4 Cheap and Easy Ways to Decorate Your Backyard

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

"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.

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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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