55 Unique Backyard Decor Ideas to Try on a Budget

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mix and match outdoor dining chairs around tableMolly Culver

Seating doesn’t have to be one-note. Designer Mary Patton mixed and matched wrought iron chairs, with bright yellow chairs situated at each head of the table.

SHOP PATIO CHAIRS

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outdoor table with viewAlyssa Rosenheck

To freshen up this Santa Barbara, CA, patio, Taylor Anne Bliss of Taylor Anne Interiors chose to anchor it with a striped umbrella. “A whimsical umbrella surrounded by a neutral palette gives life to any small patio space,” Bliss says.

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outdoor gathering area with comfy chairs and round coffee tableChristian DuRocher

For a cozy layout that sparks conversation, go for a round seating arrangement. Take note from Ryan and Kate Gross of Kate Anne Design and hang bamboo lanterns with dimmable bulbs to enhance the space.

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backyard decorSara Ligorria-Tramp

Don’t let cool nights keep you inside. Gather around an outdoor fireplace or fire table with “all three sets of chairs facing inward,” says Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors.

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outdoor "living" wall potted plants mounted on white brick wall woven patio furniture, wicker, rattanStephen Karlisch

Freshen up your patio by mounting potted plants to a blank wall, as interior designer Tori Rubinson does here. Pick a wall you can see easily from an outdoor seating area, then fill the pots with low-maintenance cascading plants or herbs.

RELATED: Best Places to Buy Healthy Plants

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outdoor living space, patio, deck, pool areaAMY BARTLAM

Lean into the summer season by arranging dining furniture right at the water’s edge. To create the ultimate retreat, choose pieces made of natural materials, like a weather-treated, all-wood table with chairs, that blend well with the surrounding greenery.

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backyard cornhole gameLauren Pressey

Invite loved ones to enjoy some friendly competition with a round of corn hole — but don’t skimp on decor. Pepper in items like lanterns and a chic woven chair that will come in handy for quick breaks when the games heat up.

RELATED: Fun Lawn Games for Some Serious Backyard Competition

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outdoor patio with furnitureHaris Kenjar

Arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation, plus layer in tables for snacks and stools for extra seating. “The scale of furnishings helps dictate a sense of place and closeness,” says Tim Pfeiffer of Hoedemaker Pfeiffer.

SHOP GARDEN STOOLS

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outdoor living space with counter and bar stoolsBrian Bieder Photography

You can build a simple outdoor bar on a budget from 4×4 wood pieces and a treated-lumber top. Inject pops of color, advises designer Maggie Griffin to “balance the expanse of wood tones and draw the eye from the interior of the home to the exterior living areas seamlessly.”

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small backyard ideas foldable umbrella patioDavid Tsay

Encourage your guests to stay a while with cushioned dining chairs layered with throw pillows. Hang string lights above, so they can relax all evening.

SHOP OUTDOOR PILLOWS

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pergola ideas open air woodYardzen

Whether it’s for a bit of shade or to establish an “outdoor room,” a pergola is a great way to elevate a backyard layout. Here, online landscape designer Yardzen uses a wood pergola in one half of the yard to designate a dining area.

RELATED: Backyard Pergola Ideas for Instant Style and Shade

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outdoor living space with canopy bed in the gardenShaye Price

Design a dreamy spot for outdoor napping, like this custom bed with a sheepskin topper. “We added the rattan seating on the opposite side along with an area rug to pull everything together for a relaxed outdoor living space,” says designer Tammy Price.

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patio lights turned on at outdoor evening patio dinner party with pink champagne, charcuterie board and cheese platterJeff Wasserman

Whether it’s date night or an intimate family gathering, place a dining table in a quiet corner of your backyard. Then, hang some string lights to set the mood.

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small backyard ideas paversmike garten

Create a natural flow by arranging distinct areas in the backyard, like a section for lounging, eating, drinking or playing games. Outdoor rugs are a great way to separate each zone.

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backyard decorating ideas, outdoor bar station in porch settingMike Garten

Believe it or not, mirrors aren’t just for indoors. Dress a bare white wall with a stylish mirror for an instant makeover.

SHOP ROUND MIRROR

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backyard decorating ideas, porch with white wicker furnitureEric Roth

There’s no reason why you can’t carry the aesthetic of your indoor living room straight outdoors. Comfortable seating, warm lighting and potted plants can do the trick.

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backyard decorating ideas, outdoor space with string lightsSara Ligorria-Tramp

Set the mood by draping simple string lights above your outdoor dining table. But don’t stop there — add even more warmth with an oversized rug, as seen in the home of Create & Cultivate‘s Jaclyn Johnson.

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backyard decorating ideasDawn Close, Design by Margie Grace

Sometimes less is more, especially when nature acts as a stunning backdrop. Here, concrete furniture adds visual interest, while letting a striking tree steal the show.

Headshot of Monique Valeris

Monique Valeris

Home Design Director

Monique Valeris is the home design director for Good Housekeeping, where she oversees the brand’s home decorating coverage across print and digital. Prior to joining GH in 2020, she was the digital editor at Elle Decor. In her current role, she explores everything from design trends and home tours to lifestyle product recommendations, including writing her monthly column, “What’s in My Cart.”

Headshot of Alyssa Gautieri

Alyssa Gautieri

Associate Lifestyle Editor

Alyssa Gautieri (she/her) is the associate lifestyle editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers all things home and interior design. Prior to joining GH in 2022, she wrote for publications including ELLE Decor, Chairish, BobVila.com, Unique Homes Magazine and LODGING Magazine, in addition to crafting product copy for home brands like BrylaneHome and VIGO Industries.

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