Courtesy of Kaitlin Krull for Modernize
As the last days of winter are still hanging around, many homeowners take shelter inside their warm homes and forget about their outdoor living spaces. However, you can still enjoy plenty of quality time entertaining and relaxing outside. With a little creativity and a few small purchases, you can make the outside of your home just as inviting as the inside. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy your outdoor space this winter.
Get warm outside
Falling temperatures tend to drive people into the comfort of a warm building, but there are a variety of ways to keep your outdoor living spaces warm and cozy as well. Heat lamps, outdoor fireplaces, and fire pits or chimineas provide the same kind of heat as boilers and radiators. While blankets and extra layers add extra coziness when relaxing outside in the winter. If you’re planning on spending time on your front porch or patio, consider shades or curtains to block out cold winds and a pergola or small roof for shelter from snow and rain. Finally, serious outdoor lovers can invest in radiant heating for your decking or driveway to melt ice and snow and keep your walkways safe and slip-free over the winter months.
Make the most of the sunshine
One of the reasons that spending time outside in the winter can be so difficult is the lack of sunlight. As the days reach their shortest, remember that you can still make use of your outdoor space during daylight hours with brunches, early dinners, and mid-afternoon strolls around your backyard. Since temperatures are highest during the day, these kinds of outdoor entertainment are perfect and keep you from being cooped up inside. This tip is particularly useful if you have small children, who always seem to prefer roaming around outside.
Upgrade exterior lighting
Even if you host plenty of daytime events in your backyard this season, winter sunshine can still be scarce. Embrace the idea that at least some of your outdoor time will take place in the dark—it will help you come to grips with the shorter days and (much) longer nights. A simple solution here is artificial lighting, which can drastically improve your outdoor experience and keep you and your home safe at the same time. Choose walkway lights (solar powered lamps still work in the winter), fairy lights, and flood lamps to light up your front and backyards. Table lamps are perfect for porches and enclosed patios, while candles provide excellent mood lighting for any space—indoor or outdoor.
Winter-proof your patio or porch
The simplest way to enjoy your outdoor space in the winter is by slightly revamping your porch or patio. With comfortable all-weather seating, areas rugs to warm the floors, and a basket of cozy blankets to wrap up with, you will have no reason to stay inside. If your outdoor spaces are still too chilly, you can add other heating elements as appropriate—taking safety into account, of course (no open fires in a covered area, for example). You can then make your porch or patio feel like the inviting and cozy interior of your home by adding a few decorative accessories and personal effects. Candles, framed artwork, seasonal wreaths, and other greenery will transform your outdoor space and make you want to spend time outside.
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for Modernize with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on home projects with confidence.