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Summer Decor for 2021

I seriously cannot BELIEVE it’s about to be July. WTH? Anyone else feel like summer just blew down the door??

If summer has caught you as unaware as me, blink your eyes, grab your shades and your sunscreen, and get in the mood for heat. Here’s some summertime flair to deck out your backyard (the best summer decor goes outside, right?):

Light It Up

String Lights ~$59-$169

These indoor/outdoor LED string lights from PB have a smooth antique look about them and are very high-quality. I’m always tempted to go cheap on string lights, and I always regret it — available in 12′, 24′ and 48′ lengths.

Tabletop String Light Holders ~$99

Because not everyone has a fence or trellises to hang them from…

Solar Lanterns ~$25

These romantic lanterns throw off a warm light that’s perfect for evenings and late night, and even looks “glowy” during the daytime.

Solar Starburst Pathway Lights ~$59

These festive LED lights are a fun way to line your patio or walkway or simply light up your yard. Don’t leave them out/exposed in the rain, though.

Set the Scene

An Outdoor Rug

A simple outdoor rug can seriously transform a space. The creme-de-la-creme in this category is Ruggable (left, ~$219+), which comes with both the rug and a non-slip rug pad AND **is machine-washable (holllllaaa). The designs are all really classy, and with ease-of-washing, many people love to use them indoors during the “off-season” — definitely worth the splurge if you can swing it. If you’re looking for a more wallet-friendly option, the Nourisin floral collection (right ~$63+) is beautiful and very well-liked, though some reviewers note that the colors can fade with sun exposure.

Wall Planter ~$138

This large, tiered garden hanger works well for small veggies/herbs, simple greenery or flowers.

Fire Pit ~$99+

There’s nothing like sitting around a good campfire on a summer evening — and the SMELL… sigh. Honestly, any old fire pit will do the trick… Your local hardware store should have basic options (below, left, ~$99), which are somewhat portable and great for patios/terraces (or wherever, lol), or you can purchase a DIY kit to build a more permanent stone site (below, right, ~$419) if you have a good spot somewhere in your backyard. Then, there’s always the Solo Stove (~$349), which is beloved, travel-friendly, and smokeless.

A Pretty Floral Wreath ~$99

Williams Sonoma has a gorgeous selection of handmade floral wreaths (made from dried flowers) that last for ~3 years. They’re so elegant and classy! If you prefer a greener aesthetic, check out Pottery Barn for more options.

The Perfect Summery Candle ~$28

Perhaps it’s not summer decor per se, but a good candle is a great touch year round — all the better if you can pair the scent with the season. Ashby Candles are all handmade in small batches from pure soy, and though they may not look huge, the burn time is 55 hours. We suggest the campfire scent for the summer — it’s divine. (Also, rose dust: yes.)

Confetti Hummingbird Feeder ~$40

If you live somewhere where hummingbirds are “around,” lure them in with a feeder — sightings are so fun with the kids, and these glass feeders look gorgeous on their own anyway.

Destination Signs ~$varies

These are such a fun, colorful way to personalize your outdoor space, and they’re also juuuust the right dose of sentimental. If you’re the handy/crafty type (pointing at someone else), you could even DIY. Makes for a great gift, too.

Take a Seat

Teak Rockers ~$279

These classic outdoor rockers are a staple on southern porches (they literally scream summer decor) — but they’re great anywhere. Our set has lasted through multiple Ohio seasons followed by eight Maine winters, and counting. Also comes in a different version with a cupholder (!) for $289.

Lazy Daze Hammock ~$79

What can we say about a hammock? It’s comfortable? It’s fun? Kids fall out of them? All of the above, hah. Users love this quilted hammock — but note that you’ll need to purchase a stand separately ($85), if you need one.

photo @Amazon reviews

Ophelia & Co. Hammock Chair ~$203

This chair (swing?) is insanely comfortable — just note that you want to keep it somewhere pretty protected, as it’s not weather-resistant, and you’ll need some other other hardware/tools for set up.

Outdoor Throw Pillows ~$varies

For your rockers/hammock/hammock chair/bench swing/outdoor couch/etc. Wayfair has a great selection of designs that range on the spectrum from whimsical to chic.

Kids Picnic Table ~$varies

If you have room for a kids picnic table, they are so cute and SO practical to have — the most utilitarian summer decor around. My kids were always on the verge of falling off their “adult-sized” seats at our patio table and picnic table. Here are three great options at different price points:

Ikea RESO ~$49 — Economy Pick

Gorilla Playsets Table w/Umbrella ~$175

photo @Wayfair reviews

Crate & Barrel Triangular Table ~$399 — Upgrade Pick

While you’re at it —

If your family partakes in any amount of outdoor dining, get yourself a good tray. I don’t know why it took me so long to start using ours, but it seriously cuts down on the back-and-forth. There are numerous options, but we love the Beck Tray ($49) from Crate & Barrel. It’s sturdy, sizable, has a classic look, and defies seasonality.

Play

Lastly, here are a handful of fun things to keep littles active and occupied outside, ranging from play sets to fun decorative summer crafts. Check out our water play round-up [link] for even more ideas.

An Outdoor Play Tent ~$varies

Turtleplay Sandbox w/Cover ~$99

Play House ~$219

Arts & Crafts

If you’re the crafty type, you can let your kids make your summer decorations – put those littles to work! Hah. Here are a few fun starter ideas:

  • Make mandalas on your patio/porch/lawn using stones, pebbles, leaves and/or flowers — “land art”
  • Fill mason jars with sand, sea glass and/or sea shells
  • Paint flower pots

Hopefully you’ve found something to spruce up your outdoor space in our list of summertime decor essentials. Any favorites we missed? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.

Cheers to summer!

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