In two weekends the owners of this small Palo Alto, California, rancher revamped a worn-out deck and tamed an overgrown lawn. Now they have a colorful outdoor living room that's party-ready.
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Resources: Deck treated with Bio-Wash Woodwash and Natural Deck Oil (www.napiere.com or 800/663-9274). Patio umbrella in Canvas Fern Sunbrella fabric on an aluminum pole by Treasure Garden from the Teak Patio ($470; www.theteakpatio.com or 650/494-9020). Similar chairs (Saucer Chair in Autumn Leaf; $89) and string of lights from Pier 1 Imports (www.pier1.com). Desert Gold ⅜-inch-diameter crushed-granite gravel from Lyngso Garden Materials (www.lyngsogarden.com or 650/364-1730). Composite decking (used as edging) from Trex (www.trex.com).