15 Charming Patio Decor Ideas to Elevate Your Backyard
Nice weather is finally here! Create your own private oasis in a flash with these easy and affordable patio decor ideas from the experts.
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Spring and summer are the time to soak up the fresh air and seasonal vibes. But if you’re less than impressed with your outdoor furniture and other backyard items, it’s time to spruce up your space with a few patio decor ideas. Plus, you might be able to score them at a super discount with Memorial Day sales or Labor Day sales, depending on when you’re redecorating. Or catch the Wayfair Way Day sale for the season’s best patio furniture deals.
Solar Hanging Lanterns
There’s no need to sacrifice style for function when choosing patio decor ideas. Outdoor solar lanterns can make a serious statement—if choosing the right ones. Hang these pretty pieces, which come as a set of two, from an awning or grace a tabletop with them. Alternatively, nestle them on the ground to help light a pathway and create a backyard oasis. The hollowed-out design offers up a soothing warm glow and creates a lovely pattern in the surrounding area. When the night ends, simply turn them off with the touch of a button.
Lemon Drinking Glasses
Sure, you could stock a bar cart with plastic cups for your next outdoor dinner party, but why not add even more style to the space with some summer-inspired acrylic glassware? These acrylic glasses have a bold and fun lemon print, and come in two sizes. Even better, acrylic ensures durability, and these glasses are conveniently stackable.
Decorative Canvas Pillow Covers
“I have found that outdoor throw pillows are rarely in short supply, because of the multitude of pattern, color and size options,” says Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design. “Plus, they’re an easy and affordable way to make a patio feel fresh, new and comfortable.” (This is a quick trick to elevate your indoor space, too.) Snag a set of these outdoor throw pillow covers (inserts not included) to change things up. They come in an array of colors and designs, so there’s bound to be a pair that meets anyone’s style preferences. The canvas fabric withstands the elements and also resists fading in the summer sun.
“Choosing patio furniture that is versatile for the way a person wants to use the space can make the biggest difference in how functional the outdoor space actually is,” says Lindsay Schleis, vice president of business development and the resident interior design expert for Polywood. “For example, if you like to host outdoor dinner parties, you must select a dining set. But also consider incorporating ottomans, side tables and other accessories that allow for extra seating and extra table space.”
We particularly love the multitasking nature of a side table, and this bestseller from Polywood comes in so many different colors you’ll have a hard time choosing which to add to the space. Plus, it’s super-sturdy, and the material won’t fade in the sun.
Live Fiddle Leaf Plant
If the patio or outdoor space doesn’t have much greenery, add some! Depending on the climate, consider hearty plants that allow for indoor placement when the weather turns cool. For example, Costa Farms’ fiddle leaf fig can hang outside, but also thrives indoors with a little TLC. It does best in indirect sunlight, so keep that in mind when sizing up the space. If light is an issue indoors, here’s a handy guide to the best low-light indoor plants.
Multi-Tiered Plant Stand
Plant stands are a smart way to give greens some height and really put their beauty in the spotlight. This three-tiered stand from Mercury Row is available in six different finishes. The structured metal leg design gives us major mid-century vibes, but the overall modern look can blend seamlessly into many decor styles. Use the stand to display the best mosquito-repellant plants while adding extra foliage to the area.
Metal Plant Hanger
For really enchanting patio decor ideas, try hanging planters filled with greenery around an outdoor space. This will really help fill the area with a lush vibe. If you don’t have a green thumb, that’s OK. There are plenty of fake plants that look pretty darn real. We absolutely love the bohemian vibe of the Riseon plant hanger, which works just as well outside as it does indoors. The planter size is on the smaller side, so it won’t overwhelm the space but will add tons of style.
12-Piece Dinnerware Set
Whether you’re creating a table for two or dining al fresco with a larger group on the patio while the kids play outdoor games, get a bit fancy. Ditch the paper plates and plastic forks in favor of a colorful melamine dinnerware set, which is ideal for outdoor use since it’s shatterproof. You can find tons of melamine plates and bowls in fun colors and designs, but we really love the style and hues of this Gibson set. The hues are so bright and joyful that they’ll instantly put a smile on anyone’s face. Plus, service for four won’t break the bank, so buy a bunch without putting a serious dent in your wallet.
Resin Storage Container
“If an outdoor coffee table has an opening or visible storage, use it to hold throw pillows or blankets for those cool nights or extra towels,” says Michael Hillel, founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture company SunHaven. Of course, if your existing patio coffee table or ottoman doesn’t have this feature, invest in outdoor storage that is appealing to the eye. We like this weather-resistant resin storage box, because it’s super roomy, with 165 gallons worth of space, and blends in well outdoors. It’s easy to assemble and fits more than you might think—from couch cushions to pool floats.
Wicker Conversation Set
If you want to decorate a patio with furniture, but don’t have a lot of space, consider a conversation set. These usually consist of three pieces, like two chairs and a small side table, that don’t take up much room and are ideal for small spaces. This Latitude Run wicker set is a prime example of what patio decor ideas can do for the home. While compact, the wicker chairs provide wide enough seating for someone to comfortably sit (thanks to the included cushions) and prove sturdy enough to feel supportive. Don’t forget to add a stylish outdoor rug to complete the look.
Solar Glass Bird Wind Chime
There’s just something about wind chimes—they have a breezy, calming effect, even on the most stressful of days. “A wind chime softly playing in a summer breeze is a soothing sound that always makes a house feel like a home,” says Brittany Zachos of the Zachos Design Group. “I prefer to find a nice tree near the outdoor patio to hang mine from.”
We’re absolutely smitten with this glass bird wind chime, with its seemingly delicate light blue bird at the top to add color to any outdoor space. In the evening, the bird actually glows, thanks to a soft, solar-powered bulb, adding to its charm.
Conversation Chair with Cushion
We love a comfortable rocking chair or lounge set for a patio decor idea, but we really love a basket chair. It’s comfortable, whimsical and oh-so-stylish. The rattan canopy holds firmly in place, thanks to the metal frame, and the cozy cushions boast water-resistant fabric to help protect them from fickle summer weather, making it easy to clean the new patio furniture. Just be careful: Once you sit down in this sweet seat, you may never want to stand up.
Flameless Pillar Candle Set
Not all patio decor ideas work, especially if you have a small space, but it’s pretty likely that no matter how small the area, you can add some candles. “Use an array of pillar candles for dimension and mood,” says Hillel. “If you don’t have pillar candles, any candle will do!”
If you have small children or just don’t love the idea of using a real flame, this set of battery-operated pillar candles is near perfection. You’ll get nine candles of varying heights for adding dimension. On top of that, they come with a remote control to set the mood from afar and even program a daily timer to turn them on. Now just buy a hot tub and really complete the relaxing look of your new patio space.
If you’ve always dreamt of having a gazebo in the backyard but worry you don’t have the space for it, consider a pretty pop-up option that’s easy to put up and take down when it isn’t in use. This 11-foot steel option from Sol 72 Outdoor comes in neutral colors, and it helps provide a cool escape with its vented shade. Another great feature? The mesh-paneled curtains are transparent, so you can enjoy being outside while keeping mosquitoes away.
A backyard will feel extra luxe if you create mini “rooms” to divide up the space. For example, make a distinct section just for lounging by putting up decorative screen panels to divvy up the area. Barrette Outdoor Living’s decorative screen panel is such a pretty way to put patio decor ideas like this into action. It’s available in a few different finishes, and the company also has a frame kit available to stack multiple panels to create a whole wall of screens.
- Andi Morse, founder and principal designer of Morse Design
- Lindsay Schleis, vice president of business development and the resident interior design expert for Polywood
- Michael Hillel, founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer outdoor furniture company SunHaven
- Brittany Zachos of the Zachos Design Group
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