With the warm weather in full swing and garden parties aplenty, spending every possible moment outdoors is a celebration that fills us with summer cheer. So, as autumn looms, the thought of retreating indoors for the colder months brings a sense of dread.
But don’t despair, because with some ingenious design tweaks and a bit of spend, you and your loved ones could be cuddling up together under the stars all year round. Here are seven ways to transform your patio into a spectacular space, no matter the season.
The first step is to shut out winter’s extreme cold by building an enclosure. This may sound daunting, but there are several options to choose from, some of which won’t cost a bomb:
- Add a retractable awning that can be fitted with vinyl curtains on colder days
- Hunt down a high-quality, stand-alone gazebo that can be easily packed away
- Extend the roof of your home over your terrace
- Construct a wooden screen or create a more biophilic shield using plants.
When the great freeze sets in you’re going to need some additional warmth, so organising a reliable heat source is key. A built-in fireplace is always a fabulous idea, especially if you put it to good use in summer too. You can also find a budget-friendly firepit, bring in electric heaters or install some infrared lamps overhead.
Another good way to warm things up is with an outdoor kitchen. Gas grills and pizza ovens will have friends gathering around in no time and, if you really want to splash out, get a hot tub – your guests will never leave!
In colder weather plastic or wrought iron chairs simply won’t do, so indulge in a luxury garden sofa or a couple of comfortable armchairs instead. High-end brands are worth the extra outlay as they will last you for years rather than just a season. FCI London has some stunning options sourced from top manufacturers, worldwide – have a look at their website to get some ideas.
Having a fluffy rug underfoot will add extra warmth and tie your whole ensemble together beautifully, so find something opulent that will instill a sense of hygge.
As it gets darker earlier in winter, extra lighting is a must and will add warmth and ambiance to your aesthetics. Whether you opt for floor, table or spot lamps, it makes sense for at least some of your fixtures to be solar or LED operated.
Add to the cosiness with some furry throws, textured cushions and a heap of soft blankets – and don’t forget a warm bed for the dogs. Then use an array of gorgeous vases, artworks, mirrors or anything else you can think of for some extra pizzazz.
Long term, growing conifers around the edges of your outdoor space will create a wind barrier that will bring much needed protection when it snows. And nothing beats extra greenery, so fill up your planters with colourful winter shrubs to complete your all- weather wonderland. With a little forward planning, you’ll be enjoying your patio 365 days a year, so get started now – you won’t regret it.