Summer Outdoor Living Makeover

A comprehensive guide to transforming your backyard into a summer oasis–featuring the latest trends in outdoor furniture, lighting, and decor.

Temperatures are rising and summer has officially arrived. What better way to spend time in the sun than relaxing in your newly decorated backyard?

Picture this: you’re swinging in your hammock with an ice cold drink in hand. It’s 28 degrees outside, but that doesn’t scare you because you’ve got plenty of shade in your private sanctuary.

Now, let’s make that a reality. Here is a list of ideas on how you can revamp your outdoor living space to maximize its potential.

a stone pathway at a backyard with sitting chairs and plants around
Annie Schlechter

Create a Pathway

Adding a stone pathway is one of the easiest and more effective ways to spice up your backyard. A designated walkway can add a boost to an otherwise simple-looking outdoor space. You can choose to lay down stones to create a clear path from your home to the backyard, or lay down a mulch pathway if you don’t like plain stone. The most common types of mulch include wood chips, cocoa bean and cypress bark. Since these materials are lighter than stone and tend to spread, it is important to ensure you set up a border or edging. Both bricks and metal are common border options!

a bench around a tree in a backyard with wall-hanging climbing plants and potted plants
Cottages and Bungalows

Build a Tree Bench

Assemble a bench around a tree in your backyard to optimize the nature in your space. The tree trunk acts as a backing for the bench while the branches and leaves give the perfect amount of shade. Create your own reading nook by adding pillows and a throw blanket! 

Building a bench may sound like a daunting project, but all you need is protective eyewear, gloves, decking wood and screws. Get your family and friends to help out and make a summer project out of it! Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the fruit of all your labour together. Here is a step-by-step guide on how exactly you can put the bench together. 

a trellis at a backyard with climbing flowers and plants growing beside it

Set Up a Trellis

A trellis is not only visually pleasing, but also a practical addition to your backyard and garden. Build one yourself or purchase a premade option. Either way, its tall frame will help your flowers or vegetables grow to new heights. 

a lavender garden at a green carpet backyard with a smooth stone pathway in between
Charles Mayer

Plant Lavender

Adding lavender in your backyard helps create a calming atmosphere. The therapeutic properties of lavender can instantly put anyone who steps foot in the backyard into a relaxed mood.

Not sure where to start? You can plant a lush row of lavender on either side of a walkway or plant it throughout your backyard to create a flower field. The flower field option will also add a refreshing amount of summertime colour to your space. 

hanging fairy lights along the edge of a backyard roof with climbing plants, hanging potted plants and bottles across the wall
Clara Lu

Incorporate Mood Lighting

Add ambient lighting to your backyard and create a cozy, starry-night feel. You can hang fairy lights along the edge of the roof, or drape them from a pergola. If you find white light to be too monotone for your taste, you can opt for coloured lighting. Imagine hosting an outdoor movie night with blue and green lights draped just below the starry sky. *Chef’s kiss*

modular couches, chairs and tables on an open backyard space
Max Vakhtbovycn

Add Backyard Furniture

Put some furniture in your backyard to make it feel like an extension of your home. A popular option in recent years has been modular furniture, as they offer versatility to suit most spaces. This includes modular couches, chairs and tables

Furniture made from natural materials, like teak and bamboo, is another great option for the summertime. These materials perfectly mimic the surrounding nature in the backyard to offer a seamless look.