1 Get your grill on
The central cooking source of your summer entertaining, make sure your grill is in good working order. Scrub down internal racks and change lava rocks that may be lingering from last season. Treat yourself to some new tools of the trade -- a basting mop, grilling basket, non-stick skewers and scissor tongs.
• See our wine list to complement a summer grill menu.
2 Fresh flower arranging
Whether you take a course for fun or gather ideas from magazines, now is the perfect time to brush up on the art of flower arranging. Think of creative containers, mix unexpected elements and play with texture and colour to give your centerpieces unconventional flair.
3 Set out your outdoor furniture
Arrange your outdoor furniture as you would your indoor furniture -- essentially turning your porch or deck into a second living room. Establish a space for eating, group conversation and a more intimate nook for enjoying an after dinner drink or an afternoon read.
4 Repaint trim and doors
High-traffic use of doors and abuse of baseboards can leave a space looking worn and dingy. A quick coat or two of paint on trims and interior doors can instantly refresh your home. Choose a shade darker or lighter than what you currently have to introduce a new contrast with an existing wall colour.
5 Service your air conditioner
Central air conditioners consume a lot of electricity and without regular service, your air conditioner's efficiency can fall by as much as half. Call for servicing now before the temperature spikes, demand for service increases and the cost of a house call goes up.