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Get Inspired: Pictures of Pools and Outdoor Living Spaces


Sometimes you have no clue what you want to do with your outdoor space until you see a photo. Then it jumps out at you: that's it! While outdoor living spaces and their components are tangible, the look, mood and feeling are harder to nail down.

These galleries are here to inspire: some have projects or ideas that are achievable, while others -- like vintage shots of movie stars' swimming pools -- are here as eye candy, an historical perspective, or to spark an idea or two. Hopefully, you'll be motivated to open your eyes and start noticing outdoor designs in even the most unexpected places.

  1. Outdoor Furnishings & Accessories
  2. Patios and Outdoor Rooms
  3. Landscaping and Gardens
  4. Outdoor Privacy Screens
  5. Celebrity Homes: Outdoors Edition
  1. Hardscaping: Design, Spaces & Structures
  2. Children's Play Yards & Structures
  3. Swimming Pools & Spas
  4. Seasonal & Holiday Decorating Ideas

Outdoor Furnishings & Accessories

venice beach

You can have just as much fun, if not more, furnishing your outdoor rooms. Just being outside makes everything less formal, and it's in your yard where you can let your creativity run free. You can go with a theme or style, like tropical or Moroccan, or mix things up for an eclectic atmosphere. Go ahead and express yourself!

Patios and Outdoor Rooms

picture of tuscan style patio

Where do great patio design ideas come from? You might see patio designs on TV or get garden design ideas from a local tour. Outdoor patios can be attached to a house, or detached. They are often designed and oriented with the landscape. Patios are versatile: they can take on any shape and be built with various materials.

Landscaping and Gardens

succulent picture

The non-hardscaped parts of your yard - aka landscaping - are one of the favorite and most challenging parts of the outdoor living environment. What to plant where, when and how? From poolside landscaping to xeriscaping (water-wise) and patio gardens to scented gardens, we provide you with photo galleries to spark ideas and get you digging.

Outdoor Privacy Screens

japanese shoji screen

Part of enjoying your outdoor living space is using it as an extension of your home. And you don't necessarily want the neighbors or passers-by watching as you dine with your family or take a nap, would you? Thus the need for outdoor privacy screening, which can be anything from a fence to a row of closely planted hedges to a Japanese shoji screen. The possibilities are limitless, as you will see.

Celebrity Homes: Outdoors Edition

backyard pool bing crosby

Take a tour of celebrities' homes -- and see how they live life in the outside. Some are extravagant, some are elegant, and others look like nice, normal homes, only better. It's a fun glimpse into how that 1% spend time playing in their yards.

Hardscaping: Design, Spaces & Structures

photo of pathway pavers

Hardscaping is so much more than a slab of concrete. It encompasses everything in your outdoor space that is not actual growing plant life, although both garden and hardscape design are integral to landscape design. Simply put, you can't have one without the other. Examples of hardscaping: gazebos, river rock, decomposed granite, patio roofs, fences, porches and trellises.

Children's Play Yards & Structures

getty images americana 1950s pool backyard

Children just naturally gravitate outdoors. Whether your outdoor space is large or small, you need to designate a special area just for kids. Include your child in planning a special play space, a playhouse, treehouse or fort by looking through photos and books together. It's a great opportunity to work on a project together, and it will be even more special because it was a DIO -- do-it-ourselves -- accomplishment.

Swimming Pools & Spas

classic round pool

You can find them above-ground, in-ground, or with vanishing edges. In all kinds of sizes and shapes and for all sorts of purposes -- from swimming laps to entertaining to existing simply as something to intrigue the senses and admire.

Seasonal & Holiday Decorating Ideas

patriotic bunting

Outdoor decorations and ornamentation 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. It's party time!

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