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Once the weather hits the mid-60s, I look for any possible excuse to spend time outside—long morning walks, working from outdoor tables at the local coffee shop and outdoor-only dinner reservations with friends are some of my favorite ways to maximize my time outside. You don’t always have to leave your house to get the fun-in-the-sun feel if you transform your own outdoor space into the hottest spot to get a reservation. This summer’s top outdoor decor trends for 2022 are here and it’s never been easier to transform your outdoor space from patio to posh.
Whether you have a humble balcony or a full-on backyard, there are ways to make the space an area for people to gather and create lasting memories. The first step is by thinking about how your outdoor space can be a natural extension of the comfortable activities you enjoy indoors. If you love inviting your neighbors over for wine and cheese night or take pride in your signature cocktails—create a simple yet dynamic bar set up outside. If a game night is your thing, extend the feel of your living room into your yard by adding cushy chairs, a fire pit and portable floor cushions.
Making an outdoor transformation doesn’t need to be drastic or expensive—simple pieces and changes make a big difference. While I wish I had an outdoor space to decorate myself, I live in a New York City apartment so the most I have to work with is my fire escape. If I did have an outdoor space, I have a pretty clear vision of the California coastal sanctuary I would try to create but since I am backyard-less, I decided to consult an expert to get the best possible decor advice.
I spoke with HGTV star, Breegan Jane, who recently just completed her own affordable outdoor space transformation with pieces from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls.
She gave her California backyard (yes, I’m jealous) a complete overhaul and if you’re thinking of doing the same, it’s best to start with the essentials. “Key items, like essential sitting pieces, come first in the process,” Jane says. “I like to think about the layout for my guests and start with function first.”
Before you can focus on what’s trendy, it’s important to make sure you’ve covered the tried and true with high-quality, durable outdoor furniture. Nobody will want to come over to sit on a moldy chair cushion so picking furniture textures that fit your environment is a great way to ensure that your purchases will last. To maximize your dollar, choose pieces that double in purpose, especially if you’re working with a smaller space.
Indoor/Outdoor Wicker Storage Trunk
This wicker trunk doubles as seating and storage. Use it to stash throw blankets for your guests to use once the sun goes down.
Indoor/Outdoor Wicker Storage Trunk $129.99
If you’re investing in your outdoor space, you’ll want to get maximum usage out of it. It’s important to remember to make the shift from day to night in your backyard entertainment setting. “Battery-operated solar lights are my must-have item!” Jane exclaims. “It’s a low price point, functional item that creates cool mood lighting at night.” Just as you’d add decorative lighting to your living room, you can play up your outdoor aesthetic by choosing complimentary light fixtures. And for the record, a portable fire pit totally works as a light source as well (and a source for smores of course).
12 In. Led Wire Solar Lantern
Hanging lanterns are an easy way to set the mood—plus, they’re portable so you can move them around as your party and space progress.
12 In. Led Wire SolarLantern $129.99
For a simpler transformation, play into this season’s color trends. Sunny shades of yellow and orange will create a cheerful environment and are readily available in throw pillow form. Just as you would add throw pillows to spice up simple bedding or your living room, outdoor pillows are a fun way to infuse some personality into the great outdoors. “It’s all about maximalism right now and I love adding in gold accents,” Jane says.
Indoor/Outdoor Textured Tassel Pillow
Adding texture is also a key decor element so pick a throw pillow that does it all! This fringe pillow is a great option.
Indoor/Outdoor Textured Tassel Pillow $10 (was $19.99)
Sometimes even nature can use a little boost. Adding in additional greenery with potted plants and flowers will help your space feel like a lush oasis. Plus, if you’re guaranteed to spend more time outside if you’re harnessing your green thumb and tending to your potted babies.
Set Of 2 Terracotta Cross Planters With Saucer
Terracotta is a durable, earthy material that instantly elevates a space. Fill this set of two planters with your newest passion projects.
Set of 2 Terracotta Cross Planters With… $19.99
Finally, outdoor decor trends don’t need to live separately from indoor decor trends. If you love the checkered rug that went viral on TikTok, put one outside! If a mid-century modern ottoman keeps appearing on your Pinterest, find a weatherproof version for your deck!
Medallion Outdoor Rug
Play with patterns on the patio by adding a printed rug. This striped option will make your space feel more dynamic and intentionally styled.
Medallion Outdoor Rug $59.99