How to make your gazebo a cosy Christmas retreat




There is something magical about a wooden gazebo during the festive season, particularly in southern Spain, where you can enjoy the best of both worlds; enjoy the beautiful sunshine during the day, but when the sun goes down this is when it becomes a wonderful winter retreat with a cosy fire and lighting.

There are plenty of ways in which you can dress up your gazebo or even an open wooden deck, for the holiday season and celebrations. Whether you prefer minimal or maximalism, your decorations and furnishings can be a garish as you wish. Think sheepskins, blankets, and planters providing texture warmth and interest. From Christmas trees to hanging baskets, strings of fairy lights to garlands of natural greenery, the choice is yours.

Here are our favourite ideas for creating the perfect pergola for winter:

Turn up the heat

As touched upon above, the sunshine may be warm during the day time, but when night falls so does the temperature. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your beautiful thatched gazebo , after sundown, as there are plenty of fantastic heating options available.

You can choose to suspend heating units from the ceiling (not propane), mount them on the wall or under the structure. Alternatively, you could consider a brazier or patio heater, and you may not realise, that you can install a fire place in a thatched gazebo. Infrared is the quickest way to raise the temperature. And to ensure energy efficiency, it is a good idea to add side panels or heavy-duty curtains to stop the heat escaping. Or alternatively opt for a firepit for creating a warm atmosphere.

Side panels

Once you have chosen your preferred method of heating, it’s important to keep the interior nice and toasty. This can be achieved by adding side panels, in a range of materials, such as retractable canvas, screens, wood, louvred doors or privacy walls, adorned with plants.

Festive lighting

There is nothing quite light an artfully draped garland of fairy lights to evoke festive feelings and a warm, snuggly atmosphere. Depending upon the location and the utilities installed in your gazebo, these could be battery, solar or mains operated. For the main lighting, there are lots of stylish exterior pendant lights to choose from (both solar and mains powered), which can provide a beautiful ambient glow. If you want to really go for gold, why not illuminate the pathway with solar lights leading the way to the gazebo and adorn with hanging lanterns.

Whether you like the gentle twinkle of warm white or full-blown multi-coloured bulbs constantly alight, they create an inviting ambiance. There’s plenty of potential for draping around the outside, interior and around the pillars, balustrading or banisters to create a sparkling space.

Winter proof furniture outdoor structures:

Choosing the right material is the single most important decision. Outdoor furniture and decorations should be made of durable material such as natural wood or coated metal (plastics aren’t quite as durable), which can survive the sunshine and the winter temperature, damp and rain. The correct maintenance and protection will help to extend the lifetime of the furniture. Natural wood such as teak is warmer and more inviting in a luxury outdoor space, as compared to metal, which can become very hot or cold, depending upon the weather.

The next step is to consider the right fabric for cushions, covers, blankets and curtains. They need to be resistant to fading in sunlight and mildew when exposed to moisture, so it’s important to choose fabric that is designed specifically for outdoor use, as it will be treated for UV, water and mould resistance.

Dare to go bare

This option is not for the faint hearted, but a popular activity amongst many people… the hot tub! What better place to enjoy a hot bubbling bath with friends than in a cosy thatched gazebo? You can enjoy complete privacy, warmth and enjoy the exhilaration of being outdoors. If you wish to install a hot tub in your gazebo, you’ll need to make sure that it has the strength to sustain the weight and it isn’t raised too far off the ground. If your gazebo was created as a bespoke garden structure and installed by professional fitters, such as Cape Reed, then they will be able to advise you about the possibility of installing a hot tub.

Barbeque and mulled wine?

If your wooden gazebo doesn’t have the space for a full-blown outside kitchen, maybe you could install a barbeque? There is nothing quite as warming as a hot toddy, and as we’re getting ready for the festive season what could be better that mulled wine. Add to this the aroma and anticipation of freshly barbequed food … which always taste better outside. Cheers!


Can I put a fireplace in a gazebo?

Yes, you can install a fireplace in a gazebo or pergola but you must take the necessary safety precautions. There needs to be plenty of space and enough ventilation and it must not be situated close to any flammable materials. Also, you should check local regulations.

Can I plumb a hot tub in a gazebo?
Yes, it is possible to plumb in a hot tub in a gazebo. However, you need to get advice from a professional with experience of installing gazebos. First, you’ll need to consider the size of the gazebo, whether you want privacy with the addition of retractable screens and the weight of the hot tub. For more advice get in touch with Cape Reed at

Is it safe to install a barbeque in a gazebo?
Yes, but you will need to ensure that there is enough ventilation and the roof height is adequate. Cape Reed can design and build a fully bespoke gazebo including a fully-fitted outside kitchen or barbeque, depending upon your requirements, budget and preference See this beautiful outdoor entertainment area in Marbella. Get in touch for more information.