You have an outdoor space you simply love to spend time in during the summer and when the days are warmer. Come winter, this space goes dormant and you long for options that will allow you to use your patio all year round. This is something you can easily make work with a couple of ideas listed below that will revive your yard.
Add a heat source
Once the summer is over, the evenings become chilly and then the days too. However, you don’t have to stop enjoying your patio just because the weather has changed. A propane or electric outdoor heater is a simple and elegant solution that only takes a flip of the switch to start warming up the area. On the other hand, an outdoor fireplace is a cozier solution you can adapt to fit the rest of your exterior design. Although the main materials for building a fireplace are stone, brick, and plaster, you can easily adapt them to a wide range of styles.
Invest in quality garden furniture
The best furniture for your patio is the water-resistant one like polyresin wicker and powder-coated steel. Couches and armchairs are trendy for the outdoors with patterned and colorful cushions to make them more fashionable and comfortable. A nice hammock is a valuable addition to your patio especially if you don’t have too much space for a lavish seating set. With quality garden furniture not only you will be able to use the space anytime you want but also gain a valuable outdoor entertaining area.
Make it cozy
There are a lot of ways to make your patio functionally cozy for all the seasons. Blankets thrown over the back of a chair and couch will keep you warmer, while pillows will make spending time outside more pleasant. Candlelight will create an inviting atmosphere while curtains are perfect to use as screens to gain more privacy. Decorate with faux flowers to make the décor more lively and colorful even during the cold months.
Say “yes” to a hot tub
In the snowy mountains of Japan and wintery Sweden, hot springs are one of the most popular attractions even though the temperature is low. So, by having a hot tub you will both follow trends and gain a luxurious upgrade for your patio. Soaking in a hot tub during winter is a great way to spend time outside and have a spontaneous party especially after snowballing or sledding to warm up. A hot tub is also good to relieve muscle pain, tension, and stress which makes it perfect patio addition for every season.
Build an outdoor kitchen
An outdoor kitchen by your patio is a wonderful way to keep the area warm and prepare delicious food for the guests. It’s great for grilling during fall and winter when usually people say goodbye to barbecues and dining outside. An apple pie from an outdoor oven or a hearty pumpkin soup on the stove will warm up the holiday season with scents and tastiness. And no one will say “no” to a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows or freshly brewed coffee while watching the snow outside.
Tend to your garden the whole year
Seasonal flowers, vegetables, and herbs are perfect for growing the whole year and you can do it in containers on your patio. That way spending time outside will be full of fragrances and greenery even during fall and winter. Evergreen shrubs like daphne Kramer’s Red winter heath will bring colorfulness and sweet scents to your patio. Dwarf Mugo pine and Sunkist arborvitae are aesthetically and practically perfect to grow by the patio for the whole-year green wonderland.
Spice it up with potted plants
If your patio is enclosed, adding potted plants will make it more peaceful and attractive. Golden creeping Jenny falls over the rim of the container which makes it ideal for wall-mounted and hanging pots. For something lusher, choose shrubby Japanese Pieris which changes colors from gentle red to pink and then beige throughout the seasons. With tall annual plants like love lies bleeding you will be able to change the décor of your patio every year and get shade from the heat during summer. Bamboo is perfect for containers since you can control its rapid growth and use it as a wall for your patio.
Decorate for the holidays
Some of the most celebrated holidays happen during fall and winter like Halloween and Christmas making it a perfect excuse to decorate your patio. Carve pumpkins for the steps and put candles inside so they appear more insidious during the evenings. Turn the heaters on and have a Thanksgiving dinner outside on the patio decked out with leaves and pumpkins. For Christmas, place string lights on the railings and walls with festive flower arrangements full of pine cones, holly, and ornaments for the coffee table.
Enhance a seating area with a fire pit
If your patio is on the small side, then adding a fire pit will be enough to keep you warm throughout the year. They are perfect for making s’mores, outdoor parties and to create an intimate ambiance in the evenings. Small fire pits are quite affordable and you can buy them in a store, but you can also build one yourself. However, building a fire pit is a perfect and inexpensive DIY project that will allow you to have just the one you imagined for the patio.
Even if you enter the patio from your house, paved pathways are a welcoming addition that will allow access from outside. During the winter and rainy season, a patio can serve as a mudroom and having a path will minimize the dirt. Solar lamps are ideal to illuminate a pathway during evenings and lead guests to your patio. Just maintain it regularly, for example by removing weeds and repairing cracks so it would stay stylish and last longer.
Upgrade patio with outdoor entertainment
One of the ways to spend time on your patio all year round is to have outdoor entertainment. Install a TV set outside and invite friends for a football game or a movie with food prepared in your outdoor grill. And with Wi-Fi available anywhere, you can play console games outside and stream shows and videos. Since the patio is a common part of the house, manufacturers make models that can withstand colder temperatures and humidity in the air. If you have a large patio, you can add a pool table or pinball for more classy and traditional entertainment.
Opt for patio roof
There is a variety of roofs you can use for patio made from different materials like glass or fabric. Roofing systems like reinforced Aristo pergola will allow you to control the weather conditions on your patio. It’s especially great for patios that don’t get much sun during the day since you can retract the roof and bring in more natural light. On the other hand, a patio roof will also give you the possibility to add walls and enclose the space for the ultimate comfort during winter.
Enclose the area
The most efficient way to enjoy your patio all year round is to enclose it with glass walls. You can do this with sliding or folding door systems that will both protect you from the elements and give you the view. With window awnings for the summer and heating for the winter, this type of patio is available during all seasons. Basically, you will get a second living area especially if you decorate it to match the interior design of the rest of your home.
You may not need so many lights in the summer, but from fall the days become shorter and you could use additional illumination on your patio. Opt for eco-friendly and economical solar and LED lighting like strings and railings lights. You can install lights on the floor to gain a more relaxing ambiance and use dimmers to control the brightness. Fairy lights are perfect for all seasons and you will easily find a waterproof model to install on screens, bushes or pergola columns.
Perform regular maintenance
To serve you the whole year, the patio needs regular maintenance and repairs to stay in top shape. Use eco-friendly products since they don’t leave toxins behind and pressure wash your patio to remove persistent dirt after rain and snow. Depending on the patio flooring, you can use various materials to scrub stains from soft brush to sponge with white vinegar and baking soda. If you notice weeds between bricks or cracks, pull them out or use one-part salt and two-part boiling water solution for natural weeding.
Enjoying your patio all year round means you will have to do some renovations and upgrades. From heaters to retractable walls, these improvements will make your outdoors more comfortable and functional part of the house. And don’t forget to decorate it for the holidays because it will make it more fun and attractive to sit on and relax.
Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.