A BBQ is one of the best ways to catch up with loved ones, all whilst enjoying some fabulous food. So why shouldn’t we make the most of it all year round? Gone are the days when BBQs were just a summer thing. With a little bit of planning and preparation, it’s perfectly possible to create a beautiful garden BBQ area that you can enjoy in both the summer and the chillier winter months. Below are just a few of our top factors to consider when planning the best garden BBQ area for year-round use…

Overhead Covering

An overhead covering is the key to making your garden BBQ area functional in all kinds of weather. In the summer you’ll want some protection from the sun, whilst in the autumn/ winter (and let’s be honest throughout a lot of the British summer/ spring), you’ll want to have some shelter from the rain. Depending on the size of your garden space, there are lots of options for overhead cover. For smaller garden and patio spaces, a waterproof garden parasol that covers your eating and cooking area should suffice. Alternatively, setting up a waterproof garden canopy can look really pretty, or, for larger gardens you could invest in a garden pergola to cover a bigger area of space. It’s all about creating a sheltered space where you can sit in the dry, even when it’s raining outside (which we all know it does a lot of in the UK!).

Heating

If you want to use your garden BBQ area all year round then it’s important that the space feels inviting, even on days when it’s chillier, rainy or grey. Providing plenty of heating is the key to creating a cosy and warm environment for you to enjoy all year round. A fire pit or chiminea is perfect for keeping everyone warm whilst creating a focal point to cosy up to, particularly during the winter. They look great and provide the perfect excuse to spend the evening outdoors enjoying some great food and drink. You could also combine your heating and cooking space by investing in a fire pit table. They make an elegant statement in any outdoor space whilst providing a centre stage for al fresco dining or cosy evenings under the stars.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to save on space then electric patio heaters do the job just as well. Our Kettler patio heaters are available in a range of designs to suit different garden spaces, all of which fit discreetly into a garden BBQ area whilst providing plenty of heat to keep you and your guests toasty.

Lighting

Our list of garden BBQ area ideas wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the importance of lighting. Lighting creates ambiance and sets the scene for the perfect evening which is why it plays such a key role in creating a space that you will want to use the whole year-round. Setting out candles and large lanterns is a great way to make some mood lighting whilst creating a bit of atmosphere. If you’ve set up a garden pergola or waterproof garden canopy it can also look really pretty to attach some overhead LED fairy lights to it- This is a fantastic way to create an inviting space that you want to sit out in whether it’s the middle of December or the height of summer.

Decorate with year-round pot plants

Decorating your garden BBQ area with florals and greenery is a quick and simple method for transforming the look of the garden. However, in order to ensure that the place looks pretty all year, you want to make sure you’re choosing plants that will survive the chillier months. For plants that will last all year round, evergreen shrubs and grasses are a reliable, but great-looking choice. Bay can be cut into topiary shapes, creating a decorative addition to the garden BBQ area whilst grasses like bamboo look elegant when assembled into pots. Also, don’t be afraid to swap real plants for faux plants. They look just as fantastic and when the winter sets in you don’t need to worry about making sure they survive the colder months.

Durable furniture

When you’re looking to create a garden BBQ area that is perfect for use all year round, you want to invest in furniture that requires little maintenance during the colder months. Designed with both functionality and style in mind, the furniture we have at IO Living is made to last a number of years when cared for correctly. For example, our 2021 Hartman Heritage Tuscan 4 Seat Garden Dining Set is made using a rust-proof aluminum frame covered by a sleek rattan weave for an elegant look. Plush Weatherready cushions are resistant to light showers as well as UV rays making them durable in different kinds of weather. This Hartman Heritage garden dining set also benefits from the addition of a garden parasol, offering that much-needed shelter we mentioned earlier. It’s also a really great idea to protect your garden furniture with a protective cover on the days you’re not using it. That way it’s ready for you to enjoy immediately come rain or shine!

Did you know it’s National BBQ Week soon? From 2nd-11th July 2021, we’ll be celebrating all things BBQ and we hope you’ll join us too! If you’ve started creating your perfect garden BBQ area using IOL furniture we’d love to see what you’ve done! Tag us on Instagram @ioliving and using the #mioliving.


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