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By Terri Mitchell

Unconventional decorating ideas for your outdoor living spaces

Improve the looks of your property and outdoor areas with some clever decorating ideas. You don’t need to go out and buy a bunch of yard and patio pieces to enhance your existing space, but rather make the most of what you already have. You may also find some unique items to bring your exteriors to life at places like thrift stores, rummage sales and even salvage dealers.

Incorporate something alluring into your yard and garden with these suggestions:

Recycled treasures. An old bicycle, vintage plant pots, and ceramic figurines: what do these all have in common? Curiously, recycled objects and old treasures make excellent options for decorating the outdoor spaces around your home. Look for unique finds at antique stores, thrift shops and rummage sales to find one-of-a-kind elements that will hold up to the weather. Recycled metal sculptures, hubcaps and fixtures often make the most captivating pieces; the rust and patina can give simple items character and distinction.

Man-made features. Create a distinctive outdoor living space with man-made features like ponds, walls, arbors or pergolas. These provide a functional and stylish focal point to the property, and these landscape features may even increase the enjoyment and utility of your property. Talk with home and garden retailers about prefabricated arbors, trellises, and pergolas to use around climbing plants, ivy, and foliage for a unique entrance to your outdoor area. To add a pond, purchase a pond-liner and place it in a shallow hole lined with sand:

– Add stones, rocks and potted plants around the liner to conceal the edges.

– Know that installing a pond will attract wildlife to your property, such as birds and small critters.

– Talk with home improvement retailers about water treatment solutions to eliminate any algae or bacteria that could grow in your pond.

– Consider installing a simple fountain in your pond to create a bubbling, living feature for your home.

Funky focal points. A unique focal point is going to attract attention, and you can use any number of items for an effective and funky focal point. Consider creating stone focal points such as boulders, rock walls, or existing stones that are inherently part of the property. Install lights to accentuate the object after dark. You can also use plants or trees for a natural, living focal point. Consider a grouping of citrus trees, a wall of climbing morning glories or a colorful flower bed. Talk with retailers about native species that will thrive in your grow zone.

Family totems. Construct something to symbolize the family that lives in your home; a family totem is a unique and eye-catching feature that will tower above your garden, yard or patio. These can be made with recyclable materials, such as old tires, pots, and even dishes. Let each family member choose their own representation in your family’s totem, stack them high, and secure with industrial-strength epoxy or glue.

Draw attention and steal looks with unique outdoor decorating ideas. From a recycled tractor to a funky family totem, you can add intriguing, unconventional features to your property that will add personality while enhancing the look of your curb appeal. Talk with home and garden retailers about options that will transform a yard, such as a small pond or some native plants, and enjoy relaxing, entertaining, and lounging in your outdoor living space!

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