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5 ways to make summer last longer on your balcony or terrace

We don’t want to say goodbye to summer! Are you worried about the autumn chill and early evenings cutting short your lazy afternoons on your balcony or terrace? Then check out our top five tips on how to continue enjoying your outside space. Make the most of the last days in your outdoor haven!

1. Stay warm


The first sign that autumn is approaching is undoubtedly the falling temperatures. To stop that end-of-summer chill forcing you indoors, create a false ceiling above your outdoor sofas or benches. How? It’s really easy. Create some shelter by erecting a canopy, gazebo or parasol, or by arranging a few tall poles and attaching some canvas. Really, you can use anything that provides some shade. And if you want a little more protection, you could also hang some fabric on one side to create a “wall”.

Remember, canopies don’t just protect you from the sun! These simple products can also help retain the heat a little better. And they’re perfect for keeping you sheltered from the wind and rain. Speaking of rain... We recommend that you install your canopy at a slight angle to ensure that rainwater runs off and doesn’t gather in pockets. Otherwise, it could all gush down at once and you risk creating your own personal Niagara Falls!

One last piece of advice... Because we know there are days when that fresh breeze will feel more like a cold wind, we recommend you keep a basket of blankets on hand. That way you and your friends can wrap up warm and the conversation can continue long into the night.

2. Protect your textiles


Now you’re a little more comfortable, the next thing you need to do to stretch out those summer days on your balcony or terrace is to keep your textiles in perfect condition.

The best option is to pack everything into an outdoor cabinet or storage bench before you go to bed or when you’re not going to be using the space for a while. That way, you can be sure that your cushions and blankets will stay in good condition no matter the weather.

Want a little more protection? Pop everything into a waterproof cover to keep your textiles safe even from heavy rain. These covers are perfect for use with slatted storage benches which let water through, or just if you want to keep your textiles completely safe from damp.

3. Perfect plants, all year round


Be bolder than Mother Nature herself – use naturally hardy plants that can withstand even a touch of frost. That way, your little urban garden will stay looking fresh and green, as if it were spring all year round on your balcony.

The trick, aside from choosing hardy varieties, is to place your plants in pots made from durable materials. Opt for steel, which is rust-resistant, or terracotta, which retains excess water. And, if you use plant stands on wheels, you’ll be able to move your plants easily from one corner to another to give them a little sun when they need it.

4. A recipe to ward off the cold


You don’t need to stop cooking or eating outdoors. And you don’t need to fire up the barbecue to enjoy lunch al fresco. You just need to tweak the menu. Swap summer salads and smoothies for something a little more hearty (but just as delicious, of course!)

Place a portable induction hob outside and use it to heat up some warming soup. Or what about a vegetable broth or some tasty lentils? Sit down and enjoy!

Another of our favourite tips is to use a heat-resistant cup with a lid and protective grip. Your fingertips will thank you!

5. Light up your terrace and dine under the stars


As the days get shorter, you’re going to need a little more light on your terrace or balcony. Place a few lights around your table or seating area – just enough to create the perfect ambiance without being too bright.

For example,you could hang some LED lightbulbs above your table or add a pretty lantern with a candle inside.

Design your own decoration! Place a battery-powered lighting chain inside a glass vase to create a cosy atmosphere in an instant. And if you’re not a fan of candles or open flames, you can use an LED candle to achieve the same effect with none of the risk. Remember, these lights will always be more decorative than functional. If it’s bright light you need, you’ll have to use something a little more powerful.

Did you know that we now have a huge range of decorative solar-powered outdoor lights? That means no more hunting for spare batteries or sockets and power strips! And you’ll be saving on your energy bills while making your terrace or balcony environmentally friendly too. Pretty, affordable and sustainable: what more could you ask for?

Ideas to keep you entertained outdoors in autumn

Now that you’ve followed our tips to get your terrace or balcony ready for autumn, how are you going to make the most of it? Depending on when you get your free time, you can enjoy your terrace in different ways. And we have some suggestions!

You could make a reading nook, so you can curl up with a book while you soak up those last rays of sunshine as the days get cooler, or create the perfect spot to enjoy a good cup of coffee. You could even create an open air cinema in the comfort of your own home!

Check out our top tips for hosting the perfect movie night.

First of all, you’ll need a projector and a screen. Did you know? Those flat white sheets we all have in a drawer somewhere make the perfect backdrop onto which to project a film. Use clips to attach one to a shelf (or wherever you can). This will ensure that it stays securely fastened and prevent creases. And voilà! Your cinema is ready for its first screening. If you don’t have a flat sheet, do what we did and use a shower curtain instead. Does the trick, right?

Tip number two is just as important: don’t forget the snacks! Make sure that you have a drink and all your favourite cinema treats to hand so you don’t have to stop the show. You might still need an interval so you can take a trip to the loo – but there’s not much we can do about that! Pop everything onto a stool or trolley and... Shhh! It’s starting!

Want more ideas? We have lots more suggestions for you. Take a peek below!

We love it when customers use our products in a creative way. Why not try to do something new with them yourself? But do remember, any modifications or changes that you make to IKEA products will prevent them from being resold or used for their original use, thus invalidating IKEA product warranties and your right to return.