Having invested in a beautiful cedar or ipe deck, some gorgeous garden furniture, even an outdoor kitchen, it is with a rather heavy heart that you close the sliding doors and get back inside for some living room cocooning when it gets a bit chilly.
Well, you will be happy to know that there are some ways to make your deck winter friendly and so, continue to use the outdoor as the focal spot of your entertainment.
Why should you care about that since you have a great indoor environment as well?
1. If you live in Los Angeles, the weather is pretty good all year around.
2. If you live elsewhere, you want to get advantage of the last autumn days before the freezing cold will leave you no choice than to get inside.
3. Entertaining friends, letting kids have a party, hosting any event that would require the presence of several people is always best to take place outdoors. You care less about the mess; you clean easier afterwards.
4. And then, if you spent money on deck building, on a pergola, on an outdoor counter and oven, you also want to use this area for as long as possible. Don’t you?
The best ideas to make the outdoor decking winter friendly?
• Keep the deck area warm
Since the main objective is to prolong the summer and increase protection from the elements, your first priority is to get some source of heat. This may be a fireplace or fire pit. Cuddling up next to a fireplace is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors with or without friends and without getting cold. Having a fire pit as the focal point of the outdoor living room will enable you to cook with ease and spend more time on the deck.
• Make the deck area cozy
Decorate according to the season to make the deck area cozier. This is a splendid way to kill two birds with one stone. While blankets, cushions, and suitable-for-winter furniture will create a cozier atmosphere, theme decorations based on the season will transform the exterior environment throughout the year. And then, you can use lanterns, hang string lighting on the surrounding bushes, and add all sorts of accessories that will make the deck truly extraordinary – right in the winter mood.
• Place side covers, cover the pergola
For enhanced protection from the elements, you can cover the wooden pergola with fabric, or a tarp, or find a more permanent solution, like a roof. There are also lots of ideas for covering the sides of the deck and such a task will be easy if there’s already a pergola where you can place curtains and shades.
• Put screens all around the deck
Although pergola covers and side shades offer a greater sense of openness, placing screens all around the deck to enclose the space and fully protect it from the elements is often necessary. This becomes a must when this part of the house is highly exposed to the winds and storms, while you want to prolong your staying outdoors.
• Add extra lighting on deck
The warm light from the lanterns, the fireplace, and the string lights is enough to create an excellent, very cozy ambiance. But if you want to spend quite a few nights outdoors and do whatever you want without limitations, it’s also necessary to add extra lighting. After all, when it gets cold, the days become smaller and so, you will need artificial lighting rather early. There are many outdoor lighting choices on the market. What you need to consider is where lights are necessary – over the outdoor kitchen, in the seating area, close to the dining table, etc. And how bright you want it, based on your activities. If you read a lot, for example, you need a bright light. If not, you can settle with more subtle choices.