7 Ways to Create an Outdoor Space for Summer Fun

outdoor space for summer funThe sun’s out, the birds are singing, and the weather feels absolutely amazing. It’s no wonder that you want to get outdoors now more than ever! Fortunately, you don’t have to venture too far to find fun – excitement and relaxation can both be found just outside your door! Here are 7 creative ways you can turn your backyard into your favorite place to spend your days and nights this summer:

Freshen up the Deck or Patio

After a long, harsh winter, your patio or deck deserves a bit of love. Switch out tired outdoor cushions for fresh pillows in your favorite color. Throw in a rug to tie your look together. Feel free to add a decorative plant or centerpiece to your outdoor table to make it look even more inviting!

Add Some Privacy

Don’t want passers-by to look in and start chatting you up while you’re busy relaxing? You’ll want to add an element of privacy to your space! Choose a chic set of curtains to hang from the deck or roll up your sleeves and create your own plant privacy wall.

Keep the Mosquitos at Bay

Mosquitos do a great job when it comes to ruining any party. Don’t let them win! Keep them away with a few strategically placed citronella candles and torches. If you’re enjoying a meal or snack outside, cover them up with some simple mosquito netting to deter mosquitos and any other curious bugs!

Create Your Own Movie Showing

There’s nothing like watching your favorite movie under the glow of the stars! Set up a projection screen to be viewed from the comfort of your deck, patio, or pool. You can keep built-in speakers hidden behind rock walls or planters for more of a surround-sound effect as well. All that’s missing is the popcorn!

Throw Some Shade

Whether you lack shady trees or want to shield yourself from the summertime weather, you’ll want to add some shade to your backyard oasis. You can add a large umbrella, get creative with curtains, or tap into your DIY skills by building a pergola. Your covering will help you stay out of the sun’s harmful rays and keep you dry should a storm pop up.

Roll Out the Mini-Bar

Don’t want to go all the way back inside to fix up a drink? Bring them to you with the help of a mini-bar! You can either purchase a proper cart or try your hand at creating your own by repurposing an old table to keep your drinks cold and nearby.

Add in Your Personality

Of course, your space isn’t truly yours until you add a few personal touches. Let your personality shine through with funky or vibrant decorations. Adorn your space with pillows, blankets, and a rug in your favorite color, add some quirky accent pieces, and hang strings of LED lights for a romantic touch in the evenings.

If your current home lacks sufficient outdoor space for memorable summertime activities, we can help you find the home of your dreams! Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. We’re eager to find the right home that fulfills your wants and needs!


6 Tips to Make Your Home Office Work for You

tips for working from homeFor countless Americans, especially those working in industries deemed non-essential, WFH (working from home) has become the new normal. While many are discovering some amazing benefits from working from home – more time for sleeping, spending time with the family, exercising, and working on our hobbies – there are certainly some challenges. Fortunately, you can make your home office efficient, even if it’s at the kitchen table – and it won’t cost a thing. Here are a few tips to get your newfound workspace up and running!

Claim Your Own Space

If you don’t have a designated room for a home office, don’t fret – just about any space in your home can work as your new temporary office! Choose an area that offers fewer distractions, plenty of outlets, and adequate lighting. Yes, that means you definitely need to get out of bed! Set up your station in your library, carve a space at the dining room table, or corner off a section of your basement. Whichever spot you choose, make sure it’s one that will help you get into a work mindset and keep you from getting derailed!

Minimize Distractions

Whether you live by yourself or with others, interruptions are bound to happen. There are a few ways you can reduce them, however! If you find yourself wanting to binge the latest documentary on Netflix, work away from the TV and listen to some music instead. Working in your own room? Close the door to shut out distractions. Finally, if you’re living with others, keep them up to speed about what’s on your plate for the day so they can work more easily around your schedule (and vice versa!).

Clear out the Clutter

Speaking of distraction, clutter can really drag you down and kill your workflow. Take some time to straighten up your desk and toss out anything that’s unnecessary. Keep your workday essentials like pens, notebooks, and your agenda nearby to help you tackle your to-do list like a boss!

Keep Inspiration in View

Now more than ever, your surroundings should inspire you and help motivate you to do your best. Put your favorite photos of your loved ones front and center. Create your own inspiration board filled with photos of your goals and your travel destinations that you’ll visit one day and hang it on your wall. These little things can help you stay positive throughout the day!

Do a Background Check

Are Zoom calls becoming more regular? If so, you’ll want to look behind you and see if your surroundings need any sprucing up. Kick out that pile of laundry and any unsightly clutter. Show off a bit of your personality by displaying some of your favorite decorations on a bookshelf or two behind you. Make it fun and inviting while remaining professional!

Set the Right Tone for Success

Now that you’re working from home, you can control your environment a lot more. Put your headphones to the side and blast a motivating playlist from your computer or speaker. Light a candle in your favorite scent to help relax you. Keep a cozy throw nearby to warm up under throughout the day. Take advantage of this time now to help make working from home as comforting and positive as possible!

What are you doing to help you feel more productive and settled in your home office? Tell us in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!