The winter season is one of hibernation, when more time is spent indoors than out, and life begins to look like a Norman Rockwell holiday painting. As the frost rolls in and temperatures drop, people everywhere can be seen scurrying into their homes, where they turn up the heat and pull out their wool socks from storage. These telltale signs can only mean one thing: the season often labeled as “the most wonderful time of the year” is in full swing.
However, for the warm blooded outdoor enthusiasts, winter can seem like a season of mourning - gone are the days of open windows, outdoor barbeques, and s’mores. Their end-of-year countdowns take on a different meaning: wishing away the cold for a bit more sun, and hoping spring will come soon.
No matter which camp you find yourself in, your overlooked deck may be the key to extending your living room to the outdoors. Read on for a few ways to relax outdoors again without having to wait for warmer temperatures.
Set the Scene
Using outdoor lighting to brighten your deck means you are no longer controlled by the dwindling daylight that comes with winter. With a radiantly lit outdoor space, your deck can become an extension of your living room, allowing guests the freedom to mingle in whichever setting they prefer.
Outdoor lights can also add to the aesthetic of your home. Most outdoor lighting combines décor with function, coming in all style preferences. For a traditional look, consider outdoor lanterns – these can be hung from a post or railing, or placed on the ground, depending on your preference. Stringing lights over an outdoor seating area is another increasingly popular trend. Whatever style you prefer, there are many budget-friendly and simple lighting options for your deck this winter.
Invest in Warmth
While blankets can be a cozy addition to the outdoors, make your guests feel comfortable the minute they step onto your deck with outdoor heaters. Inexpensive heat fans allow conversations to continue despite the chilly breeze. Or if you’d prefer a focal piece, outdoor fireplaces can also warm guests’ toes and add to the ambience of the setting.
In order to maximize the heat on your deck, place heaters around the sitting area in a way that spreads the warmth to the most used areas. For example, if your deck is constructed in a way that encourages seating on the edges (i.e. built in benches, tables, etc.) place heaters at the corners of your outdoor entertainment area. However, if people tend to congregate towards the middle, align your heaters accordingly.