Design A Warm And Inviting Outdoor Area For Winter Entertaining

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Design A Warm And Inviting Outdoor Area For Winter Entertaining

Design A Warm And Inviting Outdoor Area For Winter Entertaining


 

Your outdoor area can be an inviting place to relax any time of the year- including winter. By adding some design elements and useful decor, you can create a space that is comfortable and inviting even when the temperature drops. 

STRUCTURE

If your home doesn't already have a porch or patio with roofing, you will need to have some kind of overhead covering to maintain warmth and keep you dry. This can be a permanent structure professionally installed, or a simple canopy that can be taken off and stored.  If your environment is windy or prone to gusts, installing a windbreak will create a bubble where the ambient air is still and easily warmed. Any structure you choose can be ornate or plain and simple. For example- if you choose a permanent structure, a roof held up by columns, the columns and beams could be left natural with a light finish or ornately carved and stained. The same holds true with a temporary structure- some come manufactured with columns that are painted a plain powder coat, and some have columns that look like wrought iron in Baroque shapes. 

HEATING

The next thing to consider is how to heat the space. An outdoor fireplace will keep you and your guests toasty. It also makes a great element to use as a focal point in your overall design. Chimineas are another option. These are freestanding mobile fireplaces that commonly made of clay. Another great idea for heating the area is a fire pit.  Family and friends keep warm and can circle around to roast marshmallows. If you can't have fires, there are propane and electric heaters that range in size from tiny feet heaters to tall standing ones that project heat downwards.

FURNITURE

The first question to ask about furniture is whether your outdoor space is for dining or lounging? Or is it a mixture of both?  If your focus is on dining, the table with be the focal point of your design. Would you like your table to be ornate, or of a simple design? Your seating will need to be warm and cozy. Even with heating hard surfaces are hard to warm, so add seat cushions and backs stuffed with insulating materials designed for winter. If you have chairs and couches, make sure to add throw pillows and blankets. This can help tie an area together visually and makes for a cozy environment.

LIGHTING

Winter is the darkest time of year. Even if you're entertaining during the day, you're going to need lighting. There are many options from hanging lights to sconces. A popular type of wall sconce for outdoor spaces is the French teardrop shaped, also referred to as Mediterranean style. These typically come with clear glass and are constructed of durable aluminum- which is ideal for outdoors. This type of light can open up a space and bath all the corners in light giving your space a warm feeling. If you don't want your outdoor space blanketed in light, consider installing a dimmer switch. Sometimes it's nice to turn down the lights and enjoy the fire.

DECOR

Any decorative elements you add to an outdoor space must be able to withstand the elements. After this consideration is met, the options for designs and themes are endless. If dining is the main use of your area, consider a theme based on your favorite cuisines- Mediterranean, Indian, Asian etc. If the space is going to be used for lounging and sipping wine your design choices range from country home to modern themes and beyond.  All design options are viable with a winter space as long aim for a feeling of warmth.

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