‘Tis the season for making s’mores and snuggling by a fire.

Jaime Milan
October 01, 2020
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This is Obsessed: my weekly column devoted to sharing all the things I'm loving right now—from unique food and gift ideas to travel destinations and beauty products—plus some tips and tricks for living your best life.

Like most people, I’ve been spending a lot more time at home this year. And one of my favorite pastimes when the weather is nice  is to sit outside on my back patio with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Since fall is officially here and temps are dropping in Alabama (where I live), I’ve started thinking about upgrading my patio for the new season.

I was recently browsing on Pinterest for inspo, and there were so many amazing ideas for cozy outdoor spaces. But with all the big-ticket items like custom-built brick fireplaces and massive movie projectors, I was a little overwhelmed (read: everything was too expensive for my budget). I started doing some research and found some items that could add comfy vibes to my patio without breaking the bank. Here are five things I’ll be buying or using this fall for a cozier outdoor space.

5 Things You Need to Create a Cozy Outdoor Space

String Lights

I love the crisp, cool weather of fall, but I absolutely hate that it gets dark so early. While I (unfortunately) have no way to change daylight saving time, I can add some string lights to my space for faux daylight and added ambiance. I have an outdoor plug, so I’ll probably opt for traditional string lights so I can turn them on and off ($60 for 100 feet of string lights, Amazon), but if you don’t have outdoor electricity or want a more eco-friendly option, you could also use these fun solar string lights ($35 for 27 feet of solar lights, Amazon). 

An Outdoor Rug

My patio is made of concrete, which can be cold and rough on feet (especially when temps drop). I’ve been scoping out some soft rugs that are still OK to use outside. I love this fun ikat-printed outdoor area rug, and it’s under $200 right now. (Buy it: Wayfair, $199).

A Fire Pit or Patio Heater

Full disclosure: I already have a fire pit (weirdly, it came with our house when we bought it), but I’m including some options here because my husband and I use ours all of the time. It’s great for roasting hot dogs or marshmallows for s’mores, or just cozying up next to on a cool night. I love the Sedgwick Steel Fire Pit because it has cutout moons and stars that glow when your fire is lit ($159, Wayfair), but you could also go for a more modern vibe with this hammered copper one ($260, Wayfair). If it gets cold where you live, a patio heater is also a great option. This one from Amazon uses propane to keep you and your family nice and toasty year-round ($325, Amazon).

Sheepskin Throws

EatingWell’s executive editor Penelope Wall just bought some sheepskin throws and was telling our team about how cozy they are on her patio. I guess I have FOMO, because now I want some to toss over my patio chairs to make my space a hygge haven. These faux fur ones are only $13 on Amazon—a total steal. (Head’s up: don’t leave these outside if your space is exposed to the elements, or else they’ll get ruined.)

A Really Good Blanket

Cozying up with a loved one by a crackling fire sounds dreamy, but you’ll need a blanket that can actually keep you warm. They can be a little pricey, but a wool blanket is a must-have item for cold weather. (We love this one from Amazon, $95). Bonus: It measures 45” by 66”, so it’s big enough to share.

Jaime Milan is EatingWell’s digital editor for all things newsy and trending. She’s always on the hunt for the latest and greatest things to share with EatingWell’s readers. In her spare time, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen, tackling home projects with her husband or taking pics of her very photogenic American Eskimo Dog, Grits. Follow her on Instagram at @jaimemmilan