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Using Your Patio in Winter

Last Updated Apr 6, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

There is nothing quite like the experience of entertaining or just relaxing outdoors but when the weather turns colder, too many people abandon their beautiful patios and retreat inside.  Avoid becoming one of those people by winterising your patio.  Here’s what you need to know.

Turn Up the Heat in Your Patio

One of the biggest things that people complain about when they are outside during the colder months is that it’s simply too cold, no matter how many clothes they have on.  This is why some form of outdoor heating is vital if you want to continue using your patio all through winter.  There are several outdoor heating choices available – gas or electric patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and chimineas are some of the most common that you will see.  They are all excellent choices but what you choose will depend on the look that you are trying to achieve as well as the type of heating that you want. For example, an outdoor fireplace is excellent for achieving a cosy outdoor room feel, but they can also create beautiful contemporary looks.  For something more rustic, a fire pit or chimineas is perfect.  Gas powered patio heaters look great and they are portable so can be moved to exactly where they’re needed, while electric patio heaters are mounted high and radiate heat down.

Shelter Your Patio Area Using Outdoor Blinds

It doesn’t matter how warm your outdoor areas are if you are getting bombarded by rain or wind, as these are enough to make even the hardiest person miserable.  To use your patio comfortably in winter it will need to be sheltered and the best way to do this is by installing special outdoor blinds or patio blinds.  These are designed to be temporary “walls” when they are down and they come in clear or tinted PVC, or tough fabrics.  You can operate them yourself – just roll them up and down as needed or you can motorise them so that they can be moved to a precise position at the touch of a button.  Not only will these blinds protect you from even the harshest of weather, they will help to contain your heating, making it even more comfortable and cosy inside.

Add Colour to Your Patio Area

Finally, the winter weather can be dreary and depressing, making you want to escape inside.  You can combat this, though, by adding colour however you can, to create a bright and cheery space.  There are heaps of ideas for achieving this. You could add some potted colour around the patio, or you could place down a brightly coloured outdoor rug.  Brighten up your outdoor furniture by using cushions and throw rugs wherever you can (just remember to put them away if they’re not suited to being left outside).
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