Just because the weather changes doesn’t mean you have to give up on spending time outside. Sure, the temperature, weather and sunlight seem to be pushing you to hole up indoors, but there are some steps you can take to ensure you’re comfortable outside all year long.
The following are just five of the many ways to extend your outdoor living space so that it works for every season. Set them up, sit back and relax — outside, of course, because now you can.
1. Heat it up
One of the biggest concerns about spending time outside in colder months is, well, the cold weather. It’s no surprise that you don’t want to sit on your patio and shiver — there’s nothing pleasant about that experience. But you can use a little bit of heat to make your backyard functional all year long.
Whether you outfit your backyard with its own fireplace or invest in some overhead heating lamps, a source of warmth will make it easy to head outdoors and enjoy your patio all year long. The former also gives you a few activities you can partake in while you hang out outside: s’mores, anyone?
2. Light it up, too
Once you have a source of heat, you’ll want a few sources of light set up, too. Most backyards or outdoor spaces are equipped with extra-bright floodlights. These powerful bulbs can seriously illuminate your space, but they do little to create an ambiance that invites you to spend time outside.
Instead, try your hand at landscape lighting to softly light your plants, trees and pathways. You can add even more gentle lighting with candles on tables where you’ll be dining or putting your drinks. Altogether, you’ll have just enough of a glow without overpowering your space with florescent overhead bulbs.
3. Go cozy
In the summer, you want to lounge outside and catch some rays. However, this is not the vibe you’ll want to maintain year-round. As such, you can ensure you want to spend time outside during every season by investing in cozy outdoor furniture rather than sunbathing chairs or other one-season pieces.
Picking out a patio set isn’t always easy, so start by deciphering your personal style — it’s the first step in figuring out how to design your outdoor space. You may want a traditional-style set with rockers or something more modern like the outdoor sectionals that are currently dominating the market. Figuring out what fits your style is the first step in creating an outdoor space you love.
Whatever ends up sparking your fancy should be made of durable, high-quality materials. Most outdoor furniture sets come with this type of fabric as a standard, but make sure what you buy is thick and weatherproof so that it lasts as long as possible.
4. Run for cover!
You don’t have to hideout on your patio — but you should give your space at least a partial overhang so that you can stay dry even if Mother Nature has other plans. There are plenty of options for outdoor shelter, too. You can invest in a retractable patio cover so that you can enjoy sunshine when you have it and shade when you need it.
Installing a more permanent structure would mean giving up on a roof-free seating area even on days when you want to see the clear, blue sky. You could try building half an overhang, for example, to give you just enough coverage from precipitation without making you feel like you’re inside even when you’re not.
5. Grow your garden
Your outdoor space feels almost incomplete without flowers, garden beds, herbs and produce to tend to. Just because the weather changes doesn’t mean you have to give up on your gardening, though: in fact, maintaining some form of foliage will make your space feel more cozy, functional and lived-in.
There’s plenty you can grow in winter and autumn, so no need to worry about dropping temperatures interfering with your dream of cultivating a garden year-round. Just keep an eye to seasonality charts so that you’re not planning an impossible harvest and voila: you’ll have a green, functioning garden that might even produce tasty, fresh ingredients for meals year-round. If that’s not a win, we don’t know what is.
How will you make your outdoor living space livable year round? As you can see, there are multiple ways to make that vision a reality — all there’s left to do is get started and make your dream patio come to life.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.