safe entertaining

Bring your living room outside this fall.

Summer’s weather has allowed many of us to see our friends again, in small numbers, wearing masks and outside.  With the weather turning colder and the sun setting earlier, we are at risk of the pandemic forcing us back inside and into isolation.  For the past five months, the outdoors was our liberation and allowed for social reconnection on a restrained basis.  It also allowed us to relax, exercise, get fresh air and bask in direct sunlight. With the weather and loss of sunlight driving people inside, the risk for an increase of COVID cases is high.  People will still want to be together, but inside won’t be safe because the risk of spreading the virus is much higher.

There are some strategies to stave off the cold and dark, at least for October and maybe even November.  Here are ways to create outdoor living rooms that will keep your guests toasty warm while enjoying the fresh air and each other.  Please note that we aren’t the only ones with this idea, and you may find many items sold out or backordered.  Get on a wait list if one is offered.

Heated Furniture

Galanter & Jones heated seat

Now we’re talking!  This is a heated chair by Galanter & Jones. It has a cast stone seat, weighs 90 pounds, is ready to plug in and is 36.5″w x 29.5″d x 26.75″h. There are adjustable heat settings.  These have been selling out before they even go into inventory.  They are available to pre-order.  $900.

safe entertaining in this Kosmos chair

The Kosmos chair has a cast stone seat and a powder-coated stainless-steel frame.  It is plug-in ready, has adjustable temperatures and weighs about 100 pounds.  The bad news is that it is $1,700. One way to justify it is that it’s a piece of furniture that you’ll keep forever. There are three color choices for the frame – the bluish/green, bronze or black.  Kosmos Chair.

outdoor heated lounge

If you get on a roll, this ‘lounge’ is radiantly heated, inspired by the leather sling chair and will go with any other outdoor furniture.  The company describes it as like being in a hot tub without getting wet. There are five color surface choices to choose from and four frame colors options. It has a 6 to 8-week lead time. $5900.

Dodeka Lemma chair

This Dodeka Lemma chair is made with outdoor materials and has an optional heated seat. The heated seat has high/low heat settings, occupant sensor mode that turns on when seat is occupied, under seat LED lighting and 2 power outlets for additional seating and other electrical components.  The cushions are Sunbrella fabric and there are 48 color choices, and four frame color choices. $1,146.

Patio heaters can be powered by electricity or propane.

  • Electric does not require any fuel, but the heater bulbs will have to be replaced occasionally, they need an outdoor outlet and there is a power cord to be mindful of. They are usually smaller than propane heaters, so compare output.
  • Propane heaters warm up a space quickly but should not be used in an enclosed area like a garage or greenhouse due to a carbon monoxide risk. They can also be difficult to light if it’s windy.

Propane heater for safe entertaining outdoors

This Pamapic model is a 46000 BTU commercial propane outdoor heater.  It is 88″ tall with a 32″ overhead dome that directs heat downward and outward.  It covers up to 18′ in diameter around the heater.  It comes in white, bronze, black or hammered silver.  It has wheels that make it portable, and it comes with a waterproof cover. $369.99.

outdoor infrared heater for safe entertaining

This is a quiet 1500-watt outdoor infrared heater that can be wall mounted.  It can also be used in an enclosed space like a garage.  It has a remote, a 24 hour timer auto shut off and three heat settings. $109.99.

infrared ceiling heater for outdoor entertaining

This 1500-watt infrared ceiling heater can be mounted from the ceiling or put on top of a patio umbrella.  It is electric and has two heat settings.  $109.60.

outdoor hanging heater for safe entertaining

This is a 1500-watt infrared electric outdoor hanging heater. The chain and hook are provided so it’s easy to hang wherever you want it. It uses a standard electrical outlet.  $159.99.

Other warming options:

heating mat for under tile floors

The Ditra Heat Uncoupling Membrane is an under-tile floor heating system.  It is thinner and easier to install than earlier versions and completely waterproof.  Each roll is 3’3″ x 41’1″, 26 pounds and covers just under 130 square feet. $226.25.

firepit for safe entertaining

The Wirecutter recommends this fire pit. It is 34″L x 34″W x 23″H. It has drainage holes to prevent rusting, and it comes with a mesh lid and a poker. $149.

bonfire for safe entertaining outdoors

For firewood for a firepit, I have had great luck with all-natural Birch “Light n’ Go Bonfire Log”.  Just one match and you’re done.  It makes a beautiful bonfire and is perfect for warmth and s’mores.  There are no chemicals involved just dried Birch  It will burn for 1.5 – 2 hours.  $18.45.

A couple of other suggestions for harnessing warmth on your outdoor terrace in the late fall are outdoor rugs to hold the warmth, and outdoor curtains to eliminate any wind.

Should none of these products appeal to you but you still want to entertain outdoors, may we suggest offering your guests mittens, throws and heavy sweaters while they are visiting?