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With these 7 Essential Elements for Fabulous Fall Outdoor Living Spaces, you’ll be extending your outdoor entertaining right up to Thanksgiving!

7 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS FOR CREATING FAB FALL OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES

If you’re still a little hesitant about having a few friends over, that’s completely understandable.  But, if you’re anything like me, I would still love to see a few close friends in a safe, socially distanced manner.  It’s time to get your Fall outdoor living spaces pulled together!

Right now, outdoor entertaining is one of the safest ways to celebrate the season’s change from Summer to Fall.   An outdoor dinner party or backyard bonfire can be a charming way to enjoy the crisp air and good company.

With some attention to detail and a few quick changes, your Fall outdoor living spaces can be perfect for brisk weather entertaining.

Replace your brightly patterned Summer rug with a sisal mat and a basket of corduroy pillows and wool throws.

Warm the chilly evening air with a roaring fire, and maybe even toast a marshmallow or two.  Let’s see exactly how you can incorporate these 7 Essential Elements for Fabulous Fall Outdoor Living Spaces.

 

ONE:  SOURCE OF WARMTH TO STAY COZY 

A Fall firepit, fire ring, chiminia or patio heater do the job when the weather turns cool this time of year. 

free standing square rattan fire pit with family cooking

Fire pits can be a stylish and safe way to bring the rustic feel of a campfire to your backyard, deck or patio. 

Fire pits have become increasingly popular with plenty of prefabricated models available to buy.  They’re made from a variety of heat resistant materials including metal, concrete, clay, and stone.

fall outdoor living spaces

Fire pits can be fueled by a number of different sources like wood, propane or natural gas.

Of course, they provide an excellent source of heat on a chilly day or evening, but they can also become an attractive accent in your Fall outdoor living spaces.

With a small, stainless unit like the one shown here, everyone can have a fire in their Fall outdoor living spaces.  And since they’re so portable, pretty much anywhere!

When choosing a source of fire for a social setting, please make sure you take all safety considerations into account before purchasing.  You sure don’t want to put an open copper fire bowl on a wood deck surrounded by trees!

For more detailed info click here:  Fire Pit Buying Guide – What You Need To Know

 

TWO:  COMFY SEATING FOR LONG RELAXING EVENINGS

fall outdoor living spacesNeedless to say, you’ll want your guests to be comfortable and stick around all evening long!  And that means providing plenty of comfortable seating and places to land with pillows and throws.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge modular seating unit that seats a dozen comfortably! It’s just not necessary for a great outdoor space.

You might be surprised by what you can come up with when you put on your “thinking cap”!

I used some wood crates fitted with cushions as seating for a Chestnut & Oyster Roast I threw a few years back.

Like I said, get a little creative, and you and your guests will be comfy and happy as clams! (pun intended)

 

THREE:  “SOCIAL SURFACES” TO SERVE TOASTY TREATS

If you’re having guests over to enjoy your Fall outdoor living spaces, you’ll need somewhere to serve food and beverages.

fall outdoor living space entertainment center

What kind of get-together doesn’t have a little libation and some fabulous food?  Not one that I’m interested in going to!

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have some kind of “social surfaces” as I like to call them.  It doesn’t have to be a large entertainment unit, either.  Think creatively, and you’ll start to see your furniture in new ways.

I’ve found my potting bench makes a lovely beverage station for serving Hot Apple Cider and Spirited Hot Cocoa to my guests.  With a few Fall props, it’s really rather splendid!

 

fall outdoor living spaces

FOUR:  TRIP THE “LIGHTS” FANTASTIC FOR A FALL GATHERING

Making sure your guests can safely traverse your Fall outdoor living spaces is a serious must-do!  Don’t depend on firelight to provide enough lighting to have a great, and safe time.  

Surround your space with lighting, whether it’s from a single source like string lights, or a combination of several different types. 

Here’s a few ideas on how you can add more lighting to your Fall outdoor living spaces:

  • Tiki torches
  • Decorative string lighting
  • Propane or candle lanterns
  • Hurricane lamps
  • Candles
  • Decorative light poles
  • Solar ground lighting

 

FIVE:  A PILE OF WOOL THROWS AS THE TEMPERATURE DIPS

Staying cozy when the sun hits the road and the temperatures dip means wrapping ourselves in warm wool throws!

It’s a definite must when you’re entertaining outdoors during the fabulous Fall season.

This collection from L.L. Bean is perfect for tossing over chairs, piling in baskets, or stacked for easy grabbing when your guests want to settle down and relax.

I’ve got a nice collection that I’ve accumulated over the years, so I’m all ready for some chilly weather partying!

Make sure you’ve got enough for everyone, as with social distancing, your guests might not want to share!

 

SIX:  GIVE A “FALL VIBE” TO YOUR SPACE

Fabulous Fall outdoor living spaces should have a few seasonal nods in the decor department.

 

fall outdoor living spaces

Taking your outdoor space into Autumn mode can be as simple as adding a few seasonal touches to your Fall outdoor living spaces.   With a few clever swaps and additions, you’ll be ready to entertain with real seasonal style and panache.

Here’s a few ideas of what kinds of things you can bring into your outdoor living spaces to provide that Fall-Feel:

  • Winter squash and pumpkins in handsome displays
  • Baskets of pillows and throws to help your guests get cozy
  • Lanterns and hurricane lamps to provide a little atmosphere
  • Dried flower arrangements, wreaths and natural decorative elements
  • Baskets full of assorted apples, pears and persimmon

 

SEVEN:  DON’T FORGET SOME FUN FALL FIRESIDE FOODS!

Part of the fun of spending time outdoors in the Fall is cooking under the stars. But, unlike Summer when you head to the grill, this time of year is for firepits or campfires.  In other words, a big ‘ole fire!

When it was time to start looking for great outdoor cooking supplies, I didn’t start by Googling Walmart. If we were going camping, that’s exactly what I would do.

But, for home entertaining purposes, I headed to one of my favorite online retailers, Terrain.com.   They always have a great selection of seasonal items for inside and outside your home.

 

Check out the fabulous “campfire cooking” tools they have available this season:

  • Camp Fire Popcorn Popper 
  • Twig Marshmallow Stick
  • Three-Tined Roasting Stick
  • Chestnut Roasting Pan
  • Speckleware Pot & Cup Set
  • Fireplace Waffle Iron

 

Relaxing under the stars, snuggled around a roaring fire.  Every one sipping on a Spirited Hot Cocoa with Chocolate Whipped Cream, served from a fabulous speckleware pot.   How does that sound to you?  

 

THIS IS NO “ORDINARY” HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE

spirited hot cocoa

For starters, this recipe for a Spirited Hot Cocoa uses chopped dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder.

Secondly, a combination of whole milk and half-and-half gives the chocolate a rich, creamy base in which to melt. 

The results are a thick and smooth treat that finishes with just a touch of brandy or bourbon.

My recipe for Spirited Hot Cocoa with Chocolate Whipped Cream can be made far ahead of serving. With or without the whipped cream!

Hence, it makes the perfect “make ahead” hot chocolate recipe for your outdoor Fall gathering around a roaring spirited hot cocoa with chocolate whipped creamfire!

Now I’ll show it to you all “dolled up” for my New Year’s Eve Party!  How beautiful is that, served in an Irish coffee mug with a paper straw to save all the gals’ lipstick!  

This make-ahead libation is also a great holiday hostess hack. You make the base recipe and the whipped cream ahead of time, for an incredible “nightcap” after midnight’s exciting moment has passed. 

It’s the perfect way to end an incredible evening of ringing in the new year with your family and friends!

 

OR, HOW ABOUT A SEASONAL BEVERAGE WITH NO ALCOHOL?

This is where your thermal coffee servers come in real handy!  Whip up a batch of Hot Apple Cider to keep your guests warm and toasty while enjoying your company.

You’ll make a big batch and have it hot and ready when your guests start getting chilly.

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugarhot apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches), broken
  • 1 gallon apple cider

 

Add all the ingredients to a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook until mixture just comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and cover.  Allow cider to steep for 1 hour, remove the spices.  Serve hot. 

NAN’S TIP:  WHEN I CATERED OUTDOOR FUNCTIONS AND WAS SERVING A HOT BEVERAGE, I’D POP THE PREMADE MIXTURE INTO MY 36-CUP COFFEE MAKER TO STAY PIPING HOT!

And you can serve your Hot Apple Cider in those adorable blue speckleware cups I showed you earlier.  How fab a hostess are you now?

 

WHAT ABOUT SOME MUNCHIES?

While you’re busy entertaining in your fabulous Fall outdoor living spaces, what will you be eating?

You and your guests will need something fabulous to munch on too!  For a sophisticated treat that can be tossed together fireside, you’ll want to try my recipe for Truffled Popcorn. 

Let’s start by using that fun popcorn maker from Terrain! popcorn close up

  • Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in popper with kernels
  • Hold over a hot fire and listen for the oil to sizzle
  • Once sizzling, constantly shake the popper over the flames and listen for popping
  • Continue shaking until popping slows, then remove from fire
  • Keep shaking off the fire until the popping has fully stopped

 

Pour your popcorn into a huge bowl and STOP!  Take a few moments to toss in a few ingredients for an incredible adult fireside munchie! 

Truffled Popcorn is a sophisticated combination of Black Truffle Oil,  freshly grated Asiago and Parmesan cheeses.  Using a little fresh Italian parsley and chives gives a dash a color and some extra “wow-factor” too.  (click the link above for the fabulous recipe)

 

truffled popcorn and champagne

With a little pre-planning, this is what you’ll be serving with your Spirited Hot Cocoa!   Check out how I served it for New Year’s Eve, inside homemade harlequin paper cones. 

Why not use the same exact serving idea, but with brown kraft paper instead, for a rustic Fall presentation?

NAN’S TIP:  STACK YOUR PAPER CONES ON TOP OF A WINE BOTTLE NEXT TO YOUR BOWL OF TRUFFLED POPCORN.  LET YOUR GUESTS SERVE THEMSELVES WITH A SCOOP INSIDE THE BOWL!

 

CHEATER’S S’MORES – AN EASY FIRESIDE SNACK

smore with pepperidge farm cookies

If you don’t want to go to all the trouble and mess of traditional s’mores, I’ve got a super simple solution!  And the really neat thing is, they kind-of make a really “fancy” version of the classic.

But, without dealing with melting chocolate bars and a messy clean up.  Just put out a bowl of marshmallows, andbox of chocolate dipped shortbread cookies a package of purchased shortbread cookies that are dipped in chocolate.

Voila!  Now you’ve got a 2-Ingredient “Cheater’s S’more that’s even better than the original version!  At least that’s what my friends tell me as they’re happily munching on their Fall campfire treat.

How simple can it be?  That simple!

 

AUTUMN GIFT HANG TAGS PDF – A little Fall gift from me to you!

I love to pamper my Ingredients For A Fabulous Life subscribers!  If you haven’t had a chance to download your Autumn Gift Hang Tags PDF yet, now’s your chance!

I’ll be using mine to give my friends and family some Gourmet Candy Bark For Fall and Halloween!

Just download, print, and cut out your hang tags, and you’re in business. 

autumn gift hang tagsWant your own AUTUMN GIFT HANG TAGS,  but you’re not on our list yet?

 Why not join in on the fun!

Fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy as a thank you for joining the IFAFL Email Subscriber List.

As a Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Subscriber, you’ll also get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails.  What are you waiting for?  You don’t want to miss out on anything fabulous, do you? 

There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, don’t you want to stay in the loop?  

And while you’re at it, come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life!  That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.  

 


 

 

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