The perks of a perfect patio are hard to ignore. It’s like having an extra room in your home. You can cook, eat, nap, read, relax and, best of all, send the kids out to play. Why limit those awesome benefits to the summer months? Spending time outdoors is an essential part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. The trick is extending your patio season year-round, even when the outdoor temperature is less than ideal.
Include Some Comfort
Enjoying time outdoors despite the temperature must include comfortable furniture. You won’t want to sit on a cold metal chair in the middle of winter. You need soft cushions that are clean and free from mold or mildew. Add in a plush blanket and pillows to provide more comfort that will take the edge off the cooler weather. Outdoor rugs underneath the seating area will also keep toes and feet comfy and cozy.
There’s something warm and inviting about an outdoor fire pit. Whether you choose gas or a wood-burning option, you’ll have a tough time tearing yourself away from the light and warmth of a cozy fire. Imagine s’mores in the winter. Another option? A gas-powered patio heater that radiates heat on all sides. Tabletop outdoor heating elements are also an option if you want to add just a touch of heat.
Add a Cover
The wind, rain, and even a little snow won’t bother you if you have some shelter. An awning or canopy can take the edge off, as long as you have some heat. A covered patio adds value and elegance to your yard and makes it more energy efficient. It’s also great for adding shade in the summer!
Light It Up
A dip in temperatures and the arrival of fall color also means less light. Battle this loss by hanging extra lighting to your outdoor living space. A strand of twinkle lights provides a nice touch that adds ambiance to your patio and yard. Light up your landscaping and pathways. Solar stick lights surrounding the patio will keep the electric bill low and give you just enough light to enjoy the evening.
Plant Seasonal Color
While many gardens and lawns go dormant during the colder months, there are a few unique plants that love the winter weather. Planting seasonal colors for your growing zone allows you to continue enjoying your patio all year long. Consider adding chrysanthemums, pansies or winter jasmine for natural color. For those of you living in warmer climates, there are more options for winter color as some plants continue to bloom year-round.
Keep It Tidy
As with any living space, you’re more likely to spend time in an area that isn’t dirty. Get the leafblower and rake out and keep the yard and patio free of leaves and fallen twigs. Cleaning out or fixing drains and downspouts will ensure that no standing water invades your yard. Shovel snowy walkways and cover outdoor seating before a snowstorm to protect the seating from the elements.
There are many ways to enjoy the outdoors in every season. While cooler temperatures do bring a certain chill to the air, fall and winter can be one of the most beautiful times to experience the outdoors.
Neil Scarano is a retired real estate agent who enjoys redecorating and flipping houses in his spare time. His specialty is designing backyards with a unique flair.