The Perfect Autumn Outdoor Space
The leaves are turning and autumn is upon us, which means lots of new options for seasonal styling and landscaping outdoors. Founder and creative director of Landart Landscapes, Matt Leacy, shares his top landscaping, styling and construction tips for creating the perfect autumn outdoor space – that works year-round as well.
"The beginning of autumn is a great time to get outdoors and start landscaping for the cooler conditions," says Matt.
"You don't want autumn to signal a move indoors and less time spent in your outdoor spaces – you ideally want to adapt and tweak your spaces to make them right for the season and to keep maximising their potential," he explains.
Warmth Is Key
"Fundamentally, autumn landscaping is all about bringing warmth into outdoor spaces – introducing features and elements that warm up the spaces to keep them inviting," Matt says.
One way to do this is to increase cover and protection so that wind and rain become less of a factor.
"You might look to introduce some enclosed walls around some key outdoor areas," he adds. "Especially the likes of outdoor living rooms, patio areas and outdoor kitchens, which often get use less in the cooler months."
"If you're considering built forms at the bigger end of the spectrum, backyard pavilions can be a great option, offering loads of covered space for tables, chairs, pots and plants – and lots of protection for outdoor entertaining.
"Covered pergolas, retractable awnings and gazebos can also be really good autumn additions – and you can style the space internally to inject warmth, and then rethink the look and accents as you move into other warmer seasons."
Colours and Materials
"You can also bring lots of warmth into your outdoor spaces by introducing warmer colours," says Matt. "Especially browns, darker reds, and blues. Neutral tones always complement the cooler months."
"I like to do this with cosy coloured cushions, chairs and blankets, which inject warmth and neutral tones via both their colour and materials," he explains.
"Introducing timber into your spaces is also a great way to enhance warmth and organic tone," Matt adds. "You might look to add some timber to part of your bench seating or your fire pit area."
"Exposed brick is another great material for autumn with an abundance of warmth and texture," says Matt. "And stacked fire wood is one of the easiest ways to add the appearance of warmth, as well as serving a practical purpose as you start using the fire pit again."
"You can also use plantings to team with the autumn theme," says Matt. "Deciduous trees provide some spark as everything else is turning – and something as simple as a beautiful red maple in a small courtyard can make a world of difference."
"As autumn sets in, fire pits provide a functional and stylish way to warm your outdoor spaces and keep them suitable for entertaining and relaxation alike" says Matt. "You can sit by the fire and chat with friends and family, cook food – and they're great for disposing of branches that may have fallen from your trees."
"The warmth and light generated by the pit means you can continue to make use of all your beautiful outdoor furniture pieces in autumn," Matt says. "They're a great addition to a backyard, deck or patio and they're far superior in ambience to portable heaters and lights," he adds.
"If you're going to give a fire pit a go, it's important to ensure that the style and size of the pit suits your outdoor space and aesthetic," Matt says. "The classic campfire atmosphere is always a hit, and there's lots of different options on the market."
"You could have a fire place or a built-in fire pit that doubles as a coffee table beyond the cooler months or just a basic iron or steel bowl – the important thing is to look at your outdoor space and consider what will work best both for you in terms of functionality, budget and look," Matt says.
"In addition to a fire pit, I'd also consider installing some heating or strip heating in key outdoor entertaining and living areas – they will boost heat and keep the spaces inviting throughout the autumn months," concludes Matt.
A selection of Matt's work can be found at the newly rebranded www.landart.com.au