Have you felt that chill in the air? Winter has definitely arrived! And with that brisk wind, we immediately think to fasten down the hatches and hibernate until the spring.
But there’s no reason to fear a bit of crisp air, especially when improvements in outdoor design mean you can venture outdoors without feeling the cold at all.
The key to winter-proofing your backyard is to create an indoor/outdoor space that helps insulate the cold, generate heat, and provide a snug space to enjoy your view and fresh air. Here’s how it’s done:
We’ll be blunt: you can’t have an indoors/outdoors room without, well, the room!
Installing a pergola or verandah will offer you shelter from the elements and a place to make cosy and comfortable outdoors.
It also gives you the opportunity to add many more outdoor winter-proofing renovations to your property, such as outdoor café blinds, to coax you outside on the coldest of days.
Once you’ve got an external structure in place, you can fit clear or tinted café blinds to the area to insulate the room when the winter wind is a little too brisk, or the temperature has dropped just that bit too much.
Improve your lighting
With the sun sadly setting earlier every day as we approach the winter solstice, you find yourself retreating indoors where it’s nice and bright.
But with a warm, cosy and tasteful lighting scheme, you’ll be drawn outside like a moth to a flame.
Create actual flames using tiki lamps, lanterns, or – for a bigger project – a fire pit (but more on that below).
String chaser lights across the ceiling for a warm, festive look. And place some lights at eye level to create a more balanced, layered effect.
Heat your space
If you’ve got the verandah and the café blinds, you can begin to warm your space without suffering much heat loss.
Today you can find a whole range of outdoor heaters from Bunnings, Masters or any outdoor furnishing super store.
And there are so many choices, from electric and gas patio heaters to chimineas. You can even install infrared heaters in the ceiling.
But if you really want to impress – and get the heat going – the fire pit is the way to go.
As a nod to our caveman beginnings, more people are installing fire pits or earth ovens on patios and in backyards across the country. Everyone loves a good bonfire, and the fire pit doesn’t just provide heat – you can whack a grill on top and cook up a BBQ feast too.
Add a spa
It sounds crazy to coax your guests into water on a 13 degree day, but when that water is heated, suddenly everyone is keen!
In fact, spas are best enjoyed on a slightly chilly day, when the warm, bubbling water soothes your creaking cold bones.
But to make the experience really worthwhile, we recommend warming your towels beside your new outdoor heater. That way you can wrap yourself up in something toasty so the fresh air doesn’t shock you as you clamber out of your tub.
Add cosy décor
Finally, it’s all well and good to have the right structure, blinds, heater, and lighting style. But if you haven’t got comfy furniture and décor to tempt you outdoors, your efforts will be for nothing.
Thankfully you can change your décor with the seasons, so put away the summer pastels and bring out warm-coloured, textured cushions and pillows and several thick throws to wrap yourself and your guests up in.
The best winter outdoor furniture should replicate your indoor style – plump, plush and cushioned.
Finally, don’t forget you’re outdoors, so pepper your outdoor space with some evergreen plants that will look lush even as the mercury plummets. Lavenders and conifers maintain their gorgeous colour even in the depths of winter.
Ready to Renovate?
We’re pumped to get working on our own backyards to make them warm and snug as we descend into winter. But if you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out some of our other tips and ideas below: