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Take it outside: Your outdoor dining and patio guide

May 28, 2011 |  2:32 pm

Welcome to the unofficial start of summer! Now, let's start the Memorial Day weekend in style, with a look at outdoor living. Check it out:

--The upscale patio chair: Forget those flimsy plastic things that stick to the back of your legs. This season's patio chairs are anything but tacky (or cheap). Hold on to your wallet: Here are 24 of our favorites.

--Need inspiration for a backyard makeover? We've got that covered. HGTV star Jamie Durie ("The Outdoor Room") invites us to check out his revamped Laurel Canyon property in Los Angeles, above, where he created an outdoor lounge, dining room, poolside pavilions and alfresco bath -- cause you never know when the mood to shower is gonna strike. [Head straight to the photo gallery.]

--Wouldn't you like have an outdoor dishwasher? I would. (And I'm not talking about me doing the dishes outside in a bucket.) 

--That quintessential symbol of summer -- the hammock -- gets a sturdy makeover.

--Are you all fired up and ready to go shopping? Here's a look at some stores and boutiques offering Memorial Day sales on outdoor furnishings.



--Chillin' and grillin': 38 Memorial Day recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

--Battle of the Burgers: Submit your favorite burger recipe

--Class is in session: Chef Nancy Silverton teaches you how to make focaccia bread

-- Rene Lynch

Photo: Jamie Durie's outdoor lounge. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times