Ideas for continuing to make the most of your deck, patio or backyard for another couple months.

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The peak of summer might be behind us, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor living space before packing away the grill for the winter.

Check out these ideas for making the most of your deck, patio or backyard for the next month or two.

Spruce it up

Give your deck or patio a seasonal facelift with a few simple swaps that you can bring out next summer as well.

Introduce a couple fresh new pillows, such as the vibrant red-orange World Market Poinciana Outdoor Throw Pillows (on sale for $6–$9), and some pretty decorative touches, like the gorgeous, handcrafted West Elm Pierced Porcelain Hurricanes (on sale for $9-$59).

Hawk-fan families will love a special football-season touch, such as the locally made Larkins Woodshop Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Wood Sign ($80 at The wall hanging is handcrafted from reclaimed wood in Lynden, Wash.

Hang lights, such as Smith & Hawken’s Heavy Duty Drop String Lights (on sale for $25 at Target), to create a warm glow for cool evenings around the fire pit.

Larkins Woodshop Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Wood Sign, $80
Larkins Woodshop Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Wood Sign, $80

Practical needs

As it begins to get dark earlier, keep your outdoor area lit with solar pathway lights, such as Hampton Bay’s 3-Tier Outdoor LED Solar Lights ($53 for six at The Home Depot).

Keep trash contained in a pretty bin like the UV-resistant, resin-wicker Crosley Palm Harbor Trash Bin ($89 at, while toy clutter can be stowed in the generously sized World Market Natural Hyacinth Sabina Tote Basket ($50).

Put decorative outdoor planters up on rolling dollies, such as the heavy-duty Devault Enterprises Plant Dolly ($20–$32 at The Home Depot), so your pretty potted plants can easily be moved inside when the colder weather hits.

Devault Enterprises Plant Dolly, $20–$32
Devault Enterprises Plant Dolly, $20–$32

Get cookin’ 

As football season kicks into high gear, you can bet you’ll be barbecuing a few more times.

Have some fun with a Williams-Sonoma Himalayan Salt Plate with Holder ($54), which infuses grilled seafood, thin cuts of meat and veggies with a deliciously delicate flavor. (You can also use it as a chilled serving platter.)

To add a little smoke to your food, place your favorite wood chips in Char-Broil’s Cast Iron Grill Smoker Box ($16 at and set it directly on the grate of your gas grill to smoke ribs, nachos or whatever’s on your menu.

Dogs and brats grill up perfectly un-charred on Cuisinart’s Hot Dog Roller ($10 at, a simple yet helpful accessory that allows for even cooking every time.

Williams-Sonoma Himalayan Salt Plate with Holder, $54
Williams-Sonoma Himalayan Salt Plate with Holder, $54

Keep cozy

Despite still-warm days, evening temps can get downright chilly. Be prepared with different options to stay warm.

Pick up stylish blankets, such as the Surya Mack Throw ($50) or In2Green Recycled Cotton Throw ($120, both at Target), to have on hand for those cool late-summer evenings.

Chimineas and fire pits are stylish options for outdoor heat, and great conversation pieces as well. The new Portland-made Stahl Patio Pit ($650 at is made of solid steel and is ideally sized for smaller urban spaces.

Don’t want to bother with wood? Opt for a modern gas fire pit, such as the Real Flame Ventura Propane Fire Pit ($980 at, or an outdoor space heater, like the Fire Sense Bronze Steel Floorstanding Liquid Propane Patio Heater ($224 at Lowe’s).