5 easy ways to make your backyard a winter oasis


This week the CDC suggested Americans who are hosting Thanksgiving dinners have their meals outside to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. But more than celebrating holidays outside, mamas are looking for cool ways to enjoy their backyards beyond the seasonal festivities.

“At a time when our homes are the epicenter of our lives, outdoor living spaces have been an important place to enjoy time with friends and family safely,” says Cindy Davis, executive vice president and chief brand officer of Bed Bath & Beyond and president of Decorist.

Decorist designer Sarah Ramirez believes in creating a multi-purpose environment with distinct zones for dining and lounging. Here she offers easy tips for turning your outdoor space into a cozy, cold-weather wonderland:

1. Create entertaining zones

A major part in creating a winter oasis is having essentials for a relaxing winter evening. “These items include comfy pillows, knitted throws, elegant hurricane lanterns and baskets filled with firewood,” says Ramirez. “Beyond it, a dining table and chairs with a transitional slatted design look just as handsome outdoors as they do when seen from inside.”

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2. Add color + style

These days you can find a sturdy outdoor rug to fit any style. A simple outdoor rug will define your space while adding extra softness, warmth and texture.

And speaking of warmth, is there anything more luxurious than a warm fleece or wool throw on a cold night? “A colorful array of throw blankets brings indoor comfort outside,” says Ramirez.

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3. Lighting is key

For starters, skip the porch lights. Your choice of lighting is crucial for setting the right mood. “Try hanging rustic lanterns from branches and use them in tablescapes,” says Ramirez. “Or, introduce shimmering surprises by tossing jumbles of fairy lights into shrubs, oversize glass vases, and other dark spots.” The options are endless—and so Instagrammable.

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4. Fortify your oven-to-table arsenal

“Dutch ovens and other enameled baking dishes that go straight from oven to table are a huge timesaver and look aesthetically pleasing—both at serving and cleanup time,” says Ramirez. “Adding one or two pieces may be pricey, but consider it a great investment.”

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5. Make room

A patio pergola or gazebo makes a great frame for an instant outdoor room. “Many popular models include canopies that allow for ventilation while shielding guests from the elements,” says Ramirez. Note that some of these summer staples aren’t built to bear the weight of snow, so proceed with caution if you live in a snow zone.

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