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OUR GUIDE TO EXTENDING THE OUTDOOR SEASON AT HOME

By Emma Smith
OUR GUIDE TO EXTENDING THE OUTDOOR SEASON AT HOME

Most of Australia is still sweltering, but autumn has officially begun and the mercury is falling. For those living in chilly climates, this usually means the outdoor dining and entertaining season will eventually come to an end – but it doesn’t have to.

With a few small additions and adjustments, you can keep enjoying your outdoor area long into autumn, and even through to winter. Here’s how…

ADD A FIREPIT OR FIREPLACE

When it starts to get chilly, nothing adds to your home’s outdoor design quite like a fireplace or firepit. They look great, adding a point of interest to your design, while also keeping you and your guests’ warm outside.

If you’re considering a fireplace or firepit, you’ve got two basic options. One is to buy a standalone pit or burner from a local furniture or design store, and simply pop it down in your outdoor area. There’s no expensive, time-consuming installation required and the unit itself could cost as little as $150.

Your other option is to have a professional install either a wall-mounted fireplace, or a brick firepit. This option will cost more, but the results could keep you outside for months and really add to the design and usability of your outdoor space.

COVER IT UP

If you already have some form of shading in your yard area, outdoor blinds may be a great idea.

Another way to keep enjoying your evenings outside is to cover your outdoor area, guarding it from the wind, the rain and the cold.

There are a hundred and one ways you can do this, from a simple cloth umbrella over your outdoor dining table, to the more costly option of adding permanent cover in the form of a pergola.

If you already have some form of shading in your yard area, outdoor blinds may be a great idea. These come in many forms, and can drop down to shade you from the elements, or to help trap heat inside to keep you warm.

ADJUST YOUR OUTDOOR FURNITURE

Summer outdoor furniture is all fresh colours, deck chairs and recliners, but during autumn and winter those same pieces of furniture and colour schemes don’t work quite as well. Give your outdoor living space an autumn spin by adding cosy plush throws, darker colours and large, comfortable cushions.

You will be surprised by how much difference a few simple pieces can make when adapting your home’s design to the chillier seasons. Plus, with blankets and luxurious cushions added, you’ll find relaxing outside warmer and more enjoyable.

If you really want to go all out, using bollard lights along paths can add a touch of class to your yard.

OPTIMISE YOUR LIGHTING

When the evenings get shorter and darker, all of a sudden your outdoor area might not look so appealing. Keep the dark at bay by adding custom lighting to your outdoor living area. First of all, make sure your deck or patio is sufficiently lit, which should be as simple as installing LED lights on your home’s exterior.

Once you’ve done that, it’s worth highlighting your garden’s best features with ground-mounted spike lighting. This will make sure that even when it’s dark you and your guests have an interesting outlook when dining or relaxing outdoors.

If you really want to go all out, using bollard lights along paths can add a touch of class to your yard.

BRING THE HEAT

The most important factor when it comes to extending your time outdoors this year is temperature. If an outdoor firepit isn’t an option for you, simple outdoor heaters are your best bet. You’ve got three options: propane, gas and electric. Propane is generally considered to be the most efficient of the three.

A simple freestanding patio heater may be all you need, and for just a few hundred dollars you could extend your outdoor season for weeks, or months. Whatever design you choose, remember that the right changes do far more than improve your outdoor living space – they could also add value to your home.

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