How to Use (and Enjoy) Your Outdoor Living Space in Fall and Winter

Today more than ever before, people are choosing to stay at home. That has led to the rise in demand for outdoor living spaces that are comfortable, warm, and, most of all, enjoyable. Many people are taking the DIY route thanks to an assortment of kits that are both affordable and readily available.

Experts point out that one of the reasons for choosing to stay at home is the ease at which it is possible to build a self-enclosed so-called “cocoon” in your backyard (a phrase used by HGTV for this growing trend). The easy availability of things like fire pit kits makes it possible for anyone to build a fire pit themselves. Not to mention that there is a lot of flexibility in terms of design choices, so your outdoor living space does not have to look like every other one out there; it can be customized to your needs.

Winter in places like Lake of the Ozarks or Columbia, MO can offer some of the best times to enjoy your outdoor living space, albeit a bit differently. In this article, we will go over a couple of suggestions which you can use to create an outdoor living space that you will enjoy each fall and winter. Think of it as preparing your outdoor living space for a comfortable winter! And right now is the time to get started…

Spruce up your patio for the cooler months.

Okay, so you assumed that the first thing we would recommend is to buy outdoor fireplace kits. While that is important as mentioned above, you need to work on other important aspects of your outdoor space. One of those things is making it green with winter-friendly or cold-resistant plants, shrubs, etc. Bring in some small potted spruce trees or other evergreens. When you add a bit of winter foliage, it will make the outdoor space look warmer and more appealing.

You can also add splashes of color with plants like Red Osier and Purple coneflower. These can be used in addition to other plants like the dwarf globe, boxwood, arborvitae, yew, and juniper, etc.

You may also want to plant a few perennials depending on how much sunlight your backyard gets. Some worthy considerations are dwarf fountain grasses, lavender, and yucca. If you can find something native to where you live then that’s even better. And remember, you can always use potted versions if you don’t want them there all year round

Warm it up with a fireplace or firepit.

You will for sure, want to evoke a warm, cozy, and comfortable environment by installing a couple of fire features. You’ll want to install a fire pit and/or a fire table, both of which are available in many different designs. Most contractors should be able to put together an outdoor fireplace for you. However, if you are a DIYer, a fireplace kit may be more your thing.

Outdoor fireplace kits are convenient, and they offer recreational opportunities for the whole family. You can put one almost anywhere outdoors, and it provides a comfortable spot for family members and guests to sit around. The best thing about these fire features is the fact that there are available in hundreds of different designs, so there are obviously going to be a couple that suits your budget and patio the best. Some companies provide consultation so you can take their advice on which will work best for you too.

Other additions you may want to consider is an electric patio heater, hot tubs, etc. You’ll want to also add some wood patio furniture but just make sure that they are thickly padded so that you feel warm and comfortable sitting in them.

A rustic setting of a large stone fireplace with mantle and hearth lit with burning flames.
Not only does an outdoor fireplace add warmth, but it adds a great deal of rustic charm and beauty.

Consider building an enclosure.

Quaint little backyard building with 3 sides, open to the patio area.

Yet another feature you’ll want to consider is an enclosure. Structures like gazebos, pergolas, and pavilions offer protection from the elements, and they can be tailored to match the aesthetics of your space too. Adding an enclosure near your patio can add another level of luxury and beauty, not to mention make it a desirable area during winter.

A patio cover is a large project and something that will require that you spend more money on it compared to other possible features. However, not only does it work great during winter, but it also helps to keep the sun out during hot summer months. So, having a patio enclosure can be useful all year round.

You may also want to bring a few things from your indoor space outside. Like, hang a curtain, roll out a rug, or maybe even a canopy. Having a few blankets and pillows can make the space more comfortable during winter. An enclosure also makes your outdoor heater remarkably more efficient. If you have a fire pit that may also work well to keep everyone warm.

Get all the accessories you need.

Enjoying your outdoor living space does not have to be expensive. We always say that you should spend as much as you can afford without breaking the bank. A good way to ensure that you don’t go overboard (which is pretty easy to do) is to assemble all the accessories you need. The accessories should reflect your vision for the outdoor space.

A couple of examples of the accessories we are talking about are lighting, curtains, seats, all-weather furniture, roof covers, etc. You’ll also want to substitute metal furniture for wood, plastic or wicker so that your seats don’t get too cold when things freeze over. Also, the addition of an outdoor kitchen of sorts will help to turn the outdoor living space into a much-needed social hub.

Don’t forget the candles! Using candles brings an added sense of warmth and beauty, and scented candles in an outdoor enclosure can be delightful. Adding some low-voltage lighting is always a bonus for warming up the ambiance of a patio or any outdoor area, or especially using Christmas lights around the holidays. You might as well include holiday decorations to make your outdoor winter space complete.

We can outfit you with the products to build your backyard dream.

Southwest Stone Supply ships anywhere in the Lake of the Ozarks area, to Columbia, MO, and literally anywhere in the lower 48 states in the U.S.

Create an outdoor living space everyone will enjoy.

We know from experience that if you just go out and begin to build an outdoor space to please everyone, your project may fail. You have to start with a vision, then plan according to your budget. Doing exactly what your neighbor or friend has done is pointless because you have to create something that’s comfortable for you and your family!

Thanks to literally hundreds of different types of outdoor fireplace kits, patio enclosures, fire pit kits, and fire tables, it certainly possible to design and build your own space. Sure, it will take a couple of weekends to finish the project, but if you start now, it will give you enough time to finish. Not to mention that your family and friends will thank you for building an outdoor living space that’s comfortable and fun!

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