1 patio, 3 looks

Quick fixes: Three designers give a bare garden corner the Cinderella treatment

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  • BUILD A DAYBED. To revive a discarded couch Watts removed the upholstery to reveal the frame cut down the back support added a new seat of recycled wood sanded off the old finish and topped the seat with a cotton-covered foam pad and pillows.

    One patio 3 looks

    Thomas J. Story

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Revive funky junk Every garden is an art project to Shirley Watts, an artist and landscape designer.

"I can never bring myself to use something right off the shelf," she says. To dress her version of the patio, Watts brought in discarded treasures given a radical revamp, including a "street find" couch and inexpensive plastic pots. The result: a bargain-hunter's dream.

Create a picture Repurposed billboards make eye-catching artwork. To display this salvaged movie billboard, Watts built a simple wooden frame and slipped it over hooks screwed into the fence.

Paint the containers To make an old iron urn and inexpensive white plastic pots look chic, Watts painted them with turquoise blue latex paint. She filled the containers with Agave 'Mediopicta Alba' and pink ivy geraniums.

Raise the pots Chunky plant stands of reclaimed redwood enhance the patio's roomlike appeal.

-Lauren Bonar Swezey

INFO Plastic pots (left and middle; painted turquoise by designer; similar items available for $25?$40) from the Home Depot (Check web site for locations). Turquoise is Saxton (#B39-5) from Ace Paint (Check Ace Hardware's web site for locations). Cast-iron urn (right; also painted by designer; #C12; $180) from AW Pottery USA, Oakland; 510/533-3900. Shirley Alexandra Watts Garden Design and Installation, Alameda, CA; 510/521-5223.



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