6 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Backyard Decor

Give your yard some love this grilling season with these expert-approved tips!

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April 26, 2022

You'll probably find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors this summer. We know we will be! From big barbecues with all your friends to family movie nights under the stars, there's no limit to just how much entertaining you can do in your own backyard. If your back deck, patio, driveway or patch of grass is in need of a little facelift, try one of these expert-approved decorating tips on for size! Not only will they make your backyard feel a bit homier, but they’ll also make it the envy of your entire neighborhood. Happy Decorating!

1. String Some Lights

Photo by: Photograph by Nikki Poole/@miss_rusticarrow

Photograph by Nikki Poole/@miss_rusticarrow

"It’s always a starry night when you hang string lights," says blogger Nikki Poole (@miss_rusticarrow), who created this magical patio in Victoria, British Columbia. She recommends using large trees as anchor points and taking a less-is-more approach: Just one or two strands can have a major effect.

2. Paint Your Deck

Photo by: Photograph by Liz Kamarul

Photograph by Liz Kamarul

Go beyond traditional wood stains and cover your deck in colors you love, like the blush and terra-cotta used for this checkerboard pattern by New Orleans blogger Liz Kamarul (lizkamarul.com). "It makes the whole space feel cozy and more like an interior room," she says. Look for exterior-rated paint, which will hold up to sun exposure and foot traffic. Here are four fun colors you can try:

3. Roll Out A Bar Cart

Photo by: Photograph by Mike Garten

Photograph by Mike Garten

A bar cart on wheels is the easiest way to say "it’s a party!"— and you don’t have to stick to the usual cocktail setup. Turn one into a kid-friendly snack station, or use it for storing napkins, plates and other dinnerware.

4. Hang Some Art

Photo by: Photograph by Lisa Romerein/Otto

Photograph by Lisa Romerein/Otto

To really make a statement, display some word art outside: It’s an unexpected twist on the usual patio decor. Try a vintage-inspired metal or neon sign, or a print in a weather-resistant frame. Just make sure to place your art in a covered area, like a shaded patio, to help protect it from the elements.

5. Add A Rug

Photo by: Photograph by Anne Gridley and Gary Grave

Photograph by Anne Gridley and Gary Grave

An outdoor rug can turn any patio into a proper al fresco dining room — and it’s the simplest way to add a pop of color. Choose a cheerful stripe, like the rug on this Boothbay Harbor, ME, deck, or opt for another bold graphic pattern. Bonus Tip: When shopping for an outdoor rug, look for one made of synthetic materials like polypropylene, which is easy to clean and resists fading.

6. Light A Fire

Photo by: Photograph by Gary and Lisa Ashley Photography

Photograph by Gary and Lisa Ashley Photography

You don’t have to make a huge investment to add the warm glow of a fire to your yard: Start with a tabletop flame or a small, simple metal pit — or go all in and create an outdoor living space around a stylish concrete fire pit, like Sacramento, CA, photographers Gary and Lisa Ashley did above (createandgather.com).


Introduction paragraph written by Michelle Baricevic for FoodNetwork.com.

All tips written by Carina Finn Koeppicus for Food Network Magazine.

Blue Bar Cart Photograph by Mike Garten.

Red Chairs and Table Photograph by Lisa Romerein/Otto.

Red Table and Benches Photograph by Anne Gridley and Gary Grave.

Fire Pit Photograph by Gary and Lisa Ashley Photography.

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