(BPT) - Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or entertaining a late-night dinner party on the deck, summer is the perfect time to throw a get-together in your outdoor living space.

The outdoor living experts at Trex offer these tips for creating a party-perfect deck, porch or patio.

Plan a weekend makeover – If your deck needs a “face lift,” replace old, rotting or warping wood boards with wood-alternative decking that combines superior durability and low-maintenance with long-lasting appearance. High-performance composite decking like Trex Transcend, available in a variety of sought-after tropical colors, can withstand years of heavy foot traffic and severe weather, as well as outdoor entertaining mishaps like food and drink spills, or dropped grilling tools. With Trex’s protective shell technology, it’s resistant to fading, staining, scratching and mold and only requires an occasional soap and water cleaning to wipe away any signs of barbecue accidents.

Define your space – When prepping for a party, establish areas for relaxing, dining and socializing. Create a defined space for conversation by placing weather-resistant sofas and chairs around a coffee table or fire pit. This will help the flow of conversation and make your guests feel at ease. And, since most people flock to the food, set-up a food and drink station with portable bars and serving carts in the dining area. Treat your guests to seasonal snacks and an assortment of refreshing drinks.

Create coverage – A pergola can act as an extension of your house, creating the effect of an outdoor room. The overhead framing contributes to the architectural details of your space – not to mention shade from the summer’s heat. Consider adding a waterproof, retractable canopy into the structure so your party can carry on – rain or shine.

Incorporate outdoor lighting – The sun setting doesn’t have to darken your outdoor party. To set the mood, add outdoor lighting that enhances both ambiance and safety. From deck lighting to landscape lighting, there is a wide array of lighting solutions available to help extend your entertaining into the night. Trex OutdoorLighting allows you to install lighting fixtures directly into your deck, railing or landscape. For added flair, string lights in trees, pergolas or trellises, decorate with candles or hang lanterns.

Add finishing touches – When selecting furniture for your outdoor living space, look for durable materials, like composite that will withstand use and environmental elements. Lend personal charm and style to your deck with accessories and decor. Incorporating patterned throw pillows, eye-catching tableware or vibrant seasonal plants are easy, cost-effective ways to spruce up your space, and they’ll add extra pops of color to your party.

For more outdoor living inspiration and advice, visit www.trex.com/inspiration/blog.