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Decorating Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor decorations are every home or apartment dweller's way of joining in on seasonal celebrations. It's how you establish a theme and carry out the festivities for occasions like birthdays, family get-togethers or the Fourth of July. Some people are so into holiday yard decorating that they work on their "props" all year. Others celebrate in more subtle ways, with a container on the porch filled with seasonal flowers. Find out how to decorate your outdoor space.
  1. Ideas for Outdoor Living (12)
  2. Outdoor Furniture (8)
  3. Theme Decor & Furnishings (16)
  4. Children's Outdoor Play Spaces (9)
  5. Holiday Decorating Ideas (74)

Outdoor Entertaining and Backyard Barbecues
You're hosting a backyard barbecue. Despite the casual nature of being outdoors, your party can range from last-minute informal to a well-choreographed backyard bbq for hundreds. Thus, there are basics and essentials you'll need to get the party started. Like: cleaning up outdoors; ensuring it's safe; providing patio furniture, a grill, menu,...

Quick Clean-ups for Your Backyard Before the Big Bash
Summertime and the living is easy. That is, once you get your outdoor space spruced-up and looking like a place where you and your gang love to hang. If have have a party coming up in a few days, follow this checklist to get your outdoor room in order. Just simple suggestions to make your outdoors an extension of your fun and comfortable lifestyle.

Backyard Luau Party Central
Luaus and tropical-themed parties have been the most popular theme for backyard parties since Hawaii became the United States' 50th state. From decorations to music, we've got it.

Pool Party: Make a Splash With Fountains, Floaters & Inflatables
No need to go out and paint the town when you can host a sizzling bash in your own backyard. Decorate your swimming pool or spa with these festive swimming pool fountains, pool toys and games, and colorful floaters and inflatables that will add some oomph to your outdoor space any time of the year. Go forth and celebrate! p Prices subject to...

2014 Home and Garden Shows
Where can you find the top home and garden shows for 2014? Check this list to find an event in a city near you.

Top Picks in Outdoor Cushions and Pillows
It's like sprinkles or icing on a cake: colorful, vibrant or carefully chosen outdoor cushions and pillows can add oomph to your outdoor deck and pizzazz to your patio furniture. Outdoor pillows and cushions vary in price, depending on the fabric, brand or designer. Garden-variety pillows in solid colors from discount stores are usually more...

Easy, No-Sew Outdoor Pillow Covers
Your outdoor cushions and pillows need an instant makeover. How do you make pillow covers for your outdoor pillows if you can't sew? Follow these easy instructions for quickly changing the look of your outdoor seating by making slip covers for pillows you already have.

The American Flag
What's the correct way to display or hang the American flag at your home? Learn flag etiquette, history and the do's and don'ts of displaying Old Glory.

Patriotic Porches, Patios and Decks
Patriotic holidays occur during spring and summer and are mostly centered around outdoor activities. Decorate your porch, patio, deck or other outdoor room with pillows, flags, plants, containers, bunting and other accessories.

What Makes a Great 4th of July Party?
Do you throw a great 4th of July party? Or do you attend an annual bash at a friend's house that keeps you coming back year after year? We want to know what the ingredients are for a successful 4th of July party. Is it a pool party with fountains and lights? A patio or yard all decked out in red, white and blue? A barbecue menu and desserts...See submissions

Outdoor Decorations for a Festive 4th of July
The 4th of July will be your biggest outdoor bash of the year, and your guests will feel festive from the get-go if your porch, patio or other outdoor spaces are decorated in red, white and blue. To ensure your celebration is a success, consider adding some of these distinctive outdoor decorations and accessories, which are patriotic or just...

The Worst Outdoor Party Ideas
Ever attend a really bad party held outdoors? Consult this list of the top 10 occasions and themes to stay away from when planning a party.

The 10 Best Ideas for Outdoor Parties
Need a reason to move the party outdoors? Many important occasions occur during the warm months, making it easy to plan an outdoor party. Check this list for ideas and reasons to celebrate in your own backyard.

Outdoor Gifts Under $100: For Mom or Any Occasion
It's not too late to buy or send a Mother's Day gift! Mother Earth sets the stage for that female-outdoors connection. So, it's only appropriate that many Mother's Day gifts revolve around nature and mom's outdoor environment. Mom might get a spiritual, nurturing or renewal fix from gardening, her patio, relaxing outside or enjoying gatherings...

What is Rattan?
Is there such a thing as a rattan plant? Yes, but it's not readily available. Rattan is an exotic vinelike palm that hails from the tropical jungles of Asia. Since the early 1800s, it's been a popular material for making outdoor patio furniture. Find out why.

Staycation is the Perfect Time for a Backyard Campout
Staycations currently are the holidays of necessity, as many would-be travelers have little choice but to stay at or near home due to the sagging U.S. economy and record-breaking gas prices. Look no further than your own backyard or outdoor living space for some much-needed change of pace. Gather family and friends for a cookout, storytelling, a...

Chaise Lounge or Chaise Longue?
What's the difference between a chaise lounge and a chaise longue? Find out the real story behind this piece of furniture upon which everyone likes to relax.

Outdoor Lights: What are Rope Lights?
When decorating outdoors for the holidays or a special occasion, you might want to use rope lights. Why? Find out the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of decorative light strand.

How to Decorate Cactus and Succulents with Lights
Steve Bowdoin, landscape and lighting designer at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Desert Botanical Garden near Las Vegas, shows how to illuminate cactus and succulents during the holidays.

Pool, Spa and Patio Gift Ideas
What do you get for the pool, spa or patio lover on your gift list? Once you start looking, you'll find a number of ideas in various price ranges. What's out there? Everything from the practical -- like a trusty pool test kit -- to the extravagant -- like a stainless-steel outdoor grill. There's also containers, statuary, outdoor clocks, bird...

Gifts for Children's Outdoor Play Spaces
Kids love to play outdoors, and kids love to play on stuff outdoors.It's simple and a given: kids love to play outdoors, and kids love to play on stuff outdoors. They delight in playhouses and play equipment that's tailored for their smaller sizes, and love having a space outdoors they can claim as their own. As with any gift, you can go...

Father's Day Gift Ideas Under $50 for Outdoor-Living and -Loving Guys
Father's Day is a day to spend outdoors. Maybe it's that manly hunter-gatherer-stereotype, but the idea of Dad at the barbecue with an apron, matching chef's hat and shiny grilling tools seems to epitomize the whole scene. Your intrepid searchers have again combed the web for some extraordinary gifts for an extraordinary guy. No wacky gag gifts...

Landscaping Urban Lofts
Even though artists and designers may live in urban lofts, they still like their gardens. Artists in downtown Los Angeles' Brewery Lofts open their doors for a look inside and outside their creative dwellings.

Tree Lights: How to Wrap Trees With Outdoor Lights
Whether it's a palm or a maple, why not light up the night by wrapping your tree's trunk and branches with light strands? Here's how.

Outdoor Lights: What are Net Lights?
When they were introduced, net lights seemed like a lifesaver. And they can be. Learn the correct way to handle them, along with where and when you want to decorate your landscape with net lights.

Finishing Touches for Outdoor Rooms
Your outdoor living room set may look drab without a few artistic accents here and there. Even with plants and other living things, art will add beauty and interest to your outdoor space. Follow our suggestions.

The Best Christmas Inflatables 2013 - What's New in Airblown Holiday Decorations
What's new in inflatable Christmas decorations for 2013? We've rounded up the best, biggest and most animated.

Dwell on Design 2013: Highlights from Dwell Outdoors
During Dwell on Design 2013's three-day run, the largest design event in the U.S. offered nonstop discussions, demonstrations, home tours, and a diverse assortment of exhibits that covered all aspects of the modern lifestyle. Dwell on Design 2013 transformed more than 200,000 square feet of exhibition floor space. Here are highlights from Dwell Outdoor.

A Guide to Decorating With Outdoor Lights
Whether you're planning an outdoor display or are in the dark about the various types of lights available, we've got it all figured out for you. Learn about the energy-saving benefits of LED lights, the differences between net and rope lighting and how to wrap a tree trunk with festive lights for Christmas or any occasion.

Dwell on Design L.A. 2008: Gallery of Outdoor Designs
The third annual Dwell on Design event was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 5-8, 2008. Jam-packed into the four-day design fest hosted by Dwell magazine were conferences, exhibits, home tours and parties revolving around modern architecture and design. What we experienced: a pre-fab sustainable neighborhood completely landscaped...

What are Icicle Lights?
Icicle lights have been around since the 1990s and continue to be popular with home decorators. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of festooning your house during the holidays with icicle light strands.

Ornament Tree Door Decoration: DIY Holiday Project
Follow my instructions for a holiday door decoration made of ornaments in the shape of a Christmas tree. It's mounted on a wood frame with a light box, so it glows at night.

Wreath-Making Materials
Hanging a wreath on your door is a simple and welcoming way to decorate an entry or porch. Learn about the variety of materials and what works best, depending on the season.

Outdoor Furniture: Chairs & Benches for Relaxing Outside
The heat may be luring you outside, but with no place to sit except a couple of rump-sprung beach chairs or a low retaining wall, you'll soon find yourself heading back inside to enjoy the recycled air conditioning. Maybe it's time to get serious about buying some attractive outdoor seating for your patio, deck, porch, lawn, balcony or whatever...

Resources for Christmas Light Displays, Shows and Decorations
You know the house. The one that went all-out for Christmas -- lights everywhere imaginable, a glowing plastic Santa and his reindeer on the roof, maybe some custom-built props. It was magical. We've brought together some of the top resources to help you with your own outdoor Christmas decorating project and display. Ho, ho home for the holidays!

Romantic Gifts for Your Pool and Patio Lover
What's the best gift to give your pool and patio lover? Think about the setting: a bubbling hot tub, moonlight on the patio, a romantic walk along a lighted pathway, colorful lanterns floating in a pool, the warmth of a big thirsty towel waiting for you as you step out of the spa. Sound good? These gift ideas were carefully researched, with...

Winners Announced: About.com Pool and Patio
2012 was the second year for Pool and Patio's participation in the awards. About.com announced on March 30, that the following products and companies have been selected as the About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Award winners for the Pool and Patio site. Ready to meet the winners?

Decorating With Pumpkins
Bright orange or ghostly white, pumpkins add an instant splash of color, form and texture when decorating outdoors. Discover just how versatile pumpkins can be in your outdoor decor.

Emerald Green Patio Furniture and Accessories
How will Pantone's 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald, look outside? Guess what: It already is outdoors, growing in your garden and reflected in the water of your pool or pond. Just add a few touches here and there as accent pieces. Take a look at the Emerald patio accessories we've found for your garden.

Best Outdoor Lighting: About.com 2012 Readers' Choice Awards
Ready to vote for the company that designs and manufactures what you consider to be the Best Outdoor Lighting? The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2012 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the second year that the Pool and Patio...

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Best Outdoor Lighting
How do you light your outdoor world? With traditional low-voltage landscaping lights, solar lighting, LEDs? Accent lights, security, pathway or deck lights? Nominate the specific product, design or model, along with the name of the company or manufacturer.

Outdoor Olympic Style and Designs
Inspired by the 2012 London Games, the Olympic style and spirit can live on at your house. Decorate your pool and patio area with Olympic merchandise and designs.

Best Patio Furniture Finalists 2012: About.com Readers' Choice Awards
Best Patio Furniture honors the year's top patio furniture brands and manufacturers. Here, we present the five finalists -- as nominated by our readers. But don't simply go by looks or familiar name alone. Hint: there are some familiar names from last year's contest, along with some new ones. Voting runs February 22 - March 21. Winners will be...

Creative Halloween Ideas for Outdoor Spaces
Get your Halloween spirit on! Big or small, your outdoor space needs to be transformed into something festive for Halloween. Spooky, terrifying or family-friendly Halloween decorations adorn people's front and backyards, porches, entryways, doors, windows, patios, balconies and wherever else they can find to decorate. Halloween is second only to...

Best Book, Outdoor Living and Design: About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012
The five finalists for 2012 Best Book, Landscape and Outdoor Living, include books about succulent container gardening, designing for privacy, outdoor structures, outdoor DIY projects and all-things related to backyard living.

Where to Buy Blow Mold Yard Decorations
Light-up blow mold yard decorations for the holidays are cool and nostalgic, but may be hard to find. We've tracked down some sources for blow molds.

Blow Mold Decorations: Brands and Manufacturers
Trying to find the brand or manufacturer of a blow mold holiday decoration? We've compiled a list of the top companies, some of which are still in business.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Ideas for Front Entryways
Begin the holidays at your doorstep. Welcome guests and create curb appeal with ideas that come from all corners of the world.

The Best Inflatable Christmas Decorations for 2011
The Christmas season brings out the decorator in most of us, and is the one time of year that home dwellers and whole neighborhoods show their holiday spirit with lights and often-extravagant yard displays. While those lighted plastic blow-mold figurines dotted lawns and porches of Midcentury, Post-World War II homes, giant airblown inflatable...

The Best Christmas Inflatables for 2012
Our annual selection of the best new inflatable holiday decorations includes a special nutcracker, big Santas and a few animated characters. Find out who made the list.

A Guide to Blow Mold Yard Decorations
Outdoor blow mold holiday decorations are nostalgic and collectible. Check out this comprehensive buying guide, along with photos of some of the best.

Pool and Patio Shows, Home and Garden Events: Spring 2012
Home and garden, pool and patio shows all have a few things in common. They focus on residential outdoor living spaces, feature numerous exhibitors, guest speakers, and lots of attendees. Most of the pool, home and garden shows occur February-October. Tours and smaller shows are held by garden clubs and local chapters of gardening and...

DIY Holiday Projects: Outdoor Decorations
Make it a DIY Christmas with one of our projects for outdoor decorations. Included: a tomato cage tree, split-door wreath and an ornament tree door decoration.

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