When summer arrives, we all spend as much time as we can outdoors. We turn our decks and patios into outdoor living rooms or kitchens, and we spend plenty of time cooking, eating, relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends.

Spring is here, and it's time to prep your outdoor living space to make it an extended part of your household. It needs to be decorated, furnished and stocked with everything you need to enjoy the outdoors this summer. Here are some tips...

Get decked out: How to prep your outdoor living space for Summer 2015:

  1. Comfortable Sitting and Lounging Areas

    If you plan to use your outdoor living space for picnics you'll need at least one table, chairs and potentially several side tables to hold extra platters and dishes. If the space will be used as a living room, you'll want padded chairs or loungers for curling up and enjoying a book or having an afternoon chat with a neighbor.
  2. Decorative Planters

    Inside the house, you use artwork to decorate the walls. Outside, it's decorative planters. Planters work well on the edges of your patio or deck, down the stairway and in the corners. Place them singularly or in groupings of three at varying heights to make the decor more interesting. You can mix different types of blooms and leafy greens for a wild splash of color, or choose plants that provide a beautiful contrast to the color of your house or deck.
  3. Fun Accessories

    Grills, shade umbrellas, fire rings, water features, mood-setting lighting and a sound system; all of these accessories can really turn your deck or patio into a wonderful outdoor living space you won't want to leave this summer. If you have a smaller deck, don't overcrowd the space because then you'll spend all summer moving objects out of your way. Add fun accessories where you can, though, and also think about spreading your deck space out into the lawn area if it starts to get too crowded.

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