Many of us are spending plenty of time at home this summer. With the great weather we usually experience during July, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your outdoor spaces.

If you plan to work from home on your patio, include a dining table, outdoor coffee table or side table you can use as a workspace. If it’s far away from your wifi router, be sure to invest in a wifi extender that will ensure you get maximum speed from your home network.

Kids are out of school and will stake their claim to your patio. Remember to create a designated spot for them by including room for their toys and games. Look for stackable items that also double as storage to make cleanup time a breeze.

When the sun goes down, temperatures also fall. If you don’t have an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit or propane patio heater can extend those long summer days far into the evening. They come in varying sizes to fit any space.

If your outdoor space is on the smaller size, try moving all your seating to the perimeter of your outdoor area to maintain the maximum amount of open space. Also consider armless chairs to provide an airier and more open feel.

Also good for smaller spaces are all-weather cushions to use on the ground or folding chairs or stools, paired with all-weather seat cushions, that will take up less space when not in use.

Of course, even in our region we get those blazing sunny days. If you plan to spend times outside, include some shady areas, or shade-making objects such as patio umbrellas or moveable room dividers which can block the sun when shade is preferred.

Works of art can inspire and if your patio has a protected space (under the eaves to avoid direct sun and shelter from the rain) you can hang an in expensive piece of art than can serve as a focal point. Alternatively, a fence or wall can make the perfect canvas for a mural or abstract work. Search for how-to videos that demonstrate how you can create your own planters and sculptures with a bag of concrete, empty yogurt containers and your imagination.

Lastly, don’t forget what’s under your feet. Outdoor rugs can make a cold concrete slab cozy, or a deck a nice place to sleep under the stars.