Tips for making your porch, deck or yard attractive and functional for spring and summer.

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With spring officially here, what better way to usher in the season then by sprucing up your outdoor space?

In spring and summer, what’s on the outside is as important as what’s on the inside. This is the time to get outdoors to entertain and relax, so it’s important to make your porch, deck or yard attractive, cozy and functional.

Crate & Barrel Howell Planters, $70–$100
Crate & Barrel Howell Planters, $70–$100

Here are 10 spring spruce-up tips to help you prepare for the warm, sunny days that — we promise — are soon to come.

1. Check your deck. Inspect your deck or patio for repairs or needed upgrades. Check for cracked boards, tiles or fittings, and re-sand or add gravel to existing patios. Refinish your deck or make repairs well before your first scheduled party.

2. Find shade. Make sure you have an operational umbrella that will provide a refuge from direct sun.

3. Create multiple areas for entertaining. Provide a spot for dining, one for lounging and one for recreation, for example. They don’t have to be large or spread out, just distinct enough that no one gets a shuttlecock in their pasta salad.

4. Incorporate an outdoor cooking station. Make sure you have the gear you need so that you don’t have to keep popping back into the house. If you have a basic set-up, consider adding a smoker for a new take on grilling.

5. Bring in plenty of blooms. Either in a garden bed or in moveable planters, the color of showy flowers will add an enormous amount of enjoyment to the outdoor experience.

West Elm Portside Sectional, $2,398 as shown; and Outdoor Pillows, $39–$59 each
West Elm Portside Sectional, $2,398 as shown; and Outdoor Pillows, $39–$59 each

6. Coordinate blooms with your décor. Instead of picking random pretty plants, select ones that tie into your cushions, pillows and other décor elements.

7. Create small vignettes. Petite seating areas sprinkled throughout your outdoor space are a fun surprise.

8. Use bold, rich colors. Reds, oranges, blues and yellows are cheery options for furniture and décor.

9. Update your furniture. Replace any pieces that have become old and worn from the elements.

10. Add lighting. From lanterns to fairy lights, outdoor lighting lets you enjoy your outdoor space after the sun goes down.