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Outdoor Living

Creative ideas and cool products to help you turn your yard into an inviting oasis for family fun and festive gatherings.

The perfect place to doze on a summer afternoon. String up a rope hammock on your porch. Use galvanized threaded eyebolts to secure it to wall studs, and leave room to sway. | Photo: Van Chaplin

39 Budget-Wise Ways to Create Outdoor Rooms

A pair of Adirondack chairs serve as the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the garden. | Photo: John Gruen

A Private and Inviting Front Yard

Homeowner tip: Finish your grill island with a U-shaped granite countertop to give guests a level surface to set drinks on when they come over to chat | Photo: Brian Gomsak

A Guest Room—and More—Outdoors

Cap posts with carriage lights to provide both an attractive accent and welcome nighttime illumination. Here, wiring runs from the house, under the deck, and up the hollow posts. | Photo: Mark Lohman

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

This 18-inch-high sitting wall is veneered with 8-inch river rocks cut in half; their rounded contours add textural interest, and their varied colors play off the warm shades of the fieldstone paving, which also serves as the wall's cap. | Photo: Jennifer Cheung

Timeless Treasure Garden

Turn garage-sale shutters to block a close neighbor's view, or your view of their deck! | Photo: The Garden Frog Boutique with C. Renee, courtesy of @Hometalk

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

We'd love to host a backyard party on an amazing deck like this. You too? Enter The Great TOH Giveaway DAILY for a shot at prizes including $25,000 worth of @TimberTech products!

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For a tucked-away feeling, surround a low deck with large cedar planter boxes. | Photo: Plant Connection Inc.

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

If your deck is low enough not to require a railing, build a bench around the perimeter to provide seating and a sense of enclosure. You can even use leftover deck boards for the seat. | Photo: Mark Lohman

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

If a super-glam cabana isn't your style, go for this boho-chic canopy instead. Hang long lengths of silk over a clothesline strung between the house and a pole anchored in the backyard. Secure the sides to a fence or a roof overhang with sturdy spring clips. | Photo: Debi Treloar

Turn the Backyard Into Your Favorite Summer Destination

A knock-out deck starts with great wood—in this case, clear redwood protected with a burgundy-tinted penetrating stain, @BEHR® Premium Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain.

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

Edge your garden boarder with rope lighting for dramatic evening display. It's inexpensive, waterproof-and can be set with a timer! |

Putting mini-golf in my backyard Page 2 of 6

A popular gathering spot for locals to lunch and kids to play, historic Sevier Park is in the heart of the neighborhood and is host to the 12 South Farmers Market. | Photo: Caroline Allison

From Rundown to Down-Home in Nashville

A crane fly looks like a giant mosquito, but it's not nearly as pesky. Unlike bloodthirsty adult female mosquitoes, which are only too happy to feed on you, crane flies prefer to feed on decomposing organic matter. | Photo: Redmond Durrell/Alamy; John Abbott/Visuals Unlimited, Inc./Getty Images

Battle of The Look-Alike Bugs

Keep a stylish beverage container stocked and at the ready so that you can invite friends to stop by and stay awhile. | | Photo: Wendell T. Webber

Create a Patriotic Porch

While they both feed on flower nectar, only bees make honey. Aggression-prone wasps, including yellow jackets, will just leave you with a nasty sting. Look for fuzzy bodies on honeybees; yellow jackets have sharper stripes. Beware of nests in the ground or out in the open—they're likely wasps'. Honeybees prefer hollow spaces. | Photo: Don Farrall/Getty Images; YAY Media AS/Alamy

Battle of The Look-Alike Bugs

Both ants and termites go through a winged phase in their life cycle, but you can spot the ants by their narrow waists, bent antennae, and noticeably shorter wings. It's not uncommon for carpenter ants to be found out in the open, especially after sunset; most termites avoid light and are rarely seen outside their colony. | Photo: iStockPhoto

Battle of The Look-Alike Bugs

Transform a well-defined area close to the house by trading turf grass for a dry-laid brick patio or a patch of gravel with outdoor furniture. Just be sure to choose permeable paving that allows water to percolate through (not a broad expanse of concrete), so you don't create a parking lot–type yard where rain collects in puddles and storm drains instead of returning to the soil.

Lawn-Less Yard Solutions

Pest control: Get the scoop on those winged stingers around your home—and learn how to get them to buzz off

How to Deal With Bees and Other Stinging Insects

Loose gravel in shades of gray, white, and tan gives this raised patio a beachy feel to complement the relaxed look of the low-slung wood-sided cottage it sits behind.

Building Blocks for a Perfect Patio