Canadians for the most part enjoy the warm weather and spend as much time in the great outdoors as schedules allow. Since our summers are short, we want to make the most of our outdoor season and beautiful landscapes, so anything that can be done to extend the enjoyment of exterior spaces is a bonus. There has been a growing trend over the past decade to create patios, decks and outdoor spaces that allow us to utilize them for at least three seasons.
Lighting becomes an important consideration as the days get shorter and darkness sets in earlier, not just for ambiance but also for safety. There are so many exterior lighting options available now it’s actually hard to choose. Strings of lights come in a huge variety of styles, or you may prefer torch type lights or portable lanterns. Combinations of all three make for sophisticated and layered illumination. Candles in protective containers to stop the wind from extinguishing them also add a subtle elegance to outdoor spaces.
Textiles and fabrics for use outdoors have come a long way with gorgeous weather-resistant cushions and pillows filled with waterproof material adding comfort and simplicity. Cozy blankets strewn over chairs and couches provide that added bit of warmth on cool windy nights. Outdoor slippers are a great way to keep the toes warm and cozy. Switching up the summery fabrics to more autumnal colours creates a sense of visual warmth and depth.
All-weather carpeting on decks and patios has become a booming trend, and not only adds insulation but makes the space more like indoor living rooms. Curtains or loose fabric hung around a pergola can protect guests from cool autumn breezes. Fabric wall dividers will also do the trick to add protection on windy nights.
Nothing says warmth like a fire and firepits have become a hot commodity. Chimineas and firepits are restricted in some communities due to a potential fire hazard, but there are many options that utilize propane or ethanol, both of which are not under restriction. In cottage country, most residents are still using wood burning bowls or bonfires, but in the city the propane or ethanol options look great and emit lots of heat.
By making a few minor changes to your existing outdoor space you can extend patio season well into the fall. Think of it as the Canadian way to extend summer.