Photo courtesy of West Elm
We’ve survived yet another New Jersey heat wave, and if history repeats itself, we’re not through with heat and humidity. But these are the perfect days to think cool thoughts—autumn’s colder nights, that is.
Before we know it, shorter days and brisk evenings will be upon us, but the desire to entertain outdoors likely won’t disperse as quickly. To keep friends and family cozy and comfortable after hours on your deck, we’ve curated a collection of patio equipment to have on hand when the sun goes down. If you don’t have them already, pick up one or more of these seven must-haves and keep the party going all season long.
Let’s face it: Space around a fire pit or fire table fills up fast, especially when the weather gets nippy. But folks left out of the fire can still stay toasty thanks to patio heaters, such as this 7+-foot-tall pyramid-shaped device. Made of stainless steel, aluminum and quartz glass, this heater is a stylish and durable piece that has a heat output of 40,000 BTU—that can easily warm a space of about 210 square feet.
Surely your backyard already has lights, whether they’re flood lamps fixed to the house or a few strings of globe bulbs hanging from the patio umbrella. But night arrives early in fall months, so you’ll need more sources of illumination on your deck and patio pathways. These LED post lights are a modern alternative to run-of-the-mill lamps, and they’re made in four different heights ranging from 16 to 59 inches. The bulbs are encased and held by waterproof die cast aluminum.
The fire pit built into your yard may be difficult to move to the patio, so you’ll need a fire feature to keep everyone on the deck warm. This round outdoor fire table has a contemporary silhouette and features a glass fiber reinforced concrete frame with weather resistant sealant. It’s propane powered and ignites at the push of a button, making it easy to roast marshmallows. The large surface area is a perfect spot to prop up tired feet or rest a warm drink.
If bringing a fire closer to your furniture and wood patio is a concern, a chiminea is a safer alternative to a fire bowl or pit. (There are still flames, so always exercise caution!) Fire and smoke are directed upward in a chimineas, and there are fewer random sparks. Many, like Terrain’s obelisk chiminea made of weather- and heat-resistant steel alloy, are also more stylish.
Your guests can kick off their shoes and walk around all season long when you cover your wood or stone patio with a rug. But don’t just pull one out from inside: Make sure the rug is suitable for outdoors. For instance, Jonathan Y’s Moroccan trellis rug is made of water- and mildew-resistant polypropylene and features an easy-to-clean low pile. It’s also available in different colors and sizes to suit your style.
Keep the comforter on your bed and bring an outdoor-appropriate throw to stay warm on the patio. This striped ivory blanket is style, softness and sustainability (the yarn is made of recycled plastic and is both water and stain resistant) wrapped into one piece, making it the ideal for curling up under the stars.
Upgrade your patio by mounting thermal curtains to the pergola. These differ from ordinary curtains that are designed to keep sun and UV rays away—thermal curtains ward off light and are specially insulated so they retain heat. Pro Space’s thermal blackout curtains are also waterproof and mildew resistant.