SOURCE: Trex

June 28, 2016 10:02 ET

10 Steps to a Better Backyard

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Jun 28, 2016) - (Family Features) Follow these simple steps for building your dream escape -- right in your own backyard. For more inspiration and ideas, visit Trex.com.

Discover digital inspiration. Take advantage of online resources, such as DIY blogs and home improvement websites, to spark your creativity. Browse social platforms, like Pinterest and Houzz, and peruse online photo galleries to see what others have done to get inspired and help bring your vision to life.

Enlist an expert. Much like you might consult an interior designer, deck contractors can help make your dream outdoor space become a reality. Unless you plan to build the deck yourself, the first item on your to-do list should be hiring a contractor. When researching contractors, look for someone that specializes in decks -- conduct interviews, review portfolios and gather references.

Make low-maintenance a high priority. Everyone wants to spend time outdoors, but no one wants to spend that time sanding, staining or replacing worn out wooden deck boards. For enduring beauty with minimal upkeep, consider high-performance composite decking, such as Trex. It resists fading, staining, scratching and mold -- and won't rot, warp, crack or splinter.

Factor in function. Plan your outdoor space to align with how you'll use it, whether that will be for relaxing, entertaining, dining alfresco, etc. Consider all-weather cabinetry and outdoor storage for added convenience. Additionally, think about factors such as views, sun/shade and entryways that will have an impact on your design layout.

Frame your space. While railings provide a necessary safety function, they also serve an aesthetic role by creating a decorative frame for an outdoor space and defining the setting's style. Simplify the selection process with these expertly curated railing looks that pair beautifully with popular decking colors.

Forego the folding chairs. Make your backyard more comfortable with inviting furniture pieces. Mix and match a variety of weather-resistant outdoor pieces -- from benches and Adirondack chairs to cozy couches with colorful cushions -- to provide multiple seating options and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Heat things up. One of the hottest trends in outdoor living is incorporating warming features into outdoor spaces. Create physical and ambient warmth with candles, tiki torches, lanterns and firepits.

Let there be light. Lighting is another effective way to add warmth, ambiance and safety to an outdoor space. Designed for easy installation, Trex Outdoor Lighting provides sophisticated silhouettes for enhancing decks, railings and landscapes.

Go high-tech. With the increasing popularity of home automation, it's only natural that this trend should migrate outdoors. There are now a wealth of electronics and entertainment systems designed specifically for outdoor use, and available at all budget levels.

Create a unique space. Just like you would for interior rooms, infuse your personality into the design of your outdoor space. Choose colors and patterns that reflect your style and customize with personal touches, such as pillows, throw blankets, art, tableware and plants. Switch accessories seasonally to keep your space fresh and fun.

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