December 23, 2020

Creative Ways To Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space Year Round

outdoor living space


Favorite Things 2023

At The Iron Shop, we hold a profound appreciation for quality craftsmanship, innovative technologies, and premium materials that are both beautiful and robust—elements that resonate in everything we create. As we step into the new year, we wanted to highlight some of...

Spending time outdoors brings so many healthy rewards—fresh air, safe socializing in a physically distanced space, and more. For many property owners, their outdoor living space serves them well throughout the warmest points of the year. However, an outdoor living space can be outfitted with implements to make it inviting all year in spite of the changing seasons. And, certain backyard activities can be arranged for comfortable entertainment at just about any time.

Here are some suggestions for getting more use of your outdoor living space and ideas for backyard activities and comfortable entertainment year-round.

outdoor living space with fire pit

Create a Heat Source for Cozy Outdoor Time 

If the temperatures dip, you may be tempted to stay tucked away inside where it’s warm. But why not create a heat source outside so you can still take advantage of your outdoor living area? You have a number of options, from inexpensive and simple to the more permanent heat sources that can be a bit more of an investment.

For example, you could simply pick a safe spot and build a bonfire or install a few heat lamps. Or, you could go a bit bigger and pick up a fire pit or have a freestanding fireplace installed near your patio. Of course, a crackling fire keeps everyone warm but also serves up the possibility of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, warming some mulled wine, glogg, or cider, or even making s’mores. Here’s a recipe for homemade marshmallows just in case. 

outdoor living space dinner

Host a Backyard Family Dinner in an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have really grown in popularity over the last decade, and it’s easy to see why that is the case. Even the smallest outdoor kitchen that boasts something like a brick oven, often referred to as a pizza oven can yield so many opportunities to enjoy an outdoor living space. These ovens can be used to bake up everything from brick-oven pizza and fresh bread to smoky roasted vegetables and cedar-plank salmon. Best of all, brick ovens produce a nice amount of heat to make your outdoor dining event cozy even if there is a chill in the air. 

Enjoy a Movie Night Under the Stars with Outdoor Movies


Home movie projectors are far more accessible and affordable now than they have ever been. Many projectors are designed to work right with your smartphone, and the movie can be projected on something as simple as a king-sized white sheet hung on the side of the house. The New York Times even gives a simple guide to creating a budget-friendly outdoor movie theater. As an added advantage, outdoor movies are an awesome way to entertain, especially when the people you know want to be social and still have to retain their distance to be safe.

Send out some invites, pick a few good movies, and have everyone bring chairs and blankets for a movie night under the stars. You may even want to make some Ultimate Movie Snack Bags for your guests and set up a poll on a Facebook event page to get ideas about what movies to play. 

outdoor living space stars

Get the Kids Involved in an Astronomy Night with a Telescope and Snacks 

Sometimes, colder temperatures bring out the clearest views of the night sky. If your children have been antsy and stuck indoors, pick up a good star-gazing telescope and plan an astronomy night in the backyard (complete with snacks of course). You can even make a game out of seeing who can spot which stars or planets. For example, let everyone take turns finding a planet, tracking down a constellation, or a satellite, and have them make a list of what they see. Once everyone is done, they can share their list and point out what they have discovered to see who has the bet list. 

A few recipes that can really complement the backyard astronomy night: 


Make the Most of Outdoor Living Spaces After Dark 

Remember, when cool temperatures shorten the days, your time enjoying your backyard living space may be spent in the dark. As you make plans for further use of your outdoor living space, consider a Ring lighting kit from The Iron Shop. These innovative motion sensor lights for outdoor staircases offer safety and security and lend an inviting atmospheric ambiance to outdoor living spaces. The lights can be adjusted from hard to soft white so you can have a bit more brightness or simply a soft glow. 

outdoor living space 2

A Little Creativity Can Really Amp Up Your Time Spent Outdoors 

Your home’s outdoor space is likely a beloved part of your property. Making use of it as much as possible makes sense, even if that means implementing comfort features to combat the cold or lighting to help out in the dark.

At The Iron Shop, we’ve had a hand in designing outdoor spaces for more than four decades, and we love helping people maximize their living spaces both indoors and out. We’re always here to help you out if you have questions. Feel free to reach out to one of our design consultants to learn more about lighting your outdoor space or adding a stairway to enhance your outdoor living areas. Start building your outdoor space today.