Winter Patio Ideas That Will Make You Forget About the Cold

Backyard patio with fire pit and Adirondack chairs covered in snow.

In many homes, a patio is a happy space where you go to read a good book, relax with your significant other, or host gatherings with family and friends. However, for residents of Canada, a patio is usually off-limits in the winter. Well, we have some good news — it doesn’t have to be! With the right upgrades and some cozy decorations, you can create the ultimate winter patio where you, your family, and your friends can enjoy your outdoor space throughout the winter.

The Grounds Guys® have 10 winter patio ideas that will warm your heart and help you create an outdoor oasis that you can enjoy, even during the colder months of the year.

1. Add a Fire Pit

Let’s be honest: no one wants to sit outside on the patio when temperatures dip into the negative digits. To make your outdoor experience more enjoyable, your first order of business when it comes to winterizing your patio is to add a heat source. A great and inexpensive way to do this is to head to your local home improvement store or big box retailer and pick up a fire pit. They come in several varieties, including propane, electric, or you can go old-school, and get one that burns wood logs.

Another option is to have a fire pit professionally designed and installed or add an outdoor fireplace if you’re looking to invest more into your outdoor space.

2. Close In Your Patio

While this is the most aggressive option when it comes to our winter backyard ideas, if you live in an area of Canada that experiences a long and harsh winter, it might also be the best option. Winter temperatures and heavy snowfall make outside spaces very inhospitable for many Canadian residents. Therefore, you might not be able to comfortably use your patio for several months of the year. That’s a lot of downtime for your patio space.

By turning your outdoor patio into a year-round patio, you can get more out of the space. Your patio could become the place where all your family and friends gather for the holidays. If this is an option you’re considering, hire a local professional to help you with the remodel, which may also add value to your home.

If you’re not ready to fully enclose your patio, consider adding a permanent or retractable roof to it. A roof will protect it from snow and rain and help retain heat. It’ll also be useful in the summer when you need protection from the sun.

3. Add Heat Lamps to Your Patio

While a fire pit can help stave off the winter cold, adding an extra layer of heat will definitely be appreciated by your family and friends, especially if you are hosting a large gathering. Propane heaters are now available in a variety of sizes from your favourite home improvement store. They are an affordable heating option that can be moved to different areas of your patio to direct heat exactly where you want it.

4. Invest in Winter-Appropriate Furniture

Wicker benches and Adirondack chairs may work for the summer, but in the winter, your guests will be begging for comfy furniture where they can snuggle in close. Look for cozy couches and armchairs where your guests can relax. Just make sure they are waterproof or come with waterproof covers.

5. Add Snuggly Blankets to Your Patio

One of our best winter patio ideas is also the simplest to implement. No matter how warm your fire pit and heat lamps are, family members and guests will still love snuggling beneath a thick, soft blanket. We recommend putting out wool, fleece, or chenille blankets whenever you spend time on the patio during the winter months.

Consider buying blankets with a winter theme, such as snowflakes, or in muted winter colours, like blues, purples, and greens. If you have a large patio, you might want to buy a storage box to keep your blankets safe between uses. Another option is to buy some footrests that also double as a blanket and pillow storage box.

6. Put Up String Lights

Now that everyone on your winter patio is warm and comfortable, it’s time to create a relaxing atmosphere. Shorter days and less daylight during the winter months means it’s time to shine some light on your outdoor gatherings with beautiful string lights. You can find string lights in various designs and colours, from rope lights to dangling lights, and even ones that feature rustic bulbs. If you don’t have an outlet on your patio, you can buy battery-powered lights or have some outlets installed. Whichever lighting options you choose, you’ll add an element of fun and wonder to your patio that everyone is sure to enjoy.

7. Add LED Candles and Lanterns to Your Patio

Another winter backyard idea that we love is to place LED candles or lanterns around the patio. You can find candles and lanterns that look amazingly real with life-like flames that create a charming and relaxing mood. These candles and lanterns come in many styles and varieties, including vintage wood that look like they could have lit a home in the 1800s.

8. Put Out Decorative Pillows

While your guests may already be plenty cozy in your new outdoor space, that doesn’t mean you can’t crank up the hygge just a little bit more with some decorative throw pillows. Hygge is a Danish word that describes a sense of contentment and comfort. We suggest adding pillows to your patio furniture that offer pops of colour. Try reds, greens, or bright purples. You can also choose pillows with winter prints, like snowmen, reindeer, or pine trees. These pillows will not only look great, they will also help your guests get even more comfortable on your patio.

9. Add Decorative Evergreens

A winter landscape can be captivating and even a little magical at times, especially when your lawn is covered by snow. However, when that snow melts, winter can also look desolate and barren. Adding a touch of life to your patio and surrounding landscape by putting out evergreens and winter plants that can withstand the cold weather is a great way to spruce things up throughout the winter. Some good choices include the following:

  • Holly
  • False cypress
  • Blue star juniper
  • Boxwood
  • Violas

Learn more about: Landscaping in the Winter

10. Add Garlands to Your Patio

Another way to spruce up your winter patio with some colour is to decorate it with garlands. You can wrap long garlands around railings, drape them from your roof, or wrap pillars. Live garlands will add a special touch to your patio, but you’ll eventually have to throw them out. An easier option is to pick up some high-quality artificial garlands that can last for years and years. You can even purchase scented sprays to give them that fresh, piney smell.

Learn more about: The Best Way to Hang Christmas Lights on Trees

Make the Most of Your Winter Patio with The Grounds Guys

We hope our winter patio ideas have shown you that your patio can be a prime hang-out spot during any time of the year, including the winter. Even as the temperature drops, your patio can still be a place of connection, friendship, peace, and relaxation.

Need help designing a winterized patio of your dreams? The Grounds Guys can assist with a number of landscape and hardscape projects. Our professionals will make your property look great throughout the year and with work that is backed by the Neighbourly Done Right Promise™, your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are happy to provide a free estimate for ongoing landscape maintenance, seasonal services, and one-off projects like designing elegant landscape lighting.

Want to learn more? Find The Grounds Guys location nearest you and contact us to request a free quote today!