Jazz Up Your Patio

In this photo released by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie speaks with internally displaced people at a makeshift camp northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, on Thursday, July 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Boris Heger)
AP Photo/Boris Heger
There's nothing like being in the comfort of your own living room, and now with the right furnishings, you can create that same ambiance outdoors.

In The Early Show's Christy's Corner, Christy Ferer has decorating tips on creating a living room in your backyard.

Being comfortable in your home doesn't have to be restricted to the indoors anymore. The home goods market is exploding with indoor/outdoor furniture and accessories, making it easier than ever to extend your living space beyond the four walls of your home.

A well-decorated yard can have sitting areas, dining areas, focal points, textures and colors. It mirrors the decorating theme of the inside and reflects beautiful fabrics and lighting. It goes beyond plastic lawn chairs and paper plates to become a beautiful, decorated oasis.

Your outdoor space will be exposed to the elements (rain, sun, and wind) but new lines of garden furniture can provide a real indoor personality, whether it's sofas and club chairs in rattan, weather-proofed wicker or coated metal and wrought iron. Once you've got your key furniture pieces, you can add even more warmth with indoor perks such as: pillows, artwork, slipcovers, even TV & stereo hook-ups.

The following items will be featured on The Early Show:


Screen Room
Available at:

  • Easy to assemble, this gives your outdoor room a roof and walls
  • The polyester skin and powder-coated steel frame are weather-resistant
  • Mesh walls protect from mosquitoes.


Available at Pier 1

  • Weather-friendly wicker
  • Sturdy style & silhouette of an indoor couch
  • The cushions are made with a special, mildew-resistant fabric
    Look for Sumbrella/a weather-resistant fabric

Arm Chair And Ottoman
Available at West Elm
$399 & $169.
  • Rich textured weave around a wooden frame is weather-friendly
  • The clean, modular design gives this as much personality as an indoor chair
  • Cushions are linen, machine washable, should be taken indoors at night.

Rocking Chair
Available at LL Bean
  • A protective finish keeps the surface of this wicker chair smooth and free of burrs, cracks and peeling.
  • Floral cushions add comfort and a cozy, indoor feeling

Floor Pillows
Available at Royal Hut
  • Tough rattan weave is weather-friendly
  • Floor pillows are a great way to create alternative seating in your outdoor room; kids love them too.

Coffee Table

Available at West Elm
  • Outdoor-friendly pinewood with open texture weave
  • A substantial, indoor look distinguishes this from flimsy patio furniture
  • Add accessories like magazines or rubber vase with flowers to dress it up
Harbor Nesting Tables
Available at LL Bean
  • Black wrought-iron tables are powder-coated and weather-resistant with plastic capped feet.

Corner Metal Baker's Rack
Available at Spiegel
  • Powder-coated baker's rack can easily move out of the kitchen and into the outdoor living room to hold plants, books, and artwork.
  • Features two swing-out doors and stationary shelves


Floor Candle Lantern
Available at Horchow

  • Made of weather-resistant hand-finished burnished gold. Candlelight creates an atmosphere to which no electric source can compare, and it's weather safe.

Rechargeable Table Lamp
Available at Target
  • Turn your patio into an extension of your home, with this old-style lamp featuring a parchment-look shade and a textured bronze finish base, both weather-resistant.
  • Lamp uses a 10-watt quartz halogen bulb and runs off a rechargeable battery, making it portable.

Iron Chiminea
Available at Spiegel
  • Made of antique bronze with iron stand, the grill keeps fire contained, just add gravel or sand and logs
  • Gathering around a cozy fire is a favorite indoor activity during the winter, but new portable fireplaces allow you to bring the tradition outdoors on a chilly summer night.


TV/CD Console
Available at Fran's Wicker

  • Natural hand woven wicker over strong wood frame
  • Ask hardware store about strong cables made specially for outdoors
  • Wheel your favorite entertainment center outside! holds CD player and VCR, side compartment for CDs and drawer for VHS tapes


Floor Screen
Available at Pier 1

  • Made of weather-protected wood
  • Screens act as a freestanding wall in your outdoor room. use them to create additional spaces and to add intimacy.
  • Hang artwork, mirrors or clocks on your screen

Galvanized Mirror
Available at West Elm
  • Galvanized metal mirror is weather-friendly
  • Hang on a screen for decoration or from a wire to reflect landscaping, creating an illusion of more space in your outdoor room.

Sisal Rug
Available at IKEA
  • Rugs are mildew safe if they're weather-treated like this sisal or made of other natural fibers with rubber backing. There's even plastic rugs now.

Oriental Bamboo Floor Cloth
Available at
$203 (2 by 3)
  • Handpainted floor cloths are great for layering over a larger rug or use them as art. Hang one on a paneled screen or use as a runner on your coffee table.

Lacquer Stool
Available at Horchow

  • Made of elm with a protective lacquer finish, this is a great spot for a plant
  • The striking shade of Chinese red enlivens the outdoor space.

Galvanized Muck Box with Lid
Available at IKEA
  • A great way to store magazines or books in your outdoor room.
  • The metal exterior and lid help protect from the elements.

Rubber Vase
  • It won't break even if a gust of wind knocks it over!
  • Bright lime green color is a great way to add pizzazz to your outdoor room.

Once you get your room decorated, remember that your new furniture is susceptible to mildew. So it's important to plan ahead, and stock your outdoor cabinets with a homemade or store bought preventative spray.

According to The Educational Resource for Fabrics, Apparel, Home Furnishings and Care Fabric Stain Guide, mildew is a growing organism that must have warmth, darkness, and moisture to survive. Mildew actually eats cellulosic fiber and can also attack manufactured fibers, causing permanent damage and weakening of fibers and fabrics. Always read and follow the care instructions and any warnings on the garment label.

Follow these General Rules for stain removal

  • Carefully brush or shake off mildewed area.
  • Pretreat the stains by rubbing the areas with a heavy-duty liquid
    detergent. Then launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric, using
    bleach safe for fabric. (Chlorine bleach is best if OK for the fabric.)
    Always check for colorfastness before using bleach.
  • Let item dry in the sun.
  • Badly mildewed fabric may be damaged beyond repair. Old stains may
    respond to flushing with dry cleaning fluid, i.e., Carbona, Energine,
    Goddard's (Carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label).

Some home remedies for mildew spray:
  • Lemon juice and salt -Moisten stain with a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Spread in the sun to bleach. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Tea Tree Treasure
    2 teaspoons tea tree oil
    2 cups water
    Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on
    problem areas. Do not rinse. The strong odor will dissipate in a day or so.
    Shelf Life: Indefinite
    Storage: Leave in a labeled spray bottle