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Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space Longer

Nov 4, 2015 | Articles, Outdoor Living

Outdoor Porch with Fireplace

You can continue enjoying the great outdoors during the colder months just by considering a few ideas for your outdoor living space. Most of us, in the Northeast, plan to enjoy our outdoors for just one season, maybe two out of four, but no need to hibernate so soon. With a few considerations you can change your outdoor living area to allow for a few extra months of enjoyment. See some ideas that could entice you to breathe in the beauty of nature for a little while longer each year.

Adding Warmth

The most important consideration is staying warm while the weather may be growing cooler. There are many ways to incorporate added warmth to your outdoor space. One such way, is an exterior fireplace. The addition of a fireplace can be enjoyed for its ambience when the weather is milder and for its warmth to add comfort on the colder days. Adding a fireplace can transform your outdoor space into an inviting cozy place to curl up with a good book and a spot of tea, or enjoy sipping on a cognac with a few friends. An outdoor fireplace makes a great gathering spot. It creates a feeling of intimacy while letting you stay outside to take advantage of crisp fall/winter evenings.

Outdoor Porch with Fireplace

The addition of a fire element to your yard draws guests and family to the outdoors and there are a variety of ways to offer that inviting atmosphere. You can install a fireplace in a sheltered entry courtyard, along the rear wall of a home, or at the boundary between paved and planted areas. This conventional “controlled fire” will require hiring a contractor and may be the more expensive of the choices.

Fire Pits

Another great choice is a fire pit located on the home’s patio.  These can be built by your contractor or they also have fire pits that require no installation.  They come in all shapes and sizes and are available in your local hardware store, as well as, many other local stores. This is a transportable and mobile option that can be elaborate to rustic and can include one that sits on the patio, in the grass or a bowl that is in the center of a table. Chiminea’s are a popular and attractive option, which is an outdoor fireplace that has a short chimney and is also transportable and mobile. They can be made from metal or clay.

If your outdoor living space is on the rooftop in an urban area or just a small patio or screened porch connected to your home we can also recommend an electric patio heater, inexpensive gas or LP radiant heaters. Heaters are both powerful and compact, providing plenty of heat without needing a lot of room and enables you to take advantage of the beautiful view longer, while still staying comfortable.


Outdoor Patio Lighting

Though often overlooked, lighting is essential when preparing the patio for colder temperatures. The fall/winter months offer less daylight than the spring/summer seasons and this can inhibit outdoor living enjoyment.  Lack of lighting can create safety issues for family and guests. Adding lighting to an outdoor area is as easy as stringing up lanterns or lights. Christmas isn’t the only time of year to enjoy a string of soft lighting. This can add a festive element to your outdoor gathering and provide the necessary light for safety. Good landscape and deck/patio lighting can accent your outdoor space while allowing the less attractive areas to fade into the darkness.    As a rule, adding lighting around the house pointing upward accentuates the architectural attributes of the home or other elements and pointed downward creates a softer cozier glow.

Outdoor Porch Lighting

Other Ideas

If you want a more elaborate scheme, add an outdoor kitchen. This can include a stove, sink, bar and refrigerator, or just a grill and sink with seating for dining. The atmosphere that a pot of chili or steaming soup can add to the senses while enjoying a cozy fire is amazing.  Make sure you have comfortable cushions on your furniture to allow for the warm, and avoid metal or wood or wicker without cushions.  Toss some fleecy throws in and you have a “room with a view” space for entertaining, family gathering and quite moments.  Don’t dread the colder weather, embrace it by fighting back and refuse to hibernate until the snowfall.

Outdoor Kitchen with Stone

For more ideas on planning your outdoor living space, please visit our Outdoor Living Gallery.