With the arrival of summer, more people are once again enjoying their homes’ prized outdoor spaces. If your deck, patio or balcony hasn’t seen enough love lately, consider adding a few upgrades to get more from your outdoor space! Here are some ideas to enhance the open air amenities of your home.

Find function and theme

Before purchasing costly outdoor accessories, consider what function your outdoor space will serve. Will you be hosting barbecues for friends and family? Enjoying a bit of private sunbathing? Creating a garden? The purpose of your new outdoor area will guide your purchasing decisions, so be sure you have a clear idea of what that purpose is before heading to the store.

Give your new space a cohesive look and feel by designing around a theme! Along with function, picking a theme for your area will make decorating easier and provide a ready-made atmosphere for your new spot. A sleek minimalist look works well with urban balconies, while more natural and rustic features are better suited for cabins or lake houses.

Have a seat (or four)

Whatever function or theme your area follows, most will be used for relaxing outside while enjoying the fresh air. Enhance that experience with comfortable seating that you and your guests will want to spend time in! Lounge chairs, reading chairs, rocking chairs, benches, swings and hammocks are great examples of affordable ways to kick back in the warmer months. High-quality and larger items can become pricey, but hidden gems are waiting to be found on secondhand marketplaces.

Prepare for a grilling

Backyard grilling is a quintessential summertime activity. Even those with limited space can use a small charcoal grill to take advantage of outdoor cooking, while larger gas grills will keep everyone at the barbecue well fed all day long.

Refresh al fresco

There is a special joy to dining with friends and family in the open air. Whether you’re hosting a party or just inviting a friend to dinner, an outdoor dining table will breathe new life into your space as the place to gather and spend time together. High-end patio furniture often costs in the upper hundreds and even thousands of dollars for larger sets with extra features like umbrellas, but budget sets can be found for as little as $130.

Fire it up

Perhaps the only thing better than eating al fresco is relaxing after dinner around a warm fire underneath a velvety sky of twinkling stars. An outdoor fire pit adds instant magic to your space, providing a welcoming glow for those cooler nights. Fire pits start around $100 for simple designs, but more durable gas fire bowls can be found for around $200. Or you can make your own!

Have it made in the shade

Summer is time for fun in the sun, but there can certainly be too much of a good thing. Retractable awnings provide an oasis of shade to escape from the sweltering heat and harmful UV rays. Simple awnings cost about $200, but motorized models can run in the thousands. For an inexpensive but stylish alternative, consider a shade sail! Starting at just $20, shade sails are easy to install and can provide the same amount of protection as an awning for a fraction of the price.

Raise the bar

No barbecue is complete without a cold beverage to pair with your burger. Adding an outdoor bar to your space won’t just keep your guests refreshed – it also establishes your backyard as the place to be this summer! Basic freestanding patio bars and carts can be found for a couple hundred dollars, but you can expect to pay top dollar for a professionally installed setup.

Pump up the beats

Music sets the mood for our favorite movies and television shows, so why not our backyards as well? Outdoor speakers are built to withstand the elements and will provide an extra layer of atmosphere as you enjoy your newly enhanced outdoor space. A portable Bluetooth speaker is a solid alternative if genuine outdoor speakers are too pricey or too tricky to install.


Now is the time to enhance your outdoor space for summer. With these improvements, you can transform your ho-hum exterior into an outdoor delight!