8 ways to extend your outdoor living beyond summer
We kiwis are generally ‘summer people’, and most of us are not quite prepared to say goodbye to bright sunny mornings, long days and temperate evenings lounging around outside with family and friends. I myself choose not to go gently into that cold night, so here are my tips to help you extend your outdoor living in style (that don’t require on your builder or bank manager):
1. Throw it around. Keep a few throws or small blankets easily accessible for your outdoor living area. Fabric choices range from basic to luxurious, depending on your budget. Buy enough for all, keep them single sizes, not too bulky. The gorgeous EGE lambswool throws seen on the arm of our rope chair ticks all the boxes and is available online or in-store at Collect Living
2. Look the part. Consider changing your summery accent cushions to ones with warmer tones and textured fabrics as it’s more inviting. I definitely cheat and pop my winter indoor cushions outside for a few hours when needed. Indoor cushions are simply more interesting with fabrics such as felt, jacquard and wool textures. Pony Rider are a good source of cushion inspo, and some are featured on our Alfresco Outdoor Sofa below.
3. Heat helps. Source yourself an outdoor heater. Consider safety, portability as well as running costs when buying. Infrared heaters are cleaner, less bulky and are less costly to run than gas heaters. I like this Imus heater, a Danish-designed infrared column heater from Mensa Heating which is soon to be available in Aus/NZ. It its under your outdoor table and is safe to touch. and but are run via electricity so you need to think about finding a power source (see image below).
4. Let there be light. On dark winter nights, warm lighting is incredibly inviting and mood-setting. There are many quick options to light your outdoor area from tea candles in jam jars to solar powered lighting. Check out these super cool inflatable solar lanterns. (image below) Just google ‘Luci Lux’ to find NZ retailers that sell them.
5. Fire it up. Speaking of mood setting- if your space and circumstances allows it, an outdoor firepit is a fabulous season extender. Don’t think it needs to be big or expensive- it doesn’t. Our humble portable firepit was purchased for approx. $149 and has been the focus of many, many evenings outdoor at the bach.
6. Be on the ready: If your outdoor cushions have been packed under the box in the back shelves in the garage, you may be less motivated to pull them out on short notice. Have your outdoor essentials easily accessible. A weather proof outdoor box to store cushions and squabs is another great purchase if you’ve got the space.
7. Damp is a party killer. Investing in quality weather-resistant outdoor furniture is another way to extend your season of outdoor living. Water and moisture trapped in outdoor furniture makes sitting outside much less enticing so look for ranges with for Sunbrella® or Spuncrylic™ fabrics, as these are moisture resistant (as well as fade-resistant).
8. Forewarned is forearmed. If you’ve invited friends over, let them know you’ll be entertaining outside. Your guests will dress accordingly and will be less likely to politely suggest you move things inside. Those throws from tip #1 will also come in handy.
Cooler temperature and diminishing light shouldn’t be a deterrent to enjoying outdoor living in autumn and winter. Our NZ rain is an element that is simply best worked around by looking for the right opportunities and being ready to make it work.
Happy outdoor living, all year long.
Kerry is the owner of OutsideSpace NZ, selling contemporary outdoor furniture for coastal living kiwis seeking quality product and design, at an achievable price. She only buys ranges she loves yet also suit the NZ lifestyle.