- Rethink the obvious: Take a new look at inexpensive items from the hardware store. An overturned pot and a door make a table, an interesting gate can sub for a trellis for ivy to grow over, a metal toolbox can be a planter.
- Paint is the great unifier: Mismatched flea market or Craig's List finds can be made into a cute set with a good coat of bright paint. The garden's one place where matchy-matchy is a plus.
- Outdoor fabric helps: Use it to make your own gazebo or make cushions for your mismatched chairs. Or forgo the chairs altogether and scatter cushions around an low urn or column topped with a round glass top for an instant outdoor living room.
- Fairy lights and greenery hide a multitude of sins Even the most sparsely decorated outdoor area comes to life if it is well-tended, lush and lit with fairy lights, votives in simple glass holders or hanging lanterns.
[photo via AndreWeason's Flickr]