(ARA) - With temperatures on the rise, it's time to get outside to relax with family and friends. Today's homeowners want their outdoor spaces to be an extension of their homes, with 80 percent saying a patio or front porch are "must haves," according to a survey of residential architects by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "What's old is new again as the front porch is again a popular place to connect with your friends, family and neighbors," says Kathy Krafka Harkema, spokesperson for Pella Windows and Doors. "Plus the patio offers a secluded spot to grill, entertain, kick back and relax." To enhance both the indoor and outdoor look and comfort of a home, install a new patio door. Pella offers a variety of energy-efficient patio doors from classic to contemporary. For example, the Pella 350 Series vinyl patio doors provide style, energy efficiency and durability, without breaking the bank. Or consider transforming your ho-hum space into an outdoor showplace by choosing a new Pella Architect Series patio door that features enhanced air and water performance with a low sill height to help reduce potential trips or falls. Available with HurricaneShield impact-resistant glass options, they're ideal for hurricane-prone areas or virtually anywhere you want added soundproofing and year-round security. Create an outdoor oasis Consider these tips from design experts at Lowe's to create the coolest patio on the block: * Mix functional furniture. Coordinate the style of adjacent indoor and outdoor rooms since you and your guests will likely spend time in both areas. Group pieces together to encourage conversation and showcase an attractive view. * Add colorful accessories. Incorporate rugs, outdoor pillows, candles and other accessories in bright colors and fun patterns. Some of the season's top color palettes include rich reds, bright blues, soft neutrals and garden greens. * Incorporate a fire pit. Adding a fire pit brings pleasant memories of the past. Roast marshmallows, share stories and enjoy the night. For safety's sake, keep furnishings away from the fire pit and extinguish the fire completely before you turn in for the night. * Lightscape instead of landscape. Lighting can help show off what you already have in your outdoor space. Add depth with lightscaping from different sources. String lights provide a magical setting for guests after the sun sets. A wall lantern next to the patio door or LED garden and path lights add a soft illumination to your outdoor area. For more home improvement inspiration, and to find energy-efficient Pella Windows and Doors in your area, visit Pella.com or call 888-847-3552.
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