The weather has turned colder so it’s time to cocoon inside the house around the fire. That’s not necessarily true for many Ohio homeowners who are increasingly using their backyard entertainment areas during three out of four seasons. As long as there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground, there’s no reason that you can’t have a cookout and enjoy your gorgeous outdoor space in the colder months. All it takes are some creative patio design tips to keep you and your guests warm and toasty.
Create a Windbreak. One of the most useful backyard tips for creating a usable patio design in colder months is to make sure that you have a windbreak to prevent cold winds from chasing everyone indoors. Work with your landscaping architect to determine from which direction prevalent winds blow during colder months and set up a berm or a decorative wall in that area to block breezes. Another option is to place your patio in a naturally sheltered area of your yard.
Add an Outdoor Fireplace or Firepit. A source of heat is essential for outdoor entertaining during colder weather. From small portable firepits for informal spaces to gorgeous masonry fireplaces, the addition of heat to your outdoor entertaining area is a must. These features not only add atmosphere to your parties, but will also add value to your property.
Patio Heaters. Even with an outdoor fireplace or firepit, it’s a good idea to add patio heaters, particularly if your entertainment area is large. The further away you go from the heat source, the colder it will get. Patio heaters are available in electric or propane types and come in stand-alone, tabletop or wall-mounted models. If possible, make sure you place heaters under overhangs or awnings to trap as much heat as possible as warm air rises.
Outdoor Kitchen. This is a feature that you will use all year, but make sure you have plenty of storage space as well as a food preparation area. After all, who wants to go walking back and forth to the house in cold weather?
Outdoor Seating. Use furniture that retains warmth, but not moisture. Pick furniture with insulated padding and a water-proof protective surface that will retain body heat during cooler weather.