Building your outdoor winter hangout is easier than you think

(BPT) – As colder weather arrives, many homeowners will be in search of creative ideas to make socially distanced gatherings possible. The challenge is making their outdoor spaces more comfortable so people are inspired to linger.

Don’t let winter temperatures stop the fun. The following features can turn your yard into a year-round space for outdoor entertaining. Doing so can add value to your home! According to a 2019 Gallup poll, patios raise the perceived worth of a house by 12 percent.

Add the foundation of outdoor living, a paver patio

Consider plank-style pavers in a multi-color pattern, from charcoal grays to lighter shades, to lend your patio an attractive, design-forward look. Or consider a contemporary style paver like CityStone from Keystone that is available in various shades and colors to add texture and life to the mono-color winter landscape. And its smooth surface lets you clear away the snow quickly and easily before the party starts.

Fire feature: The heart of your winter patio

You can’t have an outdoor gathering space without fire at the heart of it. An outdoor fireplace adds a dramatic but cozy focal point that invites people to sit and stay awhile. But what if your budget or backyard layout can’t accommodate a backyard fireplace? A firepit makes the perfect setting for your circle of friends.

Discover the joys of cooking outside

Because no gathering is complete without a tasty meal, an outdoor kitchen can be a game-changer for winter entertaining. Instead of having to choose between cold pots of chili and schlepping back and forth to the house, you can entertain your guests while having access to a deluxe hardscape kitchen. If hot food and drinks are easy to get to (without having to venture far from your cozy fireside perch), everyone will find the soiree more enjoyable.

Multi-purpose benches add function

Bench seating offers a functional element that ties together the look and feel of the space. To make for a comfortable, inviting sitting space, even in colder weather, be sure and top with all-weather cushions. When not in use, your seat wall can double as a foundation for holiday-themed décor, such as spruce tips and twinkly lights to bring dimension to your winterscape.

Your all-in-one backyard solution

Whether you hire a contractor or go the DIY route, Stonegate’s no-cut design makes it possible to get the work done well before the snow is here to stay. Plus, you’ll get the durability without the cost and labor of custom cutting. That’s because Keystone Hardscape has created a series of outdoor living designs that walk the installer step-by-step through the build process, and features Stonegate wall blocks. From showy fire features to outdoor kitchens and more, achieving the backyard patio of your dreams is easier than you think! Tip: To make sure that the stacked blocks are strong, sturdy and safe, always secure them with a commercial-grade construction adhesive like the low-VOC version from QUIKRETE.

This may turn into the winter that taught us to get out and enjoy spending more time outside, even in freezing temperatures.

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