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While there hasn’t been much going on this year for, well, obvious reasons, the one thing a lot of us have been able to count on is the great outdoors.

Hikes, small picnics, socially-distanced backyard parties – in an era where we couldn’t really get out of the house or see people except under ideal circumstances, hanging out in the outdoors was the only viable option for many of us. Of course, for most of the country, now that summer is coming to an end, those evenings on the patio may have to become a distant memory until next year.

Or do they?

With a little imagination (and the right furniture), you can actually keep your patio comfortable and usable even as the temperature starts to drop outside. This can help you get fresh air and enjoy the season a little longer, even if you need to bring a jacket with you eventually, and can come in pretty handy during these times of limited social interaction due to the pandemic.

 

How to Extend Patio Season Through Fall & Winter

Block the wind

One of the biggest obstacles anyone faces when trying to enjoy patio season at the end of the year is the weather itself. Even as autumn slowly comes around the corner, those dropping temperatures can be an obstacle to anyone’s good time. One way to help mitigate this is to create wind blocks around the patio! Large furniture like sofas (or even bookcases, as we’ve seen in a few creative examples) can be strategically placed around the patio to help buffer any wind flow. Or, if you’re the plant-parent type, you could bring some short wire shelving outside and line them with hearty fall/winter plants to block colder conditions (and add a pop of color).

 

Plant something seasonal

Speaking of adding some color, if you’re into gardening at all, now is a great time to get some seasonal plants or vegetables for your garden. Cold-weather plants like mums, spinach, and kale can add some much-needed color to your view even as the trees and yard start to change colors, and give you fresh veggies to look forward to now that tomato season is over.

 

Keep it comfortable

If you leave your outdoor seating outside year-round, whether it’s chairs, sofas, or home bench seating, it might make it a little easier to be outside this time of year if you…soften things up a bit. Keep some throw pillows and blankets around to make sitting more comfortable and add a little more of that hygge touch to things, even as the colder months begin to creep around the corner.

 

Have something to do

One way to take your mind off the changing weather is to be able to entertain yourself and any potential guests (socially distanced, of course!) outdoors. A lot of people think it’s easier to enjoy outdoor games like horseshoes or cornhole (can’t help it, we’re from Michigan) when the temperatures start to drop. If that sounds like fun, take some rust proof shelves and set up storage for your favorite backyard game supplies, and try to enjoy them a few more times before the snow falls!

 

Keep a place for warm drinks

Even something as simple as brunch on the patio is a perfect excuse to sit outdoors and enjoy the view, but there’s one thing you’ll always want to keep at hand – warm drinks! Whether you’re into tea, coffee, the occasional hot toddy, or anything similar, make sure to keep enough table space out there to hold onto everything. Accent tables and end tables are a great solution for most patios due to their smaller size and ease of use.

 

Hopefully these will let you hang onto those patio nights a little longer, and help you safely entertain company – at least until it just gets too dang cold!

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