10 tips to make the most of your deck this summer

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Finally, the warm weather has arrived! Time to spend some quality time on the deck barbecuing, sipping a cold beer, and relaxing with friends and family.

But before you get started, ask yourself a simple question: is your deck basic? Don’t worry if it is; we’ll show you how to transform it into an outdoor oasis. It won’t just encourage people to hang out there more; it could also increase the value of your cottage.

Keep it clean

First things first: give your deck a spring cleaning! Sweep up old leaves and any other debris that may have been revealed after all the snow has melted. Then give your BBQ a good scrub and hose down any furniture. Lastly, consider a coat of paint or a new finish if things are looking particularly worn.

Add some greenery

Adding a few potted plants to your deck can give things a lush, inviting quality. Just make sure you go for low-maintenance greenery; you don’t want to be fussing over decorative plants all summer. A few flowering plants are sure to spruce things up, but some simple ferns are also lovely.

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Make sure there’s some shade

Don’t miss out on the best part of the day because you’re worried about getting a sunburn. Invest in a nice umbrella or a sun shade sail to ensure people don’t get wiped out by the heat—or turn an unfortunate shade of red.

Keep your deck bug-free

We all love sitting out into the wee hours of the morning gabbing and having a drink or two, but none of us like waking up with mosquito bites the next day. Skip the citronella candles and invest in a real bug repeller like Thermacell’s Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller, which provides a 110 square foot protection zone.

Have lots of comfortable seating

This goes hand in hand with providing some shade, but you want to make your deck as comfortable as possible! This means making sure you have cushions for built-in benches and wrought-iron chairs, and non-wobbly seating for around the table. Invest in an appropriate amount of furniture, too. You don’t want people jockeying for a seat, but there’s no point buying an eight-person set if it’s just going to be you and your partner.

Install some bird-feeders

Everyone loves seeing hummingbirds sipping at some sugar water—and a squirrel’s creative efforts to get to a feeder can also be pretty entertaining. A couple of bird feeders or an artfully placed birdbath will give you a little insight into the nature that surrounds your deck, and will increase sightings of your feathered friends.

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Upgrade your barbecue

Planning on spending a little cash on your deck this summer? Put some of your budget towards upgrading your grill. While any grill will do in a pinch, investing in a nice setup will encourage you to cook outside more, and entice guests to your deck for dinner.

Take stargazing to the next level

One of the best parts about going to the cottage is actually getting to see the stars. Keep an eye out for astronomical events this summer and consider buying a telescope so you can really appreciate what’s going on in the night sky.

Photo by AstroStar/Shutterstock

Add a hammock

If you have the space, installing a hammock on your deck will guarantee you spend hours napping, reading, and just generally relaxing. You can get one that comes with its own stand, or attach it to the roof if you have an overhang. Any which way, it’s sure to help you mellow out.

Photo by iofoto

Engineer some ambiance

Add a little je ne sais quoi to your deck by incorporating some romantic lighting into the decor. This can be accomplished by setting out some candles in Mason jars or stringing fairy lights around railings. It may be a subtle change, but adding a little twinkle will make your space that much more inviting once the sun sets.

Thermacell provides zone mosquito protection that keeps mosquitoes up to 4.5 m away, stopping them before they can bother or bite you. Thermacell’s zone repellent technology eliminates the need for messy lotions or sprays, so you and your family are free to enjoy the outdoors, without worrying about mosquitoes or the harm they may cause.