This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.
Sometimes even the smallest backyard can be transformed into an intimate oasis. Spice up a compact patio by swapping bulky furniture for stackable pieces in bright hues.
Come sundown, string lights and lanterns cast a magical glow for memorable evenings spent outdoors.
If you’re blessed with ample square footage, create unique zones for lounging, dining, and play. Winding garden paths connect each space while providing visual interest along the way.
With a little creativity and sweat equity, your backyard offers endless decorating possibilities.
This season, challenge yourself to look at your outdoor area with fresh eyes.
Table Of Contents
- Key Takeaways
- Add Color
- Attract Wildlife
- Create a Lounge Area
- Build a Bar Space
- Define Separate Zones
- Include Water Features
- Use Unique Decor
- Add Soft Touches
- Create a Dining Space
- Light It Up
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Use bright colors and lighting to create an inviting atmosphere. Vary the hues and tones to liven up the space.
- Design separate lounge, dining, and bar areas for multifunctional use. Break up the yard into zones based on activity.
- Incorporate water features for tranquility and ambiance. The sound of moving water has a calming effect.
- Attract wildlife with bird feeders, native plants, and other natural elements. Many birds and pollinators thrive on native flora. Use feeders, nesting boxes, and flowering plants to welcome local fauna. Creating habitat brings nature’s beauty into your outdoor space.
You can easily punch up your outdoor space with splashes of vibrant color. Begin by painting your patio furniture in lively hues like turquoise, tangerine, or coral for an instant style update. Then layer brightly-patterned pillows on your seating and dot vibrant blooms in colorful planters scattered throughout your backyard.
With just a few simple changes, you’ll transform your outdoor oasis into a cheerful getaway.
Why not brighten up that tired outdoor furniture with a fresh coat of paint? A pop of color on those chairs and tables will liven up the whole backyard. Choose complementary hues that go with your pillows and umbrella. Prep the surface, use primer, and apply two coats of durable outdoor enamel.
Distress edges for a vintage look. Stencil on fun shapes or words. Finish with protective sealer.
Add colorful accents like ceramic planters or glass vases with fresh blooms. Express your style with painted furniture that makes your outdoor living space inviting.
Plants, shrubs and pots filled with seeds bring life while painted furniture with personality completes your personalized backyard oasis.
Bright pillows in sunny colors add an instant style update to your patio furniture. Their cheer makes your backyard a happy place to relax and entertain. Look for durable fabrics like Sunbrella that resist fading.
Mix solids with patterns in complementary hues. Layer different sizes and shapes for visual interest. Toss pillows printed with bright flowers or abstract designs instantly perk up a neutral sofa. Coordinate bright greens with lime citronella candles. Punchy coral and turquoise pillows on wicker give a coastal vibe.
Let kids’ choices add whimsy. Refresh often to keep your outdoor oasis lively. Welcoming accessories in vivid colors energize your personal backyard retreat.
Place big, vibrant planters full of flowers and greenery around your yard to instantly add color and beauty. Show off your style by filling galvanized metal buckets, colorful ceramic pots, and weathered wooden barrels with cheerful annuals and perennials.
Mix flowering plants like petunias, marigolds, and geraniums with trailing vines and ornamental grasses. Accent with pots of herbs and vegetables for your summer cooking. Arrange the planters near seating areas so you can enjoy the colors and scents up close.
Vibrant containers brighten your patio, along the fence, and lining garden pathways.
Install a variety of bird feeders suited for different species to appeal to a diverse range of birds. Popular options include tube feeders, hopper feeders, platform feeders, and suet feeders.
Plant flowers like butterfly bushes that provide pollinators with enticing, nectar-rich blooms. Butterfly weed, coneflowers, and verbena are other great options that butterflies love.
Add a lovely pedestal birdbath to give birds a spot to drink, bathe, and preen while enhancing your garden’s ambiance. Use a dripper or mister to keep the water moving and prevent mosquitoes. Place it in view of shrubs or feeders so birds feel safe using it.
Consider putting up nesting boxes suited to songbirds like bluebirds and wrens. Properly sited and constructed nest boxes provide critical nesting habitat.
Use native plants suited to your region to provide birds and pollinators with natural sources of food and shelter.
Sit back and enjoy watching your new visitors flock to your wildlife-friendly backyard! Adjust feeders, flowers, and other elements over time to see what works best.
Hang a copper bird feeder and squirrel-friendly seeder to draw adorable wildlife to your yard. Attract songbirds with a charming verdigris feeder that holds 3 lbs of seed. Squirrels will flock to a cedar wood diner with vented floor.
Soon your outdoor space will be filled with the sights and sounds of nature’s feathered and furry friends.
- Mount feeders securely
- Refill and clean regularly
- Use appropriate seed blends
With a few simple additions, you can turn your backyard into a wildlife refuge. Relax on your patio and enjoy the show.
Plant a forest of vibrant Miss Mollies to create a butterfly bonanza in your yard! Those fluttery friends will flock in droves to bask in the sea of purple blooms.
Growing just 3-5 feet tall and wide, it produces abundant flowers summer through fall. Attract butterflies with ease by planting several together in a sunny flowerbed. Enjoy watching them flutter and feed among the prolific blooms. Your yard will be abuzz with life thanks to this butterfly-friendly flower.
|Growth||3-5 feet tall and wide|
|Bloom Time||Summer to Fall|
|Flower Color||Vibrant Purple|
With a few Miss Molly bushes, you’ll quickly transform your outdoor space into a butterfly haven. Just imagine lounging on the patio, lemonade in hand, watching a kaleidoscope of winged beauties dance through periwinkle flowers.
You’ll sense life’s interconnectedness as birds splash in the bath’s refreshing waters.
- Position it near foliage so birds feel protected.
- Add a gentle dripper to entice birds to drink and bathe.
- Choose a style that complements your garden’s aesthetic.
- Pick a durable material like concrete that withstands weather.
- Mount it securely on a pedestal at bird eye-level.
Attract a diversity of feathered friends by installing an inviting birdbath in your backyard. Imagine reconnecting with nature as you relax nearby, listening to charming birdsongs and delighted chirps.
Create a Lounge Area
With the warm weather finally here, it’s time to transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis. Begin by incorporating plush seating like cushioned chairs, loveseats, or sectionals along with convenient side tables for holding drinks and snacks.
Next, add ambiance by stringing lights overhead to illuminate your new lounge area for laid-back evenings spent stargazing.
Make your lounging dreams a reality by nestling a cozy sectional into your backyard’s welcoming wings. Surround plush, all-weather seating with convenient side tables, warm lighting, and cozy throw blankets.
Arrange the modular pieces into your ideal configuration, then dress with vibrant outdoor pillows and rugs to reflect your style. For additional laid-back seating options, try an outdoor bed swing or cushy Adirondack chairs.
As the day winds down, stretch out under the stars wrapped in a downy sleeping bag atop your new outdoor oasis.
Keep drinks and snacks handy with a weatherproof side table or two nestled up to your cozy lounge seating.
Opt for durable materials like teak, concrete, or all-weather wicker that can withstand the elements. Look for accent tables with conveniences like built-in cooler compartments, tile tops, and storage shelves.
For a creative touch, repurpose a vintage dresser or buffet as a makeshift outdoor side table.
Layer in trays, coasters, and decor like miniature terra cotta pots or metal buckets overflowing with flowers. A lacquered tray filled with cocktail stirrers, napkins, and an ice bucket pulls the space together.
Keep a carafe of sangria or pitcher of lemonade chilled and ready for sipping. Set out stacks of glasses, mugs, or even your grandmother’s antique tea cups and saucers.
Outdoor side tables let you create a cozy and convenient oasis steps from your lush lounge seating.
Hang string lights over your lounge seating to instantly create a cozy vibe.
|Cafe lights||Vintage-inspired bare bulbs with cords in various lengths to crisscross overhead|
|Paper lanterns||Wire or bamboo frames in fun shapes like moons, stars, hearts|
|Fairy lights||Whimsical LED strings with tiny bulbs to drape from trees|
|Mason jars||Hang lights in upcycled jars alone or clustered together|
|Market lights||Edison bulbs on black wire for an industrial chic look|
When planning your layout, run the lights overhead in zigzag formations, trail them from planters, or circle seating areas and trees. Pick lights that complement your style from delicate to daring. Control brightness with dimmers.
Power your lights with solar stakes or outdoor outlets. The right string lights transform any languid lounge into an enchanted escape.
Build a Bar Space
Install a compact fridge to keep drinks chilled. Add a fold-out counter with overhang that provides additional serving space when entertaining. Pull up a few bar stools so guests can gather comfortably. With these key elements – a fridge, counter space, and seating – you’ll have everything needed for an inviting backyard bar perfect for relaxing summer nights.
Mount a compact fridge on your windowsill so you can keep drinks chilled without running back and forth from the kitchen.
- Choose a small fridge with reversible door to fit snugly in place.
- Look for models with front vents and adjustable temperature controls.
- Install barware shelves and hooks above to store glasses within easy reach.
- Add a stainless steel cocktail station with sink next to the fridge.
- Run an outdoor rated extension cord to power your new mini bar.
Now you’ll have everything you need for an instant refreshment stop right outside the window. Mix and match drinks out here while prepping snacks in the kitchen or relaxing in your outdoor movie spot. With creatively placed seating, cozy blankets, and the right lighting, your makeshift bar will become a favorite hangout.
Installing a fold-out counter creates an effortless entertaining spot in your backyard. Set up a slim foldaway table that tucks discreetly against the wall when not in use. Look for durable materials like powder coated steel that can withstand the elements.
Add locking casters for easy maneuvering. Now you’ve got instant extra serving space for backyard barbecues or cocktail parties that disappears when not needed. Stash matching stools nearby so guests can belly up. With fresh garnishes, bar tools, and glassware on display your portable bar becomes a festive focal point.
|Wood and Steel||Durable hardwood with steel counter||$$||$$|
|Plastic and Steel||Affordable with steel support||$||$|
|Concrete and Steel||Stylish concrete top, steel legs||$$$||$$$|
Choose cozy colorful barstools to pull up for refreshing drinks al fresco. Pick height adjustable seats for flexibility – go low for intimate conversation or raise up to bar height for casual mingling.
Look for weather-resistant materials like aluminum, teak, or all-weather wicker in fun stripes or patterns that complement your style.
Arrange stools in a friendly circle for sharing appetizers like potato salad while roasting hot dogs or pull a couple up to a ledge by the movie spot for tea worthy conversation. With the right lively seats and place settings your patio becomes the perfect spot for a relaxing high tea party under the stars.
Define Separate Zones
When designing your backyard, consider dividing the space into defined areas or zones. Pathways, area rugs, and privacy screens are great ways to delineate different spaces while still allowing an open flow between them.
With thoughtful planning, you can create specialized zones in your yard—perhaps a cozy seating area, a dining space, or even a play area for kids—and make the most of your outdoor living space.
Lay down flagstone paths to neatly divide your backyard into inviting zones for entertaining, relaxing, and play. Meandering pathways of natural flagstone create a charming rustic look while providing durable, low-maintenance walking surfaces.
Select flat stones in harmonizing earth tones like tan, brown, and gray for a cohesive aesthetic.
Arrange the pavers attractively, filling gaps with pea gravel to allow drainage. Extend your stone paths to highlight special features or guide guests to distinct areas for mingling, dining, or lawn games.
Finish with handmade ceramic accents from a DIY window box filled with fast-growing shrubs.
Layer cozy area rugs under your backyard seating to define each zone’s style and ambiance.
- Use a large geometric rug under the dining table to add color and softness.
- Try a braided rug under the seating area for texture and comfort.
- Add a patterned rug under the swing or lounge chairs for visual interest.
- Place a sisal rug under the bar area for an organic look that hides stains.
- Try small rugs by steps or entries to designate transitions between spaces.
Rugs outdoors create softness underfoot while providing style and personality to your alfresco living areas.
Add privacy with decorative screens between zones for an intimate backyard feel. Use trellises, lattices, or bamboo panels between seating areas to create a sense of coziness. Try accordion screens that fold out when needed, or hang sheer curtains from garden archways.
Position taller planting beds, trees, or planter boxes between spaces as living screens. Accent screens with vibrant climbers or trailing vines to soften hard edges. When zoning your backyard, don’t forget to consider privacy and seclusion.
Include Water Features
When decorating your backyard, consider adding the soothing sounds and visual interest of water features. A small fountain on a raised pedestal makes an elegant focal point, while adding aquatic plants to a backyard pond creates a natural oasis.
Floating plants like water lilies and hyacinths spread tranquility and give fish shelter; plus, they filter the water. With so many sizes, styles, and placement options for fountains, ponds, and floating plants, you can easily incorporate the relaxing aesthetic of water into your landscape design.
I hear you’re keen to splash out on a fountain to make a splash in your backyard decor. But don’t wet your pants just yet – a leaky decoration could dampen your mood. You’ve gotta gauge if your yard’s plumbing has the flow to support such a feature, or you’ll end up all washed up.
I’d soak it in before taking the plunge if I were you. Consider a small, self-contained fountain or pondless waterfall to start.
But if your heart’s set on a big, burbling Baroque fountain, hire a pro to ensure proper setup. Dream big, but install smart – a watertight system means years of tranquil trickling enjoyment.
Dig into your backyard oasis dreams with a serene pond.
- Position it near trees or shrubs to enhance the natural vibe. The greenery provides shade and frames the view.
- Add a small wooden bridge for an idyllic touch. Invite guests to pause and admire the tranquil scene.
- Place a bench, chairs, or loungers nearby. It’s the perfect spot for relaxing with a book or beverage.
- Accent with large urns, pots, or planters. Vibrant blooms reflect beautifully on the water.
Let your pond become a cherished backyard retreat. Craft a space that nourishes the soul as you immerse in nature’s beauty.
You’re instantly livening your backyard oasis by letting vibrant floating plants drift across your pond’s surface. Imagine the serene beauty of floating water lettuce interspersed with the feathery fronds of parrot’s feather.
Gently spiraling streams will nudge the floating foliage, sending flickers of light dancing across the water. Position urns filled with water lilies near the edges to frame the scene. The lush greenery and bursts of color energize the space while creating a sense of tranquil seclusion right in your own backyard.
Use Unique Decor
You can really make your backyard pop with unique, creative touches. Paint terra cotta pots in bright colors and stencil fun patterns. Upcycle old items like windows and doors into decorative displays, or mount an eye-catching metal wall sculpture that reflects your style.
With a bit of imagination, you can decorate your outdoor space in innovative ways that show off your personality.
Brighten up your backyard with painted pots overflowing with flowers and greenery.
- Pick terracotta or plastic pots in various shapes and sizes. Smaller pots can sit on top of larger ones for interest.
- Clean pots, then paint with acrylic craft paints. Use solid colors or fun patterns like stripes, dots, and geometrics.
- Seal the paint with an acrylic sealer spray once fully dry. Then fill pots with good potting soil and your favorite blooms.
- Cluster painted pots on the patio, steps, porch, or in garden beds. Shift pots around seasonally for an easy way to boost color.
You can spruce up your backyard with repurposed items for an eco-friendly, unique look. Did you know that over 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year, with much of it ending up in landfills and oceans? Giving discarded objects new life saves resources and keeps waste out of landfills.
Repurpose potato chip tins into planters. Transform wooden pallets into Adirondack chairs. Give old wellies a colorful makeover with spray paint. Fill unique containers with potting mix and flowers.
Your backyard will tell a charming upcycled story.
Outdoor Wall Art
Bring life to blank walls this summer with colorful murals, prints, or painted designs. Create an outdoor movie spot by projecting films onto a decorated wall. Showcase elegant seating areas with custom signs or oversized numbers.
Paint pretty boxes in bright colors and mount them to add pops of color. Place Adirondack chairs and string lights to illuminate the artwork. Let your personality shine through with creative, stylish accents. Your backyard decor creates memories under the stars.
Add Soft Touches
Let’s add some soft touches to your backyard with comfortable pillows, cozy throws, and chic rugs. Scatter plush pillows in bright solids and prints across your outdoor seating to make it even more inviting.
Layer lightweight throws and blankets nearby so you can curl up by the fire on chilly nights. And ground your space with durable, stylish rugs that can handle the weather while elevating the look. Pulling in these soft accents creates a backyard that’s just as comfy and sophisticated as your indoor living areas.
Cushion your backyard with vibrant pillows that’ll make your outdoor space feel cozy and vibrant.
- Look for pillows in sunny, cheerful colors like yellow, orange, and turquoise to brighten up your patio furniture.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and textures for an eclectic look – try stripey pillows with floral prints.
- For a cohesive look, match your pillow colors to other accents like patio umbrellas.
Bright, happy pillows are an easy porch-worthy touch that brings life and personality to your backyard oasis year-round.
Add vibrant throws on patio furniture for an instant style upgrade in your backyard. Cozy blankets in cheerful prints and textures make any outdoor space feel more lively. Drape Adirondack chairs with sunny yellow and orange woven cotton throws that pop against shrubs.
Or toss fun patterned throws on patio furniture to sprinkle in pops of bright color.
Pick fun patterned outdoor rugs to instantly brighten up your patio and define spaces like a dining area in your backyard’s layout. Layer in whimsical motifs under a bistro set or go for energetic stripes under lounge chairs to delineate a cozy relaxation nook.
Outdoor rugs not only add visual interest but also provide extra cushioning as you walk around the space barefoot. Choose durable, stain-resistant fabrics like polypropylene or acrylic in lively hues.
Bring the indoors outside by echoing your interior style with a Moroccan trellis or global ikat pattern.
Create a Dining Space
Making mealtimes more magical starts with creating a stylish patio dining space. Invest in a durable patio table with coordinating chairs that reflect your personal taste, then pull together place settings that tie into your color palette or theme.
This transforms basic backyard meals into an experience by surrounding you with beauty while you dine alfresco with family and friends.
Add a cozy touch to your dining space with a patio table layered with textured table runners and topped with candles or a garden bouquet.
- Choose a sturdy table that can withstand the elements – wood, metal, or stone are great options.
- Style with comfy cushioned chairs like Adirondacks for relaxed dining.
- Layer on accent pieces like runners, placemats, or tablecloths in weather-friendly fabrics.
- Create an inviting mood with candles, flowers, or decorative lighting.
Investing in a quality patio table and chairs makes your outdoor dining area a true extension of your home. Curate the space with details like linens, centerpieces, and lighting so it has that homey, welcoming feel perfect for entertaining or everyday meals.
You’d be incredibly comfortable lounging for hours on cushioned patio chairs that perfectly complement your dining table! Adirondack chairs provide easy seating in your backyard. Their contoured design supports you while you sip lemonade or chat over dinner. Opt for a set made of durable poly lumber or painted wood that coordinates with your existing outdoor furniture.
Matching chairs tie everything together. Embrace weatherproof Sunbrella fabrics in fun colors and patterns. Position a few around the patio for extra seating. Picking chairs that match your aesthetic is crucial for nailing backyard decor.
When dressing the outdoor table, polished place settings tie into your sophisticated garden aesthetic. Elevate your backyard dining with white china, clear glassware, and simple flatware. Layer in luxe linens like an ivory tablecloth or colorful napkins. Centerpieces don’t have to be elaborate; try a bouquet of freshly-cut flowers in a unique vase.
Mix and match patterns for an eclectic look. Outdoor melamine dishes in fun, bright hues inject a playful vibe perfect for casual gatherings. Light the table with glass votives or lanterns. Finishing touches like napkin rings, chargers, and place cards make it feel special.
Curating the details transports guests to a chic oasis.
Light It Up
Setting the mood with lighting can take your backyard from basic to beautiful. Embracing lanterns and flameless candles transforms a ho-hum space by adding ambience after the sun goes down. Strategically placed lighting highlights focal points and creates an inviting atmosphere perfect for relaxing outdoors long into the evening.
You’ll adore the twinkling glow of lanterns scattered throughout your yard’s lush greenery come nightfall.
- Hang strands of globe string lights from trees to create an enchanting ambience. The warm white bulbs look like floating fireflies at dusk.
- Cluster citronella candles on side tables and countertops to keep mosquitoes at bay while imparting a soothing scent.
- For festive flair, use wire to suspend colorful paper lanterns from rose arches and branches.
With their charming illumination, lanterns are one of the easiest ways to create backyard magic after the sun goes down.
Twinkle softly, flameless candles, transporting one’s spirit to a peaceful fairy glen with your gentle glow. Flameless candles create a magical ambience without the hazards of real flame. Set them among foliage or along walkways to define spaces with their warm radiance.
Cluster flameless tea lights in colorful glasses for pops of bright color. Nestle pillar candles in pots to line an outdoor bed swing. Scatter flameless votives across adirondack chairs or a high tea party table for an inviting glow.
Experiment with unique containers to hold taper candles amidst flower arrangements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What types of plants are low maintenance and drought resistant?
Succulents like sedum, sempervivum, and echeveria are great choices. Their thick leaves and stems store water, allowing them to thrive with minimal moisture. Ornamental grasses are another good option. Varieties such as miscanthus, pennisetum, and stipa are quite drought tolerant once established.
Opting for these low-maintenance beauties will help you save water while enjoying a gorgeous yard.
How can I make my backyard more accessible for guests with disabilities?
Create smooth, accessible pathways from parking to patio, and install a ramp instead of steps if needed. Provide ample seating options with backs and arms, and position some lower chairs for easier transfers.
Keep walkways clear, and use motion sensor lighting at night for safety. Focus on comfort, ease of access, and independence.
What are some kid-friendly backyard decorating ideas?
Install an outdoor chalkboard wall so kids can express their creativity. Hang a tree swing and hammock to encourage playtime and relaxation. Decorate with bright, fun colors and fabrics. Add kid-sized furniture like chairs, tables, and playhouses.
Include games, toys, balls, and bubbles to keep them entertained. Light up the space with string lights for nighttime use.
Where can I find affordable patio furniture?
Check big box stores like Target and Walmart for basic wicker sets. Visit your local thrift and consignment shops for secondhand finds. Browse Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for used sets people are getting rid of.
Build your own furniture from pallets or repurposed materials. Head to discount retailers like Big Lots or At Home for major markdowns on outdoor furniture.
How do I keep bugs out of my backyard at night?
Use citronella candles or torches to naturally repel mosquitoes. String up outdoor lights, since bugs don’t like brightness. Mist areas with essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus that bugs dislike. Install ceiling fans on your patio to keep the air moving.
Treat surrounding plants with organic insecticidal soaps. Cover any standing water sources to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. Simple preventative measures will allow you to enjoy pest-free evenings outside.
Invigorate your outdoor lifestyle with these easy DIY decor tips! Express your personality by infusing color onto furniture, pillows, and planters. Attract fluttering wings and chirping beaks with charming birdhouses, birdbaths, and butterfly bushes.
Craft cozy lounge spots tucked away in garden nooks. Or make a splash with bubbling fountains.
Define activity zones with pathways, rugs, and screens. Build drink stations and dining spaces for entertaining.
However you choose to decorate your backyard space, allow your creativity to roam freely.