When temperatures drop, most folks head indoors to hunker down. But with the right touches, your Seattle patio can remain an extension of your home throughout the winter.
Darkness and cold temperatures are the two most common reasons that folks in the Pacific Northwest close up their backyard. And while we are not going to recommend heading outside in a torrential downpour, Seattle winters are speckled with stunning days of sunshine and crisp grey afternoons. (It is a fact that we sometimes try and keep secret. Wouldn’t want everyone to know just how stunning this place is.)
How to Make Your Patio a Cozy Refuge
While physical distancing remains essential for everyone’s safety, socializing is equally as important for our mental wellbeing. We’re social creatures by nature. We need to connect with and spend time with those we love. Those we can tack with, laugh with, and celebrate with.
A comfortable outdoor space can give you the freedom to gather safely — even in spite of the season. The following essential supplies will let you gather safely.
A Source of Warmth
There are a variety of ways to warm up your outdoor space, the most effective of which are outdoor fire pits and outdoor heaters. Generally speaking, heaters and firepits heat in a radial fashion. The closer you are to the source, the warmer you will be.
In a larger space, it’s most effective to have a center source of heat and then a few additional heat sources spaced around the outer rim. This creates a more even warmth, helping keep everyone comfortable.
Bonus Tip: For wood burning fire pits, like a California Fire Pit, smoke can sometimes be a concern. In order to limit smoke, you want to use very dry firewood and stack the logs in the shape of a teepee or log cabin. This maximizes airflow, encouraging the smoke to rise straight up, rather than blowing towards half of the party.
Make Sure There Is Light
Another sure way to tell folks the party is over is to turn out the lights. It is a good signal that you are no longer welcome. So if you want your family and guests to feel welcome, make sure they can see. Candles offer a natural glow, while outdoor lights create a consistent light source. We prefer a mix of light, layering overhead light strigs with outdoor lanterns that offer ambiance and functionality.
Use a Rug to Create a ‘Room’
A rug defines a space and also adds that sense of refinement that brings comfort. Furthermore, it offers a layer or barrier between you and the cold ground, helping add even more warmth to the space. Look for an outdoor rug that is constructed to withstand the elements and can be cleaned if it gets dirty.
When you are headed outside to do anything, it is best to dress for the weather — regardless if it is hot, cold or temperate. In the winter, this means wearing layers. And maybe bring a blanket. There is something unctuously enjoyable about curling up under a blanket.
Sip Something Warm
From coffee and hot chocolate to something a bit stronger, a warm drink can help you heat the body from the inside out. It also makes for a natural handwarmer. Prior to any outdoor winter gathering, make sure to stock up on some key essentials for warm drinks. A yummy hot chocolate mix. Maybe marshmallows. Perhaps the fixings for hot buttered rum.