Since this might be the first summer in a VERY long time that we aren’t taking a family vacation (sniff sniff because I love to travel), I decided there’s no time like the present to create a “staycation destination” out of our backyard. And I’ve been dreaming of Nantucket lately, or of summer in the Hamptons, so why not just pretend?! It all started by dusting off the ping pong table and planting a few pots. That, plus a few other key purchases like a comfy sectional and a cozy outdoor rug, and now the back patio is taking shape! It’s the perfect dreamy spot, right here in Portland.
The timing is ideal because not only is the weather supposed to be sunny and beautiful, but school is out this week and my two college kids are coming home. Woo hoo!! Secretly I hope they’ll gather here as often as possible 🙂
Sooooo … in an effort to attempt this new design, I did a little research, polled a few of my design-obsessed friends, and came up with some pretty cool ideas.
Here is everything you need for summer entertaining and a few simple ways to transform your back yard into a stylish getaway where everyone will want to hang out this summer!!
Buy a comfortable sofa, hammock or chairs … whatever fits your space
I recently bought this Pottery Barn sectional, and it’s the first time in 20 years we’ve spent so much time outside as a family. If I would have known it would become THE gathering spot, I’d have done it years ago! People ask how I’m able to have white furniture, which is funny because I’m not that careful. Occasionally I get lazy and the cushions stay out in the rain, and then I unzip the covers and in the wash they go. They come out looking white and clean!
Get an outdoor rug
This instantly cozies up an outdoor space! I bought this one at Target and I can’t believe how great it is. It looks like my indoor seagrass rug and the price is incredible! Other great places for outdoor rugs are Dash & Albert, Pottery Barn, Wayfair and One Kings Lane.
The essential item in case it rains — just throw everything in, and it makes it easy to transport back and forth. Plus they look good. I just purchased this IKEA one, and it makes the area complete! World Market has great ones and so does Target!
Fun and games
String lights have a magical effect! Last year I waited too long in the season to make this essential purchase and they became hard to find, so don’t wait. One Kings Lane, Amazon or Target have great selections. These globe lights from Serena & Lily are so cool, and of course don’t forget about the battery operated candles from Pottery Barn, which are so easy, I wrote about them here.
Pillows and Throws
Load up on throws. Your guests will linger longer and everyone will be cozy and warm. I love the cashmere blankets from Williams Sonoma, which are super soft, or even Turkish towels for something different. There are many price options, just make sure you have a lot of them! As for pillows, Pottery Barn has good basic ones, and they’re often on sale. For special outdoor pillows I like One Kings Lane or Serena & Lily.
Find something you love. It can be garden stools like these, an IKEA tray table like this one I purchased for $20. Or splurge on this one from Serena and Lily. The best part? They can all be moved inside at the end of Summer!
Setting a stylish table is so easy. Making sure you have all the right pieces, everything from trays to melamine plates to linens and placemats. I LOVE these wicker placemats by Serena & Lily, and these melamine plates by Juliska are in my shopping cart!
Linens and placemats
Other important things
Thank you for reading! Xo