Do You Want to Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space All Year Long? Don’t abandon it… take steps to warm it up!
Three of the most enjoyable words in the English language: “Let’s stay home.” According to experts, more people are looking for recreational options that can be enjoyed without leaving the house. HGTV calls this trend, “a desire to cocoon”–acknowledging the rise in popularity of outdoor living spaces that can be used year-round.
During these short, cold days it can seem natural to choose to stay indoors, cuddled on a couch, instead of spending time in your yard in the winter. Yet winter can be an ideal time to enjoy your outdoor space, especially if you implement features that help you capitalize on seasonal changes rather than dread them.
Here are some suggestions to put into consideration to enjoy your outdoor living space in winter:
1. Flush with Green
One key step is to design your yard with winter-blooming and cold-resistant shrubs, plants, and perennials. Having some winter foliage around can make your outdoor living space appear warmer and more inviting.
Designer Stephen Kung suggests that vibrant greenery can be extended through the winter months by using evergreen hedges to help define the landscape. Boxwood, juniper, dwarf globe arborvitae and yew, he says, “are all useful for this technique.” Purple coneflower and Red Osier are two good options for adding different splashes of color to complement the greenery.
Don’t forget. Choose perennials that are suitable for this space based on how much sunlight it gets. Some perennials to consider include yucca, dwarf fountain grasses, and lavender.
2. Light it Up
Illuminate the landscape using bistro lights in trees and LED lights in planters or play areas for children. You also can line walkways with staggered path lights and accentuate your favorite architectural details with strategically placed light fixtures, suggests Outdoor Home Living. This soft lighting helps mitigate the sometimes oppressive darkness of cold, short days.
Here are some lighting options to consider for your outdoor space:
Cafe String Lights
Cafe string lights are an elegant and simple way to fill large areas with inviting illumination and ambiance. White or yellow lights are easy to find and go well with Fall colors. String lights can illuminate outdoor and entry areas and it’s a great way to ease your friends and family into increasingly earlier sunsets as we move through to Winter.
As you begin to embrace the popular tradition of outdoor holiday decorating, using festive accents are a nice way to enhance the effect of an external lighting system. During fall, Jack-o-lanterns are a handy way to light up the edges of the pathways trick-or-treaters will be using to reach your door on Halloween night. Twinkle lights throughout the entire winter season as always a fan favorite!
Security Lighting with a Twist
Security lighting can be a nice way to add an additional layer of safety to your home’s exterior. But it doesn’t have to be all business. With a little creativity, you can incorporate security lights into your seasonal decorating and make them as inviting as they are functional.
If you have a pool, pond, or any kind of outdoor feature that uses water, then you have a terrific opportunity to make special use of lighting. Similarly to the way mirrors can make a room feel more expansive, water can act as a light multiplier. Just a small amount of outdoor lighting strategically placed around water features is a great way to get the most out of your outdoor lighting.
3. Add Your Own Warmth
You also can evoke a luminous, hospitable environment by installing fire features, such as fireplaces, pits or bowls, which are available in many different designs to blend into your intended ambiance. Other sources of warmth to consider, according to EiEiHome, are hot tubs and electric patio heaters. The article explains how these features can be complemented by “other winter-friendly additions,” such as wooden furniture.
- Start a Fire. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are practical and recreational. This is an outdoor feature that can go almost anywhere in this area while also providing a convenient spot for you and family members or guests to sit and avoid the cold. They now outrank patio grills in popularity! And with hundreds of design options, they fit in nearly any budget.
- Hit the Floor. Heated floors do wonders to improve outdoor patios. Add some pillows, blankets, and candles, and your guests won’t even realize it’s cold outside.
- Heat Lamps. Heat lamps are able to keep outdoor living spaces toasty when it’s cold out. Standing heat lamps can be moved around, which gives you more flexibility in terms of where they go. You can also have these lamps installed in the ceiling of your outdoor living space if you don’t want a standing version to take up space.
4. Bring the Inside Out
Another feature to consider is an enclosure of some sort. Not only do structures such as gazebos, pavilions, and pergolas offer protection from the elements, but they can be tailored to match your desired aesthetic. According to Outdoor Home Living, placing an enclosure near the patio “offers a whole new dimension to your backyard for entertaining,” particularly during winter.
While building a patio cover is a big project, it pays off with extended use in the cooler months. Bonus: Patio covers also block out the sun during the hot summer months–providing a seasonal win/win.
Also, consider enclosing your space. While glass won’t do much to bring warmth to your outdoor space (thank goodness for portable heaters!), it will protect it from the elements and allow you to enjoy the benefits of natural light during the dark winter months.
Don’t hesitate to blur the lines! Sometimes winterizing the outdoor space is as simple as bringing indoor comforts outside. Lay a rug, hang a curtain, or add a canopy! It could also be as simple as having some blankets and pillows around. Add these to the seating in this space, and you can count on staying cozy all season long.
Sliding doors and a weatherized floor can go a long way in creating a spot you can enjoy all year.
5. Warm Splashes of Color
According to HGTV.com, embellishing outdoor spaces with warm colors and textures can help create an atmosphere on your deck or patio that is cozy and inviting, even during cold weather. Focus on incorporating artful features that include shades of red, yellow and orange.
Consider incorporating these 4 outdoor design concepts you’ll be seeing a lot of in 2019!
Cozy Gathering Spaces
Bypass any yard furniture that doesn’t allow for comfortable relaxation. Purchase soft, comfortable patio chairs and complement them with large tables, well-placed shrubbery, and rock or gravel accents. You can make an outdoor fireplace or even a pool the centerpiece of your design.
Captivating Herb Gardens
Adding an herb garden makes your yard space both functional and engaging. Imagine going out into your backyard to pick fresh ingredients instead of going to the store. It’s a great option for those who love cooking and experimenting with different herb flavors.
Inspirations Through Nature
Use nature to your advantage by allowing different aspects of it to peep through the designs you lay down. Use flagstones to set up naturalistic-looking walkways or gorgeous patio designs. Pick wood, stone, and other materials reflective of the natural environment surrounding your home
Creative Functional Lighting
One of the most effective ways of adding impact around your home is by investing in stylish light fixtures around your yard and patio. Pick different styles that compliment and beautify spaces in different ways. Some great ways to do this include adding granite lamp posts around your patio, walkway lamp posts along chosen paths, or even putting a chandelier above your outdoor dining area.
Don’t forget to enjoy natural elements of the season, such as snow and extended nights. For more ideas on how to enjoy your yard in the winter, contact us and start imaging your ideal outdoor living space.