Summer has yet to begin and there's a lot to do before we're ready to enjoy the patio that's been unoccupied since the last sunny day—last year. If you're a hardcore grill warrior or hot tub fanatic, you've probably been enjoying your patio no matter what mother nature throws at you. In that case, this article isn't for you. We're hoping to inspire everyone else who believes once weather gets down to 60, the patio is off limits, because there are definitely ways for you to enjoy your patio year-round.
Keep It Covered
There's very little you'll want to do on your patio if you can't stay comfortable and dry. Install a patio roof or gazebo that will not only keep you protected from the elements but also provide extra privacy. With a curtain or privacy screen, you can keep out the neighbor's prying eyes and create a cozy enclosure that will invite you to kick your feet up even after the sun's gone down.
Heat It Up
Even if you decide not to cover your patio, you can still keep it warm and cozy when the weather starts to cool. And you don't have to go big--unless you want to. If you're the type to go big or go home, lucky for you we've got what you want. Check out this super cool gas log outdoor fireplace that would be perfect for those chilly winter days and nights.
But, as we were saying, you don't have to go big. Outdoor warmth is still achievable with cute, quaint, and budget-friendly chimeneas. They burn regular firewood and don't require installation, so can be moved if/when it's time to switch houses. Modern outdoor heaters run on propane and are another "portable" option, that isn't as fragile as a terra cotta chimenea, but may be lacking somewhat in the quaint factor.
If neither of the above appeals to you, you can always go the fire pit route. Pre-assembled cast iron models are moderately priced, but if you're more inclined to DIY your fire pit, there are several options to consider, and we're here to help.
Whether it's a dinner party for 12 or a solo mission for the evening, food will likely play some role in it. Either way, a fully equipped kitchen is an amazing space to entertain, but certainly not the only way.
Who says you can't have just as much fun with a simple grill? Throw on a beanie, don your parka, and get cooking. It's like camping, only with all the conveniences of home. And no pit toilet.
And Then There Was Light
When the cool winter months arrive, days get shorter, which means you may be driving home from work in the dark. A quick adjustment to the timers on your lights and thermostat will make coming home a little more welcoming. Same goes for your patio.
Add some extra string lights, install path markers, or set up a few spotlights to keep things brighter and safer while enjoying the patio lifestyle.
We're talking about so much more than decorations here (though we love those too!) We're referring to the party atmosphere that doesn't have to be restricted to the inside. Invite your guests outside where they can warm up with steaming mugs of hot chocolate, make smores, and if you're lucky enough to get a light dusting, make snow angels in the yard.
Pull out some cozy blankies and snuggle in around the firepit with your bffs. We can almost hear Kumbaya being sung by your giggling guests.
Get your technology in line so you can project movies, watch football, or play video games outside. Or simply set up a cornhole tournament. How about snow croquet? You can turn anything into a game with a creative spirit and adventurous participants. Game time doesn't have to be reserved for summer weather.
Maybe you're just not the social butterfly type and would rather spend the evening soaking in the gentle snowfall or the pattering of rain on the roof. That's totally fine. Not everyone's idea of fun involves a house full of people. If that's you, we still encourage you to enjoy your patio during every season of the year.
Stay engaged with nature by continuing to garden when the weather tries to send everyone else inside. Harsher climates may require you to set up a cold frame to protect those plants, but those who live in areas with less extreme conditions can get by with a protected space on the patio with or without a greenhouse. It doesn't matter which group you fall under as long as you enjoy getting your hands dirty.
We know, it's a big decision and not one to be taken lightly. They can be pricey, they take up a lot of space, and they require a bit of maintenance, but if you've done your research and are committed to putting one in, lounging in your hot tub be one of the coziest ways to enjoy your patio during any season. Set the mood with lighting, music, and a few select friends (or not) and get that party started.