The holidays are here!
That means it's time for get-togethers with loved ones, parties to host, and delicious holiday meals to prepare.
You don’t want to close up your outdoor living area for the winter—after all, we live in sunny California, not frozen Michigan!
We’re all about continuing the fun of your outdoor kitchen through fall and winter. But since the occasional San Jose evening can still get a bit too chilly for comfort, it's time to look at some man-made heating options that help you keep your outdoor kitchen comfortable throughout the winter.
Wood fire options
Whether you opt for a simple fire pit or a beautiful brick or stone fireplace, a wood fire is what most of us think of for winter comfort. Nothing beats the crackle of seasoned logs or the rich smell of wood smoke!
Wood fires are by nature a bit finicky and require some “hands-on” attention. You’ll have to purchase seasoned wood regularly, get it ignited, and then watch and feed the flames throughout the evening. When the night is over, you’ll have to be careful to extinguish the flames completely, and then later clear away the ash.
If you’re thinking, “Of course! That’s what makes wood fires so fun!” then this is the right choice for you. On the other hand, if this sounds like more work than it's worth, there are a few lower-maintenance options.
What gas-fueled fire options lack in old-fashioned nostalgia, they make up for in convenience and cleanliness. A fireplace or fire pit that runs on propane or natural gas will light on command, produces a consistent amount of heat throughout the evening, and can be turned off without clean-up tasks afterward. Plus, you'll be able to give more attention to your guests instead of to the fire.
While they don’t offer glowing coals or popping logs, the flames are still mesmerizing to watch. Additions such as colored fire glass can create an even more beautiful effect.
Love serving drinks or meals outdoors? A fire table keeps the heat right where the action is—plus it makes a dramatic statement. Fire tables share many of the advantages of a gas fireplace, and allow guests to stay warm and eat without having to balance plates on their laps.
Just be careful about items such as paper napkins getting too close to the flames, and always supervise children around a fire table.
If you’d prefer to avoid open flames all together, you can still keep guests warm in your outdoor kitchen with a patio heater. You can find propane-fueled varieties as well as electric heaters in a variety of shapes and styles. These don’t have to be eyesores, either.
Check out our client showing off the heaters hidden in the roof of her pergola:
We hope these winter heating tips help you enjoy your outdoor kitchen throughout the winter season. If you’d like to talk to an expert designer about adding a permanent feature such as a custom fire table or fireplace, or if you’re ready to give your entire backyard a makeover, let us give you a free estimate for your project! Give us a call at (888) 747-4554 or contact us online.