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June 2, 2010

4 Cheap and Easy Ways to Decorate Your Backyard

Ready to party? Follow these expert tips and get your lawn in shape for entertaining


Photo Credit: Bill Diodato

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"You don't need to spend a lot on decor to get ambience," says Jamie Durie, the hunky host of HGTV's The Outdoor Room and go-to gardening guru. "You just need to transplant the right items from inside your home out to your yard, balcony, or roof." Here, Durie's repurposing pointers:

Sit on it, Ritchie: For instant seating, flip over small trash cans or large (sturdy!) plastic storage bins and cover them with funky fabrics. "Colorful rugs also serve as picnic blanket substitutes," Durie says.

Go low: Can't budge that behemoth Georgian dining-room table? Trot out your coffee table, kick off your shoes, and perch on durable pillows for a festive feel. "Boating stores sell extremely waterproof cushions that you can leave out in the rain," he says.

Garden gnomes (surprisingly) welcome: If your last spontaneous purchase at Urban Outfitters looked like a dorm-room cliché once you carted it home, try getting your kitsch on yard-side. "When you're decorating outdoors, you can get away with things that would normally be considered too over-the-top," Durie says, "like having a cheap chandelier hang from a tree." But that solar-system wall decal? Not so much.

Get juiced: "Thanks to heating lamps, iPod sound systems, and flat-screen TVs, you can enjoy everything outside that you do inside. Surprise your guests with a post-dinner movie night under the stars," says Durie, who suggests stocking up on this summer entertaining essential before doing anything: the extension cord.

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