By guest blogger, Cat Murphy
As summer ends, you may find yourself feeling wistful that the days of outdoor lounging, leisurely grilling, and laidback backyard relaxation are waning. However, you don’t need to stop enjoying your outdoor fun just because the mercury’s dropping. Consider a few of our expert tips to extend your patio season year-round.
Add a Heat Source
The biggest challenge presented to outdoor living as fall approaches? The cold temperatures, of course! By installing an outdoor heating fixture, you can provide a warm glow to seating areas and make an outdoor barbeque possible even in the coldest days of autumn. Consider adding a fixed fireplace, heater, or fire pit to get the party started.
Invest in All-Weather Outdoor Furniture
If you’re looking for a great solution to all-seasons outdoor living, consider purchasing all weather outdoor furniture that is made out of durable material, such as POLYWOOD. POLYWOOD outdoor furniture is salt-resistant and can withstand any weather conditions. All you need to do to clean it is to scrub gently with a light mixture of soap and water. This will help your patio furniture last throughout multiple seasons of use, and extend your patio season well into the winter months.
As the days get shorter, you won’t be able to rely on the sun to light your space, so you’ll want to add new sources light to your patio. Add light fixtures such as solar or LED string lights, pathway markers, or even spotlights to brighten your patio year round.
Add a Roof or Enclosure
Adding a roof or covered area to your patio will give you more protection from the elements, such as driving snow, rain and sun in warmer periods. It will also help to cut the chilling wind and add some privacy to your outdoor living space.
If you plant some seasonal flowers, vegetables, herbs, or other plants in a container, you can pull them back inside when the temperature drops. These features will spruce up your patio and make it attractive even when there’s nothing green growing on the ground anymore. In addition to making your patio look great, using herbs such as citronella and lavender keep away bugs making it more inviting for you and your guests. Fall is also a great time to plant some tasty, nutritious cold-season crops, such as kale, spinach, or kohlrabi.
Add Some Warm, Comfy Fabrics
Incorporate warm furniture, blankets, throw pillows, and other fabrics into your outdoor living space. These give your guests something to wrap themselves in to stay warm and cozy, and don’t have to cost a fortune. Purchase items that can be washed easily, like colorful outdoor cushions, or those that repel dirt, mildew, and other stains with ease.
Create an Outdoor Beverage Bar
You might already have a bar cart or stand for your outdoor living space, but there's no reason why you have to limit its use to summertime Mai Tais and margaritas. Repurpose your barspace to serve warm apple cider, hot cocoa, or hot toddies well into the winter months, and you’ll have visitors flocking to your backyard patio. POLYWOOD offers most of their outdoor chairs in 3 heights (dining, counter and bar height) so you'll have dozens of styles, colors and fabrics to choose from. Bayline bar chairs shown above.
Grill Without Regards to the Elements
A nice, juicy steak doesn’t have to be reserved for that Fourth of July barbeque. By following a few simple tips, you can create grilled masterpieces year-round. Remember to keep a pathway cleared of snow so that it’s easy to get to your grill, and consider purchasing a grill cover so that it remains protected from harsh weather. If you’re grilling when temperatures are below freezing, remember that it can take twice the time to preheat your grill and cook your food, so keeping the lid closed will help keep precious heat contained.
Keep the Hot Tub Open
Pool season might be long over, but you can still enjoy the water even when the air is frigid. Consider installing a hot tub to help extend the time you spend outdoors. A hot tub can relax sore muscles and creates a fantastic focal and gathering point for you and your visitors. Extend the Summer with POLYWOOD All Season Outdoor Furniture
As you plan to extend your patio season year-round, remember that fall and winter are about cozy relaxation with family and friends. Extend your relaxation by designing your outdoor living spaces with more than just the summer in mind, and you’ll be able to experience that covered patio season throughout all the seasons.
Cat Murphy is a gardening and landscaping writer, and outdoor extraordinaire. She enjoys cooking for family and friends and going on long hikes anywhere and everywhere in nature.