Cold lemonade, melting popsicles, splashing around the pool, warm sun rays on freckled skin, fireworks on the 4th of July - it's almost summertime! With summer right around the corner ensure your outdoor space is living up to its fullest potential. A little prep to your outdoor space can go a long way for it to be a functional area all year round.If you live in an area that gets particularly hot during the summer months, staying cool can be key to enjoying the great outdoors. Don't hide in the comforts of indoor air conditioning, create the perfect outdoor oasis for all seasons. Whether you have a spacious backyard, balcony with a view or a small patio, check out these tips and tricks to beat the heat this summer.Get Shady With Outdoor UmbrellasThe easiest way to beat the heat this summer in your outdoor space is the simple addition of well placed umbrellas. Umbrellas specifically made for the outdoors are more durable and can withstand the damaging effects of constant sunlight.Outdoor umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes and can add a fun pop of color to your outdoor living area. To determine which style is best for your space you'll need to consider a few things: the size of your outdoor space, what areas you want shaded and where the umbrella will rest.If floor space poses a problem, look into dining, bar & occasional tables that are designed to accommodate umbrella poles to free up floor space for other outdoor furniture or accessories. Floor space not a concern in your outdoor area? Consider bringing in a free-standing or table umbrella that can reach a canopy diameter anywhere between 9 to 11 feet! Don't forget the versatility that comes with a stand-alone umbrella base either! With wheels built into the base you can move the umbrella as needed throughout the day.For even more shade and functionality, consider a cantilever umbrella. These types of umbrellas have a weighted base with an offset canopy from the pole to provide more flexibility for the area you'd like shaded. This style is a great option for working with obstacles like tables without umbrella holes, lounge chairs near a pool, or a deep-seating set. An added benefit to this style: they can be moved and adjusted easily as the sun moves, or as your patio layout changes. Get creative with available add-ons like lights for the underside to sparkle at night or with Bluetooth speakers that attach to an umbrella pole to play your favorite tunes throughout the day.Not sure how to choose the right umbrella for your patio space? Check out our article here with everything you need to know on outfitting your space with the umbrella that fits just right.Cool Down With An Outdoor ShowerCreate the ultimate backyard goals with an outdoor shower. Rinse off during a hot summer day in the privacy and comfort of your own backyard with an easy to install outdoor shower that attaches directly to a hose nozzle. Our Kokomo Outdoor Wicker Shower Tree is woven by hand with extremely strong synthetic wicker over all aluminum frames for maximum durability.For even more ambiance, add greenery around your outdoor shower for maximum relaxation. Surround yourself with palm trees for a tropical feel or tall shrubs with thick leaves for added privacy. To keep your feet clean after showering, place large concrete slabs under the head with a pathway leading to the house. Don't forget to screw in hooks or add a towel rack (or towel tree) near the shower for an easy-to-reach towel for drying off!Catch a Breeze With The Right FanIf your balcony or porch has an overhang that's large enough, outdoor ceiling fans can do wonders to add a little breeze to your patio or balcony areas. Did you know the breeze that fans create can help perspiration evaporate more quickly and help to lower your overall body temperature?Don't think adding a creative twist has to stop at ceiling fans, though! Implement your own taste by choosing a fan with decorative blades such as popular outdoor fans that look like leaves or palm fronds.If you don't have a ceiling that can withstand the weight or movement of a ceiling fan, a standalone fan tucked away in a covered corner can also significantly aid in cooling down your outdoor space. For an even cooler experience, perfect for active families with kids, look for a fan that comes with a built-in misting system.Go Green With an Outdoor GardenThere's no doubt planting greenery in your background has numerous benefits like improving air quality and being visually appealing. But did you know plants could actually lower the temperature in your yard too? The majority of trees, plants and other vegetation provide shade and can help reduce summer temperatures from anywhere between 2 to 9°F.Even if space is limited to a balcony or small porch, create a container garden without needing land or yard space. Use balcony railings to install small planters for greenery or flowers. Use a single wall space to create a vertical garden to house plants, herbs or even some food items like cherry tomatoes, peppers, green beans or carrots.Get Creative With Other Shade OptionsLooking for a creative spin to create additional shade in your outdoor space? If you need an extension to your roof, consider awnings that can be installed without damage to your existing roof or porch.For more functionality, add retractable screens as an alternative to curtains that can be let down when the sun is at its peak, but then retracted at night for an unobstructed view. Sail shades are another fantastic, easy to install option for awkward spaces that an umbrella or other shade options can't reach. Sail shades can be attached to fence posts, trees, soffits, and more to create the perfect positioning to keep the sun at bay throughout the day.With these tips and tricks you'll be on your way to a beautiful outdoor space that can be used throughout the year, not only when the temperatures are just right. So pour yourself a glass of cold lemonade or sweet tea, kick back and enjoy everything summertime has to offer.