10 Ways to Make a Big Outdoor Statement

Large architectural spheres for your garden from Ballard Designs

Your outdoor spaces deserve just as much attention as the rooms inside your home. With just a few statement pieces, you can take your backyard from boring to beautiful. To get your inspired, here our top 10 favorites this season.

Large architectural spheres for your garden from Ballard Designs

1. Garden Spheres

These simple round Volcanic Ash Spheres from Suzanne Kasler are great for adding sculptural presence to your outdoor landscape. Try grouping them together on a path or porch or use them as a large-scale centerpiece on a table. They may be new, but they take on the weathered appearance and texture of a centuries-old garden sculpture.

Black and white striped patio umbrella

2. Striped Umbrella

Summer is no time to be a wilting flower. Go for the gusto with a bold striped pattern on your patio umbrella. We love the idea of making the umbrella an essential part of the decor, rather than choosing a neutral fabric to make it disappear. Black and white is classic — and goes with everything — but the stripe also comes in several other summer-loving colors.

Zinc bowl planter for outdoor space

3. Vintage-Inspired European Bowl

Based on an antique, our French Zinc Dough Bowl adds a little welcome patina to your outdoor space. It’s versatile, too: turn it into a unique planter, fill it with ice to chill drinks, use it as a potting stand or put rolled towels in it next to the pool.

Outdoor pergola

4. Pergola

A pergola adds architectural interest to your backyard and offers respite from the afternoon sun, making it a super functional addition. Create privacy or delineate different zones with drapery panels.

Striped towel cabana for pool

5. Striped Cabana

Our Positano Towel Cabana makes the perfect poolside companion — and a fun focal point. Use it to store towels, pool toys and floaties and other outdoor items or turn it into a bar for your next party. Hint: the black and white stripe pairs perfectly with the umbrella!

Navy and white geometric print outdoor rug

6. Outdoor Rug

The best way to define an outdoor area for seating or dining is with an outdoor rug. Choose a pretty color and pattern to create the look you want. Our Catalina Rug in navy makes waves with a nautical feel — just right for summer.

Chaise lounges beside pool

7. Symmetry

Have you ever admired an arrangement of furniture, yet couldn’t put your finger on why it was so visually pleasing? Chances are it has something to do with symmetry, a key design principle that brings order to the outdoors. The repetition here of Suzanne Kasler’s stately Directoire furniture, paired with classic white cushions and umbrellas, brings a refined elegance poolside. The timeless motif is reinforced by the classical boxwood hedges behind it.

String lights and candles outdoors

8. Candlelight

The secret to making any evening memorable? Just add candlelight. We’re not talking one or two candles, though. In this case, more really is better. Make a dramatic statement with a huge grouping of candlelit hurricanes or lanterns.

Sunday porch swing from Ballard Designs

9. Porch Swing

Nothing says “lazy day” quite like a porch swing, especially our daybed-style Sunday Porch Swing. Outfitted with cushions, it’s the most comfortable seat outside the house. The only problem is, your guests may never leave.

Metal fire pit

10. Fire Pit

You don’t have to have a built-in fire pit to enjoy the ambiance and warmth of one. Create an instant gathering spot for friends and family with a portable fire pit and a few chairs and poufs. When summer heats up, you can easily stow it until fall.

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery.

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Avatar

    Ann ette Nazari Suares

    April 24, 2016

    Stunning Collection 2016 Love it