Make Your Outdoor Living Cozy for Fall

Outdoor living and fall can go together like peas in a pod. You can get more enjoyment out of your outdoor living space by adjusting it slightly for the fall. Whether you’re looking to host fun outdoor Halloween parties or serve a delicious meal for Thanksgiving, a more cozy, warm, and sheltered space will allow you to enjoy the crisp autumn air and the changing leaves in comfort. Here are several great ways to make your outdoor living space more cozy for fall.

Fire Features

Of course, adding a heating feature will help you stay warm when you’re entertaining outside. Think outside of the traditional circular fire pit. You can install a long rectangular fire pit, perhaps with a modern, smooth stone to create a contemporary look. Or, consider a fire pit with wrought iron flourishes that cast gorgeous shadows.

One of our favorite fireplaces that we’ve installed involved creating a stone half-wall on our client’s patio, made of stones in a complex, warm tone. We then embedded a long, rectangular gas fireplace into the wall. This was a perfect focal point for the yard that added warmth and visual interest. With two soft patio chairs in front of the fire feature, our clients had a romantic space to enjoy their fall evenings.

If you’re not ready to add in a fire feature, adding candles can help you get the autumn ambiance you’re looking for. We like plain cream pillar candles on brass plates or in brass holders. It’s a very modern fall look that can match a lot of décor options. Don’t forget to think about scent too; a sweet pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon smell can help make your space more seasonal.

Pergolas and Walls

Too many people leave their outdoor living space without structure. Relying on umbrellas may work in the summer, but in the fall, you’ll need some more stable structural elements to help break the wind. Outdoor walls and pergolas can give you the structure you need to be more comfortable in the fall. Plus, these features can make your space more stylish and private.

Consider incorporating climbing plants onto your walls or trellis. Trumpet creeper is always a nice, vibrant choice for a fall trellis, as it bears bright orange or red flowers through the fall. Stone walls can be made more lively with ivy. Both plants help add bulk to your wall so that it stops more wind and creates a more private, intimate space.


One of the most enjoyable moments in your outdoor living space during fall may be cuddling together with your partner for some warmth. Many different materials can contribute to the coziness of your outdoor living space or just make the space softer and warmer.

One often-overlooked option is a rug. In the summer, a rug may not make much sense, but in the fall, a soft, natural carpet will make your space much more comfortable. We suggest choosing your rug to match your fall décor, as fall is likely the only season you’ll use the rug.

Many of our clients also put out autumn-themed blankets and pillows for their guests. If you normally place out towels, you can replace them with rolled-up blankets. If your blanket of choice is a bit big for that, there’s nothing wrong with just draping it over your seating. Plus, if you’re thinking of adding new throw pillows with a fall theme, you could just swap out the cases instead of buying new pillows.

Fall Drinks

Another great way to heat up your fall space is to offer warm drinks. Hot chocolate, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattés, or fall cocktails can all make your guests happier in your space. Not familiar with any fall cocktails? Here are a few of our favorites:

Whatever you’re serving, we suggest having a dedicated drink spot with several options available so that your guests can help themselves. Either place this spot near a source of warmth or create cozy sleeves that can keep the prepared drink containers warm while outdoors. Plus, consider using a natural wood tray to keep the drinks, cups, and ingredients on hand.

Need to make your outdoor living space more fall-friendly? At State of the Art Landscape, we design and build exquisite spaces that meet your exact needs. Choose us to help design and add the features you need to enjoy your fall entertaining and outdoor living space.

Summer Landscaping Ideas for 2019

Mindful ecology, organic gardening, pollinator and wildflower meadows, outdoor wellness, staycation, and low-maintenance are the keywords in landscaping design summer of 2019. If you’re looking to refresh your yard, or you’re finally getting around to transforming your backyard into an outdoor oasis, here are the latest trends to keep in mind when landscaping in North Virginia.

Inviting Mindful Ecology Into Your Backyard

It’s important to be mindful when dealing with any aspect of the environment, and that includes our gardening. At the core of mindful ecology landscaping lie concepts such as soil ecology, carbon sequestering, sustainable watering, the principles of organic gardening, and pollinator meadows.

Pollinator & Wildflower Meadows

One of the biggest trends of the year is the firm transition towards eco-friendly landscaping. Wildflower or pollinator meadows, consisting of indigenous grasses and native flowering perennials, create a healthy habitat for bee and butterfly populations as well as a beautiful landscape.

To attract pollinators to your garden, choose a variety of nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Consider as many plants native to your area as possible. Native plants evolve closely with native insects and are well-suited to meet their needs. Bear in mind that some pollinator species are entirely dependent on the existence of specific native plants. By adding these plants to your landscaping in North Virginia, you can help dwindling populations rebuild.

It’s All About Low-Maintenance

Simplifying one’s life seems to be what everybody is after these days, and why should your landscaping in North Virginia be any different?

Living in such fast-paced times, with little or no time left for pruning, weeding, and watering, a low-maintenance garden is on likely on your wish-list. Think of these pro ideas to keep your yard as low-maintenance as possible:

  • Perennial plants: Go for perennial plants and even group them based on their watering needs. Choose evergreen shrubs that don’t require much attention as well as dwarf shrubs. Dwarf shrubs are resilient plants with low-maintenance needs and well-suited for smaller gardens.
  • Performant Irrigation System: Invest in advanced irrigation technology because it now allows homeowners to control the quantity of water delivered to plants, encouraging a smart, eco-friendly investment.
  • Set Up Raised Beds: They create less work. There are less weeding and dead-heading involved, and they are a complementary extension for modern backyard landscaping.
  • Painted Structures: If you’re on a shoestring budget and still looking to upgrade your relaxing space, then painting your fences, sheds, and your summer houses will liven up your garden, without much maintenance involved. Tip: Dark grey, green, and blue fences are on trend this summer.
  • Potted Plants: Pots are life-saving landscaping ideas as you have minimal weeding to do and good control over the size of the plant.
  • Artificial Grass or Lawn Alternatives: Instead of a traditional lawn, plant grass mixes that don’t need to be mowed, like Habiturf® and other prairie-type grasses.
  • Choose the Cottage Look: Embrace a natural look with a wildly lush cottage garden! Letting your yard run wild is the best thing you can do for low-cost landscaping. To get that savage, charming cottage look, allow your garden to grow unhindered, but plant large amounts of contrasting grasses and plants of different scales and colors throughout your yard.

Go on a Staycation!

Set up your own staycation hub. As outdoor wellness is already becoming a custom and a must in our hectic society, people are looking for more ways to enjoy a staycation in the comfort of their own garden.

To make the most of your backyard plans for landscaping in North Virginia, consider the best spots to create a hangout area. Set distinct spaces; for example, comfy lounge chairs, decadent hammocks, a lazy swing, and more. No matter how small your area is, arrange the seating in a conversational position. Include lighting to make your outdoor spaces easy to access and inviting even as the sun sets.

To make your space even more welcoming and entertaining, set up a weatherproof speaker system to enjoy music while you’re outside. And if cooking relaxes you, consider an outdoor kitchen in your designs for landscaping in North Virginia. For those looking to make their backyard a true oasis at home, a pool could be the perfect addition to your yard. You’ll never want to leave again!

Is it time for a backyard makeover? Let us bring our craftsmanship and experience to create your outdoor paradise. Request an on-site appointment with one of our passionate landscape designers today!

Backyard Landscaping Ideas for North Virginia

Your backyard should be more than just an outdoor space. It’s an extension of your home and a living area where your family and friends can gather and make memories.

Our landscape designers specialize in creating distinctive backyards that flow from your home’s design and reflect your personal style. You deserve a high-quality outdoor space that reimagines what a backyard can be, allowing you to enjoy the warm weather exactly the way you choose.

As experts in landscape enhancement, we recommend some changes that can help you make the most of your yard. From unique features to luxury additions, each of the items on this list combines function and beauty, enriching your outdoor experience.

Fire Pit

A fire pit in your backyard creates a warm atmosphere and a gathering place. It can extend your time outdoors in the evenings and allow you to enjoy more of the year outside, even as the weather begins to cool.

A fire burning in a custom fire pit feels like a luxury. We offer a wide variety of styles, such as ringed pits or tables, and materials, including copper, cast iron, masonry, and stone. No matter what you choose, adding a fire pit brings a little magic to your backyard.

Outdoor Kitchen

Installing a full-service outdoor kitchen is the height of backyard luxury. Complete with a stone or masonry structure and fitted with a grill, prep space, sink, refrigerator, cabinets, and even an ice maker, an outdoor kitchen expands your living space into the outdoors. It creates a perfect area to spend time with family and guests while you prepare a delicious meal.

An outdoor bar is the perfect place to entertain your friends and to relax and enjoy the summer weather. Its design and materials should complement your home’s exterior, adding to the sense that it’s an extension of your home.

Wood, stone, and masonry are excellent choices, and there are many features that can be added to increase the bar’s functionality. Consider a small outdoor refrigerator, sink, ice bin, storage drawers, and even a wine refrigerator or beer tap.

Waterfall Feature

A waterfall is a dramatic feature that introduces movement and sound to your backyard landscaping. It can be playful and musical with cascading water, or it can be a gentle trickle that sets a calm, meditative tone. Higher sound levels can even cover up the noise of urban living. The design should reflect your taste and blend with its surroundings, and it can even be incorporated into an inground pool design.

Fountain Feature

Fountains are another way to add drama, and the grace of falling water allows you to bask in your backyard oasis. Fountains are ideal focal points, and they can fit with any style. Whether you choose a simple, informal shape, a meditative Japanese style, a traditional, tiered fountain, a dramatic statue, or an elegant wall fountain, it will add visual interest and a relaxing atmosphere.

Water levels and flow rates can be controlled to match your desired sound level. Depending on the rest of your landscaping, you may select from a variety of materials, including concrete, stone, and metal.

Inground Pool

There’s nothing quite like an inground pool when it comes to embracing summer and living the warmer seasons to their fullest. A custom swimming pool design will fit with your lifestyle, the style of your home, and your backyard setting. We offer a variety of pool types, and the materials and design of the landscaping can be customized to your exact preferences.

Features like automatic covers, in-pool lighting, and customized steps and ledges can add to what’s already one of the best outdoor features.

Expertise, Quality, and Design Excellence

At State of the Art Landscape, we create outdoor environments that are unique, functional, beautiful and a true reflection of who you are and how you live.

We will work with you to design your dream landscape and make it come to life, using high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. Our team is dedicated to complete client satisfaction from our first meeting and to creating long-term relationships through excellent and dependable service.

Let us put our expertise to work for you, creating a backyard that exceeds your expectations and lets you embrace the beauty of outdoor living. Request an on-site appointment with one of our landscape designers today!