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How to: Make the most of an outdoor room in winter

By Georgina Mann

Australians love the great outdoors, but more than a few backyard barbecues left out in the cold can go rusty over winter. 

Yet a barbecue in a well-equipped outdoor room can be used all year round.

An outdoor room is an extension of the home that bridges the gap between the indoors and outdoors. It provides an extra living space and another area for entertaining.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your outdoor space in the cooler months.


An outdoor space with shelter is much more likely to be used year round.

Think about options that will shelter you from the weather, but also allow for sunlight.  This avoids creating a dark, cavernous space.

A retractable canopy or electronically-controlled sunroof are both great options.

Soft furnishings

Keep your toes warm and enjoy the outdoors for that little bit longer by investing in an outdoor rug.

Think soft and cosy rather than a practical, hardy, rough-on-the-skin alternative.

Wintry textures such as woven fabrics and even velvet are lovely options.Layered cushions and throws can also make an outdoor room look like any other lounge room.

Soft furnishings can help establish a cosy outdoor couch and can be stored in boxes when not in use.


Outdoor heating is essential in winter.

Heating options include outdoor fireplaces, metal braziers, fire pits, chimineas and patio heaters.

All of these outdoor heating options provide a centerpiece for conversation. Keep in mind that options such as a fire pit can also be used for cooking.


Alfresco lights are particularly useful during the cooler, darker months.

Decorative and functional, outdoor lighting comes in all shapes and sizes.

These lights can also add much-needed ambience to an outdoor area.

Removable patio blinds

Depending on your location and the orientation of the outdoor room, protection from the elements will be important.

Clear, tinted or shade view blinds are a great idea as they can block out both the wind and rain in winter.

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