Easy ways to add heat for outdoor entertaining

Cooler temperatures are coming, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy spending time relaxing or entertaining outdoors. Here in Arlington, Virginia, the nights are starting to get cooler as leaves change colors and fall sets in. If you’re like me, though, you love to be outside and aren’t ready to take the party inside just yet. That’s where creative heating ideas come into play. I’ve rounded up a list of ideas that are easy to add to your home, backyard, patio or balcony that will help you and your guests stay warm and cozy as the seasons change.

Fire Pits

One of the most popular ways to add some heat outside is a fire pit. Fire pits are versatile and practical for heating outdoor spaces. From toasting marshmallows with the kids, to sharing your favorite bottle of wine with friends, a fire pit is a great space to gather around. Fire pits offer much more variety and options that you would think, and there’s something for every design style and taste.

  1. Traditional wood-burning fire pits can be custom-built in the ground using everything from rough rock to smooth stonework or fanciful ironwork. You can also buy above ground ones that are easy to move around or store when not using.
  2. Propane fire pits offer the same warmth and ambiance as their wood-burning counterparts, yet they burn cleaner, don’t put out smoke or sparks, and are much easier to light.
  3. Lastly, for something a little different, check out the Cowboy Cauldron. It’s a functional firepit and grill that can be moved and set up anywhere and looks like it came straight off the set of Yellowstone.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are a much more permanent version of fire pits and offer the benefit of serving as architectural focal points in your outdoor decor. There are a lot of ways to incorporate a fireplace to fit your design style, with a range of materials (such as brick or stone), as well as choices between wood or propane for fuel.

Flush-mount Infrared Heaters

If you have a porch or patio with a flat ceiling, another option that looks and works great is built-in infrared heaters, like these from Infratech or Solaira. Designers love the sleek and subtle looks of these flush-mount options that look great and function to help you move from indoors to outside while still being comfortable.

Gas Fire Tables

Just like gas fire pits, these propane-fueled tables are a popular and easy choice for adding some heat to your outdoor setting. They typically resemble the size and look of a coffee table or small bar top with flames come up from a gas unit in the middle of the design.

Portable Heaters

These are a classic for a reason. They are easy to set up, affordable, can be moved around to where they are needed, and stored when they are not. You can choose propane or electricity to power them, and they come in a variety of sizes from table-top models to very large.

Low-Tech Cozy Solutions

If you’re in a rush and need a quick solution, you can always go low-tech by adding stacks of warm blankets, throws, and colorful pillows for cozy warmth. Blankets and throws can be used on laps for extra warmth and pillows will separate your body from cold structures. Other benefits are you can choose colors and styles to match your décor, they are affordable, and very easy to store when not in use.

If you love to spend time outside here in Arlington, or have big plans for entertaining this fall season, I hope you’ve found some fun ideas you’re excited to use. Setting the stage with some cozy, warm options will ensure that you, your family, and your guests will enjoy the autumn weather in style.

If you’re thinking about moving to the greater Arlington, Virginia area, or selling your home and want to make sure you’re ready both inside and out, I can help. If you have any questions, need a free home value assessment, or just would like to know my thoughts for the best outdoor heating or entertaining strategies, I’m here to help at 703-593-6320.