Most of the time when you think about lounging on your patio you’re probably envisioning doing so during warmer, more temperate conditions. Enjoying your patio doesn’t have to be limited to the warmer portions of the year though. There are ways you can set up your patio so that you can enjoy it during the winter too.
Protect From Rain and Snow
Cold, wet conditions are often prevalent during winter. If you want to enjoy your patio even during these conditions, start with finding ways to shelter your patio from rain and snow. You could use partial coverings, such as a pergola or umbrella, if less complete coverage is practical for your area. Otherwise, opting for full coverage by adding an awning or roof to your patio may be a more preferable alternative. This way you can enjoy watching the rain or snow fall without having to be in it yourself.
Outdoor Heater or Fireplace
So you’ve started getting your patio sheltered. The next step is to find ways to warm it up. There are some really fun outdoor fireplace ideas you can use to match whatever your budget or style is. These can be great if you want to try your hand at some outdoor winter cooking or if you just love getting cozy around a fire. If a fireplace or fire pit isn’t a good option for you, there are some other heating alternatives worth considering. Electric heaters can get the job done, as can propane heaters. If you use an electric heater, do your best to keep it sheltered from precipitation. Taller propane heaters can potentially leave heat marks on surfaces above them if they are too close. When positioning your heaters, do so to protect both the heater itself and the rest of the surrounding areas.
One of the other things that tend to come along with winter months are shorter days and longer nights. Since you’ll have less natural light to work with, you might want to consider adding some of your own. This can be a great way to set the mood for an evening, whether romantic, festive, or anything in between. You might be able to do some double duty here with your heaters, as some can serve as lighting as well. If you have a roof, you can add light fixtures to it. Of course, the winter is full of fun holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, so there are some fun sources of inspiration you can use for your lighting plans. There are a lot of fun ways to incorporate string lights into your patio design.
Get the Right Furniture
If you want to be able to enjoy your patio all year long, choosing the right furniture is critical. Not all outdoor furniture is suited to all climates, so it’s important to take the weather conditions most common where you live into consideration when selecting your outdoor furniture for your patio. If you want your outdoor furniture to last, make sure you go for quality, rather than whatever is cheapest. Exposure to the sun can cause wood furniture to fade and discolor. Furniture that has an extended warranty, is waterproof, and has UV inhibitors worked into the weave are good pieces to start with when looking for furniture. You’ll also want to look for furniture that will be resistant to rust.
Add Cozy Decor
To make your patio feel cozy, add some cozy decor. You might consider starting with adding throw pillows and blankets to your furniture. Choose fabrics that will provide additional warmth and comfort. If you are concerned about how they might hold up to winter weather, keep them inside when you aren’t using them. Again, since there are so many holidays during winter months, you can have a lot of fun adding holiday themed decorations to your patio. When decorating outdoors, consider again the materials those decorations are made from. Sturdy decorations that are likely to stand up to your local weather conditions will fare best.
Green It Up
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t have plants on your patio. Of course, what plants are best will depend on what zone you’re in. Adding plants and greenery to your patio offers multiple benefits. It can add vibrancy and life to your space, providing a source of positive, peaceful energy that you may find promotes relaxation. The added life can make your patio seem warmer as well. Adding plants gives extra depth to your patio by providing a splash of color to it. They can also help control moisture and, depending on the size of the plant, may provide a little extra shelter from the elements as well. Planting coniferous trees can be especially helpful in this regard. If you choose to use them as a wind barrier, make sure you know what directions the wind comes from so you know where to best position to receive the greatest benefits.
Add a Hot Tub
Who says enjoying the water has to be limited to warm weather? If you have a hot tub, you can enjoy it all year long. Having a hot tub on your patio can be a great way to boost your enjoyment during the winter. Technological improvements to energy efficiency mean that you have less to do to winterize your hot tub. As long as you don’t leave water in it to freeze, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about winter weather conditions damaging the tub either. There are a lot of benefits that come from hot tubbing, and there’s no reason you should have to miss out on them just because it’s cold out. This could prove the ultimate way to relax.
You can still enjoy your patio during the winter. Finding ways to protect it from the elements, light it up, and make it feel cozy can go a long way towards making it a great space to hang out even when the weather turns cold. If you do it right, you may even find that you like it better that way.
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