Does your pool need a refresh? We’re not talking about the water (though, uh, you might wanna check on that before the first cannonball of the season). We’re actually talking about everything else around the pool, like the outdoor lounge furniture, the dining table, lighting, barware and dinnerware — you get the picture.

If you’ve been living in your space for a while, odds are your poolside decor has seen better days (#summer2013, perhaps?) but it’s relatively easy to take it up a notch with a few key pieces. Whether you’re outfitting your space from scratch or working with what you’ve already got, a few stylish finds and furniture layout tricks will take your pool to the next level.

Check out our 10 tips for outfitting your pool area below… then you’ll really be ready to host that pool party!

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1. Comfort is king! After a dip in the pool, why sit on the blazing hot concrete when you could cozy up on a perfectly shaded outdoor sectional instead? Set yours up right by the water for easy access.

2. Nothing ruins a pool party quite like broken glass, so your regular glassware and dinnerware isn’t worth the risk outside. When eating snacks or dinner by the pool, go for unbreakable acrylic cups and melamine plates in fun colors and patterns.

3. Make use of all the space around your pool. Try setting up lounge chairs on one side of the pool and an outdoor dining table on the other so you can be ready for all types of hang-outs.

4. Instead of giving everyone matching beach towels, why not go a little bolder? Playful patterns and prints in the same color family will look great together out in the sun.

5. Bring a little life poolside with outdoor planters. Whether you’re looking for something neutral or a little more out-there, there’s a planter for everyone!

6. There’s nothing worse than having to go inside—dripping wet!—to fetch snacks and water from your kitchen. Keep the things you need on-hand from the get-go with stylish outdoor serveware.

7. Not ready to get rid of your existing outdoor furniture? You can easily dress your lounge chairs up with colorful outdoor pillows and blankets.

8. Always be ready for an impromptu pool party—keep an outdoor coffee table right by the pool and use it as your drinks station. Then, when the party’s over, use the table for lanterns, towels, sunscreen, beach reads and whatever else you might need for day-to-day lounging.

9. A colorful outdoor rug under a dining table will help ground the space visually so it feels like its own “room” by the pool.

10. Outdoor pillows will keep a chaise lounger comfortable so you can chill outside for hours. (Just don’t forget the SPF!)

Photography by Landon Vonderschmidt and Christy Hanewinkel of @westelmtulsa

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