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Eight Last-Minute Ways to Enjoy Your Deck

composite deckingPacific Northwest residents know all too well that the wonderful summer weather will soon give way to chillier and rainier days. Before the transition into fall begins, there aren’t many better places to enjoy the remaining days of summer than in your own backyard. If you don’t already have plenty of reasons to love your cedar deck, we’ve compiled a list of easy ways to start enjoying it right now.

1. Have comfortable and accessible seating. If your deck chairs aren’t the softest, padded seat cushions can be a quick and inexpensive fix. If you’re looking to purchase new patio furniture, make sure it is weather-resistant so you don’t have to stow it in the garage or basement during those occasional summer storms. You want furniture you can leave outside for long periods of time. That way, whenever the mood strikes you, there’s a welcoming place for you to sit and relax.

2. Add colorful fabrics. Though you don’t have to worry about splinters with cedar decks or composite decking material, a colorful throw rug may offer just the warmth and comfort you’re craving. Invest in a washable, water-resistant tablecloth and you won’t have to run yourself ragged keeping the outdoor table spot-free. If your deck seating is in a sunny location, try laying a towel over the chairs until you’re ready to sit, and the towel should keep the chair itself from getting too hot.

3. Include outdoor lighting. A little lighting can help keep your enjoyment going after the sun goes down. Tiki torches are an inexpensive option, but lanterns and solar-powered lamps work just as well. Citronella candles are an excellent option for lighting, with the added benefit of repelling pesky mosquitoes and other insects.

4. Bring your garden closer. Cedar and composite decking materials are made to be water-resistant, so don’t shy away from adding potted plants to your deck. An easy mix of herbs and annuals can quickly add wonderful smells and colors. Try growing herbs you frequently use in your cooking, and you’ll soon have your own fresh supply.

5. Bring electronic entertainment outside. Laptops, portable stereos and even cell phones can be an easy way to take your everyday activities outside. Checking email is much more fun in the warmth of the sunshine. Do you have a favorite radio show or a CD handy? Grab your portable radio and head out to your deck. Bring a cup of coffee or a glass of lemonade and you’ve got a quick and easy summer retreat.

6. Invite friends over for a BBQ. Whether or not you have a way to cook outside, invite friends over to eat outside with you. If you don’t feel like cooking for everyone, make a few dishes and have a potluck.

7. Have an astronomy party. An easy internet search can yield lists and pictures of the constellations visible in the night sky. In most Northwest locations, you can typically see at least a few regardless of the time of night. If you don’t have outdoor furniture or outdoor lighting, throw down a few towels or blankets and lie right on your deck.

8. Put on an ice cream party for the kids. You can serve the ice cream inside and send them outside to add all the decorations and treats they want. Try unconventional toppings like raisins, cereal or popcorn – things that can withstand outdoor heat a bit better than chocolates and candies. With the durability of cedar decks and composite decking materials, don’t worry if anyone makes a mess – a simple hose down, and all should be good as new.

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