Outdoor Rooms

FEEL THE HEAT

Some form of outdoor heating is now pretty much de rigueur in most homes, but what you choose and where you place it depends on how your family plans to use your backyard. If you want to spark lively conversation, a firepit encircled by stools might be ideal, but if you want a quieter, more contemplative space in which to relax after a meal, a fireplace (wood-burning or gas-fuelled) might better suit your needs.

Alternatively, you might want to keep things toasty warm in the outdoor dining space one night but in the alfresco lounge area the next. In this case, a portable gas or electric patio-style heater that can be wheeled from space to space will offer the adaptability you need.

It’s not just where you want the heat, though; it’s also how much you want and how you balance that with the ambience you want to create. Then there’s how much maintenance you’re prepared to do. Electric, gas and bioethanol heaters can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch, while those that burn wood need to have that fuel source constantly replenished and the ash and cold embers cleared away afterwards. And as for ambience, do you just want dancing flames without the crackle? If so, bioethanol or gas will suffice but for many,

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