Most of us love to travel and get away, but wouldn’t it be just as delightful if you could kick back and relax in the comfort of your own outdoor space? Fresh air and sunshine have any number of health benefits, which you won’t get by staying cooped up inside all summer.

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own amazingly comfortable outdoor space, here are seven tips that will help you fashion the patio, porch, or balcony of your dreams.

1. Create Cover and Shade

One of the things that prevents many people from embracing nature is the oppressive heat from UV rays. Your first order of business should be to make sure that your outside area has plenty of shade.

If it isn’t already covered, you can accomplish by adding shade sails, awnings, and patio umbrellas. With any of these options, you can use weather-proof material as well as colors that complement your vision.

2. Choose Deep Seating Furniture

Seating should also be one of your primary concerns for a comfortable outdoor space. If you imagine that you’ll use the space for relaxation, the best choice is deep seating outdoor furniture.

With one of these collections, you can combine couches, chairs, and ottomans to create an intimate, comfortable space or use a sectional to expand the options. With deep seating furniture, you can relax while socializing with friends, take an afternoon nap, or recline while tackling the Sunday crossword.

3. Bring Nature Into the Space

Nature may be “around” your space, but it’s also a good idea to bring it “into” your space to create more of a garden-like and outdoor feel. Bring some potted plants or wall vines onto your deck or patio. Other ideas are to incorporate small potted plants or trees.

One excellent choice is a potted dwarf citrus tree that doesn’t take up too much real estate. This type of tree will also bring some height into the space, and the blossoms produce a heavenly scent.

4. Include an Outdoor Rug

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is have to tiptoe across the blazing hot concrete to get to your comfortable couch or chair. When it comes to rugs, these are no longer just for your living or dining room.

There are now outdoor rugs made from weather-resistant material that will provide the perfect touch to your patio or porch. Not only will a rug provide the comfort and protection that you need, but it can also deliver a dash of color to the space. There are hundreds if not thousands of choices in these rugs in colors, shapes, and sizes.

5. Add Fire!

Depending on where you live and your area’s regulations, consider adding some fire and flame to your outdoor living area. Fire pits are incredibly popular, and you can choose between those that wood-burning, natural gas-fueled, propane-fueled, and gel-fueled.

If a fire pit is out of the question due to space constraints or some other rules, you can add candles to the space – real or battery-powered. Outdoor areas that are exceptionally large may also have a separate outside kitchen for cooking and entertaining.

6. Don’t Forget the Lighting

Would you like to unwind in your outdoor space in the evenings after work or perhaps to entertain guests on the weekend? This will be difficult if the area is pitch black as soon as the sun sets, which is why you will need to incorporate the appropriate lighting into your area.

The right choice of lighting can transform your patio or deck into an enchanted escape. Combine practical yet stylish lights with some strands of white Christmas tree lights to create a twinkling glow in your space year round.

7. Incorporate Personal Touches

Comfortable furniture, shade cover, and the right lighting are excellent ways to create an inviting outdoor space, but you can make it your own by adding some additional touches. Among these might be colorful throw pillows to brighten the area, some outdoor statues, and even a warm blanket to cozy up with on a chilly evening.

Now that the temperatures are beginning to climb, there’s a pull to spend more time outside. Whether you have a balcony, backyard, or a porch, you can use many of these tips to create a cozy and comfortable outdoor space that you’ll want to relax in over the coming months.