Winter has a bad reputation for unruly snow, cold temperatures and the excuse to stay in and hibernate until further notice. But what if we told you that your backyard had the potential to be transformed into a cozy winter wonderland? The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire in your backyard could be so delightful if you design it properly. In this article, we’ll walk you through some design options that will show you how to make your backyard warm and turn your outdoor space into a chill haven during the winter months.
Home renovations made simple
1. Warm up with lights
A common reason people avoid using their backyards in the winter is that it gets dark too quickly. Since the sun sets before the end of a workday, homeowners often feel there isn’t a point to investing in their backyard if they can’t enjoy it when they want to most—after a long, hard day at work! Eliminate this problem by installing a variety of lights in your backyard, including:
- Heat lamps to provide both illumination and warmth during the coldest nights
- Holiday lights that can be kept up long past Santa coming down the chimney
- Fairy lights as accent pieces on small outdoor decor, trees, and bushes
2. Keep warm by a fire pit
Adding a fire pit to your backyard should feel like a no-brainer during the winter season, but deciding which type of fire pit is the challenge. Additionally, each province, city and region has a different set of regulations for fire pits in residential areas. Below is a list of potential outdoor fire pits, but you will need to research on your own to determine what’s legally allowed in your space based on location.
Wood burning fire pits
Similar to a campfire, wood-burning fire pits offer the same level of warmth and smoky ambiance in a contained space. Most wood-burning fire pits are made with steel and come in a variety of sizes. The bigger the pit (or bowl), the bigger your fire will be, which is something to bear in mind compared to the space you’re working with. The fire pit is also equipped with legs, offering a certain safety level as it keeps them off the ground and away from any patio flooring or furniture.
Propane fire pits
Avoid building a fire with wood by investing in a propane fire pit. These little beauties are larger than a wood-burning fire pit and are luxe in their appearance. The flame that ignites from a propane fire pit is pretty impressive, too. Most propane fire pits accommodate a 20-pound propane tank that can be purchased at many essential-goods stores.
Natural gas fire pits
A natural gas fire pit is the largest of the three options we’ve highlighted, and wow, are they worth it! This fire pit requires a permanent connection to a natural gas line, eliminating your risk of running out of gas. It’s important to keep in mind that a gas fire pit can’t be moved once you decide on where to place it due to the gas hookup. But the good news is that they are the least expensive to operate and easiest to maintain.
3. Have a soak in your hot tub
Winterizing your outdoor space is the perfect excuse to purchase that hot tub you’ve always wanted. It’s the ideal way to keep warm while enjoying a stress-free soak in the cool air. Hot tubs are available all season and come in a wide variety of designs and sizes to fit your budget. Keep in mind that hot tubs require regular maintenance, so before you invest in one, ensure you will have the time and money required to maintain this spa-like luxury.
4. Stay dry under a roof
There’s also the option to add a roof to your outdoor space. Take cover from the wind and snow by adding a roof to a pre-existing patio or choose to invest in a pergola. These options won’t keep you super warm on their own, but in addition to the other recommendations we’ve made, they will ensure you stay cozy and secure when you need it most.
5. Bring in the cozy accessories
Assuming you have outdoor patio furniture, why not consider adding some cozy items to the mix. Blankets and throw pillows are excellent options to not only dress up your space, but they instantly create a sense of warmth and security. Texture and material play a big role in bringing this illusion to life, so look for items with faux fur, corduroy, fleece, and velour. Remember also to store accessories indoors when you’ve finished using them or choose to invest in weather-resistant options instead.
Don’t let snowy days stop you from enjoying your outdoor space
Your backyard has the potential to become your winter oasis no matter how cold the winter gets. Investing in outdoor items that keep you and your loved ones warm and cozy is something you have to feel to believe. And with the options we’ve shown you, there’s certainly something for every budget to help bring the heat when you need it.
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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.