Americans spent $200 BILLION on home renovations in 2004, and a full third of that went outdoorsto patios, decks, pools, and the latest rage in home upgrades: the outdoor room. With built-in restaurant-quality grills, stainless-steel refrigerators, stone countertops, kitchen sinks, and all-weather televisions and stereos, these alfresco lounges are blowing the roof off home entertainment. Here's our guide to taming the wilds of your own backyard.
1. What fun is cooking outside if you have to go in to watch the game? CAL SPAS' U9100 entertainment center ($8,900; www.calspas.com) includes a retractable 42-inch plasma TV, DVD player, and stereo system. Up the bump with a set of BOSE FREE SPACE 51 ENVIRONMENTAL SPEAKERS ($449; www.bose.com), which are built to be hidden in the shrubs.
2. The grilling area is the soul of any outdoor room. Store, prep, and cook with KITCHENAID's stainless-steel OUTDOOR REFRIGERATOR ($1,999; www.kitchenaid.com) and sink-equipped REFRESHMENT CENTER ($1,899), and the TEC INFRA-RED G4000 ULTIMATE ISLAND gas grill ($10,160; www.tecinfrared.com).
3. Entertain well into the night with warm lighting from FIRE STONE's 54-inch-tall propane LEGACY LANTERNS ($399; www.firestonehp.com).
4. GLOSTER's BRISTOL TABLE ($3,200; www.gloster.com) and VENTURA DINING CHAIRS ($585) would look at home in your dining room, but the teak-and-granite setup is built to endure the elementsand your Labor Day parties. Après dinner, kick back on the six-inch-thick cushions of the OLD WORLD SPRING BASE CLUB CHAIRS from O.W. LEE ($599; www.owlee.com).