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Rejuvenate your summer space with these backyard design ideas

Blended woman in a tan beach hat and white sundress reading a book in a red hammock

Every summer, backyards, patios, and roof spaces become hubs of entertainment and relaxation — but if your outdoor space doesn’t feel as cozy as it used to, it may be time for an update. Often an afterthought, even the smallest or most unconventional area can be the ideal space to create a lounging environment you’ll want to hang out in forever.

Founded on the psychological concept of ‘comfort decorating,’ the following easy and affordable steps can help you reinvent your outdoor space and rediscover it as a place you love.

Backyard design ideas with substance and style

What is ‘comfort decorating,’ anyway? It’s a term from modern psychology that simply means that we are our best selves in a space that appeals to our style, experiences, and the way we live. Whether the transformation stops at your backyard or you take this as inspiration to update your whole home, it’s key to design with elements meant for the different people who love and live in your home.

Wherever your focal point is — the grill, the garden, the fire pit, etc. — by meshing utility, safety, and visually pleasing design, you can experience the upgrade you’ll wish you had given yourself sooner.

For best results, keep your backyard C.L.O.S.E.

A quick way to make your backyard or outdoor space hit all the high notes is to keep things C.L.O.S.E. (Comfortable, Lit, Organized, Safe, and Exciting). This straightforward checklist will highlight which aspects of your backyard or patio need the most attention.


How do you feel in your backyard? Does clutter make you want to run away? A few small investments can bring in the “ooh” and push out the “blah”!

Organizing your existing backyard décor

To get started, you’ll need to take stock of the backyard décor you already have. Clear your schedule for a few hours to fully assess what you’re working with.

Designate spaces for what you’ll keep, donate, and send to the trash, laying down tarp for any potential messes/items with small pieces that could get lost in the grass. Then, bring out everything you use outdoors during the summer (yes, even out of storage) before sorting items into their appropriate piles (you might have enough for a garage sale after)!

What can you upcycle? The possibilities are endless – like these options, to name a few.

  • Repurpose a colorful, large serving bowl as the potter for a new plant.
  • Paint an old, sturdy tire and turn it into a swing or a mini sandbox.
  • Transform an old ladder into a garden trellis.

Now that you know what you’ll be bringing into Backyard 2.0, you can make a list of what else you may need to flesh out the space as you read the categories below – including items that do double duty, like a refrigerator coffee table, or a table that has compartments for a cooler and a fire pit. 

If you’re only a few simple items away from making the space inviting, make the time to go out and get the essentials you need (firsthand or consignment), so you can make your space one you truly enjoy.

Pro Tip: If multi-functional appliances are not your wavelength, make sure your indoor fridge and freezerare ready to handle your seasonal treats – or keep an additional refrigerator outside for grab-and-go summer fun!


Whether your backyard gets a lot of shade or you want to spend more time outside on warm summer nights, investigate how light (or a lack thereof) impacts your outdoor space.

Night lights

Inexpensive lights that are fashionable and functional can make your backyard feel more walkable after dark. They can also be used to define different areas of your backyard, so you can dine al fresco under twinkling string lights or use paver lights to keep human feet away from your marigolds.

Shady days

Stay cool by investing in an umbrella for your hammock or a canopy for your deck, allowing you to sip lemonade and finish that captivating (audio)book in relaxing peace. 


It may feel like you can never find enough space for your stuff, but being deliberate about where and how things are stored can make your backyard more ‘paradise’ and less ‘minefield’.

Look for pieces of furniture with wheels or lightweight or foldable parts that make it easy to put in your shed, mudroom, or garage. Use racks, bins, or carts to keep spaces clear and open, even when in use.

Even the items you keep on display, like hanging plants or your favorite sporting equipment, can be arranged in a way that makes maintenance a breeze.


A safe backyard is a useful backyard. Though grilling may be the first backyard activity that comes to mind, fire is just one concern to consider in your outdoor space. Does your backyard have any elements that have fallen into disrepair, such as a playset that’s creaking for retirement, or a set of unwieldy deck chairs you’re afraid to use? It might be time for something new (see the COMFORTABLE section above).

Clear out any miscellaneous or unidentifiable materials, fix or replace what’s broken, and yes — practice fire safety at the firepit or the grill to continue making new and awesome summer memories. It’s a lot harder to relax when you’re subconsciously waiting for danger to strike — act now to make way for a safer space.


Now that the coast is clear, you can select items that'll have you bursting through the back door to enjoy them!

Look for décor made with one or more of the following components for pieces you can cherish for years to come.

  • Attractive shapes
  • Eye-catching colors
  • Washable/easy-clean materials/li>
  • Weatherproof items designed for outdoor fun and play
  • Anything that makes your space outside a more irresistible escape

Like birds? Add a bird feeder so you’ll always have a reason to pop outside.

Have a pool? Look into waterproof Bluetooth speakers and nice inflatable rafts with cupholders or other features that fit your fancy.

The best part of customizing your space is that there are endless ways to personalize your backyard, big and small (physically and financially), leaving you feeling equally proud and blissed out.

With a fun brainstorming session and a day or two spent making the dream a reality, you can renew your love for the place you entertain, luxuriate, and create, bringing new meaning to the saying, “There’s no place like home.”

How are you going to get the most out of your backyard this summer? Visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram to tell us your thoughts!