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Outdoor Summer Decorating Ideas

Updated on June 21, 2014

Backyard Decor

Get ready for summer with furniture, lighting, decorations and more. I have a bunch of decorating ideas for you as well as some great barbecues and other backyard ideas.

If you have kids, I have some outside ideas for them as well. You can even enjoy some summer music while you put together the best outdoor setting for you.

I know how much summer is loved in my family and how much time we spend outdoors. Hopefully you'll find everything you need here.

Image by daryl_mitchell at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Backyard Themes

Tiki Mask
Tiki Mask

The first thing to decide is if you just want to put up some furniture and decorations or would you prefer a theme? There are lots of great themes that could work for the summer.

If you have a swimming pool, a beach theme would be nice. You could use lounge chairs and a table with an umbrella. Personally, I would go with blue tones as it matches the color of the ocean.

For decorating, I would make sure there were lots of seashells around and netting. If you smoke or plan to have smokers over, you could use abalone shells filled with sand for ashtrays. For lighting, I would add some string lights.

Maybe you prefer something more tropical. In that case, I would go with wicker furniture. For lighting, you could put up tiki torches. Place tiki gods around the yard to add to the effect and if possible, a running water fountain you can hear to create the sound of a waterfall. You can even add some masks.

Prefer something simpler? How about a country theme? Imagine relaxing in a hammock while sipping lemonade. Another idea is a wooden bench swing. You can add flower vases with lots of summer flowers. Attract birds by having a bird house and bird bath.

Tiki image by Sam Howzit at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Outdoor Decor Ideas

Newhouse Lighting Solar Flickering LED Tiki Torches, Bamboo Finish, 4-Pack
Newhouse Lighting Solar Flickering LED Tiki Torches, Bamboo Finish, 4-Pack

Think how pretty these would look flickering at night. I love the idea that they're solar powered.

 
Gifts & Decor Verdigris Leaf Antique Style Outdoor Garden Birdbath
Gifts & Decor Verdigris Leaf Antique Style Outdoor Garden Birdbath

I really like how detailed this bird bath is. I find it to be a beautiful addition to the yard. Plus, it's so fun when the birds come.

 

Outdoor Furniture Ideas

Lounge Chairs
Lounge Chairs

There are two main things you should consider when it comes to outdoor furniture. The first is seating and the other is some kind of table. Much of this boils down to personal preference.

If you plan on entertaining large crowds, I suggest an outdoor sectional couch. Should you be looking for something for the family, a picnic table and bench set up would work. A bistro set would do well if you are merely looking for something small.

I personally like Chaise lounges. They're very relaxing and perfect for people who have a pool. If looking for something for the garden, I would suggest a decorative bench.

As the sun can be quite hot during the day, I happen to like a table with an umbrella. That way it provides shade. Of course, if you're setting something up in a shaded area, that really wouldn't matter. Just be sure whatever kind of table you buy is large enough to hold food and tableware for the amount of people you plan to entertain or put up more than one.

Lounges image by designsbykari at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Backyard Poll

Are you currently looking for backyard furniture?

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Genuine Ohana Outdoor Sectional Sofa and Dining Wicker Patio Furniture Set (14 pc set) with Free Patio Cover
Genuine Ohana Outdoor Sectional Sofa and Dining Wicker Patio Furniture Set (14 pc set) with Free Patio Cover

Here's a wonderful set if you want to go all out. You can enjoy a leisurely dinner at the table, then move over to the couch for some evening conversation. I believe this is a perfect set for people who enjoy entertaining a lot.

 
White Cedar Log Picnic Table with Detached Bench - 6 foot
White Cedar Log Picnic Table with Detached Bench - 6 foot

Imagine the family fun to be had with this picnic table. It's custom made to order out of cedar.

 
Outdoor Patio Deck Aluminum Furniture 3 Piece Bistro Set B CBM1290
Outdoor Patio Deck Aluminum Furniture 3 Piece Bistro Set B CBM1290

Sometimes people are limited to space, but still would like some outdoor furniture. I find this to be an adorable set. It can work even in the smallest of yards.

 

In the Good Old Summertime

Here is a classic summer song you can listen to while you're here.

Enjoy this nostalgic look at summer.

Outdoor Decorative Lights

Outdoor String Lights
Outdoor String Lights

You can really start to get creative when picking out your backyard lights. For a whimsical feel, I would go with string lights. Looking to add some romance? How about some pool lights?

If you have individual tables, I would recommend some type of lantern for each table. Should you have a pathway, add some light stakes. They really make the path look pretty at night.

Whenever possible, I like to use LED lights. Not only are they better for the environment, you don't have to worry about cords or outlets. I have some fun suggestions for you below.

Lights image by Salier Coruscant at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Moonrays 95534 10-Fixture Low-Voltage Plastic Lighting Kit, Black
Moonrays 95534 10-Fixture Low-Voltage Plastic Lighting Kit, Black

These waterproof and weather resistant lights would look beautiful along a pathway.

 
World Pride Solar Power Lantern Antique Light Lamp 7 LED Garden Light Lamp (Black)
World Pride Solar Power Lantern Antique Light Lamp 7 LED Garden Light Lamp (Black)

Quick charging. Think how attractive this will look on the table.

 

Do you have kids? If so, they might enjoy my summer coloring pages and crafts. See the arrow below.

Decorating Your Yard

Backyard Fire Pit
Backyard Fire Pit

There are many more items you can add to your yard. For me, I love fountains. Another one of my favorites are garden statues. Chimes can be very pretty as well as lovely to listen to.

If you have a garden path, consider adding some decorative garden stones. Got room to spare? How about a gazebo?

Should you live in an area with cooler summer nights and like to spend time outdoors, I recommend a fire pit. Not only does it provide light, it helps to keep you warm.

Don't forget about plants and flowers. They add such a nice touch of nature.

Image by Rajiv Patel (Rajiv's View) at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Backyard Decorating Ideas

Landmann USA 28347 Big Sky Fire Pit, Wildlife, Black
Landmann USA 28347 Big Sky Fire Pit, Wildlife, Black

Not only will this bring light and heat, you also use it to roast marshmallows at the end of a busy day. I particularly like the animal cutouts.

 
Sunnydaze Green Ceramic Cascade Solar Fountain, 21 Inch Tall
Sunnydaze Green Ceramic Cascade Solar Fountain, 21 Inch Tall

No need for electricity with this fountain as it is solar powered. Imagine the serenity it would bring to your yard.

 

Buying a Grill

Outdoor Barbecue Grill
Outdoor Barbecue Grill

A good grill is a must for the yard. It's really a personal preference as to what kind. Many people think that a charcoal grill makes food taste better. On the other hand, there are people who prefer how much easier and cleaner it is to barbecue with gas.

In looking at costs, typically a charcoal grill will be less expensive to buy, although in the long run, the use of gas will be cheaper than the charcoal.

There's also a difference in the time they take to heat up. It can take about fifteen minutes before charcoal is ready, while a gas grill heats immediately.

Whichever you choose, be sure you're buying one that is large enough for all of your barbecue needs.

Grill image by woodleywonderworks at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Barbecues for Sale

Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

I've had a Weber grill in the past and really loved it. Of course, Weber is known for its quality.

 
Weber 46110001 Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill, Black
Weber 46110001 Spirit E210 Liquid Propane Gas Grill, Black

Good quality, easy to assemble and enough room to cook your meat and vegetables at the same time. This is a real plus for me.

 

Grilling Debate

Do you think charcoal or gas grills are better?

Give me that smokey charcoal taste anytime!

Give me that smokey charcoal taste anytime!

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    • wiseriverman 4 years ago

      I'm familiar with charcoal grills so I tend to favor them but that may change if I try a gas grill.

    • scales9 4 years ago

      charcoal spikes the taste of food!

    • Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      I prefer charcoal with some mesquite wood chips thrown in. Yummmmy

    • katiecolette 4 years ago

      I prefer the charcoal grills. Gas grilled meat and veggies don't taste as good to me as the charcoal grilled food with smokey flavor.

    • Vikki 4 years ago from US

      We have a gas grill, but my favorite will always be the charcoal!

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Anything veg on it

    • Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Gas grills are easier to maintain, but you can't beat that charcoal smokey taste!

    • PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      Charcoal for sure - there's nothing like that smoky taste

    • Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Smoke is a classic!

    • wilsonkht 4 years ago

      I love to use charcoal because I like the taste of it.

    • The One Stop Shop 4 years ago

      I really like charcoal. I think it cooks meat much better.

    • Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      I'm used to charcoal and think it is much safer, especially around young children.

    • Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Charcoal for sure! They make the food taste better.

    I much prefer the ease of gas grilling.

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      • VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

        I love the gas grills

      eBay Barbecues

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      Backyard Check List

      1. Chairs or some kind of seating.

      2. Table.

      3. Outdoor lights.

      4. Decorations.

      5. Barbecue.

      Backyard Ideas for Kids

      Children's Sand Pit
      Children's Sand Pit

      If you have kids, especially younger ones, I suggest you set up an area of the yard just for them. Let them have their own kids picnic table. You can keep some toys outside and store them in an outdoor toy chest.

      A couple of things my kids always loved was a sand pit and a kiddy pool. Neither take up a lot of room and both will bring them hours of fun.

      Sandbox image by ilya at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

      Outdoor Activities for Kids

      KidKraft Table & Benches with Blue Umbrella
      KidKraft Table & Benches with Blue Umbrella

      The table set is good for both younger and older kids. I like how much room it has. There's plenty of space for kids to color and play games.

       
      Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+
      Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center, 117" X 76" X 53", for Ages 2+

      Children can play and cool off at the same time. The balls you see for the games are included.

       

      What do you wish you had in your backyard?

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        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 3 years ago

          @angelatvs: Those are so nice to have.

        • profile image

          angelatvs 3 years ago

          A good old fashioned picnic table.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 3 years ago

          @BodyHairRemoval: I would love to try your steaks!

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 3 years ago

          @paulahite: Thank you!!!! How very nice of you.

        • BodyHairRemoval profile image

          BodyHairRemoval 3 years ago

          For men it's all about the grill! I love to celebrating grilling some steaks. Nothing speaks to summer better than that for men.

        • paulahite profile image

          Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

          Cool ideas! I shared your lens on our Facebook page today!

          www.facebook.com/GreenThumbOnSquidoo

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @wiseriverman: Good luck finding some.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @favored: LOL.

        • wiseriverman profile image

          wiseriverman 4 years ago

          I'm dying for a couple of Adirondack chairs but so far they're not in the budget. I hope I can find them at a garage sale. They're so comfortable and I really like the look of ease that they exude.

          Great lens! I love it!

        • favored profile image

          Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

          We've been looking for some new ideas and furniture for the yard. Lounge chairs would be great, then I could relax as I think about what I really want :)

        • favored profile image

          Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

          We've been looking for some new ideas and furniture for the yard. Lounge chairs would be great, then I could relax as I think about what I really want :)

        • choosehappy profile image

          Vikki 4 years ago from US

          I just moved into a house with a pool this winter. We've used the beach theme as you suggested above and LOVE it! So much fun and so relaxing.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @anonymous: Interesting you mentioned staycation. We'll be taking our first one this year and part of the time, we'll be working on the property, including the yard.

        • profile image

          anonymous 4 years ago

          I'll take one of everything! Its a good time to be offering things for folks to spruce up their own yards with more doing the staycation route due to the need to save costs. Last year I was talking to a manager of a greenhouse and they said they had their best year ever because so many were buying for their yards....well, maybe last year they got the plants and you have everything else! I'd go with the charcoal myself, can't beat the flavor and if you use a chimney with a little paper, you can get those coal going without the starter smell. Congratulations on home page honors! :)

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @ajgodinho: It's already heated up here big time.

        • ajgodinho profile image

          Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          The weather is warming up and 'm definitely looking forward to summer after a long winter! :)

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @PinkstonePictures: Glad I could help.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @TolovajWordsmith: Can I come?

        • PinkstonePictures profile image

          PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

          We only have a balcony but we're looking for some seating and table for outside so thanks for some interesting tips. Will be back for more inspiration.

        • TolovajWordsmith profile image

          Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

          A party, what else?

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @VspaBotanicals: I love the pit!

        • VspaBotanicals profile image

          VspaBotanicals 4 years ago

          I love all these backyard ideas, especially the fire pit. Excellent lens.

        • aesta1 profile image

          Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          I love sitting outdoors most of the time so comfortable lounge chairs are important.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @rob-hemphill: It's quite pretty, isn't it?

        • rob-hemphill profile image

          Rob Hemphill 4 years ago from Ireland

          Loads of great ideas here. I love the antique ceramic solar cascade fountain, must look in to one of those.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @anonymous: Maybe one day you will.

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Outstanding page!!! Love everything on it and about it...wish I had a yard.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @Two Crafty Paws: I hope your plan works!

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @takkhisa: I'm glad you found it, too.

        • Two Crafty Paws profile image

          Two Crafty Paws 4 years ago

          I wish I would have... nothing! =) Seriously, as the sun finally decided to come out and I am doing some work on the backyard I would really wish that my father who is becoming quite a hoarder wouldn't have accumulated so much cr*p in the winter =). So first spring cleaning then some nice decorations. Lighting is a must and I am thinking of getting a nice iron cast furniture as I really like how it looks.

        • takkhisa profile image

          Takkhis 4 years ago

          Thanks for making this wonderful lens! I was expecting to see a new lens from you, i am glad i just found it :)

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @sukkran trichy: It's so fun for kids.

        • sukkran trichy profile image

          sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

          great decorating ideas. love the play ground system.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @DuaneJ: I'm so glad to hear this.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @Aunt-Mollie: Thank you for letting me know this.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @Heidi Vincent: I hope you are able to get one. I love watching the birds when they come.

        • WriterJanis2 profile image
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          WriterJanis2 4 years ago

          @Camden1: It's such a tranquil sound.

        • DuaneJ profile image

          DuaneJ 4 years ago

          These are amazing decorations for summer!

        • profile image

          Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

          I love the outdoor swingset!

        • Heidi Vincent profile image

          Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

          I wish I had a bird bath / fountain.

        • Camden1 profile image

          Camden1 4 years ago

          I really wish I had a fountain - I would enjoy listening to the sound of the water trickling down.