Just like any other room in your home, an outdoor living room requires certain essentials to make it ultra-comfortable: deeply cushioned seating, lots of tables scattered throughout, proper lighting for day and night and a way to control the temperature. For many of us, temperature control in the fall and winter months comes from adding an outdoor fireplace. Check out these ideas for making cozy seating and dining arrangements around the gas fireplace in your backyard living room.
Move the Chairs
The first order of business is to ensure that you and your guests can easily enjoy the heat from your outdoor fireplace. You don’t necessarily have to purchase new chairs and sofas; oftentimes it works just as well to move the pieces you currently own closer to the flames.
Take the patio chairs and group them so that they face the hearth of your outdoor fireplace, then add an occasional table on either side. You could do the same thing with a porch swing, dining room chairs or benches that overlook the view from your backyard. Sometimes, just adding fluffy, new pillows in fall colors for extra comfort is all that is needed to transform your existing seating pieces into perfect hearthside perches.
Create and Decorate a New Outdoor “Room”
If you have been hanging out around the pool all summer long, now is the time to move away from the water and toward the heat of an outdoor fireplace. Establish a new and separate outdoor living area by adding furnishings and décor around the hearth.
Think of the space several feet to the left, right and front of the fireplace as the “walls” of the room. Two sofas placed perpendicular to the fireplace is a great start. For additional warmth and comfort, add a fire table that is low, like a coffee table, and includes a wide border of tiles for setting drinks and plates. Sofa tables behind the seating provide a nice platform for winter-friendly plants and stacks of magazines. You may also want to hang an outdoor television set above the gas fireplace, for additional entertainment. Finally, a thick rug to cover up cold tiles keeps your feet warm as you walk to and from your new outdoor living room.
Bring on the Food
Here is another idea for bringing you and your guests closer to the outdoor fireplace. Add an outdoor kitchen countertop with sink and built-in grill to the area placed horizontally in front of the hearth. This creates a visual divider that doesn’t interfere with the warmth of the gas flames. Place a long dining table and chairs on the other side of the counter, anchored by an oblong patio rug. This allows you to comfortably dine al fresco while still enjoying the sight of the dancing flames and the crackling heat from the realistic, hand-crafted logs.
With cooler temperatures approaching, it’s the perfect time to rearrange the furnishings in your backyard oasis to take advantage of the warmth from an outdoor fireplace.