Around summertime, we often hear people ask how they can make outdoor living more enjoyable—and we understand that completely. While we would all love to have dinner parties outside every week, sometimes the heat, humidity, and small pests make that a hard thing to do. That’s why we’ve put together a short list of steps you can take to improving your outdoor livability.
Check your fans. The most effective solution might be the one you’ve forgotten to check all this time! If your outdoor entertaining space suffers from warm, stagnant air, check to be sure your ceiling fan or fans are working as normal. If something is causing them to run slowly or not at all, it may be an easy fix—but you might not have even thought to check!
And this may go without saying, but if you don’t currently have any outdoor fans, consider it! Besides the occasional (and unpredictable) gust of wind, a fan really is the only way to get a cool breeze going on hot summer nights.
Improve lighting. You can have great food, music and air circulation—but if your lighting isn’t up to par, your guests may feel uncomfortable in the dimness. Update your lighting and add more if necessary to make your space as bright as possible.
Add a screen… or a screen room. If you’ve been having trouble with bugs, leaves or even rain soaking your backyard furniture, consider building a screen around your patio that will protect you and your guests from the elements during dinner parties and barbecues. A screen room is a larger scale project that is a little bit more detached from the outdoors, but is still a great option if you want to appreciate the weather and outdoor sights from a more comfortable position.
Add an awning. Is the sun beating down too hard on your entertaining space? Consider adding a retractable awning to keep your patio shady and dry—until, of course, you want to soak up some sun!
Control trash. Many Floridians experience an influx of mosquitoes and other pests around the time of year due to the increase in heat, humidity and, of course, many backyards’ access to a pool (if you didn’t know already, these bugs love large bodies of warm, still water!). Larger critters as well may find themselves attracted to your home’s trash. Be sure to keep your bins in the garage or in a structure separate from your outdoor entertaining area to avoid unwelcome guests.
Keep away bugs naturally. Still experiencing bugs? You don’t have to resort to electric lamps and strong smelling sprays to keep them away. Try planting citronella around your pool or patio to keep away those uninvited visitors, and to keep you and your guests as comfortable as possible.
Some of the changes you make to your home’s outdoor space have permanence—they can serve you and your family now and can help boost the value of your home when you’re ready to sell. Until then, go ahead and enjoy your summer!