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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Gardening > Outdoor Decorating

Decorating Outdoor Decks and Patios With Themes
by Kathy Burns-Millyard

Decks and Patios don't count towards square footage in your home, but they sure do go a long way towards making a home feel larger, more inviting, and fun. Decks and patios can be wonderful places to entertain friends and family, or they can be secluded quiet spots for you to get away from the hustle of everyday life. Whichever you choose... the key to having great decks and patios is to decorate them with a theme.

One popular deck or patio theme is the outdoor barbecue. Now technically this is a function of the area, but using a touch of decorating flair, you can make it into an overall theme too. For instance, putting rustic furniture on your patio or deck would give it a country or western BBQ theme. This works wonderfully when you have a firepit-style barbecue grill, or an outdoor fireplace. If your preference is upscale and classy, and your barbecue equipment is the shiny, fancy, large cookstation-style, try setting up a bistro theme instead.

If you have kids of course, it helps to go with a fun theme instead. A beach theme is an excellent example here: Colorful beach chairs and sun umbrellas set the tone wonderfully. You can even use ropes, sails, nets, and lifeguard floats to hang from the sides of your fun deck, and post flags from different Caribbean or Mediterranean countries on the corners of the deck. Keeping a chest inside of beach paraphernalia - floats, leis, sunglasses, and even a pirate's eye patch will keep your children entertained as you try to prepare dinner.

A country theme is also wonderful for decks and patios. Try using old barrels as both tables and chairs for this theme. To make the chairs: Cut part of the barrel to leave a curved "back", then nail the top into place as a seat. You can even put checkered chair cushions on these to enhance them further. And of course, small decorating touches such as old soda bottles, signs, tools, and flowers help enhance and round out the overall look.

Whatever theme you decide to use on your deck, the essentials are a table and chairs with some extra seating and side tables. If your deck is too small for that, you can simply purchase a couple of Adirondack chairs and side tables to match. Your parties may be smaller, but you can always put a picnic table in the yard to seat more people. Choose your own theme; a deck is a place where you can put your favorite random items to good use. So from Coca-Cola to country to classic, create your own deck decorations and spend the rest of the summer enjoying your friends on your jazzy new deck.

© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard, The Do It Yourself Home Decorating Network for wonderful home decorating and decor articles, tips, and advice.

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