Despite what Jon Snow has told you... summer is coming! For many of us the sun will be out and the amount of time we'll want to spend outdoors will increase ten-fold. If you're like me and never use the great outdoor space that you have right outside your home then maybe it's time to make some improvements! Here are some ideas to help you enhance your deck, patio or outdoor space for the summer:

1. Get an Outdoor Sectional

A big expansive patio or deck can sometimes be daunting to fill. One of our favorite uses of a large outdoor space is to fill it with a sectional like the one pictured above from CB2 which was featured in our article 6 Outdoor Sectional Sofas for a Contemporary Patio. Conventional patio furniture is often uncomfortable and more importantly uninviting... If it ain't inviting then no one will even give it a chance to test its comfort. A sofa like the one above will always draw you and your guests out to enjoy the lovely summer weather.

2. Install a Fire Pit

If you plan to stay outside into the night then you may want to consider installing a fire pit, especially if you live in a luxury home in Los Angeles or a beautiful home in Phoenix where it can get a little chilly in the evenings. There are a few different outdoor fire pit options to choose from. For example the one above is a hand hammered copper fire "pot" pit that can take straight wood and requires very little maintenance other than to clean it out. There are also more modern options that are fuel powered or electric.

3. Re-stain or Resurface Your Deck

Whether you have a concrete surface or wood slats it's always more pleasant to be on a clean, new surface. That doesn't mean you have to replace your old deck! As soon as you get some good weather you can go outside to sand, stain and reseal your existing wood deck or stain and retreat your concrete to have a more modern look. That will have it looking good as new and nicer to walk on barefoot!

4. Build an outdoor kitchen

Now this is a slightly bigger job but can really pay off if you're looking to increase the amount of use you get out of your patio. Part of what makes eating outside a chore is the fact that you're constantly having to run back and forth to the kitchen. The basic outdoor kitchen eliminates that need. A sink and a stainless steel prep counter can go along way to making your outside dining experience easier.