Cold cli­mate com­fort

You can still en­joy your out­door spa­ces, even as the tem­per­a­tures begin to drop, writes Chelsea Clark

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - More Ad­bri Ma­sonry, ad­; Aus­tralian Out­door Living, aus­tralianout­door­liv­; Bun­nings, bun­; El­gas, el­; Rolling Stone Land­scapes, rolling­stoneland­

It’s no se­cret us Aussies love the great out­doors. In the sum­mer­time, bar­be­cue and al­fresco living ar­eas all over the coun­try are given a good work­out on week­ends and for week­day fam­ily din­ners.

Some­times it feels like we’re spend­ing more time out­side than in.

But come June we all retreat in­doors as the cooler months take hold and we’re forced in front of heaters and fires to stay warm.

Our out­door living ar­eas go un­used but it doesn’t have to be the case with op­tions for mak­ing your al­fresco place win­ter-friendly.

“We ask a lot of our out­door spa­ces in Australia,” says land­scape designer Dean Her­ald from Rolling Stone Land­scapes.

“They need to be a living, dining room and kitchen space all in one but a truly ef­fec­tive out­door space should also be able to be used year round.”

A com­bi­na­tion of ef­fec­tive heat­ing and light­ing, ver­sa­tile fur­ni­ture and sea­sonal fur­nish­ings can all help make your out­door space more ser­vice­able out­side the tra­di­tional times of the year.

It’s also im­por­tant that your out­door space is prop­erly pro­tected from the el­e­ments.

“When win­ter re­ally rolls in, those cool Antarc­tic winds can be pretty off-putting,” says Alex Kuchel from Aus­tralian Out­door Living. “But with clear cafe blinds you can cre­ate a heav­enly out­door space in­su­lated from the chill in your own backyard.”

If your space isn’t con­ducive to hang­ing blinds, Kirsten Beer from Bun­nings sug­gests in­vest­ing in a per­gola to shel­ter the out­door space from wind and rain and cre­ate an en­ter­tain­ment area for fam­ily and friends that can be used all year-round.


An out­door heater is a must if you want to make use of your al­fresco area dur­ing win­ter.

“A pa­tio heater will pro­vide ra­di­ant heat to keep a large space warm or al­ter­na­tively a chime­nea or fire pit will also add ex­tra am­bi­ence,” says Kristen.

“An­other op­tion is to use over­head elec­tric heaters which can be mounted to the ceil­ing and an­gled to suit the area.”

Gas is the most cost-ef­fec­tive way of heat­ing an out­door space and Eric Hahn from El­gas sug­gests ra­di­ant heaters will pro­vide the best type of heat.

“Con­vec­tion heaters will warm the air in a space which is vir­tu­ally use­less in an out­door room just be­cause there are no walls or doors to keep the heat in,” ex­plains Eric.

“Ra­di­ant heaters are based on the line of sight — if you’re stand­ing in front of heater, you’ll get warm.

“If you have a large space — or you’re plan­ning a large gath­er­ing — it’s best to po­si­tion them around the perime­ter.”

An­other plus is that gas heaters don’t re­quire a power lead, al­low­ing them to be placed any­where in the gar­den and moved around as de­sired.

“Re­mem­ber not to move gas heaters while they are on or still warm, so make sure to

place them in your de­sired po­si­tion prior to start­ing,” says Kristen.

If you’re af­ter some­thing more rustic, fire pits are gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity, with both fixed and por­ta­ble mod­els avail­able.

“Adding a fire pit will pro­vide an im­me­di­ate fea­ture for the gar­den and be­come a nat­u­ral gath­er­ing spot for so­cial­is­ing and en­ter­tain­ing and pro­vides warmth as well as a great cooking source,” says land­scaper and spokesman for Ad­bri Ma­sonry Ja­son Hodges.

“Build­ing your own fire pit can be a sim­ple week­end DIY job.

“For those who love the out­doors, en­ter­tain­ing or star gaz­ing on a cool night, you’ll won­der how you ever lived with­out it.”


Hard tim­ber fur­ni­ture just isn’t go­ing to cut it on chilly win­ter nights when you want to rug up in front of the fire, so don’t be afraid to add plenty of soft fur­nish­ings to your out­door room for those cooler nights.

“One of the big­gest mis­takes peo­ple make when fur­nish­ing an out­door area is to add too much clut­ter,” says Dean.

“Al­low plenty of space around the lounge and ta­ble for peo­ple to walk around and — if you have a fire — al­low plenty of space be­tween that and the fur­ni­ture.”

From there, Dean says you can begin “win­terfy­ing” the space by lay­er­ing cush­ions, throw rugs and blan­kets so ev­ery­one has a cosy place to sit.

“Multi-use fur­ni­ture al­ways works well in an out­door space, es­pe­cially in smaller ar­eas,” says Dean.

“A bench seat that might dou­ble as a cof­fee ta­ble is a good idea, just add a com­fort­able cush­ion when you need to use it as a seat.”

Don’t for­get to bring your cush­ions and blan­kets in­doors though at the end of the evening or find a suit­able stor­age place where they’ll be pro­tected from the el­e­ments.

Kristen sug­gests mood light­ing to re­ally make your al­fresco area feel warm and cosy.

“Line a path­way with so­lar lights, hang fairy lights from trees or use heat emit­ting lights to keep the area ex­tra cosy,” she says.


The rise and rise of the out­door kitchen makes per­fect sense when you con­sider our cli­mate. And with some care­ful plan­ning, they can also be used year round.

“Out­door kitchens have come a long way from just a bar­be­cue in the backyard,” says Dean. “In­clu­sions seem to now only be limited by your imag­i­na­tion.”

To get the most from your out­door kitchen dur­ing the cooler months of the year, it’s best to pro­tect it from the el­e­ments with a roof ei­ther ex­tended from the main house or built separately for kitchens lo­cated fur­ther away in the backyard.

Pizza ovens are a great op­tion to con­sider — es­pe­cially if you plan to cook a va­ri­ety of food in your out­door kitchen.

“A pizza oven doesn’t only do pizza,” says Dean. “You can also use it to bake or roast — it’s ba­si­cally a way of hav­ing an oven out­side.” And a sec­ondary bonus? A pizza oven can also be an ef­fec­tive heater in a smaller out­door area func­tion­ing as a mini fire­place.

The ef­fec­tive­ness of this

pit­fire by Real Flame is in­creased thanks to solid

brick and stone walls.

A firepit be­comes the so­cial fo­cus on cold nights in this Trex Tran­scend deck.

This out­door room by Rolling Stone Land­scapes cov­ers all the bases with built-in fire­place and comfy seat­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.