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Nature may be getting ready to trick us with an April Fool’s storm, but that won’t stop me from dreaming about the great outdoors. Getting the deck or patio ready for entertaining is one of the great rituals of spring. With a combo of color, patterns, textiles and accessories, you can create an outdoor room you’ll really love.

House To Home outdoor

House To Home

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Need a good soak? The Elemental hot tub from Dimension One Spas is designed to fit in smaller outdoor spaces.

The spas measure 60″ x 60″ x 32″, weigh 350 pounds without water and plug into a standard electrical outlet. Even better, the Canvas model can be customized with exterior paint and other accents.

What colors and patterns would you use to customize yours? And where would you put it?

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We just got a new outdoor dining set and I have been spending all of my time on the covered porch. Anything I once did inside is now done outside — morning coffee, family dinner, watching TV (no worries, the TV still resides indoors- I can see and hear it from the porch screen).Outdoor living is a joy not to be overlooked. Get inspired with these great shots and ideas:

design-happens-playground550x367A Family’s Private Playground From eGarden

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When my husband and I moved back to Utah from California several years ago, we knew we’d be making several sacrifices in terms of lifestyle, the biggest one being the fact that winters here seem to start at the beginning of October. And then end… never. Two days ago, this is what our deck looked like. Remember: It’s the middle of April.



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I’m so happy the summer is finally here! Like most people, I have grand visions of what I want my backyard to look like: pool, hot tub, high-end outdoor kitchen, buff cabana boy, Italian-imported pizza oven just like this one…
This backyard-of-my-dreams is from a special airing this Monday called Sizzling Outdoor Kitchens – check out the photo gallery to see more dreamy pix.
Back to reality – I’m starting modestly on my outdoor kitchen with a new grill (hoping to find a big Memorial Day sale). If you’re in the market for a new grill Consumer Reports‘ June edition – they rate the best gas grills (many less than $500) and give a few tips on what to watch out for:

  • Manufacturers are using less stainless steel and more painted-steel as a way to cut costs. But, cooking surfaces should definitely be stainless-steel or porcelain-coated cast iron because they last longer and sear better.
  • Don’t be too concerned about the Btu/hr (British thermal unit) rating – it doesn’t mean faster heating or higher temperatures, it indicates how much gas is used.
  • Many retailers assemble grills free but charge for delivery. (I’m going to call friend with a pick-up truck to help bring home the grill in exchange for a backyard cookout.)

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