Plan Now to Extend the Season

Now is the time to plan for warm days and chilly nights. Imagine April outdoors—without freezing fingers and toes.

By Molly Steinar

Dreaming of warmer days and how you might get a jump start on the patio season and extend it into autumn? It’s not difficult to accomplish. A tactic as simple as adding throws, candles and a coffee or hot toddy can make the evening seem warmer. Or—as one family did with their Old World courtyard—a covered patio can become an extension of the home with heat lamps, a fireplace and a firepit, kitchen and a pizza oven for use at least nine months of the year.


This 2,000-square-foot Old World courtyard was transformed from an uninviting salmon-colored stucco courtyard into a state-of-the-art outdoor living space, including an outdoor kitchen, wet bar and fireplace. Two televisions, a misting system and integrated surround sound, which is fully controllable at the touch of an iPad, create the entertainment area. The outdoor space features high-end appliances, a woodburning pizza oven, a wok, a hand-hammered copper sink and a pair of custom water features with 12-inch copper scuppers, as well as Brazilian granite slab countertops.

Design: Lindgren Landscape Architecture and Designers, Ft. Collins, 970.226.5677 |

Stone: Telluride Stone


-2011 ALCC (Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado) Excellence in Landscape Award of Excellence

in the Special Areas Category

-2013 Belgard Design Challenge — Best Outdoor Patio Application


With stunning views and stars overhead there’s no reason to go indoors when you can spend the evening in front of a fireplace in a covered pergola perched on a mountaintop. Built for the express purpose of extending the season in spring and fall, it also provides shade from the high alpine summer sun when the wildflowers take over the hillsides. The view to the east of the pergola is Mount Crested Butte; a collection of 10 to 12 mountains, including Whetstone Mountain lies to the southwest and Paradise Divide and Mount Emmons are northwest. Although it may appear to be quite a hike to reach the pergola, it is only 40 feet from the patio, where a hot tub and barbecue pit create a mountaintop entertainment center.

Architect: Jim Barney, Architect, LEED, AP at Freestyle Architects, P.C., Crested Butte, 970.596.8126 |

Contractor: Paul Barney, Beckwith Builders, Inc.,  Crested Butte, 970.209.8605 |

Timber work: Scott Crawford, Crawford’s Custom Woodwork

Materials used: Reclaimed Douglas Fir timbers, Natural Stone, Arkansas Strip, Brick Paving Stones, Borgert Products, installed by Beckwith Builders

Fireplace: Outdoor Lifestyle, Dakota Custom Mountain Time; Chairs by Red Mountain Furniture


A firepit and some friendly neighbors may be all you need to ward off the chilly fall weather. The firepit is poured-in-place concrete with black glass trowelled into the top during the setting phase. After it cured, the top was ground down to reveal the glass, which catches the light from the fire. The custom-designed fence composed of horizontal slats provides a contemporary background.

Design: Mile High Landscaping, Denver, 303.595.0404 |


A daring spirit and bold imagination turned a tar paper roof and mechanical area into an urban oasis. Perched a loft on Little Raven St., is a 1,000-square-foot entertainment space that can be used from early spring well into the fall. A firepit, kitchen, bar and hot tub are open to panoramic views of LoDo and beyond.

Architect: Chris Turner, Principal; Elevate By Design, Denver, 303.567.6300