11 Unique Items To Keep Your Backyard Cool This Fall
From fire pits to retractable awnings, make the most of fall with these impressive backyard accessories
By Holly Cowart
Anyone that’s owned a home knows it’s an investment, and the backyard should be no different. Large or little, the seeds you plant now can bloom into a fully realized personal oasis with room for adventure, style, relaxation and fun. From unconventional kitchen equipment to game-changing accessories for sustainable living, we’ve gathered a list of fabulous ideas from local brands to help make the best of your outdoor space — rain or shine.
Dubbed “the perfect outdoor chair,” the Acapulco line from Design Tree Studio comes in an assortment of vibrant colors and shapes (including a rocking chair version!) to match any backyard aesthetic. The retro looks are created with traditional Mayan weaving techniques and can be found at The Khazana, a family-owned furniture store with two showrooms in Austin filled with distinct home goods inspired by travel.
Work from home became a way of life for many Austinites over the last year and a half. Studio Builders have made it easy for homeowners to create a dedicated space for their professions and pastimes right in their own backyard. No longer an unappealing or ignored storage shack in the corner of the lawn, these light-filled, elegant sheds are made at 16×8 feet with plenty of room for productivity and creativity to thrive, complete with electricity and internet access. There’s also availability for custom builds after a free collaborative consultation with the Studio Builders team.
Outdoor Pizza Ovens
As one of the best and largest kitchen supply stores in Austin, Faraday’s boasts an incredible assortment of cooking supplies and specialty equipment and hosts regular culinary workshops. If you’re looking for an exciting addition to your outdoor kitchen that goes beyond the average grill, consider a gas or wood-fired pizza oven to perfect your pie-making skills. There’s never a bad time to have a homemade slice and, trust me, your friends will be just as grateful.
Composting involves recycling organic matter like food and garden waste and turning it into fertilizer that helps soil thrive — but it can also be a bit of a mess. However, the ecological experts at Ecotopes have just the fix: a single-bin XOYL composter. The brand is the brainchild of former UT Landscape Architecture student and award-winning designer, Steve Shelton, and the steel bins are welded by hand right here in Austin for a local touch that will jump start anyone’s journey to a greener lifestyle.
Cooler weather means more opportunities to warm up with friends and family by the fire, and Bold MFG & Supply brings the heat with its modern fire pits that are as decorative as they are functional. Led by owner Jonathan Duke, a team of dedicated builders and artists craft the Austin-inspired pits from raw, unfinished steel, which over time naturally rusts to a lovely dark brown patina. You can also purchase a fully assembled Ash top cover or just the brackets for a more budget-friendly, DIY option using the wood of your choice.
Among the range of new hobbies people are adding to their repertoire, raising chickens has become an increasingly popular way of updating one’s urban lifestyle with an agrarian twist. Founded by Dyan Twining and her husband Montie in Dripping Springs, Roost & Root has been helping folks “find their inner farmer” since 2014 with well-crafted coops that are both pleasing to look at and highly protective against the elements. If this has piqued your interest in the past, know there are numerous benefits to owning chickens, from easy access to organic eggs, living more sustainably, creating fun family activities and more. Check in with the City of Austin’s guide to learn the ins and outs of urban chicken keeping!
Looking to fill your life with a little more zen? So is Garden Seventeen, a newer greenhouse and garden destination from the team behind Native Edge Landscape. Although the expansive Central Austin location holds an impressive selection of plant life and gardening supplies, we’re loving the statuary and stone fountains that bring a peaceful ambiance and artistic flair to your landscape, like this earth-toned short sphere fountain.
Texas Tiny Pools is making dreams come true with its concrete pools that are custom designed for every lawn, big or small. Not only a beautiful place to cool off, these are much more cost effective, environmentally conscious and lower maintenance than other traditionally sized pools. Customers can choose to include a sliding deck or make their pools heated for a hot tub vibe that can be enjoyed all year round. The company currently serves the Austin Metro area, with new projects available for construction early 2022.
Turn your backyard into a wonderland with these picturesque and lifelike playhouses, finely detailed from the Dutch door and aluminum-framed windows down to the interior loft. Family-owned and operated, A-OK ensures quality and safety are at the forefront of each structure, while the delightful miniature homes easily double as a storage space when not in use. With endless options for customization, check out their vast assortment of designs online and let your child’s imagination run wild without going too far from home.
Gardening Tools & Accessories
The specialists at landscape architecture firm Thompson + Hanson know the intrinsic value of incorporating nature into our residential spaces and everyday lives, offering clients a mixture of landscape design, garden and consultation services. Along with a charming Austin nursery in Kerbey Lane Village — aptly named Garden House — their online shop also delivers a gorgeous selection of home goods that evoke a “relaxed yet refined” ambiance, from antique decorations to must-have garden tools that will upgrade anyone’s green thumb.
Patio Shades & Retractable Awnings
Everyone knows how essential a patio can be, from sipping coffee in the morning to viewing stunning sunsets in the afternoon. However, the Texas sun isn’t always so kind, and unpredictable weather can make it difficult to kick back and relax. Queue Shading Texas, which has been outfitting homes with patio screens and retractable awnings for years from Austin to San Antonio. Made from specially woven fabric, these eye-catching covers will let you enjoy the view mosquito-free and even add a little privacy from nearby neighbors.