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Top 10 Ways to Prepare Your Outdoor Living Space for Fall in Michigan

August 28th, 2023 | 4 min read

By Aaron King

top 10 ways to prepare your outdoor living space for fall in michigan pumpkin and pillow decor custom built

As the crisp Michigan air heralds the arrival of fall, homeowners in the Great Lakes State face the annual challenge of transitioning their outdoor living spaces for the changing season. As the leaves change color and temperatures drop, the allure of spending time outdoors continues, but the approach to creating a functional and inviting space shifts. 

Many Michigan residents seek guidance on preparing their outdoor areas for the cooler months, ensuring they remain cozy and enjoyable even as the weather shifts.

At Custom Built, we understand the unique demands that Michigan's fall season places on outdoor living spaces - holding an office in Lansing for over 15 years and recently expanding to Boyne City. With our expertise in outdoor living space design and remodeling, we're well-acquainted with the intricacies of creating spaces that seamlessly blend style and comfort while adapting to the challenges posed by the Michigan climate.

We recognize the importance of retaining the appeal of your outdoor haven while making adjustments for cooler temperatures and shorter days.

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the top 10 ways to prepare your outdoor living space for the fall season in Michigan:

1. Clean and Declutter: Embrace the New Season with a Fresh Start

cleaning outdoor living space in Michigan cleaning leaves off of lawn

Fall is the perfect time to give your outdoor space a thorough cleaning. Remove fallen leaves, debris, and any remnants of summer activities. Store away pool accessories, summer toys, and outdoor equipment that won't be used during the colder months.

A clean and clutter-free space not only looks inviting but also provides a clean slate for your fall décor and activities.

2. Assess and Maintain Your Furniture: Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Furnishings

power washing outdoor furniture to prepare for fall in Michigan

Before the cooler weather sets in, take a close look at your outdoor furniture. Wipe down surfaces, check for any signs of wear and tear, and tighten any loose screws. Clean or launder cushions and fabrics, and consider storing them indoors or in weather-resistant containers.

Performing routine maintenance now can help prolong the life of your furniture and ensure its comfort and functionality throughout the season.

3. Cozy Textiles: Create a Warm and Inviting Ambiance

fall colored textiles and blankets Michigan outdoor living space ideas

One of the joys of fall is the opportunity to add cozy textiles to your outdoor space. Swap out lightweight summer fabrics for warmer options. Consider adding plush cushions, soft blankets, and decorative throw pillows in autumnal colors and patterns that tie in the beautiful foliage we have here in Michigan.

Not only do these textiles add warmth, but they also create an inviting atmosphere that encourages you and your guests to linger outdoors even as the temperature drops.

4. Illuminate Your Space: Embrace the Magic of Fall Evenings

light fixtures on pergola outdoor living space in Michigan in the fall

With the sun setting earlier in the fall, proper lighting becomes essential for maximizing your outdoor space. String lights, lanterns, and outdoor lamps can transform your space into a cozy retreat after dark. Illuminate walkways, seating areas, and focal points like fire features to create a magical ambiance that allows you to enjoy your outdoor oasis well into the evening.

5. Seasonal Decor: Infuse Your Space with Autumn Charm

fall pumpkin and squash decor on a Michigan deck staircase

Celebrate the beauty of fall by incorporating seasonal décor into your outdoor space. Pumpkins, gourds, and colorful foliage arrangements can instantly bring a touch of autumnal charm. Consider adding wreaths, banners, and other festive decorations that reflect the changing season. These simple additions can add character and warmth to your outdoor environment.

6. Create a Cozy Nook: Design a Relaxing Space for Fall Evenings

cozy nook with fire pit for fall outdoor living space in Michigan

Designate a cozy nook within your outdoor space where you can unwind and enjoy the beauty of fall. Arrange comfortable seating around a fire pit or outdoor fireplace. Add soft cushions and blankets to create a warm and inviting setting. This dedicated space allows you to savor the crisp evenings while basking in the warmth of the fire's glow.

7. Embrace Outdoor Heating: Extend Your Outdoor Season

friends and family gathered around fire pit during the fall in Michigan

Michigan's fall weather can be chilly, but that doesn't mean you must retreat indoors. Invest in outdoor heating options such as fire pits, patio heaters, or heated seating. These additions not only provide warmth but also become gathering points where friends and family can gather for conversations and relaxation.

8. Fall-Friendly Greenery: Add a Touch of Color and Texture

fall friendly greenery with pergola and native plants in Michigan outdoor living space

As summer blooms fade, introduce fall-friendly plants and flowers to your outdoor space. Mums, pansies, ornamental cabbage, and kale are excellent options that thrive in cooler temperatures. These plants not only add a pop of color but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor area.

9. Seasonal Scents: Engage Your Senses with Fall Fragrances

fall scented candles on decorative tree stump for outdoor living space in Michigan

Evoke the essence of fall by incorporating seasonal scents into your outdoor living space - light-scented candles with fragrances like cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and cedarwood. Use essential oil diffusers to infuse the air with inviting aromas that make your outdoor space feel warm and welcoming.

10. Prepare for Changing Weather: Protect Your Space for the Season Ahead

furniture covers in the middle of rain during the autumn in Lansing Michigan

Michigan's fall weather can be unpredictable, bringing rain and early snowfalls. Protect your outdoor furniture and accessories by investing in waterproof covers. Covering furniture, cushions, and other items will shield them from moisture and the elements, ensuring they remain in good condition for years.

Next Steps to Upgrading Your Outdoor Living Space

The desire for an outdoor haven that remains inviting and functional throughout the fall is a shared sentiment among Michigan homeowners. The challenge of retaining the allure of your outdoor space while adapting to the changing climate is a universal concern.

By implementing the top ten strategies we've detailed, you'll address the pain point that led you to seek ways to prepare your outdoor living area for fall. Your determination to create a cozy, weather-ready retreat aligns with the needs of many, and these solutions are tailored to tackle that very challenge.

At Custom Built, our dedication to enhancing your outdoor living experience extends to every season. With our decades of expertise in design and remodeling, we stand ready to assist you in realizing your vision for a stunning and functional outdoor space, no matter the time of year.

For more information on how to maintain your outdoor living space, we recommend the following articles:

outdoor living space remodeling services contractors custom built lansing michigan

Aaron King

Aaron has been in the building industry his entire life. He worked in his family’s housing business growing up in Dewitt, MI, and for nearly 40 years, built homes in the Mid-Michigan area. He has also worked with the Greater Lansing Home Builder’s Association since he was 18 years old.