Designing Your Winter Garden

Tips and ideas for the perfect outdoor lounge.

With all this time spent at home, we can’t help but look for ways to change up our routine or surroundings. You’ve heard it over and over when talking about window placement and the overall feeling of a room or space: the benefits of bringing the outdoors in or the connection between inside and out. Now that we are often confined to our homes, what about bringing the indoors … out?

Yes, the dreaded transition to chillier weather is looming, but there are ways to enjoy your time in your own outdoor space without missing the warmth and comfort of your usual living area.

Whether you have a deck, porch, sunroom, backyard, balcony or patio, creating an outdoor living area increases your living space and allows you to enjoy nature; and nature never goes out of style. Below are some of the basic elements needed to create your own outdoor living room.

Extending your living area from the inside out and allowing for continuity from an indoor space to an outdoor space, is a great way to make the most of your household. An easy way to achieve this is by incorporating an outdoor living room. It will add appeal and personality to your home while creating an excellent place for entertaining or spending quiet time outdoors.

To blur the lines between outdoor and indoor spaces, the outside environment needs to be as useful and comfortable as the inside of your home.

If your typical sofa and lounge chair isn’t what you’re looking for as a change in surroundings, how about going boho and use a hammock and floor cushions instead.

Take inspirations from your previous travels as décor inspiration for your outdoor patio and add a couple of sculptures here and there to add a bit of ‘people presence’ to your surroundings for those of you that miss the hustle and bustle of populated city life.

Retractable doors and sliding glass are perfect materials in blending the limitations between your house interior and exterior. It is like connecting the dots. Using the same kind of flooring in your home and patio area create a sense of flow from the inside to out.

Pointing out the unpredictable weather here is quite an understatement. Rain is the only real constant in our climate. It would be nice if we can ignore that while still being able to lounge in our outdoor space. To do so, how about bringing a little bit of sunshine through brightly coloured objects or furniture.

Protect yourselves from the rain by putting up a canopy, or a large outdoor umbrella. Installing an awning, pergola, trellis or canopy over your deck or patio will instantly define the area and really make it feel like an actual room that is alfresco.

Overhead cover will create a more intimate space, is great for acoustics, and can cut down on glare and excess heat in the summertime.

Heat and staying warm is a big thing. Outdoor heaters are a godsend when temperatures drop. Consider getting one with wheels so that it can easily be positioned wherever people are hanging out.

A firepit is another option. Less flexible when it comes to moving it around but it gives a feeling of the ideal gathering spot in any occasion or setting.

The grander, more substantial cousins to firepits, are fireplaces that act as a grand dame of an outdoor living space. It’s a traditional focal point that can be contemporary or somewhere in between depending how simple or unique the design is.

Décor plays a massive role for creating cosy and relaxing spaces. Adding cushions and blankets to snuggle up in the crisp night air would make the ambiance more enjoyable. Don’t spend those cold winter nights in the dark. Make your outdoor space a place to spend time with friends and family well into the night with good lighting. Lighting can set different moods and can add a touch of elegance to a space.

Having BBQs should not be exclusive to summer. The cold weather might be a turn off but now that we have that sorted with outdoor heaters, firepits or fireplaces (scroll up if you’ve missed it), barbequing during winter shouldn’t be a bother.

Outdoor living spaces are a great use for entertainment. Turn your backyard to an outdoor home theatre with a projector and a white screen. Of course, candles, lanterns, buckets of snacks and drinks can amplify the ideal outdoor movie night.