As the warmer temperatures of summer approach, you're probably thinking about how you can enjoy your patio or deck more. Whether it's the soothing sun of summer afternoons or the cool evenings that refresh you, getting outside onto your deck can make your home feel like your castle.

But, if your deck needs a little sprucing up, now is a good time to get it ready. Here are four steps to do just that.

Refinish the Wood

Start your deck makeover by giving it a solid foundation — in this case, a solid floor underneath your feet. A professional wood refinishing service will make aging; faded wood look brand new. They can also inspect the deck itself to ensure that the wood is in good condition and safe to spend your summer days on.

Even if your patio or entertainment space isn't all wood, you should consider having any trim, columns or pergolas refinished. It's less expensive than upgrades and will look great for your guests.

Find a Focal Point

If your deck lacks cohesion and vision, you can easily get it back on track by focusing on one focal point as a centerpiece for the entire space. Your personalized focal point can be anything that you find inspiring, such as a fluffy rug, a fun pendant lamp or even an art deco mini bar.

Add a fireplace or fire pit so that you can sit around the flames in the evening. Your focal point could also be something natural, such as an eye-catching view or your favorite tree.

Whatever you choose to focus on, it gives you a theme to work with as you decorate the rest of the deck. Accessorize around your focal point and further develop your sense of style. 

Add Bold Decor

Bring a little color and vibrancy to the deck by replacing some of your outdoor furniture and cushions with brightly hued variations. Outdoor decor can often be bolder and more daring than colors and patterns you'd use indoors, so indulge your wild side and don't be afraid to express your personality.

Look for pillows, cushions, tablecloths, curtains, and rugs in the fun, colorful shades or prints. And don't forget the hardware, like lamps, mosaics, and tiles. Colorful plants, like perennial hibiscus or purple wave petunias, will bloom and add a natural source of color throughout the summer. Hang some baskets from the deck's roof or install a few flower boxes along the deck railing.

Mark it Functional

Of course, you can dress up your deck as much as you want, but if you don't make it usable and inviting, you won’t get much use out of it. So, look for ways to make it work for your style of outdoor entertainment.

Functionality may mean adding additional seating for large parties, or it could involve purchasing a dining table for outside dinners. You’ll also want to make room for added storage spaces. That way, you can keep your outdoor furnishings in good condition and have cooking or fire accessories handy when you need them.

Consider how you can encourage deck use during all times of the day. Is the entryway from the house wide and inviting? If not, can you make it wider or more modern? Can you make the lighting adjustable for all seasons and party sizes? Do you need to install wind protection, such as a wooden fence, to make the deck usable even in inclement weather? All of these are useful considerations to keep in mind.

By following these steps, you can create the best deck experience you’ve ever had. With an inviting deck, you’re making a space that feels like home — with an added twist of extra fun.