
You can bring in a few transitional pieces that don’t look too beachy, yet aren’t as seasonal as pumpkins and gourds, which will have their time later in the Fall.
I like these rustic lanterns because they’re loaded with texture and look really earthy.
Another great decor item for the end of Summer season are these gorgeous lanterns from Pottery Barn. They look great plain or they can be jazzed up with some greenery.
Keep it green for end of Summer and around Thanksgiving you can add orange leaves, pumpkins and gourds. See my blog here for more ideas.
Because the evening is coming sooner now, I think it’s important to have some lighting outdoors. Nothing sets the mood like candles and sparkling lights.
If you want to try a fun little project you can make tin can lanterns like the bottom left photo.
Simply take a small drill bit and put random holes in the tin can. Some people like to do it the traditional way with a hammer and nail.
It’s a great way to recycle cans and make something pretty. My boys love this project. Boys + power tools…it’s perfect.
Of course you can do all kinds of different designs and make a pattern on paper etc etc…but today we’re talking easy, and it’s easy (and fun) to grab a drill and start drilling.
It looks gorgeous in the evening when lit with a tea light.
That brings us to another important element to have in an outdoor space especially if you want to use it in the Autumn and early Spring: fire.
There’s nothing like it to add warmth as well as draw people together.
If your patio doesn’t have room for something as elaborate as the inspiration photos, then one of the portable models from Canadian Tire can provide the fire element. The nice thing is that it can be tucked away when not being used.
If you’re a lover of pink flowers like I am, you have to be careful that your pinks don’t look too summery. But there are ways to use pink well into the Autumn season.
On a recent trip to a garden centre I was looking for seasonal plants to place in my gardens where the lettuce and peppers used to be. I needed them to co-ordinate with the remaining summer florals, but tone everything down.
There were no lack of choices.
Chrysanthemums are the quintessential Autumn flower as they’re the best for brightening up tired gardens. My Mother-in-law taught me to always select plants whose flowers haven’t yet started to bloom. Planting before bud helps establish the root system resulting in longer-lasting flowers.
Another one of my Fall favourites are pots of ornamental cabbages. We’ve been decorating with these since we bought our first house.
Even though the kids are back to school and you may be decorating dorms and rushing around getting books and shoes, don’t give up on your summer patio just yet. A few easy updates will make the transition from Summer to End-of-Summer.
If you’re thinking of doing a renovation or just updating your interior, don’t wait too long to contact us. Our September is booking up quickly.
Wishing you many more happy outside days.
Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.