Patios are synonymous with the warmer months, but by adding a few design elements and fun items into the mix, you can enjoy your outdoor space year-round. Here are 11 winter patio ideas to help you make the most of your outdoor space on those chilly days.
1. Bring the Heat
It’s the most obvious idea on the list, but it’s also the most important one. You and your family can’t enjoy your patio during the winter without heat, right?
When it comes to outdoor heating sources, there are several high-quality options available. Take a look at these choices below and decide which one is right for your home and lifestyle:
Outdoor Fireplace: If you have a large patio and love to entertain, an outdoor fireplace is worth considering. It’s a significant investment, but once done, you and your loved ones will share countless good times and delicious meals near the open flames. There are several beautiful materials available such as brick, stone, and concrete. Consult with your contractor to see which design works best with your patio’s layout and the overall look of your home.
Chiminea: If you want the look and feel of an outdoor fireplace without the investment, chimineas are a great alternative. They come in various styles, from clay to steel, so you can easily find one that complements your outdoor space.
Heating Lamps: Heating lamps are portable and bring a modern look to your patio. You can easily adjust the flame, so you don’t have to worry about stoking the fire or adding more wood.
Fire Pit Tables: A fire pit table is a sleek, weather-resistant solution for bringing warmth and enjoyment to your patio. They’re safer than traditional fire pits since they contain the flame, making them an excellent choice for families with young kids. Outdoor fire pits are also a breeze to clean and maintain, perfect for your busy schedule.
2. Hot Tub
Speaking of heat, a hot tub is a great patio addition that provides warmth and relaxation year-round. Everyone in your family can enjoy it, too! They’re a fun option for kids to play and splash around, but when it’s time to tuck them into bed, you and your spouse can hop in and enjoy a romantic evening together. It’s also an excellent way to decompress after a long, busy day of work.
Even though they’re nowhere near as big as a pool, hot tubs still require maintenance and cleaning. Your work/life balance can make it challenging to maintain, so consider hiring a service to keep your hot tub running smoothly all year long.
3. Patio Roofs or Enclosures
If you have a detached patio, chances are there isn’t a roof overhead. Installing a cover such as an awning or pergola can entice your family to stay outside when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. If you include outdoor curtains or patio screens, you’ll have a cozy oasis that’ll provide privacy and protection from the elements.
For ultimate shelter, you may want to consider a patio enclosure. While it’s a more considerable investment than an awning or pergola, it can maximize the time your family spends outdoors.
4. Light It Up
While fire pit tables and heat lamps provide some illumination, it’s usually too dim to light up a large space. Adding outdoor lighting helps boost your patio’s brightness and ambiance instantly, so your family can stay outside and enjoy a wonderful night together.
There are several patio lighting options available. String lights are a tried-and-true classic that are inexpensive and easy to hang. If you’re tight on space, recessed lights offer a sleek, clean look without the clutter. If you want your lights to be the center of attention, an outdoor chandelier adds an air of elegance and luxury to your patio. At the end of the day, the right lights depend on factors like budget, style, and installation effort.
5. Keep It Cozy
Heat and light help get your family outside, but adding items and accessories that provide coziness and warmth will make them stay. You want to treat your outdoor space like you would an indoor room, so include warm blankets and all-weather pillows to keep things homey. To tie the room together, lay down a soft, plush outdoor rug to keep everyone’s feet warm and cozy.
Growing plants on the patio is a great way to get outside and provide natural beauty for your outdoor space. There are plenty of plants and flowers that thrive well during the colder months. Check the USDA Hardiness Zone to see what you can grow in your area.
Patio plants offer several other benefits, too. The right amount of greenery improves air quality, controls moisture, and blocks some of the winter elements. Make a trip to your local gardening center and ask an associate to see what they recommend for your outdoor space.
7. A Grill or Outdoor Kitchen
Who says summer is the only time to grill? Once your heating and lighting are ready, why not fire up the grill and show off your searing skills? There’s no shortage of winter-friendly meals like grilled pork chops or chicken kabobs, perfect for enjoying a cold-weather family dinner out on your patio.
If you really want to elevate your outdoor dining experience, consider an outdoor kitchen. It’s a significant investment, but if you love cooking and entertaining, it’s a perfect addition to your patio. Of course, you’re going to need an all-weather dining set to go along with your new setup!
8. Fun for The Kids
It’s hard enough to get your kids outside during the warmer months, so it may be extra challenging to get them to come outside during winter. Outdoor games are always a great way to get the little ones excited to be outside. A giant Jenga or Connect Four set are super-fun ideas that both you and your kids will love playing. A telescope is another idea that you and your kids can bond over. If you get a fire pit table, set up a s’mores spread and enjoy roasting marshmallows over an open fire.
9. Outdoor Movie Theater
Family movie nights are always a great way to spend quality time together. But you don’t have to limit your home theater experience indoors. With the right equipment and setup, you can have amazing movie nights right on your patio!
If you’re interested in an outdoor home theater, decide if your space is better suited for an outdoor TV or a projector screen. TVs are recommended if your patio is smaller, while projector screens are better if you have space to spare.
While decorations and accessories aren’t as essential as heat, they highlight your unique style and personality. After all, winter can be dreary, and what better way to enliven the atmosphere than with bold artwork and color accents. Whether you prefer modern decor or rustic style, there are plenty of accessories such as coffee tables, planters, throw pillows, and tabletop decorations to help make your patio comfortable and inviting.
11. High-Quality Outdoor Furniture
You want to be as comfortable as possible when it comes to your patio, whether it’s summer or winter. That’s why you need high-quality outdoor furniture that withstands the elements year after year. Since you’re busy with work and family, you also want patio furniture requiring little maintenance and no painting, staining, or waterproofing.
Before you pick out your furniture set, decide your patio’s main purpose. If you’re cooking and enjoying dinners, a high-quality dining set will be perfect for your needs. If you’re using your patio for entertaining and lounging, a deep seating set will boost comfort and relaxation.
The Bottom Line
Patios don’t have to be reserved just for warmer weather. Try these winter patio ideas for your home, so you can enjoy your outdoor space all year long.
Check out the POLYWOOD blog for more winter backyard ideas.