26 Outdoor Decor Ideas to Turn Your Yard Into a Relaxing Oasis

It could be as easy as adding a hammock or a shady spot to cool off.

Outdoor Pergola

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Warmer temperatures, bright blue skies, and sunny days are luring us outside. And if you're like us and planning to do any of your eating, entertaining, or lounging out there, then it's time to rethink how that area looks and feels.

Short on space? A few square inches can go a long way. Tight budget? Work with what you already own. No garden or greenery? No big deal. From yards and terraces to patios and porches, these easy outdoor decor ideas can work for any spot you have big plans for beautifying.

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Add a structure to your outdoor spots

Outdoor Pergola

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Trellises, pergolas, awnings, and other structures can help define your lounge or dining areas, and allow you to create natural shade and privacy with climbing plants or by hanging fabric over it and installing outdoor curtains. Bonus: It also creates a place where you can hang lanterns and outdoor string lights to make al fresco entertaining even better at night.

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Keep the basics simple

White table, chairs, and parasol on outdoor patio
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Invest in essential patio furniture pieces, like an offset umbrella, table, and chairs in a simple monochromatic palette. That way, you can change up the look on the cheap by adding colorful accessories.

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Add pops of colors

outdoor patio with bold colors

Want to add a touch of fun to your outdoor space? Cue the colorful accents. This patio gets a bold pick-me-up from cushions in vibrant colors (tangerine, blue) and modern prints–along with the vibrant colors from the patio plants.

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Think about nighttime lighting

Outdoor lighting on a dining space

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There's more than one way to light up the night—and your best bet is to include a few different lighting options to give your backyard a beautiful glow. Add hanging paper lanterns or glowing bistro lights to cover a patio, string lights to highlight a favorite tree, candles or lanterns for up-close light for guests, and even more permanent options like chandeliers for a dedicated outdoor space.

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Design with all your senses in mind

Backyard water feature

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Sure, you want your outdoor decor to look beautiful, but don't leave the other four senses out. Add flowers to your garden that will release their fragrance around your patio, add wind chimes or a babbling water feature to create soothing sounds, and choose soft throws, pillows, and rugs to make everything feel comfortable.

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Make everyone more comfortable

Outdoor fireplace

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Invest in a high-quality fire pit—or even a gorgeous outdoor fireplace—to help keep everyone cozy on cool nights (and make s'mores making even easier). If space is an issue, you can always opt for a portable tabletop wood-burning fire pit that will still give you the cozy ambiance.

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Consider a porch swing

Porch Swing

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Longing for your own special escape? Suspend a swinging seat bench in the corner of a wooden deck or on your front porch to help you breeze through those lazy days of summer.

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Add an intimate seating spot

Green bistro set

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Even if you don't do much outdoor entertaining (or don't have a lot of space for a table for 10), it's still lovely to have a spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or afternoon lemonade. Choose a weather-resistant material and have enough seating to accommodate a few drop-in guests.

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Create a perfect place to catch some zzs

Chinese lanterns and a day bed outdoors
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Daybeds make the perfect lounge spot for an afternoon siesta—or for entertaining your crew. Invest in a few pretty pillows to make the space extra comfy.

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Don't forget a hammock

Hammock near a patio

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Create an intimate nook for lounging, reading, or just zoning out. Find a spot in the trees to suspend a pretty garden hammock.

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Repurpose indoor items outdoors

Indoor furniture outdoors

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Outdoor furniture is made to survive, rain or shine. But if you're entertaining a crowd and don't have enough outdoor seating, there's no reason you can't move indoor decor outdoors temporarily. Break out your dining room chairs or benches, a lounge chair, or create a cozy lounge spot on the ground with a rug, a coffee table, and a few cushions. (Just make sure you bring it all in before the rain falls.)

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Match the outdoor decor to your indoor style

Orange, blue, and green chairs
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Minimalists, you're in luck. An outdoor space can become whatever you make of it. Carve out a casual reading or conversational area with a trio of punchy colored chairs can instantly brighten up a stone yard.

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Create some shade

White fabric canopy
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If your outdoor space doesn't have an awning, you can create your own with a white fabric canopy. (Patio umbrellas also make an easy and inexpensive way to keep everyone under cover.)

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Bring more nature onto your patio

Plants in containers

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You don't have to have a lot of land (or any!) to add a little greenery to your outdoor space. Place potted plants and flowers on your patio, and grow tall shrubs or climbing plants nearby to create a dramatic backdrop. Choose plant pots that'll go with your outdoor decor style—whether that's terra cotta for an earthy, Mediterranean vibe, or bold painted planters for a more modern touch.

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Use natural materials

Wicker patio dining set
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Ensure your dining space fits in with the great outdoors by opting for natural materials like a teak table and wicker chairs.

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Opt for mix and match seating

Mismatched outdoor dining set
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Repaint vintage outdoor chairs (or new finds) in the same palette to create some uniformity—and put the focus on the fun shapes you're using.

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Don't be afraid to go bold with your color scheme

Pink table and chairs with hanging lights
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The outdoors is where you can shake things up and have a little fun. Brighten up a spot on the lawn with a pop of colorful accents like a red dinette table, string of vibrant lights, and a magenta Chinese lantern.

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Think beyond the patio

Fabric canopy covering a dining table on the lawn
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Have a small (or nonexistent) patio? Move the dining table into the garden so guests can enjoy your landscaping along with your hospitality. (You can set up temporary shade with sturdy poles and fabric .)

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Build an outdoor kitchen

Fenced in stone patio
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All you need is a grill or pizza oven, a little counter space (a potting table works great) and some clever storage to give you everything you need to create an outdoor feast.

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Create an outdoor living room

Outdoor Living Room

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Dreaming of a lounging area for reading and writing, or hanging with guests? Decorate around the key piece: the sofa. A traditional rattan couch gets an instant transformation by tossing on patterned pillows.

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Add some privacy

Outdoor curtains for privacy

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Fences or walls are only one option when it comes to enclosing and creating a private space. You can opt for outdoor curtains, bamboo privacy screens, or tall plantings to create a little private piece of heaven.

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Think vertically

Vertical garden

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If you're short on outdoor space, just look up. Hanging flower baskets, trellised plants, plant stands, and tall outdoor shelving give you the space for gardening in tight quarters and keeping everything you need at hand.

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Create the perfect outdoor bar

Outdoor Bar by Yardzen


Whether you opt for a simple bar cart, or spring for a deluxe bar setup, you'll have the perfect spot for an impromptu happy hour with friends.

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Add a fun feature

Terrace with hot tub

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Make your patio the place to be with an outdoor feature that brings everyone to your yard. Consider a projector and screen for outdoor movie nights, an outdoor game like bocce or volleyball (or even an outdoor grade pool table!), or a major upgrade like a hot tub or sauna.

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Get creative with your shed

Backyard Shed

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A backyard shed can be more than just storage for your garden tools. Turn it into a yoga studio, a cozy reading nook, or a place to hang out with your friends.

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Change it out for the seasons

Fall Patio setup

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Your patio look doesn't have to stay the same as you head into fall. Update with cozier, fall-hued pillows and throws, and add in pumpkins, mums, and other autumnal accessories.

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