8 Ways to Spiff Up Your Home for Summer Outdoor Entertainment

It’s summer outdoor entertainment season and people want their homes to look spic and span for outdoor parties.

Here are some tips to make your house gleam before hosting an occasion outside.

1. Clean! Jeff Hester of Skokie’s Hester Painting and Decorating suggests attaching a low-pressure power washer to your garden hose to clean off dirt and grime on outdoor furniture, fences and patios. Beware! Using a power washer on siding may damage it, so hire a professional to clean your home’s exterior.

2. Clean the gutters and remove any leftover debris. Wipe down gutters with cleaners 409 or Fantastic to make them look brand-new.

3. Bust out the broom. Sweep your deck and dust off windowsills, doorframes and cobwebs weekly, if you can.

4. Check your deck. Make sure nail heads and screws are not exposed, and to remove wasp and other insect nests that may pester you and your guests.

5. Freshen up. Repaint your furniture—Hester recommends Wrought Iron Black as the new “it” color for patio furniture. And check out Laura Tiebert’s ideas for transforming your backyard into an extension of your indoor space: The Ins and Outs of Outdoor Spaces.

6. Light bright. Change light bulbs and clean residue on lamps with glass cleaner, says Hester.  This will surely make your backyard glow brightly at night.

7. Decorate! Martha Stewart suggests adding some kitschy touches to your patio like raffia mats, homemade pillows from vinyl tablecloths and a table runner made of bandanas. Our own Marjie Killeen had some cool ideas for changing a toy-strewn backyard into a fun party setting.

8. Think about the lighting. For a party, add some tiki torches to the mix. Your backyard will feel like your own private island with these festive, affordable decorations. For more permanent solutions, check out this article on lighting ideas.

Voila! With these tips and a little elbow grease, your backyard should be ready for guests in no time.