Outdoor decorating is easier than you might think. Since you’re working with open air (and often with natural elements such as plants or stones), you actually have more freedom than you do inside the house. The trick is to think like a landscaper, a gardener, and an interior designer all in one. Sound hard? It isn’t!
Whether you’re working with a large backyard, a small garden, an enclosed porch, or none of the above, you can use these fantastic backyard decorating ideas to create a beautiful, enjoyable environment. We’ve broken these tips down into 7 chapters so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Let’s get started with our list of backyard decorating ideas.
Outdoor seating lets you spice up your outdoor area with creativity and functionality. There are many options on the market: individual seats, sectionals, benches—the list goes on and on. With all these options, it’s easy to find seating that fits perfectly with your home’s needs.
There are tons of creative ways to arrange individual seating around your backyard space. After all, it’s far easier to move a single chair to change an arrangement than to drag a whole couch around. In fact, individual seating is the most versatile way you can provide seating in your backyard or garden.
Because you can do so much with individual seating arrangements, it’s important to choose furniture with personality. Rustic, traditional, and modern seating styles offer something to satisfy every demanding taste in décor. We’ve picked out some of our favorite types of furniture below, and we’ve put together suggestions on how to implement these pieces in your backyard.
- Arrange Individual Chairs Around A Fire Pit
Everyone loves individual seats around a fire pit. Whether it’s camping memories or the fire pit in your backyard when you were a kid, this rustic arrangement just speaks to us. Fire pits are a popular trend, and we have a whole section dedicated to them below.
When you pick chairs for your fire pit, you need to ensure that the chairs don’t just fit the style of your pit, but that they also fit the dimensions. Nothing is worse than trying to squeeze up to a fire pit, and then being pushed so far away from it that you can’t enjoy the warmth. The Adirondack chairs from AuthenTEAK will give you a look similar to the picture above, and they provide plenty of space around a medium to large pit.
2. Arrange Your Seats In A Circle Around A Table
As with a fire pit, you’ll want to respect space when arranging chairs around a table. You need to make sure that your chairs are not too crowded at the table. You don’t want to make people uncomfortable. If you plan to have large parties with plenty of people, opt for larger tables and smaller chairs to maximize space. If you have a small family and you aren’t a party animal, you have more options. In that case, you can choose a larger table and chairs.
To create a setting similar to the one pictured above, take a look at the Sierra Collection from Summer Classics. The clean lines will give your backyard a refined look. If you want something modern but still traditional in construction, Janus et Cie has a wide selection of collections and products that fit the bill. If you’re looking for some ultra-modern pieces to complete your backyard seating area, check out some of the designs from Home Infatuation, which sells some of the most unique and high-end modern furniture pieces on the market today.
3. Use Sectionals For Comfort and Variety
Sectionals are perfect if you want to transform your outdoor space into an outdoor living area. Sectionals allow you to relax and recline just like you would in your family room—but with the added benefit of a lovely breeze.
Sectionals not only provide a comfortable, homelike atmosphere, but they’re also versatile. You can break them up. This is a great way to refresh your backyard without purchasing a whole new set of furniture. Especially in climates where you can keep your furniture out all year long, sectionals add permanent comfort to your outdoor space.
For sectionals that are similar to the one pictured above, check out Neoteric Luxury. For a sleeker, more modern sectional, check out Hayneedle’s aluminum sectionals.
4. Add Benches For A Touch of Tradition
Benches make a beautiful addition to any backyard. Whether they’re decorative or functional, they harken back to the great traditions of botanical gardens and pleasure grounds. Functional pieces also increase the seating that’s available in your backyard. You can easily move benches around, and you can find them in practically any style to fit your home’s personality.
For a bench similar to the one pictured above, check out LuxeDecor’s bench collections. If you’re looking for a modern twist on the classic outdoor, check out this one from Brown Jordan. You’ll love the contrast and clean lines. If neither of these fits your style, consider a rustic bench from Lloyd Flanders.
If you need more inspiration on seating in your backyard space, check out these blogs. Today’s Patio will help you choose the perfect fabric for your cushions, which is important not only to your comfort level, but also to ensure that your furniture is protected from the weather conditions in your area. If you want more ideas on seating arrangements, Lifescape has many different ideas on unique and alternative types of seating for your home. Finally, Better Homes and Gardens has an extensive presentation on fabric colors for your furniture, which should help you find the perfect one to compliment your home’s color while still mirroring your personal taste.
II. Outdoor Lighting Ideas
Your choice of lighting will set the mood for your backyard space. Modern, rustic, or artistic moods can all be enhanced by careful lighting choices. In fact, lighting can make the difference between one mood and another. It’s that important! Whether you want to create a party-friendly space, a quiet living area, or something else entirely, you can tie your environment together with lighting.
Here, we’ve gathered our favorite ways to incorporate lighting an outdoor area—plus different twists and approaches you can take on each one.
5. Use Lanterns to Create a Practical, Rustic Touch
Lanterns are a fantastic way to add a rustic feel to your home. They not only provide lighting, but they’re stylish and hip. Lanterns can hang with electric lightbulbs, or you can use candles to give an antiquated but still functional look. If you use candles, your light might be dimmer and more like mood lighting, whereas light bulbs will give you the practicality of being able to adjust your lighting. Now, let’s explore some outdoor candle ideas.
If you prefer lanterns with candles, you should check out our outdoor candle ideas! Our handcrafted Glass Candles Sleeves create gorgeous lighting in any outdoor space. Or you can arrange our candle lanterns tastefully on tables and ledges. Above, we’ve showcased the Flight Lantern series, which features some of our favorite American birds. Each Flight lantern has a beautiful color image of the bird on the front and a map of its migration pattern on the back. For the birders among us, this is a great choice!
If you prefer mason jar lanterns, check out these awesome Mason Jar Lanterns from the Paper Lantern Store. Check out more outdoor candle ideas from Old Time Rustic Cottage, if you want a traditional candle-lantern look with electric practicality.
6. Put Up Twinkle Lights For A Year-Round Joyful Atmosphere
Twinkle lights aren’t just for Christmas anymore! With their use in weddings and other events, twinkle lights have shown that they can cheer up a variety of settings. Globe lighting in particular (shown above) can add an elegant touch to any outdoor setting. Many of these lights are specifically made for the outdoors. To find twinkle lights similar to the ones pictured here, check out the selection from Lights and Décor for All Occasions.
7. Add Candles for Warmth, Beauty, and an Artisan Touch
Other forms of lighting offer their own kinds of atmosphere, but nothing compares to candlelight. Candle decorating creates a natural ambiance and a pleasant glow. At FlashPoint Candle, we were pioneers in the development of multi-wick candles. Each Artisan multi-wick candle from FlashPoint comes in a one-of-a-kind, handmade earthenware pottery piece. We offer scented and unscented versions, and our scented multi-wick candles are available in all natural, luxury blended Citronella’s perfect for outdoor entertaining.
Candle decorating can make a real statement. There’s a definite WOW factor to them! Of course, we design with sustainability in mind, too. The pottery container can be repurposed once the candle is finished. Since no two pottery pieces from FlashPoint are alike, you’ll be purchasing an artisan heirloom.
Fire pits are one of the best additions you can make when it comes to backyard decorating. A fire pit is not only a great excuse to have friends over, but it’s a natural way to enjoy your outdoor living space whenever you want. Fire pits require little maintenance, and they add a ton of ambiance to your home. Let’s not forget about the functional value. The warmth of a fire lets you enjoy your yard longer into autumn.
If you can’t decide which fire pit to go with, here are a few blog posts to help you make the decision:
- AuthenTeak Blog
- Green Ridge Landscaping Blog
- American Home Shield Blog
8. Make Your Fire Pit Functional As A Table
The variety of fire pits available today make it easy to find just the right one for your home. If your yard is a bit on the small side, getting a fire pit that doubles as a table will help you best utilize your space. Fine Patio Furniture sells many fire pits that have lips large enough to double as tables. This is perfect for smaller outdoor spaces where other types of fire pits might take up too much room, and these pieces are unique enough to be conversation pieces for years to come.
9. Make Your Fire Pit A Statement Piece
If you know that you will be using your fire pit often, you might want to make it the focal point of your back yard. For a fire pit that will make more of a statement, the fire pits from American Natural Stone and Supply are larger and made primarily of stone, making a more prominent statement in the backyard. These fire pits look especially good with a stone patio, which allows it to coordinate.
10. Think Outside The Traditional Fire Pit
In addition yo making your fire pit a focal point, you can also choose to make it a point of conversation by choosing one what is completely different than most typical fire pits. Whether you get with a new design or one that is constructed from a unique material, like ceramic, it will be a fire pit you’ll love having in your backyard. If you’re looking for a completely unique fire pit, some great selections come from Ohio Flame, which features artisan fire pits probably unlike ones you’ve seen other places.
IV. Garden and Vegetation Ideas
A garden allows you to connect with nature while giving it the form you envision. Gardening gives us peace of mind as we care for growing things. Gardening is good for the soul, and it creates something beautiful, too! Consider a vivacious look that’s full of flowers and has plenty of color will draw people in. This will create a spectacular experience for everyone who enters.
For more information on types of gardening and what plants are best for your garden, check out Veranda’s blog on indoor gardening. This is especially useful if you live in a place that gets inclement weather, where you may have to transplant some of your plants to keep them alive. If you live near the sea, Costal Living has a report on the best kinds of plants for your costal garden. No matter where you live, you’ll find garden plants that are perfect for your home.
11. Plant an Herb Gardens for Functionality and Beauty
Herb gardens are functional, beautiful, and easy to maintain. Who doesn’t love having fresh herbs to add to their favorite dishes? Herbs add color, life, and wonderful scents to your home and garden. Even if you don’t think you’re a master in the kitchen, herbs will help you grow and learn as a chef. They will help you recognize different flavors, and the difference between fresh and dried herbs is undeniable. Aside from this, most herb gardens require little more than sunlight and proper watering to maintain.
Starting your herb garden is easier than you might think. Spring Hill Nursery has an herb grow bag, which is porous and allows for water to escape so you know that your herbs won’t be overwatered. The Online Greenhouse has all the seeds you could want for your garden. With this option, you can choose exactly which herbs you get. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, Herbkits.com has the solution with their Herb Garden Starter Kits. With these kits, everything you need to begin and maintain a prosperous herb garden comes all at once.
12. Topiaries Add Living Sculptures To Your Yard
Topiaries are just one way to add a splash of elegance to your yard. As living sculptures, topiaries keep your backyard space green, living, and vibrant while also displaying the beauty of sculpture. Topiaries are elegant and often associated with the gorgeous gardens of Europe. They can be sculpted in any number of ways. Whether you want a modern geometric figure or an intricate sculpture, topiaries are a great addition to any yard to add a classy touch.
If you aren’t a sculpting expert, then chances are you’ll need to purchase a topiary that is already sculpted and maintain it yourself. For topiaries that have the look and feel of a real plant but are artificial, you should check out Artificial Plants and Trees. These topiaries are useful because while they appear to be real, they aren’t which means they require little maintenance.
If you want a live plant topiary, Topiary4U is a wholesale website that has some of the most unique topiary sculptures. Live plants allow you to watch your plant shape and form into a topiary that you love, which is a valuable and rewarding experience.
If you love the idea of topiaries but don’t think you have space for one in your yard, Simply Succulents has a great compromise. Their small statue topiaries will fit anywhere in your garden space, and while they may not be as grand as a large topiary statue, they are just as beautiful and elegant.
V. Add Accents for a Personal Touch
Accents add “you” to your yard. They let you show off your own unique style. A backyard without any accent pieces is fine, of course, but it definitely isn’t unique. In fact, backyards without accents are often a little bland. You can’t see any personality! Below, we’ve listed some of the best ways to include your personality through accents in your yard.
For more ideas on how to incorporate accents into your backyard space, Kensington Garden Rooms has a list of some accent pieces to add to your backyard space that will help you think outside the box about the way you should accent your garden. They have practical tips and innovative additions you could add to your yard.
13. Add Lawn Sculptures and Ornaments to Give Your Yard Personality
No matter where you live, statues make a great addition to your yard. Whether you want to commemorate a favorite animal, fantastical creature, or even install Grecian and Roman statues to theme your garden in a particular direction, ornaments give your backyard space personality and pizazz. There are metal, stone, and ceramic, and plastic ornaments, meaning that you can have ornaments and statues no matter where you live: there will always be an ornament that will fit your weather conditions.
You can place your lawn statues in the bushes, close to your flowers, or even make them a centerpiece in the center of your lawn. There’s no end to the possibilities of where you can put your sculptures in your yard to make your yard reflect you and your passions better. If you are looking for lawn statues and ornaments that are smaller in size that will tuck nicely into your flowerbed, take a look at Garden Fun. Their ornaments are mainly made of metal, though they do also carry stone ones. If you want more prominent statues that can be a centerpiece in your yard, check out Lawn Ornaments and Fountains. Their gorgeous statues of Greek Gods and animals will wow you and inspire your yard design.
14. Add a Gazebo to Create a Warm, Inviting Space
If you have room in your backyard for a gazebo, it’s a fantastic way to add a separate, sheltered area to your property. Gazebos are a great place to rest. Instead of constructing an unsightly pavilion attached to your home’s exterior, you can add an independent gazebo wherever you want. A pavilion is a costly and radical exterior improvement, and it will only leave your siding damaged. You may not even be able to escape the sun’s harsh rays under it. Instead, a gazebo will give you protection from the sun in an elegant and classic way—without damaging your home.
If you want to find the perfect gazebo for your backyard space, The Garden Décor Store has awesome options. With everything from gazebos in a Roman or Grecian style to wooden ones that would accent any traditional American home, you will find just the right gazebo for your yard. Don’t spend another summer in the sweltering heat, and don’t spend it under a flimsy pavilion either. Instead, invest in a gazebo that will give your home that finished look it needs.
15. Add A Hammock And Relax In Style
Hammocks can totally change the way you look at relaxation in your backyard. They’re are great for kicking back and reading a book, soaking up some rays, or just about anything!
Hammocks really let you enjoy the outdoors and your yard. With a more natural edge, hammocks offer seating options that are unique and nontraditional. The best part of a hammock is that it can be removed for storage during the winter or inclement weather.
To find a wide selection of hammocks, visit DFO Home or Swings N’ Things online. These stores have some of the most unique hammocks on the market, and you’ll definitely find the perfect relaxation station for your backyard.
16. Add An Outdoor Fountain For That Wow Factor
Garden fountains are one of the most beautiful features you can have in your yard. While they require extra work, like piping, they’re certainly worth it if you want to give your garden a high-end feel. Fountains and other water features come in tons of different shapes and sizes, which means that no matter your constraints, there is a fountain for you. Fountains add a calming effect to your backyard, all while giving off a regal air.
For large, prominent fountains that make a huge statement, check out the selection at The Garden Gates, which sells tons of large fountains in various styles. If you need a slightly smaller fountain, then the fountains at Garden Accents are just what you’re looking for. Smaller in scale but not any less beautiful, these fountains still add an elegant touch to your space. If you don’t think you have enough room to have a standalone fountain, consider a fountain that backs up against your wall. The wall fountains from Soothing Walls are gorgeous options to have in your yard.
For a complete backyard look, you need to have a patio set that you love and that fits not only your style, but also your needs. While an important priority might be to have a set that matches your taste and the theme of your backyard, you also want to make sure that you have a dining set that matches your family’s needs. Read below for some reminders on important considerations you need to make before you purchase a new patio set!
17. Get A Patio Set That Is The Right Size
Before purchasing a patio set, you may only have a family of two, but you might also know that you have your neighbors over for a weekly dinner. Or, maybe you have a family of five, but only eat outside on occasion.Make sure you evaluate your family’s living situation and how you dine. Then, you’ll be able to easily choose a table that will fit your needs.
For a website that has ton of two-person bistro seats, take a look at Joss and Main. These sets are small and sweet, perfect for the couple without children. It gives you the perfect place to look at your paper in the morning and sip a cup of coffee.
If you need something slightly larger, namely four-person sets, Patio Productions has tons of options. Their options are more modern; however, they all are beautiful and in style. Finally, Ultimate Patio can provide the largest sets, for large families or frequent hosts.
18. Get A Patio Set That Will Stand Up To The Weather
Aside from how large it should be, you must also think about the weather in the area. If you live in a place that gets almost constant sun, it might not be a good idea to get a black, metal set that has no cushion. In that same vein, if you live in a place that gets high winds and tons of snow, you may want to look for a set that has a high durability and no glass. For some pieces that are more durable, Check out One King’s Lane. These pieces rarely feature glass and come in a variety of styles. No matter where you live, you’ll be able to find furniture that will stand up to the weather and also look great.
Fences are not only a decorative piece, but they are also functional. Fences can be beautiful, but they also draw property lines, help keep pets safe, and even keep the home safe against burglars and other intruders. If you’ve been looking at fences, they are worth the investment. Your property will look cleaner, more contained, and as picturesque as can be. There are two main kinds of fence that you can get: wrought iron and picket. We’ve laid out the benefits to each kind of fence below.
19. Add a Wrought Iron Fence For Classic Elegance
Wrought iron is one of the most traditional and elegant types of fences you can put in front of your house. It blends seamlessly into the garden, and it’s regal in stature. Wrought iron is strong and durable, which is why it’s so popular for fences and other outdoor applications. The style dates back to the Victorian era, and because of this, it evokes a classic feel that adds refinement to your home. You also know that when you invest in wrought iron, it will last.
To get the most authentic wrought iron fences, visit the Iron Fence Shop and take a look at their selection. However, for more variety and fences that combine both wood and iron, check out Wrought Iron Fence for these options. No matter which iron fence you choose, you know it will beautify your home.
20. Give Your Home A Country Look with a Picket Fence
Who can forget Tom Sawyer painting his picket fence? Scenes like this in books and movies have given the picket fence a certain soft spot in the American heart. The picket fence gives your home a finished look, all while evoking a homey, country feel. A house looks complete with a fence. With a picket fence, it also looks picturesque. Imagine your home on the back of a postcard. A picket fence can help you achieve that look.
If you want wood fencing that isn’t white and that you can paint yourself, check out the Fence Outlet. They have wood fences and fence accessories that are unpainted and natural. They also have the option for their picket fences not to have slots, allowing for a more private feel. For wider pickets, take a look at the Academy Fence Company’s picket fences. They have wooden picket fences that are more spacious and airy. If you want the white-picket-fence look without the wear-and-tear of wood, you can invest in Buy Direct Vinyl Fence’s white vinyl picket fences. You don’t have to worry about periodic sanding and painting; vinyl is weather resistant and durable, ensuring that your white fence will stay white for years to come.
Outdoor decorating is your chance to make your yard your own. Nature offers us a break from the grind, and there’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying the great outdoors in your own yard. It really will improve your state of mind.
With all these great ideas, it’s time for you to get out there and create something beautiful for friends and family and friends to enjoy. So go ahead—get your garden on!