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Looking to deck out your outdoor space for the colder months? It seems like everyone invested in heating lamps last winter so they could safely have their pod over to their homes, and there’s no reason to stop entertaining outside this year either. The trick to making your corner of the outdoor world feel cozy even when temperatures dip though? Investing in weather-appropriate pieces and throwing in some seasonal accessories to really bring the indoors out. “You have to keep the space inviting, or you’ll never go out there,” says Caron Woolsey, founder and principal designer of CW Interiors. Ready to upgrade your outside space? Here are some designer-approved ideas.
Fire pit and fire pit accessories
A firepit is a no brainer, that is, if you’re able to have one. Don’t forget the accessories that go with it. “Chopped wood in a chic log rack is a great way to add something pretty and seasonally appropriate to your outdoor space,” says designer Linda Hayslett of LH Designs. “Plus, you can bundle up and have fun making smores and drinking hot chocolate around the fire!”
You won’t be able to keep said throws out all the time, but having plenty of warm blankets to keep guests cozy and warm will make hanging outside much more appealing — trust me! Look for hardy wool blankets that are washable so you can easily take care of any accidental spills or fire pit smells, and then store them in your linen closet or outside covered storage area when not in use.
If you’re able to invest in just one item for your outdoor space this winter, consider spending a little extra on a really beautiful piece of storage furniture. “Waterproof storage for pillows, blankets, extra hand-warmers, and outside entertaining supplies is a must,” says Woolsey. Plus, one that’s as beautiful as this table (and not your run-of-the-mill plastic storage bench) is the perfect place to setup a food and drinks station or cluster lanterns when you have guests over.
“Bring the holiday decor outside,” says Hayslett. “We bring nature inside by way of garlands and wreaths, but we can use those same pieces outdoors to make the space feel inviting and fun, even if it’s cold out.” Weave some outside twinkle lights into your garlands, and you’re holiday cocktail party ready!
Outdoor rugs are great year-round, but they’re especially good at cozying up an outside space when it’s chilly out. “They add tons of texture and warmth to a deck or patio,” Woolsey says. Try layering rugs of different sizes and textures together to really step up the comfy lounge vibe.
Nothing says wintertime like the sun setting at 4 o’clock PM, so you’ll most likely need some mood-appropriate lighting when you’re entertaining outside (or just enjoying a hot toddy solo). What’s moodier than good old fashioned candlelight? Just like their pro-outdoor rug stance, designers are also big advocates for using lanterns all year, but they especially come in handy during the colder months. Stumped on a style? While a wicker lantern is perfect for summer, try something aged brass or matte black for the colder months.
“There’s nothing easier, more unexpected, and fun than adding tabletop fire to your outdoor space,” says Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe. “They add instant ambiance, are great conversation pieces, and are actually functional — hello, smores!”