If you haven’t started refreshing your backyard relaxation space, it’s time to get cracking so you can enjoy the season outdoors. But where do you begin? Learning how to decorate your backyard without breaking the bank takes a little time and research, but the long-lasting results are worth the effort.
To help you find the right inspiration, we spoke with pro designer and blogger Rae Beeman. Here, she shares her simple (and very affordable!) backyard decorating ideas to transform a patio, a porch, or even a nook in your garden into a lovely, laid-back oasis. Check out this sample design below.
Mix hues and prints.
“The fastest way to liven up a simple seating area is by mixing and matching colors and patterns,” Beeman notes.
To get the look, start by adding a blue-striped or scallop-patterned seat cover or cushion to your bench. Top with a medley of pillows in bright solids and summery prints (like the raspberry pink, burlap, and palm tree pillows shown).
Tip: For a long bench, display at least five or six pillows for an ultra-inviting look.
Map out a floor plan.
Whether you’re etching out a corner of your backyard, patio or porch, Beeman says it’s surprisingly easy to set up an alfresco sitting area. “You’ll want to map out a floor plan first,” she notes. “Then add the bigger pieces of furniture, followed by accents.”
In the photo above, notice how a wicker bench is set up with a table and chairs in a simple ‘horseshoe’ living room–style format. This ensures optimal conversation flow and comfort for guests — and yourself!
Anchor your space.
“Outdoor rugs nicely ground a seating nook while pulling it all together into one unified space,” says Beeman. “Plus, rugs instantly bring a dash of color and cozy texture!”
Tip: Opt for weather-proof rugs or rugs made out of natural materials (like jute or sisal) so they can withstand summer temperatures and elements.
(Love the rug featured in the main picture? It’s the Outdoor Geometric Southwestern Rug starting at $29 — buy from Rugs.com.)
Add welcoming flair.
All it takes are a few eye-catching touches to make any space feel more like a luxe retreat, says Beeman. Some easy ideas:
Enhance beauty and privacy with planters in various sizes. (The planters don’t have to be real if you don’t have time to take care of them! Browse your local Facebook Marketplace for steals.) Check out this planter-forward design below.
Amp up ambience with lanterns. The soft glow will add warmth and coziness to the space in ways that lamps simply cannot. We love the lanterns pictured below. (And if you don’t have lanterns, try candles.)
Add warmth with rattan or burlap chairs or baskets. These are the perfect blend of cozy, approachable, and trendy.
Offer five-star charm by serving help-yourself snacks, chilled wine, or a pitcher of iced tea. Having a big spread (even if it’s minimal effort, like cheese and crackers) helps your guests feel welcome and at home.
Now that we’ve laid out all these tips, the final design is in your hands. Just remember: A little extra “oomph” will help not just your guests enjoy the space, but you and your family as well.
Looking for more tips? Check out this trick for removing rust from patio furniture and five ways to pest-proof your backyard.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.