Summer is here, and homeowners are ready for the best outdoor living spaces. Outdoor living trends are centered on heating, lighting, and multilevel design. The overall idea is to create a comfortable, relaxed environment for entertaining guests, or just enjoying the outdoors in your own space.

* Heat it up. The fire pit is a great item. It can be used as a central point to host guests during summer evenings, before, after or during dinner. The added benefit: Wood fires can be used to repel mosquitoes.

* Light it up. A functional, safe and enjoyable backyard design is only possible with the right lighting. You can add light to your backyard party with pendant lights and string bulbs.

* Split it up. Multilevel patio designs, especially in poolscapes add interest to outdoor living spaces and offer guests more options. Additionally, homeowners have the option of choosing from a range of retaining block designs to make their spaces stand out.

* Eat it up. There is no patio party without food and drink. But outdoor living today allows family and friends to enjoy outdoor cooking and grilling. You can invite your guests to help prepare meals or just relax with the chef.

The first step in any outdoor living space upgrade is to define a vision. What will you do with the space? A pool, outdoor cooking, large parties? All of these? You should walk around your outdoor space to find the best locations for paths, paving stones and pools.

After homeowners have defined their vision for their backyard, patio, or pool area, it is time to start thinking about design basics such as colors, patterns, and materials. There are many outdoor design companies that can help you. BelgardConsider creating a “mood board,”A collection of colors, furniture styles, and landscaping. It can also include photos, swatches, and bookmark URLs that contain design ideas.

Visit www.belgard.comFind out more ways to make the most of your outdoor space.