Many homeowners only think about spending time on their patios, decks, and porches on the warm days of spring, summer, and fall. But there’s a big missed opportunity here because winter can actually be a fantastic time to enjoy your outdoor space. Outdoor spaces can be enjoyed year-around, so don’t let cold weather stop you from enjoying this key asset of your home.
The purpose of this article is to provide design ideas for creating an outdoor space that you can enjoy in colder weather. We’ll also highlight some fun winter home design tips and how you can keep your outdoor furniture in great shape during the winter season.
Outdoor Patio Ideas for Winter
All good outdoor patio ideas start with a great selection of patio furniture. Regardless of the season, patio furniture essentials include a table with chairs, umbrellas, sofas, loveseats, sectionals, chairs, end tables, benches, and barstools. In the winter, you might not need that umbrella as much to block out the sun, but all of the other furniture pieces are very useful year-around. When looking for winter patio furniture, you’ll want to select durable items that can withstand extreme temperatures and perhaps even get a little wet without ruining the materials.
Stock Up on Extra Blankets and Pillows
There’s nothing cozier than cuddling up in a warm blanket and surrounding yourself with fluffy pillows on a cold day. One easy way to make your outdoor space more inviting is to add extra blankets and pillows to your existing patio furniture. You can take these items inside or place them into an outdoor storage bin when you’re done using them to protect them from moisture.
Buy an Outdoor Fireplace or Firepit
Perhaps the very best way to spend time on your patio or deck this winter is to buy an outdoor fireplace or firepit. At Furniture Barn, we carry top-of-the-line outdoor gas firepits in various styles by Tommy Bahama Outdoor Living.
Not only do outdoor heating sources like these provide warmth on cold days, but they can also assist with outdoor cooking and add a cozy ambiance to your space. Firepits are typically a more affordable option compared to installing a full outdoor fireplace, yet they still provide a perfect outdoor gathering place for spending time with loved ones and swapping stories over the flames.
Pick Up Some S’mores Supplies
No outdoor fire in cold weather is complete with out some delicious snacks! The quintessential fireside treat is s’mores, which is a fun camping tradition with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Aside from those delicious ingredients, pick up some roasting sticks to get those marshmallows to toasted perfection over the firepit.
Install Patio Curtain to Retain Heat
To keep in all that heat you’re generating with an outdoor fireplace or firepit, install some patio curtains or roll-up shades. This will help keep out the cold wind as well and add a little more privacy to your outdoor space.
For everyone’s safety and to prevent a fire hazard, make sure to keep the curtains away from heating sources at all time. If you plan to spend a lot of time on your patio this winter, you might want to consider turning it into a fully enclosed space that is screened in or enclosed with glass windows.
Change Up Your Plants
Contrary to popular belief, many plants grow and even thrive during the winter season. Take a trip to your local gardening store to ask about the types of plants that will do well in your location and with your current landscaping setup. You may need to clean out planters and pots from your fall plants to make room for winter ones. Even when its cold outside, plants are a wonderful way to add life and color to days that may be dreary and gray.
Experiment with Bold Colors
Winter colors are often thought to be white, gray, and blue, but now is also a great time to experiment with bold colors to brighten up your outdoor space. You can incorporate bright pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, and greens into your blankets, throw pillows, and decorative items. It’s also easy and fun to add a brightly-colored rug to your outdoor space for extra color.
Adjust Your Outdoor Lighting
Lighting also makes a big difference in how inviting your outdoor space is, so you may want to adjust it a bit for the winter season. Lighting sets the mood and can reenergize an outdoor space that was previously going to waste for the season. Strands of decorative lights are also fun for the holidays and can easily be swapped out for upcoming occasions.
Provide Plenty of Table Space for Drinks
Cocktails are a fun way to warm up with friends on a cold winter’s night. But no one wants to hold a cold glass in their hands when the temperature drops!
Make sure to have plenty of end tables, side tables, and occasional tables on your outdoor patio or deck so that guests can put their drinks down in an easy place that’s within reach. Of course, there are plenty of hot cocktail recipes that you can also make for your guests with your favorite spirits and mixers.
Invest in an Outdoor Kitchen
Pretty much everyone loves a delicious home-grilled meal, and outdoor cooking is a lot more convenient when you have an outdoor kitchen. Depending on your budget and the size of space you’re working with, you may be able to invest in a full outdoor kitchen with grilling space, food prep space, a small refrigerator, and maybe even an oven. Alternatively, a stand-alone grill can be used all winter long to prepare family meals and entertain guests.
Winter Home Design Tips for the Outdoors
Not only will the furniture you use vary from season to season, but also how you decorate your outdoor space. Winter home design for outdoor spaces should be cozy, inviting, and festive for the holidays. Depending on which holidays you and your family celebrate around this time of year, you can hang ornaments, drape greenery, or place candles around your outdoor space. You can also get festive with your dinnerware, glassware, and napkins to add special touches to your winter home design in the outdoors.
Protecting Your Patio Furniture During the Winter
Of course, some types of patio furniture are more likely to be used in winter than others. So, you may want to store away certain pieces to protect them against the harsh elements of nature. It’s also a good idea to store away delicate pieces of patio furniture after use during the winter season for protective purposes.
Before the cold and snowy days of winter really set in, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean all of your patio furniture to get rid of dirt, mold, and mildew. You can then apply a protective furniture coating to wood pieces or special waxes for wicker, plastic, and aluminum materials. Many people use a thin coat of automobile wax on metal surfaces and a light coat of lemon oil on wicker surfaces to provide winter protection. Silicon sealants also help to treat and prevent rust on metal furniture.
Unused patio furniture can be stacked and stored in a garage or shed, or perhaps underneath specialized covers or storage bags if storage space is limited. Furniture covers should be heavy-duty and water-resistant but still be breathable enough to allow moisture to be released. For fabric protection, make sure to remove furniture cushions and place them indoors when not in use during the winter.
We hope that you have found these outdoor patio ideas helpful and will use them to make the most of your outdoor space this winter season!