Want to have guests over but…
This winter use your porch as your gathering place. With a little ingenuity and a pioneering spirit you can have friends and family over to share brief social physically distanced visits. Why brief? Do you live in Canada? Here in Canada winters are cold and it gets dark earlier. It snows and It can be windy. So, most visits on a porch will be brief. Don’t despair! There are ways to help extend those visits and that is what we will talk about in this blog.
Ways to extend your social time on your porch.
In winter, the primary considerations or challenges for social gatherings outside are heat and light and of course physical distancing. These considerations will also influence your seating, décor and refreshment choices. Because we are talking about social time outside in winter in Canada, you’ll understand that everything you do from what you serve to what you put on your chairs to how you decorate your porch should contribute to a warm and cozy feeling. Perception is half the battle but let’s get to that a little later.
Warmth can be generated with a patio heater. The ones that can be hung or installed on an exterior wall will give you more space on your porch. They will also give you some ambient light. (Patio heaters are in high demand so you many have to keep looking.) Some folks may resort to bringing out a space heater but this is not suggested. You could blow a fuse or start a fire if you still have some knob and tube wiring in your home.
Install outdoor curtains.
Adding outdoor curtains is a viable option. It will help keep the heat in and the cold out. A suggestion is clear heavy duty vinyl porch curtains that have cold-crack rating of -40 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help block some of the wind gusts or blowing snow and still allow you to see the outside.
Invest in heated clothing and cushions.
There is heated apparel such a jackets, vests, socks and gloves. As well you can get heated cushions which could be a real game changer. Note that it is an investment and they are not cheap. But definitely worth a look.
There are other things you can do to help warm things up!
Design a warm décor.
Your décor should be simple, warm and inviting. You might try rustic, vintage, cottage or full out Christmas.
Add extra coziness with fuzzy throws, outdoor rugs, cushioned seating, piles of pillows. Put sleeping bags on the chairs for extra insulation. Make sure your seating is appropriately distanced. It is a mental game. We are influenced by what we see. If it looks cozy and inviting you are part way there.
Serve Hot Refreshments.
Set up a hot refreshments mini bar for outdoor happy hour and pass out the hot cider, hot toddies or any other deliciously warm drink to all your guests. Serve them in thermal mugs (perhaps ask people to bring their own or give as gifts.)
Decorate your planter with Red or yellow twig dogwood, birch branches. eucalyptus, berry sprays, seed pods and cones, or evergreen cuttings, branches and tree tops.
Create a Warm Ambience with Lighting.
Try lanterns, candles and twinkling outdoor string lights to add a bit of magic.
In and Out Organizing is a Toronto based professional home organizing business. We love socializing on our front porch in the Roncesvalles Village community. Perhaps we can help you find space so that you can socialize safely. Your safety is our first priority. Find out how we can help you. Call Brad at 416 859-0518.