One of the best ways to make the summer last as long as possible is to make the most of the warm days and still-mild evenings for a few more precious weeks until the weather begins to cool.

As autumn approaches, it usually spells the time to head indoors and say goodbye to outdoor living. However, even though the new school year has begun, everyone is back to work, and shops are beginning to stock Halloween items on the shelves, the summer season doesn’t officially end until September 22nd (and can go on longer still if the weather is kind). Why not continue to make the most of it? Here are some ideas:

1. Entertain alfresco

Despite the variable weather that a British summer can bring, eating outdoors in the evenings with friends and family is one of the most enjoyable things to do. And there’s no reason to stop even though the days are already becoming shorter.

When entertaining outside at night, be sure to keep a selection of throws and blankets (or sweaters) in a basket near the table so that guests can help themselves if the air begins to chill.

A number of manufacturers are now designing barbecues that also double as heat sources and these are a great way to keep warm while eating or socialising in the garden during cooler weather. Chesney’s award-winning Heat & Grill collection offer dual functionality of heating and cooking so you can cook and keep cosy at the same time.

patio doors


2. The hybrid option

One of the great benefits of a kitchen dining room with sliding glass doors leading out to a patio or terrace is that it gives owners instant flexibility. If at the last minute the weather begins to turn or the wind picks up, guests can move indoors and the doors can be left wide open.

On more variable days, when it’s too risky to leave everything open, the combination of large glass doors (ours go up to 4.2 metres wide per panel) with an ultra slimline frame (ours are just 20mm wide) has the effect of rendering the doors almost invisible. You have the feeling of being outdoors, and the benefit of staying protected from the weather.

frameless sliding doors


3. Cook outdoors, eat inside

Don’t put away the barbecue just yet! Prolong the habit of cooking outdoors (people in Scandinavia do it year-round) and continue to prepare meals out in the open, even if you then go inside to enjoy them.

Norway House featuring slim framed Ultraline sliding doors with opening corner


4. Install a fire bowl or an outdoor fireplace

As gardens are increasingly being seen as extensions of the interior spaces, there is a greater desire to decorate these so-called ‘outdoor rooms’ with the same focus and attention as other rooms in the house. Thanks to advancements in technology, there is a huge range of sofas and chairs in different styles made from all-weather material designed to withstand the elements. When designing an outdoor sitting room, consider adding a source of heat too. There’s something very alluring about gathering around an open fire in the dark and one way to add a focal point to an outdoor sitting area is to install a fireplace. The Scandinavian brand Jotul have a number of modern and striking designs.

Black grey Ultraline sliding doors installation in Kent RAL7021


5. Light the night

Install some garden lights which are arranged on a timer to come on as dusk sets in. They will provide pools of light around the plants creating an eye-catching display long into the night. Even if the weather isn’t warm enough to sit outside, the lights will still create a charming backdrop to be viewed through your sliding glass doors.

Ultraline opening corner sliding doors pool house installation


6. Plant for early autumn colour

This final point requires some planning ahead! In spring, think about planting late flowering varieties in pots close to the house. Then in early summer, plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as nerines. Viewed through the sliding glass doors, these will inject some lovely bright colour into the home as summer moves into autumn.

3 pane sliding doors


Thinking about installing sliding glass doors for your building project? Give us a call to find out more about Minima’s sliding doors.