upgrade outdoor room, pergola with stone floor, wall, water element, container plants and outdoor furniture
Photo: Mark Lohman
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19: Create Ambience: Partial Shade

A little structure makes a patio feel like an outdoor room. Consider a paved or loose-stone floor, and use the house or a fence for a sidewall or two and a pergola or tree boughs for a "roof."

A pergola offers sun protection without blocking breezes, while its open sides frame the view and establish a sense of enclosure. This pergola was custom-made, but DIYers can build one from a kit.

Similar to shown: Outdoor Living Today Breeze Cedar 8-by-10-foot Pergola, about $2,350; homedepot.com
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