Backyards became an essential part of being at home during the last 18 months. And if you have access to a backyard, why wouldn’t you make the most of it, especially with mild weather all year long in Florida? That’s right, outdoor spaces are getting upgraded like never before for homeowners and renters alike. That means kitchens and living rooms are moving outside so that the party can keep going in the open air, no matter what the season is. Even outdoor fireplaces are becoming more popular. In fact, interest in outdoor fireplaces went up 65 percent among those buying a home since March 2020 according to a survey from the real estate experts at HomeLight. If the house you are renting doesn’t already have a fireplace or outdoor kitchen, there are some easy ways to upgrade your backyard to make it a cozy sanctuary this winter.

Create your space

The first step to turning your backyard into a cozy cooking area is to clear your space. In this open area, you’ll probably want a grill, and you can set a table or stackable bricks next to it to create a designated prep area. The next essential element is your dining area. A table and chairs are essential and you can make them even more comfortable with cushions and maybe even a coordinated all-weather rug. What’s key is to think of your outdoor dining area in the same way as your dining room inside. Adding a centerpiece, outdoor placemats, and lighting will make your guests feel comfortable and at home.

Let there be light

When it comes to lighting there is a lot that you can add to your outdoor kitchen space without having to install anything permanent. String or cafe lights are one of the most popular ways to add lighting outdoors because they can go up anywhere, whether on a tree, along a fence, or on a railing if you have a deck or balcony. With potted plants in your backyard, you can add solar lights for one of the easiest lighting additions out there. You’ll also want to be sure to add lighting in your cooking area for those outdoor dinners.

Fabulous fire pits

With fireplaces on-trend, fire pits are making a comeback too. What’s great about a firepit for any backyard is that you can change its location according to the layout of your yard, and you can also take it with you when you move. With a fire pit kit, you can have a glow in your outdoor kitchen and dining space in no time. If you have the space, you can create a dedicated lounge area around your firepit for even more outdoor relaxation this winter, with a couple of oversized chairs or even some oversized all-weather pillows.

Winter is a great time to add some warmth to your backyard.  With a few outdoor upgrades that you can make during a weekend, you can get your home ready for outdoor cooking and entertaining. Even a small backyard can become an outdoor extension of your home that you can enjoy all year long.