Spring and summer are synonymous with outdoor fun. Whether you use your backyard for hosting friends and family or just relaxing, you know how great it can be to have an outdoor space where you can stretch out and enjoy nature. It’s important to remember that your backyard is an extension of your home—and that means it needs to be updated from time to time for your family to truly take advantage of everything it offers.

To whip your backyard into shape for summer 2016, check out some of Blindster’s top tips and essential updates below:

  • Install outdoor shades to make your deck or patio more comfortable.

Install Outdoor Shades to Make Your Deck or Patio More Comfortable

Summer weather is great for enjoying the outdoors, but the intense sunlight and UV rays can be harmful to your skin and your eyes. If you want to enjoy your backyard deck or patio without having to wear a big hat and sunglasses every time you step out of your house, you can’t go wrong with our outdoor shades. We offer our Deluxe Exterior Solar Shades with two different levels of openness—5 percent openness and 10 percent openness. The 5 percent shades block 95 percent of the sun’s UV rays, while the 10 percent shades block 90 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Both preserve your view of your outdoor area while significantly reducing the glare and intensity of sunlight that hits your eyes, your skin, and your furniture, protecting them from damage and heat.


  • Build or buy a hammock.


Build or Buy a Hammock

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There’s nothing more iconic when it comes to lazy summer days than a hammock—and for good reason, as they’re ideal for quick naps and plowing through your summer reading list while enjoying the warm sunshine. If you don’t have a hammock in your outdoor area, now is the time to get one. Whether you go old-school and string it up between two trees or buy a freestanding unit, your hammock will be a hit with friends and family throughout the summer and well into the cool nights of fall.


  • Get a fire pit.

Outdoor Firepit

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Even summer nights can get chilly and having a fire pit gives your friends and family a place to congregate and spend time together when you’re enjoying your backyard. Plus, fire pits make outdoor areas comfortable year-round, creating the heat and light necessary to have a relaxing night even in the dead of winter. Fire pits come in a variety of sizes, but even modest-sized fire pits can comfortably provide enough heat for a dozen or more people. In addition to being convenient, they’re also much safer than building fires on the ground, as they can better contain the flames and prevent them from accidentally growing too large or spreading to nearby trees and plants.


  • Create a wildflower zone for low-maintenance landscaping.

Create a Wildflower Zone for Low-Maintenance Landscaping

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While there will always be demand for meticulous landscaping with clearly defined lines and edges, choosing to let nature take its course with zero-maintenance wildflower zones can be just a beautiful. A bag of mixed wildflower seeds and some loose, fertile soil is all it takes to create a pretty and extremely colorful floral arrangement that requires almost no upkeep. Unlike traditional landscaping, wildflower areas don’t need frequent trimming or hands-on maintenance, and the flowers themselves are hardy and resistant to weeds and many natural pests.

  • Create an outdoor game area with horseshoes and cornhole boards.

Create an Outdoor GAme Area with Horseshoes and Cornhold Boards

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Nothing livens up a backyard barbecue or family get-together quite like the spirit of competition. Traditional sports like softball and touch football are fun, but it can be difficult to include friends of different skill levels. Games like cornhole and horseshoes can be played by all ages and require a minimal amount of space and equipment. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even build your own cornhole boards and paint them with your favorite sports team’s logo and colors.

  • Beautify your tool shed or outdoor storage area.

Beautify Your Tool Shed or Outdoor Storage Area

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Tool sheds and outdoor storage units generally follow a “form over function” design philosophy, and it’s not uncommon for them to simply blend into the background at best or turn into eyesores at worst due to rust, peeling paint, mildew, and mold. But your tool shed or outdoor storage area can also represent a great opportunity to increase your backyard’s visual appeal. A thorough pressure washing, a fresh coat of paint, some flower boxes, basic landscaping, and a stone walkway leading to and from the shed or storage unit are easy and inexpensive ways to transform the appearance of these small buildings and even make them centerpieces for your backyard.



  • String up lights, create lighted walkways, and light torches to create a beautiful nighttime display.

Outdoor String Lights

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Backyards are wonderful places to relax and enjoy time with family and friends during the day, but they can lose their appeal at night when lighting is lacking. Thankfully, there are great ways to increase outdoor visibility without relying on harsh security lights or flood lights. String lights are a festive way to both enhance your backyard’s beauty and visibility, and they can be creatively draped on and around fences, trees, light posts, and the outside walls of your home. For lighting in other areas of your backyard, consider using small torches or walkway lights to help guests find their way in the dark and create appealing illuminated pathways.


  • Build an outdoor kitchen and dining area.

Build an Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area

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Having an outdoor space for food preparation is ideal for spring, summer, and fall get-togethers. Outdoor kitchens can vary significantly when it comes to price, but for an inexpensive solution, all you’ll need is a large, high-quality grill and food preparation area to create a variety of delicious summer-inspired grilled dishes, including meats, vegetables, and fruits. Improvised countertops created with brick or other natural materials are both inexpensive and practical, while outdoor dining sets can be purchased at most home good stores and supermarkets.