For so many of us, the coming of Autumn and the foreboding arrival of Winter brings us to believe we have to start packing up the outdoor furniture, closing up the entry way to patios and solemnly await the warmth of next Spring and Summer. It is a well-known fact that us Australians love spending time outdoors and there is no reason why we need to limit this to just the warmer months of the year.
Outdoor spaces, be it a backyard or a balcony, have become precious since the start of the pandemic. Since we really don’t have too much to do, and not many places to go, it maybe well worth it to invest in adapting your outdoor areas into spaces that can provide you enjoyment not just in the Summer, but all year round. Now is the perfect time to get started. There are a few valuable components needed to turn your outdoor area into a deliciously cosy retreat.
A firepit, fireplace or patio heaters can warm up any outdoor living area, making a space warm and cosy even on a cold winter night. The best choice for you will depend on your budget, the style you prefer and the size of the area you want to use.
Probably the cheapest and easiest options is a patio heater, like the ones used in many restaurants and cafes, a free-standing gas heater. This can be a convenient, simple and cost-effective option. A good-sized heater can provide up to 5m² of warmth.
Heat Lamps are another heat option that can work where there is a power outlet available. They area a great option that can provide not only heat but a warm glow of light to help create an ambient atmosphere.
Fire Pits and fireplaces would have to be the standout favourite option that really makes the area a true outdoor haven in winter. Whether it be a traditional wood fire pit or a more flash design using gas and other modern additions like fire-glass, the fire pit will pull them all into the yard.
It is important when considering any of these heat sources that you have created a safe zone to place these in. There can be a lot of risks involved that can make the use of these very hazardous such as exposure to water, uneven ground or flooring, trees or shrubbery nearby and space for reasonable movement. We always recommend consulting with an expert outdoor specialist like our guys at Auscape Exterior Transformations when creating outdoor areas and letting them know what you would like to use and how so that an area can be created that is both practical, versatile through the seasons and safe.
In winter, the sun sets early and the darkness brings with it the feeling of cold. Relying on natural lighting will only take you into the late hours of the afternoon. While your heat sources may produce some light, you will certainly want to plan for other light sources as well.
There are a multitude of options when it comes to lighting that can help to create that enchanting and inviting winter wonderland. Lighting fixtures can be solar and LED, along with different types, such as spotlights, path markers, and string lights. Using warm LED lighting is probably the most favourable choice as it’s more energy efficient, creates more illumination per watt and will provide your outdoor area with a warm glow rather than the starkness that comes from a glaring floodlight or white light.
When installing lighting, it is also vital to ensure that it is done in a safe way that protects the power connections from the elements. It is recommended to have more complex installations done by a qualified electrician. In the instance that you are creating or renovating a whole new outdoor area, it is safest and most accommodating to have your lighting options installed at the same time so that you know that they are going to work safely with the other components of your outdoor revamp.
The perfect outdoor areas are created by making a space that feels like a retreat. While wicker may be great for sweltering summer heat, when the weather turns cooler, it is all about the comfy cushions, solid construction, and deep seating you can really snuggle into. It is not necessary to have different winter furniture to your summer furniture but having an alternate option with your accessories like plush cosy cushions and cosy seat padding can make a huge difference. It is typically easy to convert your outdoor area to fit the season by simply adding some inviting colours with cushions, throw blankets and outdoor rugs.
A LITTLE LUXURY
If you are really wanting to make the most of your outdoor renovation, it can be worthwhile to consider a little luxury that can really make the area something truly special. Some of the most popular additions include building an outdoor kitchen. Its not just something that would benefit your summer nights but provide you a place to continue to enjoy those barbecue meals in winter. Why not incorporate a pizza oven or a tandoor to create beautiful woodfire meals to warm from the inside? Smokey meals made in winter without the risk of smoking out the house when you really want to keep those windows closed.
Spas area another popular addition that is welcomed all year round with its ability to make you feel warm and relaxed which is an inviting addition when the temperature drops. There are many extravagant and unique ideas for outdoor spa designs. These include having the spa blend seamlessly into decking, using a canopy, using materials such as stone, or even incorporating features such as an outdoor fireplace.
PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS
The first thing that comes to mind when considering protection for your outdoor area is having a roof enclosure, this works both well in winter to protect from strong wind and rain and in summer to provide shade from the harsh sun. It is an investment that will ensure you are free to make the most use of your outdoor space. A solid structure can help to provide better lighting options, or you may opt for a retractable canopy If you still want to take advantage of the open space when the weather is more favourable.
Patio blinds or curtains are another measure that can protect you and your furniture from the wind and rain. There are many options available that can either provide more privacy or be completely transparent to allow you to still in sparkling night-time views. You can even be more creative making an outdoor nook with the use of inexpensive lattice, intertwined with beautiful climbing vines. This is one aspect where your selection will be highly influenced by your taste and your surroundings.
With the right planning and adjustment, you can create an outdoor living space that you can take advantage of all year round. Using a combination of these cool inventive ideas, you can have a cosy space that will be everyone’s favourite spot. Get your outdoor area ready for winter before the cold sets in and make the most of the cooler months in your new outdoor area. If you are ready to revamp your outdoors and create an amazing space that will add value to your home and lifestyle, get in touch with us at Auscape Exterior Transformations.