MDesigns, original photo on Houzz

Vacation plans are being finalized, the kids are getting out of school and the weather is warming up — is your house ready to play? From setting up a summer entryway that can handle all of those beach towels to making your yard the most comfortable spot in your home, these ideas will help your indoor and outdoor spaces handle everything fun in the sun.

Jules Duffy Design, original photo on Houzz

Summer-ize your entryway. Washable woven plastic bins make perfect containers for everything from beach towels and-flip flops to sunscreen and shades. Use larger bins to hold bulky items, and small baskets to corral little things like lip balm and car keys. A few wall hooks can handle the sarongs and straw hats, and a petite beach-inspired painting adds to the mood.

Related: Be Inspired By More Entryway Design

Hanley Development, original photo on Houzz

Add extra sleeping space for summer guests. If you plan to host a crowd of overnight guests this summer, consider where you might be able to squeeze in a few extra beds. Tuck a few low beds under the eaves in a steeply sloped attic space, add a bunk for kids to get more out of your guest room, or swap out a couch for a sleeper sofa (some of the modern versions are quite comfy) or daybed.

Hanley Development, original photo on Houzz

Give your bedroom a beach house vibe. Part of what makes staying in a beach house on vacation so relaxing (aside from, you know, the beach part) is the utter simplicity of having a clean and clutter-free place to lay your head at night. Capture some of that peaceful, easy feeling by giving your own bedroom a beach house-inspired makeover — think breezy blue walls, a woven pendant light and crisp white sheets. Keep a tray atop the dresser to contain small items, so you can be a little messy without letting things get out of hand.

Related: 10 Summer Touches to Refresh Your Bedroom

Highgate House, original photo on Houzz

Turn the porch into your second living room. Make your porch as comfy as possible with ample seating, fresh cushions, candles, fresh flowers and a throw for chilly evenings. If you don’t enjoy your porch as much as you would like because of bugs, you may want to consider adding an overhead fan (mosquitoes and flies tend to stay away from moving air) or even have your porch screened in.

MDesigns, original photo on Houzz

Boost your backyard’s party appeal. Why not make this summer the year you finally get that outdoor feature you’ve been daydreaming about? Fire pit, grilling area, pizza oven, outdoor shower, movie projector, hot tub — the possibilities are practically limitless.

And if you run into a budget issue, think creatively before giving up altogether. For example, purchase a ready-made fire bowl instead of having a pit custom built, or project a movie onto a big white sheet instead of shelling out for a pricey movie screen.

Related: Swing Into Summer With a New Hammock

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