As the cold and the darkness creeps in, so do we, retreating indoors to hibernate until spring. But need we give up our new-found love of outdoor environments so easily?

Products like weatherproof seating, faux fur textiles, wood decking, heat lamps like this Dome floor lamp from Heatsail and many more make outdoor spaces liveable, even in cold weather

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Products like weatherproof seating, faux fur textiles, wood decking, heat lamps like this Dome floor lamp from Heatsail and many more make outdoor spaces liveable, even in cold weather

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The world has fallen back in love with the outside. Once-favoured stuffy interiors now hold no candle to the fresh natural surroundings of the exterior. Proving this, our gardens, patios, balconies and every bit of available semi-outdoor space are now transformed into comfortable, relaxing environments we long to spend time in – when it’s warm.


Every bit of available semi-outdoor space is now transformed into comfortable, relaxing environments we long to spend time in


In warm air and sunshine, exteriors easily become extra living spaces, favoured work zones or in-demand restaurant seating. But when the darkness comes, the cold sets in and the rain clouds form, outside space is suddenly seen with changed eyes. Once so full of joy, life and cocktails, just one month later and ten degrees lower, they’re now dark, damp and forgotten. So how do we change that and make them useful again?

  • GENNIUS | XTESA

    GENNIUS | XTESA

    KE Outdoor Design

The GENNIUS XTESA awning from KE Outdoor Design keeps outdoor areas dry, while letting in the light

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

The GENNIUS XTESA awning from KE Outdoor Design keeps outdoor areas dry, while letting in the light

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Seek shelter

This time of year, our focus turns to hibernation. Fires are stoked, blankets are primed and thick jumpers emerge from storage. Even the trees are brought inside for shelter. But there’s no need to turn our backs on the outdoors completely. Fixed awnings like KE Outdoor Design’s range, for example, keep our most immediate outdoor spaces dry. Automatic weather detection and digital retraction capabilities make KE’s all-weather GENNIUS XTESA awning capable of extending usable space, whatever the weather.

  • Giravolta 1799

    Giravolta 1799

    PEDRALI

  • Pao Portable

    Pao Portable

    HAY

Cordless all-weather lighting like Pedrali’s Giravolta 1799 family (top) and Hay’s mushroom-shaped Pao Portable lights (bottom) come straight from Fairyland – keeping exteriors usable in the dark

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Cordless all-weather lighting like Pedrali’s Giravolta 1799 family (top) and Hay’s mushroom-shaped Pao Portable lights (bottom) come straight from Fairyland – keeping exteriors usable in the dark

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  • Pao Portable

    Pao Portable

    HAY

Light it up

The short-term use of floor-mounted or wall-recessed outdoor lighting paints a safe and scenic journey during refuse removal. But with darkness coming so early in the day, the careful application of artificial light can also make winter outdoor environments more usable in the longer term.

Small weatherproof cordless lights like Pedrali’s Giravolta 1799 can be carried towards outdoor seating arrangements, bringing with them a welcoming glow. Alternatively, the cute, mushroom-shaped Pao Portable lights from Hay can also be brought outside, turning the scene into a magical fairy garden.

  • Grid Left / Right End Table Unit

    Grid Left / Right End Table Unit

    Gloster Furniture GmbH

Gloster Furniture’s comfortable Grid outdoor seating system remains in use year round with weatherproof fabric (top, middle), while faux fur Winter cushions from Elitis (bottom) keep seats snug

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Gloster Furniture’s comfortable Grid outdoor seating system remains in use year round with weatherproof fabric (top, middle), while faux fur Winter cushions from Elitis (bottom) keep seats snug

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  • Winter | CO 223 05 01

    Winter | CO 223 05 01

    Elitis

  • Winter | CO 219 35 04

    Winter | CO 219 35 04

    Elitis

  • Winter | CO 219 76 04

    Winter | CO 219 76 04

    Elitis

Stay comfortable

Innovative weatherproof fabrics and cushions like those used in the Grid collection from Gloster Furniture have improved the comfort and usability of outdoor seating arrangements no end. But that initial cosy feeling of sinking down into a soft padded seat quickly wears off when there’s a chill in the air.

Animal fur has been used by humans to keep warm for over 100,000 years; in modern times, however, we have alternative modern technologies and can afford modern consciences that make faux fur blankets and cushions like the soft, natural-toned Winter cushions from Elitis a more popular and still effective method of thermal retention.

  • Objects zigzag fire pit

    Objects zigzag fire pit

    KETTAL

  • BEEM 290

    BEEM 290

    Heatsail

Kettal’s Zigzag fire pit brings elemental warmth to outdoor living (top), while Heatsail’s Beem (middle) and Dome (bottom) heat lamps bring electric heat and light

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Kettal’s Zigzag fire pit brings elemental warmth to outdoor living (top), while Heatsail’s Beem (middle) and Dome (bottom) heat lamps bring electric heat and light

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  • DOME PENDANT

    DOME PENDANT

    Heatsail

Keep warm

For those not in favour of blankets and cushions restricting their movement, there exist other methods of heat generation that don’t trap arms and legs inside the vehicle. Fire pits like the stylish and colourful Zigzag from outdoor living brand Kettal, for example, bring people together with their flickering call.

More sustainably-powered electric forms such as heat lamps from Heatsail, meanwhile, avoid the direct release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the direct release of smoke into users’ eyes. Heatsail’s Beem lamp also sprays a cooling mist for true all-season use, while the company’s Dome floor lamp has an integrated speaker to bring the party.

  • Sphere 470 standard stones

    Sphere 470 standard stones

    Architettura Sonora

  • Sphere 360

    Sphere 360

    Architettura Sonora

Architettura Sonora's Sphere speakers hide in plain sight in gardens (top, middle) but there’s no hiding the imposing T-Bone Well done all-weather barbecue from Kaufmann Green (bottom)

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Architettura Sonora's Sphere speakers hide in plain sight in gardens (top, middle) but there’s no hiding the imposing T-Bone Well done all-weather barbecue from Kaufmann Green (bottom)

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  • T-Bone Well done

    T-Bone Well done

    Kaufmann Green

Outdoor entertainment

By filling exterior environments with music, home and hospitality owners can make their outside space the place to be, even over winter. These discreet concrete Sphere speakers from Architettura Sonora, for example, can blend into the shrubbery like just another piece of garden sculpture, until they’re turned up to 11.

But what’s a party without food? We tend only to barbecue in the summertime, but beside a roaring open flame is the last place you want to be when it’s 30 above. In winter, however, barbecues like Kaufmann Green’s T-Bone Well done – with a facing fire grate kissing the cook along with LED task lighting and cold-weather fridge – are in their element.

  • Keltic Granit Platten, geflammt

    Keltic Granit Platten, geflammt

    Metten

  • COLOURS one | siena plain

    COLOURS one | siena plain

    MYDECK

Both Metten’s Celtic granite outdoor tile (top) and Mydeck’s siena boards, made from sawdust (middle, bottom), offer superior traction, keeping slippery winter surfaces safe

How to make outdoor spaces more usable this winter | News

Both Metten’s Celtic granite outdoor tile (top) and Mydeck’s siena boards, made from sawdust (middle, bottom), offer superior traction, keeping slippery winter surfaces safe

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Tread carefully

Whether cutting into a steak, cutting a route past an open fire pit or cutting up the dance floor, the surface beneath one’s feet must be solid and slip-free. The smooth-look but non-slip Celtic granite outdoor tile from Metten, for example, stays frost-free and safe on winter mornings.

Meanwhile, wooden flooring absorbs the warmth of the sun and dries quickly. These more sustainable siena boards from Mydeck are made from sawdust, giving a non-slip, splinter-free and water-resistant surface. For an ultra-luxurious feel beneath one’s feet, underfloor heating can be installed in outdoor environments safely – as long as the heating elements are not exposed. Meaning outdoor floors can stay dry, safe and welcoming – even to bare feet, all year round.

© Architonic

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