Heat your patio to extend the summer season

[Date:2014-9-22 16:00:01]
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Heat your patio to extend the summer season

Kathryn Weber
Tribune Content Agency

As fall creeps in, it can be hard to transition from lazing on your patio or porch to sitting inside. Fortunately, there are heating options to cozy up those cool fall days and extend the summer season for your outdoor living space.

Gathering place

Autumn is a great time to gather outside with family and friends to enjoy a warm drink and breathe in the crisp air. Linger a little longer on the patio by creating a cozy seating area. First, gather up chairs and add a cocktail table. Place an outdoor rug underneath to delineate the space, plus a softy, nubby throw to curl up under.

Next, scatter hurricane lamps with candles to add a romantic golden glow. Decorate the area with pumpkins, colorful gourds and pots of mums. Then heat things up.

Heating options

If you don't have a nice patio set, a good start is a set with a fireplace built right in. The Martha Stewart Cold Spring patio fire pit set is an appealing choice, with its rusty red fall-colored cushions ($650, Homedepot.com).

If you already have a good quality patio set, consider adding a fire pit in the middle of your space. Simple fire pits can be made from kits. Assembled fire pits are an inexpensive option to create the perfect spot for toasting marshmallows and warming chilly hands.

An outdoor heater is another good choice. A tall patio heater like the Endless Summer throws out a blazing amount of BTUs with enough heat to warm up a 20-foot radius ($449, GanderMountain.com) and runs on propane.

If you prefer something more traditional, think about a free-standing fireplace. Besides being a source of heat, an attractive fireplace can serve as a focal point on the patio. The Sunjoy Brownston outdoor fireplace is a pretty model that works will with a variety of decors ($400, Wayfair). Dressed up with some potted mums, your fireplace will look like it's always been there.

Of course, a simple option like a chimnea is inexpensive as well as fast and easy to set up. These can be tucked into an empty corner. Chimneas, originally made from clay, can be found in a variety of shapes and materials. Costs range from$49 up. Some, like the Cabin Cooking Chimnea, have inserts that can be used to grill food ($139, Kotulas.com) making them both decorative and useful.

No matter what option you choose to heat your patio, try some scented pinon on the fire. The beautiful earthy scent will add a nice touch at fall gatherings. ($9, Lowes.com).

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/09/16/5178629/heat-your-patio-to-extend-the.html#.VB_QAm4f6GQ#storylink=cpy

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