While the cooler temps may settle over the area during the winter months, there is no reason to stare longingly at your outdoor space and wish for spring to arrive. Before thinking that you’re relegated to several months of indoor activities, there are things you can do to fully enjoy and make use of your patio during the winter. Here are several winter patio ideas to help you extend the usefulness of your outdoor space, even on chilly afternoons and evenings.
1. Create Shelter
While gazing at the stars and communing with nature is one of the joys of being outside, the open sky also exposes you to Mother Nature’s wrath. Wind and rain can quickly put a damper on any outdoor plans, so it might be a good idea to consider covering all or part of your patio.
You can go all in and add a full roof with fans, heaters, and even speakers. On the other hand, you can create some covered spaces with a detached pergola or a large cantilevered umbrella.
2. Plant trees and Foliage
The strategic use of plants and trees can not only help you block out some of the elements from your outdoor space but also control moisture. One recommendation is to plant coniferous trees, which will accomplish both of these goals.
There is also a misconception that plants don’t thrive in the winter. Depending on your zone, you can add a variety of plants to your patio space that not only adds depth and color to the area but also a sense of warmth which will make spending time outdoors more attractive.
3. Add Some Heat
There will, of course, be a few occasions where you’re going to need some help to stay toasty warm in your outdoor space. This applies year-round in some climates. The best solution is to add a heat source to your patio so that a cold snap won’t ruin your plans.
The good news is that you have several choices. You can power up the heat with electric heaters that are either wall-mounted or independent. Another option is to go more rustic with an outdoor fireplace that requires wood.
One of the most popular and aesthetically pleasing choices are fire tables, which comes in a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes. These heating elements use propane for fuel and can also complement your outdoor patio furniture decor.
4. Use Quality Seating
When it comes to your outdoor space, you want to be as comfortable as possible, whether the weather is warm and inviting or on the chilly side. You also need something that is going to stand up to the elements year after year. This is why your choice in quality outdoor seating matters.
When you choose quality outdoor furniture, you not only have something that is going to add warmth and character to your space, but also value. Materials such as metal, teak, and all-weather fabric are going to stand up to the elements for many years to come, giving you the durability you need to continue enjoying your patio in any conditions.
5. Remember the Accessories
How you decorate your patio during the winter and what you add to the mix will make the space both more inviting and comfortable. If the weather becomes dreary in your area, brighten up your patio with some bold artwork and colorful accents.
Comfort is key, so you also want to give family members and guests options to regulate their personal temperature. Have plenty of outdoor pillows on hand and also a bin full of comfortable blankets for some extra warmth.
6. Light it Up
Spending time on the patio during the summer months is extra special because daylight hours are extended. The opposite is true during the winter, which can be downright depressing and take all of the fun out of your plans. Fortunately, you can lighten and brighten the mood with the right lighting.
Even though it gets dark around 5:00 p.m. in the winter months, your time outside can be even more magical with the light that comes from your fire tables. You can also add some large candles and string lights to the space to create a more festive setting.
Winter is just on the horizon, but you may already be feeling the effects of the cooler temps that are driving you away from your favorite outdoor space. By making just a few design tweaks and adding some heating elements, you can continue to use your patio as an extension of your home during the winter months.