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Winter deck ideas: make the most of your outdoor deck

December 04, 2021

The cold winter months are just around the corner as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. Because of the change in weather, you may be switching your leisure activities from outdoor living areas to indoor living areas. Then watch as the winter snow goes to take over your outdoor winter deck, but why waste valuable outdoor space? By taking the right steps you can make the most of your outdoor deck throughout the winter.

In fact, the best winter deck ideas will turn a summer retreat into a cozy winter escape. Ease your outdoor deck into autumn and winter with cool-weather decorating tips. Use colorful potted plants to accentuate your color scheme. In the north, ornamental cabbages and kale will provide bright foliage for at least a few weeks, and in the south, they will stay colorful throughout the winter deck. For extra texture and color, grow a mix of evergreens in smaller pots.

Add a heater to your outdoor deck

Do you want to continue to enjoy your outdoor space during the cold winter months? Then you have the option of installing patio heaters on your outdoor deck. This is an effective way to prepare your outdoor deck for winter. There are many options for deck heaters and it is important that you find the right heater for you.

Heating elements serve two purposes: to keep your space warm during gatherings and also to create an interesting focal point. Some heating systems produce more heat, run longer, or are cheaper than the price. Some heaters can cause damage to your outdoor deck due to extreme heat or burning charred ashes that can fall onto the deck. Therefore, when choosing a heater, it is important to tailor it to your situation to avoid unnecessary damage.

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Stationary patio heaters

Deck heating systems can be powered by electricity, propane, or natural steam. They are installed in such a way that they are not only safe and practical for winter use, but are never an eyesore in summer. A permanent deck heater will cost less than other heaters and will also provide more deck comfort.

Deck heaters

Your outdoor deck is an outdoor living space and we need to change the way we heat it. Unlike inside a house where you have a fireplace to heat the air inside and thus warm up the whole house. On an outdoor deck, we can’t create warmth by heating it.

Deck heaters need to be heated directly, for example directly on the chairs to provide you with warmth. Or better still, infrared light heats your skin and the objects around the deck, not the air itself.

Porch deck heaters

Usually mounted on a pergola or suspended from a porch roof ceiling. Ceiling heaters are ideal for heating larger covered areas of the deck. Although ceiling heaters attached to a deck can be limited in application, these heaters are ideal for lounge areas and can better heat guests gathered under a pergola.

Portable fire pit

A propane tank is connected via a hose to a safe distance, then a small propane flame in a protected bowl provides warmth and brings you the feeling of a bonfire. Heating both above and below requires a fire pan on the composite deck. You can then roast over the fire, chat around the wood-burning fire pits bowl or read a book. The convenience of the firepit provides an excellent addition to an outdoor deck on cold winter nights.

Portable deck heaters

Portable deck heaters require the use of infrared heating. If you don’t want to actually heat your entire backyard and just need to warm yourself up. Then an infrared heater is perfect for warming you up and allowing you to enjoy your outdoor deck on cooler days.

However, portable deck heaters are much smaller and must be aimed precisely at you during use. Otherwise, the small sphere of warming rays could easily miss you.

Cleaning your outdoor space

While cold weather heralds the onset of autumn and winter, don’t let your patio deck slip into the winter doldrums. If the surface of your deck is overgrown, it needs cleaning, repairing and resealing, or even staining your deck. Autumn is a good time to do these maintenance tasks; it’s warm enough for cleaning and sealing or staining. Fix loose nails, sand off the rough edges of damaged boards, then clean and seal.

Of course, if you don’t want to do this troublesome maintenance work, then you’ll need to upgrade your outdoor deck to a composite deck. Or use composite decking when building your outdoor living space. Composite decking is easy to install, maintenance-free, waterproof, and other benefits that will give you more time to enjoy your deck.

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Decorate your deck with plants

Before dressing your deck with plants you need to clean it up. Start by removing frost-killed plants from their containers or picking off damaged leaves and flowers to keep the plants looking nice for a few weeks. Cutting back plants will encourage new growth and flowering.

If winter is approaching but container plants are still thriving, take steps to maintain color. To help protect annuals, move the pots closer to the house, for example under the roof, to delay their exposure to frost. Cover the plants overnight with a light blanket or plastic sheet and remove the cover in the morning. This method is particularly useful for protecting plants from unusually early frosts.

Prepare your pergola for winter

Give your composite pergola a winter makeover and turn it into a welcome corner this season. Floral decorations with oversized bulbs will add a modern industrial tone and are particularly suited to grey backgrounds. You can also add a bit of greenery this winter by hanging winter baskets from the beams for extra color and placing greenery inside the winter hanging baskets. 

Occasional small tables can be decorated with potted plants or lanterns. Then, for an eye-catching focal point, add a portable fire pit. This creates a more intimate setting in which your guests can relax and unwind. The fire pit provides visual and psychological comfort that both you and your guests will benefit from.

Add a festive touch with garlands

One of the highlights of winter is, of course, the celebrations. So why not dress up your outdoor deck?

Garlands made from evergreen leaves and dotted with pine cones and berries will add seasonal charm and are decorated with red ribbons for added vibrancy. Keep the theme going by adding cozy patterned blankets and soft sheepskins to your outdoor seating, while miniature pine trees in planters can also decorate the space.

Set up a winter deck heater and then, all you need to do is serve some mulled wine or apple juice and you have the perfect venue for a winter garden party.

author avatar
Galen Content Writer
Galen is a content creator and decorator with five years of experience designing home decor. In his daily life, Galen is constantly on the lookout for the latest, great examples of house design and further optimizes his solutions. Additionally, he writes articles related to outdoor design, interior design, and architectural decorating materials to help brands build more engaging relationships with their audiences.
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