A Guide to Winter Use of Your Outdoor Living Space

January 29, 2022
A Guide to Winter Use of Your Outdoor Living Space

Story Highlights

In Central Virginia, we frequently experience pleasantly warm days sprinkled throughout the winter months. The drastic contrast of these pleasant days with colder winter weather makes them some of the best we experience all year. These beautiful days remind us of Spring and should not be wasted indoors.

In this guide, we provide helpful tips for enjoying your outdoor living space during the winter months.

it's essential to...

Be Prepared!

As stated above, Central Virginia frequently experiences pleasantly warm days throughout the winter months. Because they are sporadic, it's essential to be prepared if you want to enjoy them to the fullest. 

Wood burning outdoor fireplace with stack of firewood in firewood holder

Be sure to fully restock your...


Enjoying a fire is likely to be a central feature of your time outdoors in the winter months. If you spent ample time burning fires during the fall, your stock of firewood may be significantly depleted by the time winter arrives. To ensure winter enjoyment of your outdoor living space, be sure to fully replenish your firewood. Also, to make your fire easier to start and maintain, purchase a box of starters and plenty of kindling.

Stacked firewood with a firewood cover

Once you're fully stocked, be sure to...

Cover Your Firewood

Ideally, firewood should remain uncovered so it can be properly dried, but Mother Nature makes this impractical.

The easiest way to cover your firewood is to place a tarp over the top of the pile. Cover only the top and let an inch or two hang down. Do not cover the sides because you need airflow to keep the wood dried out. Use rope and stakes to tie the tarp in place or you can simply set several bricks or logs across the top.

You also can purchase a firewood cover (as pictured). These covers are made to maximize the amount of airflow while keeping rain and snow off of your wood. Many have holes to allow the air to pass through for thorough drying.

Outdoor furniture on a deck with outdoor furniture covers

Invest in quality, well-fitting...

Furniture Covers

Increased precipitation, morning frosts, and cooler temperatures prevent exposed furniture cushions from fully drying out during the winter months. Keeping your furniture protected and cushions dry is essential for being able to use your outdoor living space. Quality, well-fitting covers protect your furniture from the elements and ensure that your cushions are dry when you want to use outdoor living space.

If you don't already have one, invest in an...

Outdoor Heater (or 2)

When furnishing your outdoor space, do not forget to purchase an outdoor heater or two. If you're truly looking to get the most use out of your outdoor living space, a heater is just as important as a sofa or lounge chair. Whether free-standing or wall-mounted, propane or electric, outdoor heaters are a worthy investment.

Propane tank being placed in a portable grill

Make sure you have refilled your...

Propane Tanks

Heading into the winter, propane tanks are often depleted after the busy summer and fall seasons. Whether for an outdoor heater, fire pit, or grill, make sure that you have refilled all of your propane tanks.

TIP: Always have at least one additional tank to ensure you never run out while you're using propane. For example, if you have 2 propane features, make sure to have a 3rd tank that's always full.

Refresh your knowledge of proper...

Fire Feature Care

For many, fire features are the most enjoyable aspect of their outdoor living space during the winter. Despite being made of durable masonry components, fire features are very susceptible to damage and excessive wear when improperly cared for, especially during the colder months.

Whether your outdoor living space includes a fire pit or fireplace, be sure to read our guide (link below) to educate yourself on how to properly enjoy and maintain your fire feature.

Once you've protected and restocked your space...

Prepare your plan(s) for enjoyment

Part of planning for winter use of your outdoor living space is creating intentions for your enjoyment. Only if you know how you want to use your space can you be properly prepared when good weather arrives.

Stone outdoor kitchen with stainless steel grill with holiday decor

Whatever you do...

Don't Stop Grilling!

Just because the weather has turned cooler doesn't mean you should stop grilling or smoking your food. Though often used for cleaner, healthier eating, grills and smokers are also used for cooking richer, fattier foods that we love during the winter months. Whether it's game day wings, your holiday meats, or simply a weeknight meal, your grill and/or smoker can and should be used throughout the winter months.

outdoor kitchen setup for outdoor game day party with grilled chicken wings, beer, pretzels, and popcorn on the granite counter

Speaking of grilling, consider...

Outdoor Game Days

Though the majority of the football season is in the Fall, the playoffs and Super Bowl are held in the winter months of January and February. Even if it's just grilled chicken wings (get our tips here), your outdoor living space should play a part in all of your game day plans. If the weather is comfortable, consider taking your entire game-day party outdoors!

Plan an afternoon or evening of...

Fireside Drinks

When pleasant weather arrives, fireside drinks are a wonderful and seasonal way to enjoy the outdoors. Make sure that you are always prepared by having the necessary ingredients to make your fireside favorite.

Looking for ideas? Consider the following...

Orange marmalade s'mores with graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and orange marmalade

Along with drinks, consider...

Fireside Treats

Whether paired with your fireside drinks or possibly an event all their own, make a plan for fireside treats. Consider snacks like campfire popcorn, meals like fire-roasted hot dogs and shishkabobs, and desserts like roasted chocolate bananas and (of course) S'mores.

Picture: Step up your S'mores game and consider fun alterations like this delicious Marmalade S'more. Orange and chocolate have never tasted better together!

Wood burning outdoor fireplace with holiday and christmas décor on a paver patio with christmas tree and milk and cookies for santa

Include your outdoor Space in your...

Holiday Traditions

Yes, we understand that the holiday season just wrapped and that all of your decorations may not yet be down. That being said, it's never too early to start planning, right?

Outdoor holiday experiences are often the most unique and special. Whether you plan an outdoor holiday movie night, holiday s'mores around the fire, or some other yule log tradition (chestnuts roasting on an open fire, perhaps?), be sure to incorporate your outdoor living space into your Christmas and Hanukkah traditions.

Outdoor valentine's day setup with two wine glasses, chocolates, roses in a vase, and a blanket in front of an outdoor fireplace with lighting

Speaking of holidays, consider an outdoor...

Valentine's Day

If Spring-like weather falls on (or around) Valentine's Day, elevate your plans by taking them outdoors. If you were planning a romantic evening at home, simply shift your setting to your deck or patio. If you were planning a night out, consider starting or ending your evening with outdoor cocktails or a glass of wine. Take the romance up a notch with a fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

Stone fire pit on a paver patio during a snow day with coffee or hot chocolate and a hat

Last, but certainly not least...

Snow Day Fun

Snow days provide another opportunity for creating unique outdoor memories on your patio. Imagine a peaceful morning gathered around your fire feature, drinking coffee, and listening to the snowfall. Keep the fire going to enjoy s'mores and hot chocolate after sledding and shoveling.

Because snow presents unique challenges, it's essential to be prepared so that you can make the most of the experience.

Holiday Decorating Tips for your Patio or Deck

Holiday Decorating Tips for your Patio or Deck

Whether you're incorporating your outdoor living space into your holiday gatherings or you simply want to see something festive when you look out your back windows, our tips will help you to create a beautiful holiday scene on your patio, deck, or porch.


Tips for Grilled and Smoked Chili

Tips for Grilled and Smoked Chili

Whether it's for a game day party, a chili cook off, or just a run of the mill Tuesday, we recommend kicking your chili up a notch by making it outdoors. In this article we provide all of the tips you need to prepare chili on your grill or smoker.


Landscape Plants That Create Stunning Bouquets

Landscape Plants That Create Stunning Bouquets

In this article, we suggest a wide variety of landscape plants that can be used to make wonderful and unique flower arrangements. We hope that this comprehensive list inspires you to start clipping the garden and bringing it inside!

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