Transitioning to Colder Weather Outdoor Living

Transitioning to Colder Weather Outdoor Living

Outdoor Additions
Small Projects and Repairs
By Dikran Seferian October 20, 2021

At the dawn of the summer season, many people who have the privilege of owning a backyard often bid farewell to it, leaving it vacant until the following year. However, the chillier seasons can provide a unique opportunity to bring out a whole different side of a garden. Of course, the transition isn’t a breeze, because with winter comes new challenges.

There are a few aspects that can make your outdoor living space well-equipped for the cold while considering both practicality and aesthetics. Covering all the requirements will make outdoor living a year-round treat, come rain or shine.

You can transform your outdoor living space into a winter-ready yard by introducing weather-proof sofas and tables. Also, consider looking into flooring and lighting that would survive the elements. If you’re feeling fancy, why not go for a fire pit? To top it off, you can give the cold season a green thumbs-up by adding some winter plants.

Have A Seat

Outdoor Furniture Would Survive the Coldest and Wettest Weathers

Outdoor Furniture Would Survive the Coldest and Wettest Weathers

Furniture will undoubtedly be a central part of your winter garden. Making the right choice for the material and fabrics will ensure that your outdoor furniture is ready for the frost. Consider bringing those deck chairs inside and furnishing your terrace with some winter-grade seats.

For the material, an ideal recommendation would be teakwood. Besides its aesthetic value as an element of rustic design, teak is known for its ability to be weatherproof. As a matter of fact, it’s the type of wood that’s commonly used to make the benches you see around town. Not only does it withstand high levels of humidity, but teakwood’s natural properties also make it immune to rot, ultimately boosting its durability.

In regards to hardscape framing, other options you can look into are rattan, stainless steel, and coated metal. For your winter patio, you may want the furniture to look warm and welcoming because stainless steel and coated metal might come off as cold; its interesting texture holds both durability and the aesthetic value for which it is sought after. Moreover, it is flexible in the sense that it can be used for anything from sofas, lawn chairs, tables, and so on. However, the downside of rattan is that some of it can be lightweight; after a windstorm, you might find yourself picking them up from the other side of the yard. Nevertheless, teakwood remains a formidable choice — to match the seating, why not go with teak for the table as well?

Feel the Fabric

Olefin Is Both Durable and Affordable

Olefin Is Both Durable and Affordable

As for the upholstery, olefin stands out from other types of fabric, both in durability as well as affordability. If you live in an area with constant rain and humidity, olefin fabric might be something you could invest in for your outdoor furniture. Besides its impressively high resiliency, olefin has a wool-like texture that goes hand in hand with the natural setting of most winter gardens. Ultimately, olefin’s properties make it exclusively fit for the cold season.

Very similar fabric to olefin is polypropylene, both of which share the same properties. One kind of fabric that’s not suited for outdoor use, however, is polyurethane foam; it is not waterproof and will require some maintenance to prevent mildew from building up.

Heat Things Up

Build Your Own Fire Pit to Enjoy the Outdoors in Cold Weather

Build Your Own Fire Pit to Enjoy the Outdoors in Cold Weather

Although you might enjoy lounging around in your winter outdoor space, you wouldn’t want to spend the next day sneezing with a box of tissues. Warm blankets are just one way you can cozy up the place, serving as both a visual accessory as well as a source of warmth. But if you can screen-in your lounge space with a clear, vinyl enclosure then you can enjoy your garden and the views for longer portions of the year.

Another brilliant addition to your outdoor living area could be a fire pit. Not only can it be another source of heat, but it can also introduce some functionality to your hardscaping. If you’re a camping aficionado, consider investing in a fire pit. Paired with some lush greenery, you’d be bringing the campsite over to the comfort of your own backyard.

If you’re handy with tools, building your own fire pit can be a fun weekend activity to embark on. All you will need is enough stone bricks for the pit, some cement, and your newly found bricklaying skills.

Treat Your Feet

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Winter Backyard Is Important

Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Winter Backyard Is Important

To match the teakwood furniture, consider pairing it with flagstone flooring. Naturally resistant to the elements, it is a champion in durability. Also, its unique textures are aesthetically pleasing. For something a bit more alternative but equally conductive, you can consider concrete flooring.

Although stone flooring can be cold to the touch during winter, it also has the natural ability to hold heat. Building a stone fire pit directly over the ground would let the heat from the fire radiate through the pit and onto the flooring, essentially warming up the entire space.

Of course, you can go for an even more natural look with grass flooring; but your patio may be better off if you stick to stone for the seating zone, and keep the grass aside. This would not only be more practical, but it would create a little contrast as well.

One type of outdoor flooring you may want to stay away from is rubber tiles. Although it is a common choice for many purposes, it’s not the most beautiful one for a backyard setting. Rubber tiles sacrifice aesthetics for comfort and function, and that is why they are better suited for playground flooring. If you live in a snowy area, you might also want to avoid gravel flooring as shoveling the snow would be a daunting challenge.

Let There Be Light

There Are Unlimited Lighting Solutions to Consider for Your Yardscape

There Are Unlimited Lighting Solutions to Consider for Your Yardscape

Typically, you’d already have outdoor lighting installed in your backyard living space. However, during the darker evenings of the colder seasons, an extra source of light can do wonders for your outdoor space. A go-to lighting source for a winter garden could be lantern posts; they’d perfectly match the rustic setting of teakwood furniture and stone flooring.

Another increasingly popular choice for backyard lighting these days is string lights. You see them everywhere: rooftop bars, outdoor lounges, and on streets bursting with nightlife. Moreover, they may look even better in homey settings. Industrial quality string lights can be a suitable option as they are waterproof and essentially designed for outdoor use.

Go Green

Adding a Splash of Greenery to Your Winter Patio Is a Good Idea

Adding a Splash of Greenery to Your Winter Patio Is a Good Idea

What’s a winter backyard without plants? Introducing some winter greenery to your patio can bring it to life. Normally, you’d be putting away any plants that wouldn’t survive the cold, but perhaps you can replace them with ones that are built for it. Evergreens, such as cedar, would be a top choice here; not only are they built for the frost, they thrive in it. If you have considered going for a rustic design as a winter patio idea, potted cedars can add a touch of wilderness to the atmosphere. 

To enrich the outdoor living space, you can plant an assortment of winter flora. Consider combining the potted cedar with fragrant plants like rosemary and winter honeysuckle; avoid lavender as it might not survive the cold weather.

Winter is Coming 

Once your backyard is ready for the cold times ahead, you can finally look forward to grabbing your favorite blanket and heading out to spend long evenings under the open sky before it gets too cold.

Keep in mind, with winter comes heavy wind, and with wind comes unwanted debris. An occasional sweeping will prevent dust particles and other debris from accumulating over time and affecting the quality of your patio furniture. Depending on where you live, it may be wise to have a shovel at hand in your outdoor living space because you could be expecting a good deal of snow as well.

Maintaining Your Backyard Throughout the Winter Will Help Keep It in Good Condition

Maintaining Your Backyard Throughout the Winter Will Help Keep It in Good Condition

You may also need to determine whether your backyard drainage system can handle the higher volumes of precipitation. This is important to avoid damage to furniture as well as your plant life. There are more permanent and labor-intensive solutions like installing an underground drainage pipe, a French drain, or a dry well to improve drainage. One handy and simpler option you can consider that will also add charm to your garden is a rain barrel that can collect rainwater before it gets to your garden floor. Giving your winter living space the attention it needs will guarantee that you'll be able to bask in its frosty grandeur for months to come.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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