We may live in the Great White North, but far too many backyard loving Canucks eagerly countdown to thirty-degree days before enjoying their outdoor oasis. In actuality, there’s far more outdoor time to be had that you may be missing out on even before the ice melts. It’s time to stop giving the winter months the cold shoulder. Even in Canada there is a way to make the most of your exterior living space in every season.
Light it up
On chilly nights, investing in a chic firepit or heat lamp can help extend your outdoor time. Footpath lights and twinkling patio sting lights add additional ambiance and just enough luminesce to keep things from getting too dark on shorter days, and in the summer will help with pesky mosquitoes. But remember less is more. Don’t feel the need to over illuminate, as too many lights may ruin the view of a perfect starlit night sky.
Bring the indoors, out
For those who love to lounge, but are worried about the elements damaging furniture, making the investment into water resistant fabrics for couches, cushions and throws from retailers like Andrew Richard Designs will be what will be what keeps things homey and fuss-free. You can even find fabulous, low maintenance outdoor accessories such as rugs that will help tie everything together.
And, don’t forget that your living room isn’t the only space you can take outside. Mancaves, playrooms and even office spaces now offer outdoor weather-resistant materials that will withstand the elements. Fully heated and lit, these spaces can have all the comforts of their indoor counterparts with an added outdoor wow.
Do more than grill and chill
Your senses are heightened in the cold, so what better time to throw some savoury bites on your outdoor grill and get your guest’s mouths watering. Pizza ovens and smokers are often overlooked champions for outdoor entertaining, not to mention an outdoor rated sink, fridge, dishwasher and even a beer tap like those at TA Appliance. No more need to rush back indoors when entertaining.
Call the landscape experts:
Even when the greenery of your backyard is covered in snow, it may still be time to call in the experts. Landscaping can be used for so much more than giving your grass a trim. Peter Bonanno of Curb Appeal says bringing in an outdoor expert in the off season can help better determine how to best define and split up a space. Without any clutter of pre-set furniture, you’ll get a better picture of how to maximize your square-footage and determine what you want to use your backyard for. Landscaping can help define exterior areas into separate “rooms” like the inside of your home, leading to a better utilized outdoor area.
Embrace the elements
This is a great way to take in all the elements you love and close yourself off from the undesirables: wind, rain and pesky insects. From sleek retractable glass walls to more traditional screened in porches, you’ll be covered no matter what mother nature has in store.
Make a spa day, every day
Being outdoors shouldn’t be all about roughing it. Investing in your backyard is an investment in you. Not just a seventies fad, hot tubs and jacuzzis have come a long way. From swim spas to saunas and so much more, you can find an option to pamper yourself that will fit in just about any backyard, and at every price point.
If you’re looking for even more inspiring home and garden ideas, and to see these backyard tips come to life, visit the National Home Show presented by RE/MAX and co-located with Canada Blooms from March 8- 17 at The Enercare Centre in the Exhibition Place in Toronto.