The time for backyard barbecues, afternoons at the pool and hours of summer fun is here. If you’re fortunate enough to have an outdoor space that lends itself to one of these activities, you know style and comfort can make all the difference when it comes to hosting this summer. Of course, as temperatures rise, sometimes a break from the heat inside is necessary, so creating a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces becomes more important than ever.

Layer your light

As with indoor lighting, layers of light in your outdoor space will take your design to the next level. Ambient, task and accent lighting can be achieved in a variety of ways outdoors, but don’t be afraid to look to your inside space for inspiration. You can add all the interior comforts to your patio or deck by including outdoor-safe chandeliers, sconces and even lamps.

Keeping consistent

Your fixtures don’t have to match exactly to tie your indoor and outdoor spaces together but maintaining a consistent style or finish can aid in a seamless transition. If your indoor space is very modern with sleek lines and metallic finishes, look for the same style in your outdoor fixtures. One trend that’s making it even easier to tie different designs together is that of two-tone finishes. This allows you to add new colors and style to your outdoor space, while paying homage to your indoor design.

Get your ratings right

Before you start choosing fixtures to place outdoors, make sure you check the label to ensure they are rated for damp or wet areas. A UL damp rating means the fixture may be used outdoors as long as it does not have direct contact with moisture. A UL wet-rated fixture can be used anywhere outdoors or indoors. Finally, a UL dry-rated fixture may only be used in areas not directly exposed to excess moisture and water.