Outdoor Living 557 Stories

Patio of the Week: Rugged Comfort in Northern California
Landscape architects transformed this steeply sloped property with fire, water and six-ton boulders. A relocated garage presented a great opportunity to create outdoor living spaces where the driveway used to be, as well as a dramatic entry sequence from...
14 Design Ideas for an Exhilarating Outdoor Shower
My earliest outdoor shower experiences involved a small wooden surround attached to a simple rental cottage on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In spite of the facts that the soap usually slid under the stall walls into the yard and there was always the danger...
Discover an Ancient Portal Design Full of Meaning
The moon gate is an ancient Chinese landscape element that acts as a portal between gardens as well as between inside and outside. The shape of these gates, a circle rising up out of the land, has many meanings. One interpretation of the moon...
Unwind in a Boutique-Hotel Lounge — on Your Patio
Long summer days allow us to stretch our time in the backyard with friends and family, enjoying daylight and warmth well into the evening. To maximize your outside enjoyment, approach your exterior decor the same way you'd approach your interior's —...
Patio of the Week: Bargain Pieces Take a Sunny Outdoor Room High End
“I am such a do-it-yourselfer type, but my husband is not the fixer-upper type," says San Diego photographer Christine Blackburn. It's all good, because he leaves the design decisions up to her. Itching to jazz up a courtyard patio on the...
Patio of the Week: 3 Microclimates and Countless Blooms
“All I really wanted out of the whole deal was a great porch swing. That's it!" swears landscape architect Sean Papich about the redesign he did for his own backyard....
Make a Cute and Low-Cost Rolling Table
When my indoor or outdoor space needs a quick facelift, I like to create inexpensive, easy and resourceful furnishings. An empty (and free) electrical spool is one of my favorite base pieces to start with. I've been making upholstered ottomans using the...
Let's Revisit Some Revolutionary Garden Thinking
I grew up in the 1950s, and I remember our garden as being typical of the period: composed of a central lawn surrounded by borders and a vegetable patch with fruit trees at the back — a result of the U.K.'s "Dig for Victory" campaign of the war years....
Chill Out: 10 Cool Ways to Beat the Heat Outdoors
Summer doesn't have to send you and your guests clinging to the comforts of air conditioning, especially if you're willing to make your backyard a little more inviting with the addition of some welcome shade, air movement or maybe a splash of water. ...
Patio of the Week: Playtime for the Whole Family
Before its remodel the main feature of this Oakland, California, backyard was a gray concrete wall with a weedy hillside above it, and a small lawn area where no grass would grow. The lackluster view was all that could be seen from the living room windows....
Light Up Your Night With an Easy Outdoor Table Lamp
This might be the easiest lamp makeover you'll ever see. A quick trip to Goodwill, where I found a really cool pink acrylic lamp, and to the hardware store and a few minutes with a pair of scissors were all it took to add some soft light to my outdoor...
Koi Find Friendly Shores in Any Garden Style
Koi ponds are almost a staple of certain landscapes, particularly Asian- or tropical-inspired styles, and are easily at home in many contemporary gardens. If you love koi but these landscape styles don't appeal, don't worry. It's surprising how well koi...
Create a Casbah on the Patio
Have you got your outdoor living space ready for summer weather? Whether it's a tiny porch high above the city, a covered patio, a deck or, lucky you, an expansive backyard, curtains can turn your outdoor room into the perfect...
8 Ways to Rev Up Your Garden Color With More Than Just Plants
Dare to add some dramatic color to the garden this year. There are many ways to bring bold splashes of color to your patio, border or lawn, such as simply throwing a few bright accessories around, painting a chair a shocking hue, adding a few colorful...
Great Escape: A Tiny, Off-the-Grid Hideout in the California Woods
Looking down from the top of the hill, you won't see this tiny house at first glance. The 90-square-foot structure is tucked on a little ledge overlooking the Pacific Ocean, covered with redwood bark and a living roof to blend in with the coastal California...
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