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Create Your Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Space This Fall

Create Your Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Space This Fall

From the Read the Stories from the Fall 2021 ABODE Magazine series

When last year’s COVID-19 concerns caused people to seek safe outdoor activities well into autumn, many homeowners made a discovery: Outdoor entertaining is delightful. As the trend continues, creating a beautiful, cozy outdoor entertainment space is a priority for many metro area residents.

Before jumping in, take stock of your existing setup, advises Ken Stuckenschneider, principal designer of Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design. Consider which area has the best views, whether the seating area is conveniently near the kitchen, the path guests will take to access the patio or deck, the balance of sun and shade and the landscaping surrounding the space.

“The most important element for creating an outdoor fall entertainment space is utilizing an area that overlooks beautiful fall foliage or autumnal flowers,” Stuckenschneider says. “It is also important to have a designated area for the fire pit for warmth. One of the great joys of life is sitting around a burning fire while roasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate with friends and loved ones.”

Stuckenschneider favors old-fashioned wood fires for their ambiance, warmth and crackle, but he adds that propane fires have become increasingly attractive and popular. “I prefer to custom-design them for the homeowner to create something unique and special,” he says. “My favorite fire-pit materials are stone, brick and hand-forged steel.”

In terms of seating and layout, Stuckenschneider recommends surrounding the fire pit with at least six comfortable chairs that have wide arms. A separate area features a sofa and additional chairs, and a dining table that seats eight is also an important furnishing.

With plenty of room to comfortably relax and a warm, atmospheric fire as a focal point, homeowners should then embellish the space with seasonal floral displays and planters. “My favorites are natural Italian terra cotta pots, as well as copper, bronze or zinc planters,” Stuckenschneider says. “Painted Versailles planter boxes are always a classic and timeless choice, as well as Italian marble fragments. As for the foliage, it is important to have something beautiful for you and your guests to see as you gather outside. I recommend chrysanthemums, ornamental cabbage and colorful pansies.”

No matter your style for creating an outdoor space, Stuckenschneider advises using natural materials whenever possible, selecting furniture that ages well and will hold up to the elements and using colors that blend with the natural landscape. Then sit back, sip that cocoa and enjoy a crisp, fall evening with friends.

Stuckenschneider Decoration & Design, 9785 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-726-2000,

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Connie, a native of St. Charles and graduate of the MU School of Journalism, is a freelance writer and editor who contributes to print and online publications for clients throughout the region. She enjoys travel, hiking, kayaking and drinking good coffee

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