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The great outdoors become our extended living space for a few glorious months each year, but if we’re not equipped to take full advantage they’ll pass us by. Here, we share our golden rules for getting the most out of your outdoor space.

1. Create an outdoor planning station that gives you room to prep while guests enjoy themselves so you’ll be close enough to chime into the conversation.

2. Keep cleaning products on hand. Dirt, mud and debris are inevitable outdoors, but can be managed when you’re prepared.

3. Plant outdoor greenery, even if you don’t have a green thumb. Go with low-maintenance seasonal plants, herbs and flowers that are beautiful and useful.

4. Start with a simple patio set that fits your backyard colour scheme. Water resistant wicker is a good neutral base that you can build on with decorative pillows.

5. Tie down any outdoor furniture. The wind is as fickle as it is unpredictable and everything from cushions to couches have been known to disappear.

6. Invest in a canopy or umbrella that will ensure you and your guests can comfortably be outside no matter what time of day.

7. Create a focal point around a unique feature of your backyard. A flower garden, fire pit or water feature creates a natural gathering place.

8. Light up your outdoor space with hanging light features, vintage-inspired lanterns and twinkle lights for a dreamy outdoor retreat.

9. Outdoor heaters are the perfect investment for the homeowner who wants to prolong their outdoor time into the fall.

10. Get a hammock. A must-have for comfortable backyard decor, no matter how big or small your outdoor space is, no one has ever regretted getting a hammock. Period.

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