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Outdoor heating ideas – 12 ways to warm up a patio, deck or back garden


Outdoor heating ideas – 12 ways to warm up a patio, deck or back garden

Outdoor heating ideas – 12 ways to warm up a patio, deck or back garden Long sunny days in the garden that linger into the evening are what summer is all about. But when the sun goes down, it can often feel quite cold and chilly. Thinking about outdoor heating ideas is a must if you want to extend your time outdoors and stay toasty. Aside from the warmth element, an outdoor fireplace, wood burner or firepit ideas can make a fabulous focal point feature in any outside area. They can help to define the space and pull an outdoor scheme together. A great crowd-pleaser, an outdoor fire adds instant ambience too and makes a natural gathering point that guests gravitate to and linger around when entertaining into the evening. Outdoor heating ideas Deciding on which type of outdoor heating to opt for will depend on the size of your outdoor set-up and whether you want a permanent heating feature or a portable design that can be stored away when out of action. Think about ease of use too. There are the best firepits, baskets and burners that will require wood or solid fuel to burn, or there are gas-powered and electric heaters that will give warmth at the flick of a switch. 1. Create a focal point fireplace Image credit: John Lewis If you like to spend time outdoors all year round and you have the space for it as part of your patio ideas, then why not consider installing a permanent outdoor fireplace? A sheltered area or covered verandah makes the perfect location for an outdoor living room. Plus installing a fireplace feature (or making use of an existing one) will keep the whole area warm and dry and extend the time you can use your outdoor space. Outdoor fireplaces have much the same construction as indoor ones, with a flue to direct smoke up the chimney rather than out into the seating area. Designs can vary from elaborate brick-built set-ups similar to indoor fireplaces, to outdoor kitchen-style grills and cooking spaces, simple chimineas or rustic wood burners. ‘The cost of building an outdoor fireplace might range from £600 upwards, depending on the type of fireplace you want to build, says Harry Bodell, gardening expert at Price Your Job, ‘alternatively, installing a small, pre-fabricated fireplace unit will be less expensive than constructing a massive handmade stone fireplace.’ 2. Opt for a centrepiece stove Image credit: Max Attenborough There’s nothing like a roaring fire to add instant atmosphere outdoors. If you’d prefer something more contained than a blazing open fire outdoors, a wood-burning stove is a good option that will throw out plenty of heat and make a stylish centrepiece for a patio or terrace. Mesh doors, metal grate and a chimney will encourage airflow and allows logs to burn more effectively, while the rusty-finish steel of this design adds a rustic charm that is perfect in a country setting. Buy now: Wakehurst wood burning fireplace, £449, Gardenesque 3. Turn up the heat with a chiminea Image credit: Future PLC/Jamie Mason If patio space is tight or you have an area further along the garden that could use a little heat too, then consider a compact chiminea to warm up the space. Usually made from clay, cast iron or steel, chimineas are neat in size and take up a smaller footprint than similar garden fire pit ideas. Chimineas are a traditional form of outdoor heating that originated in Mexico, with a traditional design of a round lower body topped by a vertical smokestack, and although modern variations of the design are available, they work in much the same way. The body of a chiminea will get quite hot, so should be positioned on a heat-proof surface or tiled mat for safety. Buy now: Santa Lucia chiminea, £149.99, Primrose 4. Add impact with a freestanding fireplace Image credit: Made While brick-built fireplaces make a fabulous focal point feature, they can work out costly and will be a permanent fixture in an outdoor space, so this needs to be considered. For a lighter-weight, moveable option, consider a freestanding fireplace which will give an outdoor space a centrepiece, but requires no permanent fixtures so can be easily moved around. Compact, but eye-catching, an iron fireplace like this one has a built-in flue. It combines the wood-burning area with a grill above for warming food, plus a small log store underneath. Buy now: Ivy Line outdoor fireplace, £500, Made 5. Keep it simple with a fire basket Image credit: Lights4fun For a fuss-free option that will provide plenty of heat for your garden seating area, consider a simple fire basket. Lightweight and easy to shift around, should you want to move up garden or take it with you to the beach, a basket’s compact size makes it a good option for smaller spaces. Make sure that any logs that you burn are dry and well-seasoned. Damp wood will smoke heavily and won’t get a good hot fire burning. Kiln-dried wood is a good option, but it can be a bit more expensive. Protect the surface underneath a fire basket or fire pit with paving slabs or stone. ‘Create a flexible entertaining space by making a fire pit the focal point and styling your seating around it,’ suggests Lucy Kirk, creative manager, Lights4fun. ‘Hang festoon lights from trees or your pergola and dress the floor with lanterns and candles to add light at varying heights and make your space feel bigger and brighter.’ Buy now: Black metal fire bucket garden fire pit, £34.99, Lights4fun 6. Shape up with a slimline style Image credit: John Lewis If you have a small garden and outdoor space is tight, then consider a super-slim outdoor fire that will still look eye-catching but take up minimum floor space. A modern version of the traditional chiminea, this design has the same central wood-burning firepit, with a laser-cut flue to funnel air, plus a useful log store underneath. Arrange outdoor…

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