For you, what are the surefire signs that it’s becoming fall in Chicagoland? A chill in the air? A football game on TV? The leaves changing color overhead?
Fall means a lot of things to many different people. For many, the changing weather and new colors mean that it’s time to rethink their outdoor decor.
Here are a few outdoor decor and design ideas to help you fall in love with autumn in Chicagoland.
1.) Pick a Pumpkin
Pumpkins are a little bit like the unofficial mascot of fall around Chicagoland. You’ll see them in store windows and stoops, or cheerfully smiling out as “jack-o-lanterns” in late October.
These hearty fall plants are versatile and can make for great fall decorations. There are countless ways to use them to add charm to your home. You can carve faces or messages into them, paint them, hollow them out to use them as flower or candle holders, line them up, bunch them up, and mix together lots of different size and color varieties.
Even better? These gorgeous gourds are never far out of reach in Chicagoland. There are lots of opportunities to stock up on decorative pumpkins. To find the ones that speak yo you, you may want to check out your local gardening supply or grocery store, browse at a plant nursery, or pay a visit to one of the many charming pumpkin patches around Illinois.
2.) Play with Color
Fall is a great opportunity to play around with color. This autumn, try sprucing up your outdoor decor with any shades you like.
For instance, you could decorate your outdoor area with bold colors. Going with bright and vibrant choices can help brighten up your outdoor space, even on a gray fall day. Or, you could lean into the season, and decorate with golds, reds, browns, oranges, and yellows. These colors can really help to accentuate the changing foliage, and offer a warm welcome to visitors.
Looking for ways to incorporate color? Think about all the ways you can sneak in your preferred tones on doormats and outdoor rugs, patio furniture, and outdoor pillows. You could also add a coat of paint to a pumpkin, or stock up on chrysanthemums. Commonly shortened to “mums,” these flowers come in many gorgeous colors, and absolutely thrive in the fall
3.) Cozy Up Next to a Fire
On a crisp autumn evening, a fire pit may just be the perfect gathering place to swap stories, gaze at the stars, roast marshmallows for s’mores, or just savor the last few months before the winter chill really sets in around Illinois.
Fire pits come in many different varieties. There are some that are standalone, and others that you can build into your property with paving stones, rustic metal accents, or other clever design choices. In any case, an outdoor fire area can make a lovely centerpiece for your outdoor decor.
In the daytime or after dark, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces can act as a focal point to draw the eye, and can make for a great place to add outdoor furniture, greenery, or other design elements, to help create a true outdoor living space.
For those who do not, or cannot, have a fire? You may want to play with other lighting elements to get the same effect. Sconces, lanterns, hanging lights, and more can all leave a stunning impression during the fall months
4.) Grow Fall Vegetables and Flowers
The end of the summer doesn’t have to mean giving up on your garden. There is plenty of produce that will thrive in the midst of a Chicagoland fall, including hearty, healthy veggies like carrots, cabbage, kale, spinach, beets, and lettuce.
There are also many stunning plants and flowers you can watch bloom, even as the leaves overhead turn brown and start to fall. Mums, heather, sage, pansies, asters, and other colorful flowers blossom in the fall months and can make for lovely outdoor accent pieces.
Whether you prefer produce or picture-perfect flowers, a fall garden is a great way to line a brick path or add dimension and intrigue to your yard. Feeling cramped for space? You may want to try a vertical garden. In this setup, plants can be mounted on a wall or hung from a balcony railing.
5.) Make a Play Area
Before the chilly weather sets in, you may want to take some time to mow your lawn, trim your hedges, and generally make any outdoor space you have look neat and tidy.
Why? Because it’s game time!
Fall in Chicagoland is a great chance to get outdoors. To take advantage of that, you could set up an area where kids (or the young at heart) can play football or soccer, toss a frisbee, or play local favorites like cornhole or horseshoes. You could even use seasonal hay bales to rig up a makeshift seating area or help mark the field of play.
And for before or after the game, a picnic table and lots of comfy outdoor seating can make your home feel like a European garden, perfect for chatting about all of the fall fun.
Want even more outdoor design and decor ideas for your Chicagoland home? Be sure to follow Baird & Warner on social media, where we keep the ideas coming all year-round.