8 Simple Ways to Punch Up Your Outdoor Room

This post was updated April 2021.

You’ve got all the makings of a great outdoor space for entertaining, but it’s feeling a little lackluster after the long winter. Sound familiar? Giving your space a quick, budget-friendly pick-me-up is as easy as adding a few decorative elements — and you’ll be ready for deck and patio party season in no time. Check out a few of our favorite ideas below.

Suzanne Kasler's Orleans Outdoor Collection with white outdoor drapery panels and pink peonies

1. Hang string lights

There’s no quicker fix to adding a little ambiance than hanging string lights. They give a festive glow and up the charm factor, no matter how simple the decor or small your space. You can hang string lights across a patio, over a gazebo or pergola or even on a balcony.

 2. Pile on the throw pillows

The first thing interior designer Suzanne Kasler does at the start of spring is replace her outdoor pillows: “It’s the easiest way to update my existing outdoor furniture.” This year, change up the colors and mix in plenty of patterns for lots of visual interest.

Striped outdoor cushions give your favorite outdoor furniture a new lease on life

3. Swap out your cushions

Most outdoor furniture comes with neutral cushions, so maybe it’s about time to re-imagine and refresh your outdoor decor with splashy new cushion covers. Our Canopy Stripe Sunbrella® Cushion in Navy/Sand brings a timeless preppy, nautical flair to this patio.


 4. Paint your porch or toss down a new rug

Color instantly lifts any space. Swipe a fresh coat of paint on your porch. Or, cover an unsightly concrete or tile patio with a colorful outdoor-friendly rug. It also defines a seating or dining area, creating the feel of an outdoor room. Here, we used our Suzanne Kasler Fleur Indoor/Outdoor Rug — we love the way the sofa and chair echos the pattern underfoot.

A large planter filled with seasonal plants can give your outdoor space a lush feel

5. Plant a container garden

While landscaping your entire back yard may not be in the budget, you can easily plant a fun, fast container garden for luscious texture and color in your seating area. And it doesn’t take much of a green thumb to do it. Just remember the three types of plants you need to make your container garden really shine: thriller, spiller, filler.

6. Add a Living Arrangement

Take Mother Nature’s lead and bring interest to an outdoor tabletop with a living arrangement. Guest stylist, Eddie Ross, shows us how to create a beautiful centerpiece that will last through fall.


6. Hang some wall décor

If you thought about treating your outdoor spaces like your indoor rooms, you’d pay more attention to your walls. Add interest to a blank space of exterior wall with a mirror, a candle sconce or other wall decor.

 7. Place a cabana poolside

When you can’t go to Palm Beach, bring Palm Beach to you. Our Towel Cabana lends a cool resort feel in classic black-and-white stripes and is the perfect porch or poolside companion for serving drinks or storing towels.

For more outdoor inspiration, read these helpful posts below:

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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. Reply

    Louise Ventrella

    June 1, 2016

    Love the colors and freshness of,the items. I adore the blues! Could you make the blue and natural cushions to order? All cushions don’t fit all chairs.