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Summer Style 2020: Must-Have Cute Outdoor Decorations

Summer has approached us and Americans across the country are preparing to spend long days outside in the sunshine, making the most of the backyard or patio that's been ignored for the past few months.

Lockdown restrictions may prevent you from heading to the beach or taking a plane overseas, but that's all the more reason to add some summer touches to your garden and make your staycation extra special. In fact, research shows that spending time outdoors is one of the quickest ways to improve your health and happiness - it lowers your blood pressure, stress levels, and even improves your mood and mental health.

In the spirit of summer, here are our top affordable and effective decorations to spice up your outdoor spot!

Hammocks & swinging chairs

Is there anything better than an afternoon siesta in the sun's warm glow? Or a glass of wine and a good book while being rocked by the gentle breeze? Hammocks and swinging chairs are a must-have to transform any outdoor space into a holiday escape.

📷 Leanna Laming, Kellye

We recommend choosing woven hammocks in block pastel colors to fit with a nature theme but contrast against the greenery of the garden. The plain colors are also great to reflect light on hot days.

📷 Amanda, Jest Cafe Blog

Alternatively, Rattan hammocks are very 'in' right now and match perfectly with wooden decking for a chic, rustic look. Layer them with patterned blankets and scatter cushions come the evening time for a cozy hideaway spot, or if you're lucky enough to have a fire pit, angle the hammock facing towards it to watch the dancing flames.

Water features

Water features add a certain layer of elegance to any outdoor space. Whether you want a small pond with fish and water plants or an elaborate fountain, water features are an immediate point of relaxation.

Outdoor fountain pond water feature for backyard

📷 Jason Kisner

They are equally cool to attract birds and small critters - perfect for families with young children who love exploring in the yard. If you want something more sophisticated, buy or build (it's surprisingly simple) a feature using modern materials and colors like a flat black matte finish. Alternatively, overflowing and oversized bowls are always popular and very sleek, while a tiered waterfall adds a great sound element to your space, and anything with bamboo gives a nod to a Japanese-style tea garden.


For a Mediterranean vibe, pergolas are the perfect exotic addition and make for cool walkways, passageways, and sitting areas. Not only do pergolas provide welcome shade from the sun, but they also create a polished, comfy scene to impress your guests.

📷 Dabito, Megan

Wood is the classic choice for a pergola, but more contemporary options include metal, fiberglass, or glass and have a particular celebrity quality to them. To really push the aesthetic over the top, decorate your pergola with flowing curtains or weave plants and vines around the legs and through the slats. You'll feel like you're in Saint-Tropez in no time!

Outdoor rugs

Rugs aren't always the most exciting part of design, but outdoors they make an unexpected contribution. An outdoor rug helps your space feel complete by tying it all together, plus people will probably be pottering around barefoot, so it's good to have a soft base to walk on.

📷 Liz, West Elm

Wooden outdoor furniture with abstract rug and rattan objects

📷 Yvonne

Experiment with geometric patterns that provide playfulness and a pop of color to the overall look. A cool thing about outdoor rugs is that because many of the materials are UV-stabilized, the colors retain their vibrancy no matter the weather. Even better, you can find rugs that are made from recycled plastic bottles, making them an eco-friendly decoration. In addition to that, machine-washable rugs such as Ruggable are easier to maintain and will stand the test of time in outdoor weather.

Besides the above tips, remember to embrace all things nature in your outdoor space. Don't be afraid to play around with clusters of plants, dotting outdoor mirrors about, and hanging string lights around objects or overhead. There's also no reason your yard or patio can’t feel just like a comfortable living room - if you love your indoor decor, why not bring it into the great outdoors?

Want to visualize your outdoor space and decorate with furniture and decor from your favorite brands? Try the free DecorMatters app!

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