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Golden Ideas to Extend Your Outdoor Season

Grayson sectional B-Y

Late summer invites us to open those French doors and let guests wander from garden to great room. Caramel leather, glints of open work metal and richly textured rugs mix warm and cool, inspired by this time of year. Photo: Bradington-Young.

“Nothing gold can stay,” wrote the poet Robert Frost.

While the golden edge of summer seems fleeting, you can make it linger longer with a few seasonal updates to your August and September decorating scheme.

Thyme and Monarch 1

My patio has lots of butterfly-attracting phlox plants, but this monarch took a left turn and ended up on the porch and landed on a thyme plant. Photo: Mary Wynn Ryan.

You may enjoy the great outdoors on your porch even more as the humidity wanes.

First, say a fond farewell to crisp spring and summer colors such as bright white and hot fuschia, and replace them with richer tones of gold, russet, ivory, plum and deeper greens.


“Goldenrod and asters, all your hands can hold…September wears a party dress of lavender and gold.” My mom learned this in grade school, and sang it every year about this time. Photos: Denver Botanical Gardens, Joss & Main.

Bring in more copper and brass, especially in candlesticks and lanterns for extra evening warmth.


These throws show versatile patterns for autumns on the porch. For extra warmth, brighten the night with a beautiful copper-and-brass candle lantern. Photos: Plough and Hearth and sportys.com.

As your homegrown floral options dwindle, supplement them with the bounty of late summer harvests. I love to group fresh plums with red and purple grapes, and tuck in a few orange and yellow marigolds or mums in florist’s tubes. They look regal in a copper compote or rustic in a wicker basket.

Webster sofa SM

Neutrals are inherently chic, especially when the furniture sports dramatic details and the mix of prints and textures is timeless. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

Golden and gray tones, as shown in the Webster sofa above, from Sam Moore Furniture, are elegant but easy to live with any time of year.

pier 1 outdoor pillow spice ivory olive

Spice tones, along with ivory and olive, are beautiful transitional colors for late summer and early fall. Choose these hues for your indoor upholstery investments and create a nice flow between your living spaces. Photo: Pier 1

Updated Renaissance hues and motifs make outdoors a warm and elegant place in the late summer and early fall.

You know that mums come in so many hues, from pale blush (still in style this fall) and lavender to cinnabar and yellow, and you can use them to punch up any scheme.

Brandisi San Marco recliner

Tuscan-style outdoor living lasts well into the fall, and this reclining chair brings it home with a timeless mix of leather, textured tweed and Renaissance pattern. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

But don’t stop there. If your family isn’t allergic, pick some feathery goldenrod, wild asters and tall, decorative grasses. If your living room or family room opens onto the porch or patio, pull all of these late-summer inspirations indoors, too.

purple phlox in purple vase with gold accent vase apt therapy

Royal purple phlox are a late-summer luxury, but they’re as carefree as wildflowers. Art glass vases capture the mood in the timeless complementary scheme of purple and gold. Photo: apartmenttherapy.com.

As summer meets fall, let’s just go with the flow, gracefully.

When the party starts heading indoors, ottomans are great for just a little more seating that’s easy to move around.

La Pedrera Octagon Ottoman

An ottoman in a handsome, hardworking leather and an eye-catching shape like the La Pedrera Octagon Ottoman is even better.

Crawford sofa glamour

A-maze-ing: Cinnabar red in a high-energy pattern is balanced by serene, Asian-inspired accents. Modern art brings in more autumn hues without being matchy-matchy. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

Cinnabar red is another go-to color for late summer and early fall, as shown on the pillows on the Crawford sofa above.

Lorimer cocktail table

Timeless meets modern in this casual cocktail table with a cool golden metal base. The warmth of wood and the openness of the base gives an outdoor-inspired feeling to a basic piece. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

As your living spaces get busier in the late summer and fall, the better a round table like the Lorimer Cocktail  is to prevent bumps and keep the stuff of busy lives at our fingertips.

Deco Dot Console

The Deco Dot Console is as much modern art piece as practical helper, and the openwork design keeps the look as airy as your porch. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Capture the long, golden light of early autumn with accents in gold and brass, like the Deco Cots Console.

For instant impact and casual ease, swap in boho-inspired outdoor rugs and chair cushions in rich colors.


It’s easy to transition to a richer color scheme with outdoor rugs and chair cushions. Photos: Pier 1 (rug) and Gardener’s Supply.

Oyster and spice upholstery hues balance cool and warm in style in the setting below featuring the Viewpoint round end table.

hooker viewpoint round end table

These shapely tables are lustrous and make the room without taking up a lot of visual space. Photo: Hooker Furniture

If you can’t say goodbye to summer, this handsome chair will make it a little easier.

sam moore metro exposed wood chair brown yellow orange floral

The Metro exposed wood chair has a late summer chic and perfect brown, yellow and orange color scheme. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

With its breezy open-arm design, dark wood and a pattern inspired by late summer’s black-eyed Susans, the Sam Moore Metro Chair is the equivalent of a dark linen dress for late-summer chic that never ends.

landmann ball of fire firepit wayfair

Great balls of fire! When the sun goes down, gather the clan around this artful fire pit, and keep summer’s warmth a little longer. Photo: Landsmann.

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