How to Repurpose Your Deck for Fall and Winter
For those lucky enough to live in a home or apartment with a porch, balcony, or patio, summer sunshine is synonymous with outdoor entertaining, sipping a cocktail on a lounge chair, firing up the barbecue on weekends and evenings, and generally soaking up those cherished rays from the comfort of home. Whether you’ve invested time and money planning and constructing an outdoor space, are planning on designing and building an addition, or managed to score a spot pre-equipped for living the good life, don’t let this immense perk go to waste once the seasons change.
Off-season outdoor living can be just as enjoyable with a few thoughtful tweaks and additions. Yes, it’s true — you and your deck can (and should) be much more than fair-weather friends! Read on for a few ideas to get the most out of your deck area, even in the fall and winter.
1. Get cozy
Many people may seek shelter indoors when the annual chill returns to the air, but the good news is, you can regulate the temperature in your small chunk of homefront paradise. Building an outdoor fireplace is a fast track to warmth. Installing a deck-safe fire pit generally requires a bit less work, but can provide equal bang for your buck… Plus, who wouldn’t love a backyard-roasted s’more? Other heating options include standing patio heaters, heated patio floors, or even a hot tub for a warm winter soak. Keep a storage trunk or ottoman near the exit to the deck and stock with throw blankets for outdoor use. Tie it all together with a patterned outdoor rug to inject some style while protecting feet from the cold deck.
2. Brighten up
During the grey and gloomy months, consider ample lighting your secret weapon to brighten the mood and fight the seasonal blues. Install outdoor-friendly pendant lights, sconces, or whimsical options such as hanging lanterns or orb lighting, string lights, standing tealight lanterns, or an outdoor chandelier. Even simple lighting additions can make your deck an inviting space that lifts spirits even when there’s a bite in the air.
3. Protect from the elements
Now that you’ll be spending more time outside once your deck is season-proofed, you’ll need to protect yourself, your guests, and your belongings from Pacific Northwest fall and winter weather. Long-term investments may include porch covers such as a canopy or rooftop to protect from wind and rain. Don’t forget protective furniture slips to prevent fabrics from fading and succumbing to harsh weather side effects. To protect the deck itself, use an external sealer and keep the surface clean by regularly raking leaves and debris. Alternatively, work with a professional designer to turn your outdoor space into a sunroom or enclosed patio for easy year round use.