The summer months are creeping up on us and if you’re like many Ontarians, you’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. But does your home offer a comfortable place to enjoy the nice weather? Creating additional living space outdoors is one of the hottest growing trends in home renovation. With a host of creative and functional ways to make outdoor living more attainable, there hasn’t been a better time to push your boundaries at home.

If your backyard is a blank slate, the first thing you’ll need to do is build a patio or deck. Composite decks are becoming increasingly popular, offering a low maintenance, longer lasting product for about the same price as standard wood. If space or budget don’t allow such a major undertaking, what about a gazebo to create an area for outdoor living? Generally easy to assemble, these year-round sun shelters often have removable nylon or polyester curtains or mosquito netting that can be stored during the winter months. You can find them at just about any major retailer and expect to spend around $300-$600.

The next step to backyard beautification is seating. Outdoor furniture certainly has come a long way in the past decade and the options are almost endless. From traditional wicker to beautiful bamboo, find what works best for your space and needs.

Really make a statement with these outdoor extras: 

– Get cooking. Outdoor kitchens are all the rage right now.

– Be bold! If you tend to shy away from bright colours inside your home, this is your opportunity to add a splash of colour.

– Let it flow. If you’re looking forward to some serious relaxation, consider installing a tranquil water feature.

– Light it up. Outdoor mini lights, torches, lanterns and solar lights are all effective at creating ambiance while illuminating your space.

– Add warmth. If the budget and your local by-laws allow, build a firepit for roasting smore’s and staying warm on those cool September evenings.