Outdoor Living 565 Stories

Happy National Toasted Marshmallow Day!
Did you know August 30 is National Toasted Marshmallow Day in the U.S.? Some call it National Marshmallow Toasting Day. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a good excuse to bust out the s’mores and get gooey with your family and friends. After all,...
Key Measurements to Help You Design the Perfect Front Porch
Front porches nearly disappeared from new homes in the late 20th century, but our fondness for them remains. The porch allows a gracious and practical transition from public to private — a place where one can soak up the late-summer sun, visit with...
11 Ways to Make Your Sleeping Porch Even Better
My grandparents had a Tudor-style house in Bristol, Connecticut, that was built in the early 1900s. When we visited every summer, it was hard to tell that they didn’t have air conditioning. The brick walls were thick, there were mature trees around...
Objects of Desire: Adirondack Chairs Perfect for Summer Lounging
First made by Thomas Lee in 1903 as an outdoor chair for his vacation home in — you guessed it — the Adirondack Mountains of New York, this classic piece has come a long way from its original design of 11 flat boards fitted into a straight-backed,...
Design Workshop: The Case for Big Overhead Doors
I absolutely love the look and feel of colossal doors, the way they lift and slide out of the way with the slightest effort. But their cost can make...
How to Design a Colorful Flower Bed
A flower bed filled with masses of color to grab your attention, blooming from spring through fall — what could be better in any garden? If what you want is a flower bed filled with masses of the same plant, such as a bed of impatiens or roses, it’s...
Swing Into National Hammock Day
July 22 is National Hammock Day. In terms of silly holidays that were likely made up by retailers, this is one I really can get behind. There is nothing like swaying on a hammock on a lazy day. However, hammocks were not always associated with chillaxing....
20 Outdoor Rooms With Entertaining Flair
Summer offers a lot for us to celebrate: vacations, long days, warm nights and visits with friends near and far. Outdoor entertaining, from lunch on the deck and happy hour at sunset to dinner by candlelight and fireside gatherings under the stars, embodies...
Simple Pleasures: Savor a Starry Evening
When you are on vacation, it seems natural to end up outdoors in the evening and even into the night, simply enjoying being outdoors. On camping trips it’s all about stargazing and marshmallow roasting; at a beach house, you might sneak down to see...
5 Ways to Hide That Big Air Conditioner in Your Yard
If you live in a hot climate, your air conditioner is probably your favorite major appliance. However, it can quickly become a major party crasher in the middle of your backyard summer barbecue. That same hulking, boxy piece of machinery...
Design Workshop: 9 Ways to Open a House to the Outdoors
Spaces that are neither indoors nor completely outdoors are often among the most trafficked spaces in a home. And they make for good design: We use them to negotiate changes in elevation between inside and outside, for entertaining, to reduce the...
Budget Decorator: 10 Ways to Deck Out Your Patio
Been gazing out at your backyard, wishing you could spruce up your hangout space? You don’t need to spend a lot to make a big difference in the way your outdoor rooms look and feel; you can whip up furnishings and decor, hunt for vintage bargains and...
Take a Summer Vacation in the Backyard
Let me first confess that my idea of camping is a long, luxurious stay at a five-star hotel with a spa and a Michelin-rated restaurant. But when my two sons were growing up they had an entirely different perspective. They actually liked sleeping...
How to Screen a Seaside Garden From the Wind
Coastal landscapes are continuously blasted with wind and salt spray. A nice sea breeze is welcome on a hot summer afternoon, but the wind can give you goosebumps and a real chill at other times of the year. Windscreens create a livable microclimate in...
Light Your Patio, Extend Your Evening
A pitcher of sangria, a bucket of ice-cold beer, crispy chicken wings and neighbors splayed out in deck chairs watching children catch fireflies. A perfect summer evening? Indeed. But you can make it last even longer by adding lighting to your patio....
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