(BPT) - Daffodils bloom brightly by the back door, temperatures are balmy, cookout season is on the horizon and you're ready to give your outdoor living space a breath of fresh air. Great patios and decks enhance your enjoyment of spring and summer, and boost home value, so it's well worth the investment to update and upgrade your home's exterior living space.
Patio (or deck) perfection can be within your reach this season. Simply follow these seven steps to create an outdoor environment where you'll be proud to entertain all summer long.
1. Update your patio furniture.
Whether your current patio set is worn out, you need more seating or are just in the mood for a whole new look, new patio furniture can change the way you feel about your outdoor environment - and how much time you spend there! Whether you want traditional wicker, durable metals or exotic woods like Eucalyptus, you can find the right dining set, settee, chaise lounge, glider, ottoman, coffee table, rocker or swing among the 50,000 individual home decor items carried by every At Home store.
2. Replace cushions on your current set.
If your current patio furniture is in good shape but just in need of some freshening, it's easy enough to give it new life with small tweaks like updated patio cushions. Cushions are the crowning touch to catch the eye on patio furniture, and you can find hundreds of patterns, shapes and styles of patio pillows and cushions at At Home.
3. Add a water feature
One of the best ways to create your own oasis can be with a water feature. Easy to find and simple to set up accessories like a fountain can bring the harmony of water to your outdoor environment. For example, those with a waterfall feature immediately create a feeling of Zen and help drown out the noise of everyday life.
4. Make some shade.
When you need a break from the sun, but aren't ready to head indoors, shade can help you stay outside so you can enjoy the fresh air longer. You can add shade in many ways, from installing a retractable awning over the deck or patio to strategically planting trees or climbing vines on a trellis. And of course, the simplest way to add shade is to use patio umbrellas, which are available in a wide range of hues, patterns and styles.
5. Heat up your grilling station.
What outdoor environment would be complete without a great grill? Accessories make grilling fun and easy, and ensure you'll look and operate like a pro when whipping up summer fare. From grilling mitts to barbecue tool sets, burger and kabob grilling baskets, grill toppers and even taco shell baskets, you can outfit your grill station with everything you need for a great grilling experience.
6. Lighten up.
When you're having a great time outdoors, who wants to go inside just because it's dark? Add some lighting to your outdoor living space to create ambiance and allow you to enjoy your patio long after the sun goes down. You can invest in hard-wired patio or deck lights, go eco-friendly and easy with solar lights, or choose from an array of battery-powered or candle-fired lanterns.
7. Use decor to create a theme.
Just as your home's interior has a design theme, choosing a theme for your patio or deck can pull the look together. Whether your taste is Boho Chic, Tribal or Weekend Getaway, you can find decor items that underscore the theme. Wall decorations, outdoor rugs, decorative planters and flower pots, wind chimes and statuary all work together to create a look you'll love throughout the spring and summer.
The perfect patio - and hours of outdoor enjoyment - is within reach this spring and summer. To find an At Home store near you, visit www.athome.com.
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