Stuck inside for the past year, we’re ready to get out, even if maybe we can’t get all the way out to a restaurant or a park. What if, instead, we could add on another place to hang out… at home?

Whether you have a backyard big enough for socially distanced entertaining, or even a stoop, balcony, or patio, you can upgrade your outdoor space to make it somewhere to visit. Take into consideration your family needs, and then get going with these ideas!

Start with a Clean Slate

Buy, rent or borrow a power washer and find out why homeowners love them. You can clean up dirty outdoor furniture, a patio, outdoor pillows, fences, bikes, garbage cans and more. Be careful to follow your power washer’s instructions and use the right amount of pressure for the item you are cleaning. In fact, sometimes all you might need is a strong hose.

Pick up a Paintbrush

Use the spring sunshine as an opportunity to give your deck a fresh coat of paint or sealant. If you have a door that opens out to an outdoor space, try painting it a bright color.

Create Ambient Lighting

Think about lighting outdoors as if you were indoors, using multiple sources of light. If your outdoor space already has lights — flush mounts on a porch or wall mounts for a patio — add lanterns, candles and string lights. In a small area, consider hanging string lights vertically on walls.

Warm up with Heaters and Fire Pits

If you live in an area where it rains a lot, or it’s not as warm, think about bringing in outdoor heaters, heat lamps, or a fire pit. Something that help it be a warm space you want to be in. Plus, who doesn’t love having s’mores on a summer night? Not to mention, it allows you to enjoy your outdoor space well into the fall as well.

Build a Pergola

If you have the outdoor space, but lack much in the way of structure, a pergola may be for you! You can instantly create an additional outdoor “room” that feels like a relaxing retreat that is only steps away. Consider covering the roof area with a durable sunlight-reflective fabric in hot climates, or even vines and climbing plants in more temperate areas.

Decorate the Walls

Outdoor art gets a bad rap, because people often think about lawn gnomes and flamingos, but today’s offerings are nothing short of as chic as any design available for interiors. Consider adding a mirror over your outdoor seating area, or vintage metal artwork to outdoor walls.

Bring the Entertainment Outside

Try movie nights outside. Get a small projector, hang a sheet on a wall or a fence, and project your film. You can take this basic setup and make it luxurious with the addition of an outdoor movie screen. Arrange baskets of blankets and comfy pillows for lounging or even watch the movie from your pool for an evening that kids of all ages will remember!

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