How To Use Your Outdoor Living Space Year-Round

A woman standing behind an outdoor dining table while a man sits in front of it.

You might think the end of summer also means the end of patio season—and outdoor entertaining—but with a few of the right tweaks and additions, you’ll be able to use your outdoor space throughout the seasons (yes, even in winter).

A glass dining table with four chairs.

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE ANDYEAR-ROUND OUTDOOR FURNITURE—ANY TIME, ANY SEASON.

A picture of a chair with smaller pictures highlighting the fabric and material of the chair.

1. OPT FOR YEAR-ROUND OUTDOOR FURNITURE

When decorating your outdoor space, it’s important to choose year-round patio furniture specifically made to withstand the elements. Look for weather-resistant materials like teak, all-weather wicker, powder-coated steel, or recycled plastic.

When it comes to outdoor rugs, cushions, pillows, drapery, and upholstery, make sure you’re choosing indoor/outdoor performance fabrics, which are specifically constructed to last outdoors. As a bonus, they’re also stain-resistant and easy to clean, making them a popular choice for both outdoor and indoor spaces, especially in homes with children or pets.

Two women and a man sitting by a fire pit having a conversation.

2. BRING THE HEAT

An outdoor fire pit or fire table has the power to transform a backyard into a year-round gathering destination. Not only will a fire pit keep things warm when temperatures dip, but it also serves as a fun centerpiece for entertaining—from s’mores in the winter to spritzes in the summer. If you’re after the sound and smell of a crackling fire, consider a wood-burning fire pit. Alternatively, if ease of use is a priority—or if your space is smaller or has an overhead roof—it might be a good idea to explore some other types of fire pits.

Outdoor patio heaters are another great option for keeping patios cozy and comfortable throughout the seasons. Choose between electric, propane, or natural gas patio heaters depending on your environment, budget, and proximity to utility hookups.

A rooftop sitting area with two lanterns.

3. CREATE A GLOW

Entertaining in the evening? Creating an after-dark ambiance—especially when days grow shorter—is essential to extending the life of your outdoor space. Decorating with string lights overhead is a great way to add light while creating a cozy atmosphere. Likewise, lanterns are another great option for creating a glow. Keep things easy by opting for battery-powered outdoor lanterns, which are convenient to use and add a soft, warm illumination.

A woman sitting on a cement bench in an outdoor sitting area.

Your patio fun doesn’t have to end when the nights grow colder.

Investing in year-round outdoor furniture and following these simple tips can ensure you get the most out of your patio space whatever the season.

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