Wow, it's time for some autumn decorating! You know when it's autumn, you can smell it in the air and the shops start displaying halloween decor en-masse, as if there's a general consensus to quickly get that out of the way before the Christmas decorations go up. We're in the UK here so Thanksgiving doesn't factor on the festive calendar, but it does permeate popular culture with seasonal cheer as a preamble to the traditional midwinter feast.
Here we're lucky to have Guy Fawkes Night instead, which is helluva lot more fun because it comes with burning effigies and exploding fireworks, toffee apples, muddy boots and the smell of cordite.
Whereas summer can hopefully be spent outdoors under a pergola when a dry evening allows you to get the alfresco dining set out, autumn brings on ideas of evenings spent prodding at glowing embers, wrapped in blankets and wooly hats, warmed by cinnamon spiced hot drinks and mulled cider (we're from the South West). It also gives us fantastic opportunities to take some rustic chic autumn home decor outside and put on a mini feast.
Entertaining outdoors might be a little risky, but (weather permitting) this is such a brilliant time to create memories. For some reason a bit of duress seems to cement an experience in the memory, so who cares that it's a bit chilly and damp, it's going to be memorable.
Here's our recipe for decorating for a great autumn outdoor entertaining experience:
1 - Light a fire
Anything that involves burning logs will do, the bigger the better, but a chimenea or table top fire pit will tick the box as long as it's safe, obviously. Poking it will keep any easily distracted guests amused for hours and marshmallows are a definite must-have on the food shopping list.
2 - Add loads of lanterns.
Flickering candle light creates an instantly sociable mood, but electric lights will do just as well. They could be battery operated, solar or candles, hanging from trees, put on the floor, anywhere really and as many as possible. Keep it simple and always (always!) choose warm white light. If you don't know what to look for just pick lamps or bulbs that have a Kelvin rating (the measure of how warm the light is) below 3000K and you won't get that blue disco glare. Fairy lights or globe festoons are also an easy and quick lighting solution for an instantly festive feel to complement lanterns and candles.
3 - Bring out the cushions and blankets
Make seating comfortable with colourful cushions or sheepskins, and have a stack of blankets ready to deploy. Keep it intimate with everyone huddled together for a super cosy vibe. Think alpine apres-ski without the log cabins or snow.
This is where we come in with our selection of comfy cushions, linen blankets and throws.
Shop our Biggs and Hill BLANKETS and CUSHIONS selection for some toasty options to keep your guests warm and comfy
4 - Decorate a table using nature
Use branches, berries, pumpkins, twigs, whatever's seasonal and to hand, plus lots of candles, and shed loads of cut glass to reflect the twinkly light. If the table itself doesn't fit in with the rustic autumn decorating aesthetic just throw over a casual linen or classic white table cloth to hide it. If it's just drinks then decorate a drinks table or bar cart if you have one.
Prepare jugs for drinks and set up wooden chopping boards or chunks of timber for putting food on. Autumn decorating is all about texture and natural materials.
5- Keep the lights down low
Don't forget to dim the lights inside and extend the mood right through to the living space. You've created a relaxed mood out there so keep your guests feeling warm and festive on the trip to the bathroom.
And our secret final ingredient:
Stash a bin somewhere discreet and handy so you can keep the whole entertaining area tidy without spending your evening running back and forth to the kitchen! If you clean up as you go then there's more time to enjoy a quiet glass of something hot and spicy after the party has left.
And that's it. What's great is this recipe doesn't call for a huge garden or entertaining area. This autumn decorating recipe works just as well for a small balcony as for a grand terrace. Autumnal alfresco is cosy, warm and all about the company, so just enjoy creating the experience and memories.
We hope you enjoy your autumn entertainment! Get in touch, follow us on instagram (@biggsandhill) and Pinterest and let us know your autumn decor for entertainment plans!
Happy Autumn from Biggs and Hill