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Create a beautiful oasis right outside your door

Try these 10 tricks to design a great spot to relax with family and friends. Chassie Post of “Domino” magazine offers some simple ideas.

Even though summer break is half over, it's not too late to create and enjoy that outdoor oasis you've been dreaming about. “Domino” magazine's contributing style editor, Chassie Post, offers these eye-opening and inexpensive ideas for decorating with some of summer’s hottest outdoor furniture.

We call this look “Versailles on a budget.” With a few affordable tricks, you can create a beautiful outdoor living room.

1.  Treillage (lattice-looking décor on wall) 

Accents of France: Accentsoffrance.comPrices start at $408

The big trick here is instant architecture. The lattice design hanging on the side of a garage is called a “treillage.”  King Louis XIV of France used these to create elaborate gardens at Versailles. They used to be only available to very rich people for custom gardens. Now they're available to anyone in easy, pop-up packages. They send overnight in the mail. You can even use as a wall decoration inside.

2.  Solid-copper garden mirrors
Kiybele copper & wood: $

The trick here is to decorate the outdoors the same way you decorate indoors. Mirrors create the illusion of a room — reflecting light like windows. Copper is strong enough to withstand outdoor elements and good-looking enough to go outside or out.

3.  Aluminum powder-coated sofa
Strathwood Falkner three-seater deep lounge sofa: $

This is one of the best deals in outdoor sofas, with cushions made of durable outdoor fabric. The tip here is because outdoor fabrics are durable, moisture and stain resistant, you can use them inside too, to protect against kids and pets — or even just in high-traffic areas.

Pillows are ready-made outdoor fabric from Williams-Sonoma Home ($59),

4.  Pair of wrought-iron chairs
GumpsPagoda armchair: $

These really show how far outdoor furniture has come. They look like our favorite indoor dining chairs.

5.  Faux boxwood hedge as coffee table
Smaller size starts at $99Larger size: $

This coffee table is a fake boxwood hedge turned on its side to create an inexpensive and unexpected coffee table. It's pretty, plastic and 100 percent impervious to the elements. It can also be used as a hedge to hide trash cans, electric meters, etc.

6.  Outdoor rug
Bradley outdoor mat from Pottery BarnPotterybarn.comFor 3x5: $129For 8x10: $299

The trick here is, rugs define space, instantly creating a “room” anywhere. And it's reversible for twice the wear.


We call this pool-area look the “Riviera Hotel.” People love that boutique hotel feel that’s always outside at hotels, so we came up with some easy and inexpensive ways to get it in your own backyard.

7.  Modern lounge chairs in lemon yellow
Two resort pool chaises: Set of 2 for $

These chairs are lightweight and easily stackable. They come in four great, bright colors. The best part is the quick-dry vinyl mesh fabric. It doesn't absorb water like nylon does.

8.  Side table
Sally Stool: $

This is another piece of furniture you’re going to want to take inside. It’s plastic and has a groovy shape and can be used as a side table or extra seating. Use outside or inside.

9. Outdoor stereo
Ihome water-resistant boom box: $

This boom box pumps music from your iPod through mp3 speakers. It also protects your iPod from water or sand.

10. Cabanas (changing room and outdoor shower)4x4 cabana by Quik Shade: $

This one piece will transform your outdoor look. Stylish cabanas are usually ridiculously expensive. We found these adorable cabanas for only $98. They instantly pop up like an umbrella (no need for a handyman).

11.  Freestanding outdoor shower $59

Great for rinsing off the chlorine from your pool or to get a quick burst of water if you have no pool. It's freestanding and attaches to a typical garden hose.

12.  Dining table and chairs
West Elmwestelm.comTable: $349Chairs: $149

Made for outdoors (weather-resistant coat finish), but again cute enough for indoors.

We added ready-made navy and white outdoor cushions from Land’s End (, $50) — again, designer-quality details like the white piping at an everyday price — for only $50.

And for more great decorating ideas from Domino magazine, you can visit their Web site at: