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Decorating Outdoor Spaces

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2011

Be it a traditional backyard, communal patio, or private balcony, outdoor space is a wonderful addition to any home. Make the most of your property with these simple outdoor decorating tips from landscape designer Jamie Durie, host of HGTV's "The Outdoor Room."

Use Plants to
Construct Space
Create an outdoor environment that's exclusive, private, and intimate by using living, breathing plants to define your space in place of walls and ceilings.

Be Family Functional
Take stock of your family's needs for the outdoor space: Does your son need a place to kick around a ball, would your daughter enjoy an outdoor playpen, would you like to start a vegetable garden? By determining how you and your family will most often use the outdoor area, you can plan a beautiful space that will bring the family together and serve multiple functions.

Get to Know Your Garden
Do a simple site analysis: Draw your property on a piece of paper, plotting the outline of your home and taking note of where the sun falls. Then compartmentalize your outdoor space into a series of "rooms" that can deliver your family's needs; make note of these spaces by drawing balloons where you think these "rooms" would best be positioned. This drawing can then be turned into a functional garden design plan with a horticulturalist or landscape designer, or at your local nursery.

Let There Be Light
For many of us who work five days a week, our yards and gardens are often in the dark when we get home at the end of the day. To get the most out of your outdoor space, create a simple lighting plan that enables you to both see and use your yard for the maximum amount of time you have at home.

Embrace Luxury
The more comfortable you make people feel in your outdoor space, the more time your friends and family will spend in your new sanctuary. These days, there are literally thousands of products that cater to luxury landscapes: Take advantage of them, and invest in items made of durable materials that can endure the seasons.