The Backyard Is Outside!
The Backyard Is Outside!

The Backyard Is Outside!

We've always believed that outside is better than inside, and that was truer than ever during the pandemic.

Outside became a bigger part of our lives, especially as a way to socialize with friends and family. Now that life is back to normal, how can you keep that "friluftsliv" going? Just head to the backyard!

Check out our tips on how to create a cozy outdoor space, so you can keep embracing open-air living.

Take Cover

No need to let rain, snow, or hot summer sun keep you from your plans. One of the most important elements of a reliable outdoor area is covering. A porch, a patio awning, or a pop-up canopy tent are all great options. That heavy-duty camping tarp you’ve got in the garage? That’ll work too.

Sit Back and Relax

Outfit your outdoor zone with comfy seating for a welcoming feel. No patio furniture? No problem. Grab chairs from inside the house or pull out those camping chairs. (Might even be the perfect time to purchase that folding camp rocker you’ve had your eye on.) If it's chilly, have guests BYOB (bring your own blanket) and get snuggly! You can even plug in an outdoor power strip and instruct friends and family (who tend to run extra cold) to bring an electric blanket for added heat.

Add Some Heat

One way to really bring the cozy to your outdoor space is with a heating source. If you’re lucky enough to have a roomy patio with a high ceiling, having an actual wood firepit or gas fire table is a wonderful (and beautiful) source of heat. If your spot is smaller and it’s not safe to have an open flame, a propane or electric heater will do the trick! Depending on style and budget, you can pick up a freestanding propane heater (like the ones lots of restaurants have on their patios), a hanging heat lamp, or a simple tank-top burner that attaches directly to a propane tank.

Pro tip: On a budget? Go for the tank-top propane burner. Sure, these ones aren’t very glamorous but they are simple to set up and you can even use your existing BBQ propane tank. Plus, they are easy to move around and transport so you can even bring it with you camping or to a friends’ outdoor space.

Light Things Up

Another great addition to an outdoor space is some mood lighting. Pretty much anything from a camping lantern to a string of outdoor lights will do. For a really fancy setup, score some large ceramic or glass lanterns and some rechargeable LED pillar candles to amp up the ambiance. And we love all the solar options for the summer.

Turn Your Outdoor Zone into an Event Space

All those things we do inside, we can do outside! Turn your outside space into a party space.

Outdoor movie theater: At-home projectors are fairly inexpensive these days and can make movie night a real treat. Purchase a projector, a projector screen (or grab a white sheet), choose a movie on the computer, and cuddle up! (You can even set up a wireless speaker for that surround-sound experience.)

Open-air game room: There's more room in the backyard for charades, pictionary or duck, duck, goose! Plus, don't forget about cornhole or spikeball, or even pickleball in the driveway.

Outdoor book club: Ask a few friends to join you and host the small group for an outdoor discussion. While you’re reading your book-club book, why not have your kids do some outdoor reading too? Light up the firepit and enjoy some family reading time. (Can you tell that open-air reading is one of our favorite down-time activities?)

COVID changed the way we socialize, travel, and work. It made us rethink what’s important to us. The silver lining? It made us all get outside more (which it turns out, is super good for you). Now go ahead, bundle up and head outside — to your own little at-home outdoor oasis.

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